The Bloom Twins have managed to make a name for themselves largely out of surprising each other. Listening to the “dark pop” duo, as the Ukrainian siblings like to call themselves, there is little doubt that these sisters have music in their blood. “Even though we were playing instruments and singing our whole lives, we didn’t consider pursuing music careers,” the twins said, “but the level of adrenaline is surreal. It’s impossible to describe.” The seventeen-year-old London-based twins have faced their fair share of obstacles in their path from the Ukraine, a country not only immersed in political turmoil, but lacking much support for new musicians. “The music industry in the Ukraine is in such a terrible state that we would’ve never had a chance to have a say there. It is very corrupt.”
The complicated relationship with their home country imbues more than just their individual history; it is the cornerstone of the very music they perform, including one of their recent singles and videos “Get Up Stand Up” Their soulful cover of the Bob Marley song is infused with emotion about the current state of affairs in their home country. “We are deeply touched about the events in the country we are from. We never even thought that it could get this far and be this violent. It got to the point that [the Ukrainian people] couldn’t tolerate any more of the complete corruption, the lack of justice, security, and the never ending abuse of power by the government.”
The Bloom Twins are quick to point out that even though their history is undeniably tied to some of their country’s darkest deeds, their sisterly love has proven to be a guiding light. “We love each other so much… We’ll practice separately, and we can start writing together, then run off to different rooms and then come back and mix the two creations. It’s a puzzle that always fits.” As for legendary artists, the two can’t help but look up to a certain Radiohead frontman as the pinnacle of industry inspiration. “We have no idea how Thom Yorke does it. He brings the innovation, creativity, emotion, all of it in one composition.” This coming year, The Bloom Twins plan to release a new EP and hope to cross the pond to America with their music. The one thing they know for sure? “We don’t stop writing.”
The Bloom Twins’ newest single is “Blue.” You can check that out here. They will also be supporting Todd Dorigo on 2/14 at the Roadtrip & The Workshop in London, and they’ve recently been spotted in the studio working on new material.
Check out our Q&A with The Bloom Twins and be sure to pick up a copy of the “Legendary” Issue 7 to see their 8-page spread shot by the infamous Nick Rhodes or download the free “Legendary” Issue App on iTunes now!
Indira Cesarine: How did you get started in the music industry?
Bloom Twins: Fate. Pure accident. We were sixteen, and even though we were playing instruments and singing our whole lives, we didn’t consider pursuing music careers. For many reasons, one of which was that music industry in Ukraine is in such terrible state. We would never have a chance to even have a say there. It is very corrupt. We were looking at what universities we were going to go to: Anna was into mathematics and was considering a mathematician path. As we were already applying to university, we accidentally met our current managers through a friend of a friend. Lenka (our manager) was also playing in a known band at the time. We talked and played for them, and they made us feel the confidence that if we really want to do music and are really passionate about it, we can do it, but by choosing a much harder route…a lot more fascinating one. Lenka lived in London, and suggested we move into the musical surrounding where we can explore it deeper. Literally within few months, we were in London!
IC: How long have you been performing – can you tell us about the early days?
BT: We took part in various music competitions. Classical music. But that’s very different to performing as a band, as an artist, playing your own music. Those were a very different mind set. As Bloom Twins, we performed for the first time in Dec. 2012. The level of adrenalin is surreal. It’s impossible to describe. We always have an adrenalin rush, even now with a lot more experience. When we first started, it was also challenging as our English was close to non-existent. It was challenging in every possible way. We remember the first open mics we did. First time we played with a drummer. We were very scared about it, as the two of us are this harmonized union. We feel each other. Adding someone else in was frightening, but before we knew it, we got hooked. Now we can’t even imagine going on stage without having Paul with us! We remember our first jam session. All of these memories are in the very near past, all the emotions are very vivid. It’s amazing.
IC: How would you describe your sound?
BT: We call it “Dark Pop.” We know such a genre doesn’t exist, but those two words sum a lot of things up.
