blue hawaii #MONTREAL
Last we saw of Blue Hawaii was Agor’s episode in our Berlin season – we meet again with our Canadian doublet, Raphaelle ‘Ra’ Standell and Alexander ‘Agor’ Kerby in hopes to learn more about their new album All That Blue and the life of a long-time artist living in modern day Montreal. Following their debut in 2010 and two Juno Award nominated albums in 2013 and 2017, Blue Hawaii has returned to the frey with another unique and electrifying album.
Although the duo has had their fair share of complicated life and love cycles, Rapahelle and Agor has continued to weather the storm through their friendship, despite living in two different time zones - Montreal and Berlin respectively.
For this episode, we visit Raphaelle in her home city and chatted about her feelings on her album, the changing music scene, new crushes and their endeavors of being an artist in the current climate.
Hi Raphaelle, good to finally meet you! Can you describe your music in one sentence?
A melange of dancy flavours.
can you tell us what your new record is about?
The record was birthed out of Alex’s shattered heel and my terrible break up. Since Alex and I were together, we just decided to make some feel-good songs, since I went out dancing a lot. This record came out of supporting one another and making music that makes us feel good in a difficult time.
and What’s different now in your new record?
There was a big effort to put in less effort, a conscience process to do first takes, first compositions, roll with it, and this record came out of the desire to feel very good with the lyrics and instrumentation.
how did all that blue came about?
That song was written towards the end of the record. It was a cold winter in Montreal last year and it was super icy. The influence that winter might be a recurring theme for a lot of other Montreal artists. So the song was about wanting sunshine instead.
give me 3 words about all that blue?
Futuristic, Sexy, Saxophone.
where’s the ideal place we should listen to this song?
I would listen to that song at the club. We wrote it and produced it so that it would sound great on a sound system.
it would be a good song to dance to! where should we go dancing in montreal then?
Datcha, Stereo, and Café Resonance.
What do you think is a misconception of Montreal?
I think the current misconception is that Montreal has cheap rent. In the last four years, there has been a huge influx of AI money and foreign investments, which has increased rent, making it difficult for artists. Montreal has become on par with other larger cities in terms of rent. With that, the infrastructure here is improving; there are more government projects like roads, street fairs, and universities. It’s changing a lot.
What’s the scene like now versus back then?
In the beginning of the scene, we had less inhibitions but we were more wild. As you get older, you get to know yourself better. Bands that have remained her have found their own niches. Parts of me misses the old days because it was such a moment. I don’t know many new artists, so I would love to get back out there and get to know the scene more.
being on social media definitely help - how do you feel about the digital / social platform?
I feel out of touch with some of the new music because there is such an abundance of it out there. On Spotify, I tend to listen to playlists but I don’t pay attention to the artist coming up. That’s definitely something I want to change because I want to support independent art more. The digital age isn’t bad. There’s a beauty in our connectedness and our ability to share and comment ideas. It’s definitely different. You have to continuously engage with people or else they’ll think you disappeared. I am definitely adapting to it and trying to find how it can make me feel good and not make me feel good.
What’s your favorite song at the moment?
My favorite musician right now is Mr. Eazi. My favorite song by him is probably Property. I actually have a huge crush on him, so Mr. Eazi, if you’re listening..
Maple syrup or poutine?
Maple syrup. You can do a lot more stuff with it.
What’s the next city that BeatBites should vist?
I actually like Lawrence, Kansas. It’s really special there with great audiences.