Capital Cities, the electro pop duo formed by Ryan Merchant and Sebu Simonian, hasn’t even released a full album yet, but songs like ” Safe and Sound” and “Kangaroo Court” are getting people excited to hear more music from this group. They are known for their infectious beats and catchy lyrics that will make anyone want to dance. Capital Cities will play for the first time in Buenos Aires, May 22nd at Hype in Kika.
We spoke with Sebu because we needed to know more about Capital Cities.
Can you tell us a little about your backgrounds and how Capital Cities came together?
My background is Armenian. Los Angeles is my home. Ryan was born and raised in San Francisco, but has been living in L.A. since 1999.
In 2008, Ryan was looking for a producer to help him with his solo project and found my one posting on a free online classifieds. At the time, I was working on my own solo project. We formed a composing team and wrote for commercials for a while. We formed the band in 2010 and released our debut EP in June 2011.
“Safe and Sound” and “Kangaroo Court” have received lots of love from the music blogs, radio and beyond. Are you currently working on a full length album?
Yes, we are putting the finishing touches on a full-length album. We’re excited about two new originals, “Origami” and “Chartreuse,” which will be released as singles over the next few months.
Is there someone you’ve wanted to cover, remix or collaborate with that has yet to come about?
We recently covered Pink Floyd’s “Breathe” and added a Tupac Shakur verse to it. We also had fun covering Madonna’s “Holiday,” which we’ve been playing at the end of our live shows. Our next cover is a secret, but here’s a hint: It was written by Prince.
We’ve been fortunate to have some really talented producers remix our music. DiscoTech and d’Anconia both did bumping remixes of “Safe and Sound” and Shook gave “Kangaroo Court” a sexy loungy facelift. We’re big fans of Goldroom and Com Truise, and would love to see a collaboration happen with them as well. We recently met a great L.A.-based female singer named LP, with whom we shared the stage at the Pandora showcase at SXSW this year, and we’re hoping to remix one of her amazing songs.
What are some of the differences between Capital Cities in the studio versus live?
There’s not much difference between Capital Cities in the studio versus live, except for the presence of the coolest fans in the world. We like to mix up electronic sounds with classic organic sounds in the recording process and try to recreate the same sounds and energy on stage.
Besides Buenos Aires, what other shows do you have planned on your South American tour?
Besides Buenos Aires, our South America trip includes Santiago, opening for Chromeo at Club Fauna, and our own headlining gig at Toro Retro Bar in Lima. We are extremely grateful for the opportunity to play here. South America is an exciting, exotic world, the people are wonderfully hospitable, and the cuisine is top-notch!