IC: You have shot for Vogue Italia, I-D and loads of top magazines—What came first —modeling or the music?
BT: Without a doubt, music. We started singing (humming) before we could even talk properly. And at the age of five we were sent out to a music school. We have never separated ourselves from it. Experiments with modeling were short. It was certainly an amazing and a very ego healthy experience. But, we also understood that we love to be part of an image that is created in a bit of deeper meaning of it. Maybe because we take music very seriously, but what you wear tells a story about you and what you are; your values, your boundaries. It wasn’t easy for us to do something that didn’t fit in right, and wasn’t really what we wanted to say. But, it is a job, and just like any other job, you have to take it seriously and do it with your whole heart in it. We can’t do otherwise, that’s why we went back to music, and to mix it with fashion helps us to tell our story.
IC: What inspired your track, “She’s Not Me”?
BT: It was the first track we wrote together. It’s about missing that something that only moments ago was irritating you. It’s about you not being able to live with someone or something, yet not able to leave without it. It’s about confusion that tears you apart: about words being as sharp as a knife, that slowly splits two people in half. It’s also about my sister and I being compared to one another. There is always a moment when we want to shout, “We are not the same, she’s not me!” And maybe I can’t live with her, yet I certainly can’t live without her.
IC: What inspires your songwriting?
BT: Well, it actually doesn’t have a pattern yet. Sometimes it could be a very rough patch in our teenage lives, combined with grey and rainy day in London. Sometimes it can be a certain observation of events we see around us that had an effect. And at other times, it could be something really creative and innovative that we see, and it converts itself into music. Sometimes it’s a story that we hear. It is very unpredictable, and we are often taken by surprise.
IC: Can you tell us about your recent song and video “Get Up Stand Up?”
BT: There are so many reasons as to why we did it. We were deeply touched by the events in the country we are from. We did the song and the video before the mortifying shootings that took place recently; we never even thought that it could get this far, and be this violent. Ukrainian people began protesting because it got to the point where they couldn’t tolerate any more of the complete corruption, the lack of justice, security, never-ending abuse of power by the government, and of everything crumbling away. People are tired of poverty when the president and the officials close to him, and their families live in prosperity. For over two months prior to the shootings, people were braving the bitter cold, but were ignored, and we witnessed how badly the media was covering it. The officials from day one crossed the line and brutally started beating people up. Two months into it, they started to take more violent steps. We couldn’t understand how it is even possible that officials would do everything to shut people up. It’s somewhat of a dictatorship in a way. The lyrics of this song perfectly describe everything we wanted to say: “You can fool some people sometimes, but you can’t fool all the people all the time. So now we see the light, we gonna stand up for our rights!” And in a video, we wanted to show the people of Maidan [Nezalezhnosti, the central square of Kiev, Ukraine], and the brutality of police. We sang the song in a way that came natural from the way we felt, the pain and sadness, yet motivating not to give up, as we already came this far.
IC: How does being from the Ukraine impact your music?
BT: It impacts us now a lot, because of the emotions that were stirred by recent events. Not sure whether the way we harmonize comes from Ukrainian culture or it’s the twin thing. Maybe we can answer in a few years’ time.
IC: What has been the most difficult performance in your career thus far?
BT: This may sound a bit disturbing, but playing in front of the mirror was the most difficult one so far. And, in all honestly, it was terrible. If someone had installed the hidden camera in it, It would probably be one of those most watched videos. It was a one-off for a course we were taking and it didn’t go well. Do not repeat at home! You may never look at your own reflection in the same way again.
IC: Do you often get mistaken for one another?
BT: When we meet someone for the first time, it takes him or her a few meetings before they can differentiate who’s who. But several times it also happened that someone would be saying how different we are and that there is no way they’d confuse one for another, yet, they’d get it wrong. Funny enough, we had that happen to us recently with someone we’ve met six months ago, and the guy is still left confused with who’s who.
IC: How would you describe your personalities—where are you similar and where do you differ?
