How it all started
Today we are going to talk with Tiffany Joy and Maqui Reyes from IndiviDúo, which is a famous and successful musical duo. Great to be with you. How are you?
Tiffany: super! Very well, thank you very much.
You two met in 2010 in Buenos Aires while both were recording your respective musical productions separately. How was that first meeting and conversation about music?
Tiffany: you are very well informed, Karina, I love it. We met at a musical party for Colombians living in Buenos Aires. We were introduced by a mutual friend, who is also from the US, but she was living in Buenos Aires at the time. Maqui had invited me to that event through Facebook, so I went with my guitar and a liter of beer. There was a moment when he started singing ohis riginal music and I do the same later. I think that’s where a connection and mutual respect began to be created, which led to us singing together later that night.
He sang Tabaco y Chanel by Bacilos and since I knew it by heart, I started singing the harmonies. The time when our voices found each other was very magical and everyone at the party thought something beautiful was happening there. Really, since that night we haven’t stopped singing and composing music together.
What did you see in each other to form a musical duo?
Tiffany: I think Maqui has a special sensitivity towards lyrics and I admire his role as a poet. In addition, he also has a musicality related to my tastes, so it is very common for us to be on the same page about some melodies with the guitar. Melodically, I feel that we get along very well.
Obviously we don’t agree on everything all the time, but I do think we have very similar taste in music, which makes us be attracted each other musically. Personally, my partner has a very powerful energy in terms of positivity, light, pushing forward and making everyone feel special.
What has been the biggest disagreement that you’ve had musically?
Tiffany: generally speaking, I tend to fall in love with ideas so fast. If I hear a chord, progression, melodic line or lyrics that I like, I don’t want us to change them. On the other hand, Maqui is super thoughtful and likes to try a lot of things before going back to the first thing and even make it better, but I think my anxiety about finishing it and singing it sets us at odds. He is very slow in terms of his process and that makes us different.
Considering that Maqui is Colombian and you are Californian, how did this influenced your musical styles?
Tiffany: Maqui is from Bogota while I am from right here in the Bay Area. I grew up listening to James Taylor, Kenny Loggins and the great singer-songwriters in blues, jazz and other typically American genres. I also did musical theater for many years, which led me to listen to the great Broadway plays. My love for Latin music began much later when I started listening to pop artists like Juanes, Shakira, Rocky Martin, Bacilos, among others. Then, I entered into the world of Latin music and started composing in Spanish. To that I must add that I loved dancing salsa and tango since I was really little.
On the side of Maqui, he comes from a completely different music background where he listened to salsa, bambuco, cumbia, merengue and many other Latin genres. Later, he moved to Argentina where he lived for 13 years and traveled throughout the country to learn to play chamame, samba and other Argentinean rhythms. This made him have a huge range of Latin American music, which we incorporate into our music. That is why our repertoire includes reggae, bolero, pop, salsa, rock, bossa-nova and much more.
How do you connect with your audience?
Your music talks about many positive and reflection messages. It talks a lot about all the important things we humans put aside because we are way too concerned with superficial things. In that sense, what kind of connection are you looking for with the audience?
Maqui: among the responsibilities of a singer-songwriter or a musician, we have to say some important things, so we believe and live the music like that. The subject treated in a song has always been important to us.
I think we have managed to connect with ourselves and people like you who, for some reason, get to listen to one of our songs and identify with it. Songs like Pelea invite you to fight against your own vices, your own demons and your own problems. It is a song that people of any age can identify with, which leads us to have a connection with them beyond music.
What are the age ranges of the people who listen to your music the most?
Tiffany: I would venture to say that those who listen to us the most are people between 25 to 55 years old.
Maqui: However, I must say that we get along very well with children. When we play in theaters or places suitable for minors, there are many families with children. In fact, we don’t rule out recording an album focused exclusively on them. Of course, we know that children don’t like the more traditional genres that we used to listen to and reggaeton is the current trend. Same way, we would include some traditional music so that little ones have the opportunity to listen to it in a fun way.
On that issue, a young salsa singer told me that what he does is a mix of rhythms, while still getting the essence of salsa. Do you plan to add urban genres to your music?
Tiffany: We don’t reject the idea of incorporating urban rhythms to our music because they are good to dance to, easy to defend live and attractive for a generic and large audience. We haven’t yet, but we are open to the possibility.
Maqui: this is a great question because everything has become polarized so much that just listening to the rhythm makes us qualify it as urban, but that’s not necessarily true. What I qualify as urban is attitude and lyrics, things that we know we will never adopt for ourselves.
It’s not our style, although we’ve got nothing against these rhythms. We would like to play them in a more elegant and familiar way.
You have been part of the soundtracks of several soap operas such as La Ley del Corazón and Si Dejo de Creer. How did this help you advance your careers?
Tiffany: It helped us get a little more exposure on Spotify, YouTube and other music platforms. It also gave us the opportunity to be much better known, as many people started to see what else we’ve done and listen to other pieces of ours.
What did you do during the pandemic?
Tiffany: because all the shows being cancelled, we dedicated ourselves to hosting a Facebook Live every Friday afternoon. At the beginning, it was very difficult because we didn’t know how to connect, but when we finally learned how to do it, we had a lot of people listening to us. We played original music, did a lot of covers, had a drinkie and toasted people from time to time.
During this time, we also found out we were pregnant, which was a surprise for us because we never thought about having children. We were composing at the time, so we ended up including a song for the baby on our album. Right when Melody (our daughter’s name) was born we did the official album release.
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