BT: A bit of a Laurel and Hardy on a fun side. But we are very curious and very hard working and very adventurous. In terms of likes and dislikes: those are the same. We may love the same thing, but for a different reason. For example, we would both love a token; but I would love the head, and my sister the tail of it. But we both love the same token, just different sides of it.
IC: Do you ever think about going off and doing your own things separately or do you prefer to work together?
BT: We love each other so much that we really get the urge to run into different rooms. It’s kind of like a marriage! We often practice separately. And we can start writing together, then run off to different rooms, and then come back and mix the two creations. A puzzle that always fits.
IC: Do you have the same taste in music?
BT: Yes, very much so.
IC: Who is your favorite contemporary female musician?
BT: Tough one, as by looking at our playlist it seems like we only listen to male vocals. But we do like Adele. We also like Lana del Rey, and all the female voices of Rudimental… Amy Winehouse, too!
IC: Who would you consider the most inspirational person in the music industry?
BT: Thom York. No idea how he does it. He brings the innovation, creativity, emotions—All of it, in one composition. But that is very subjective, as he certainly influenced us. But, if we are talking about who influences us now, probably Pharrell Williams is the one who affected the planet. Last year was a great success for him.
IC: If you could collaborate with any musician in the world who would it be?
BT: Can’t pick one for sure. But, to name a few, Thom York, Woodkid – in both music and video, he is great.
IC: How would you describe your personal style?
BT: Edgy, quirky, sweet and sour.
IC: Do you have a favorite designer?
IC: Do you have a motto or words that you live by?
BT: We have so many. It will feel like we are the book of idioms: “Always walk an extra mile. If you fail, get up, analyze why, and start walking again”, “There is no bad experience, every experience is a step up with more knowledge” and “If something scares you, the quickest way to fight the fear is to act upon it by facing it.” And our main one would be “Always have humor about anything that happens. And honesty.”
IC: How was it shooting with Nick Rhodes from Duran Duran on your shoot for Untitled?
BT: We were very excited. And we haven’t worked with any music legends this close. We weren’t nervous at all, but we did wonder whether he would be down to earth or snobbish. And he was incredible! He’s very friendly, funny, creative, enthusiastic and just a real human being. It’s very beautiful to see someone who has so many achievements, to still remain a cool person. We see a lot these days how fame can derail people, and it’s saddening. So, it’s refreshing to see those that have accomplished so much being this cool, and great at capturing moments.
IC: This is our Legendary issue – What to you is the definition of “Legendary”?
BT: Those whose work outlasts them. Those whose work inspires. Those who changed the course of history and whose legacy is immortal. Those that were innovative and challenged the norms.
IC: Who are your top five favorite legendary artists today?
BT: Definitely we think the Beatles in in the top five – they’re so influential. We actually grew up listening to The Beatles. That was our alarm clock in a way; as our dad would pump the volume up and “Help” would blend in with running tap, the sound of dishes being washed, breakfast being cooked and the smell of it. Big hustle and bustle (we also have an older sister, so it was crowded in a small apartment.) Michael Jackson, Led Zeppelin are legendary. Duran Duran is certainly legendary in many ways as well as Jimmy Hendrix, and Madonna.
IC: Who in the current music scene has what it takes to be legendary?
BT: Beyoncé. She hasn’t stopped in all these years. She is incredible. She is not just a phenomenal singer, but she is a spectacular performer.
IC: What are your current projects?
BT: We don’t stop writing. The goal for this coming year is to release our EP. We have many songs and video ideas. We want to be able to do that, and to play not just all over the UK or Europe, but to also make our way to USA.
Interview by Indira Cesarine for The Untitled Magazine
Photography by Nick Rhodes for The Untitled Magazine
Stylist: Sabina Emrit
Makeup by John Christopher @ Lovely Management
Hair by Jan Przemyk @ Mandy Coakley using Unite Haircare
Photographed at The Bulgari Hotel
Be sure to check out The Untitled Magazine‘s “Legendary” Issue 7 here!