Championing up and coming talent, we take a few minutes to talk to Welsh duo Dusky Grey while they perform their live sessions at Metropolis Studios for ellesse #MyStyleMySound.
ellesse: How did you both get into music?
Catrin: We have very different musical backgrounds I guess. I started singing around the house, I was singing constantly, just annoying everyone all the time, and I didn’t really realise that doing this as a career was a possibility. You don’t really know that the opportunity is there until it happens. That was the case for me anyway. So, I didn’t really know that I could do it until I met you. What about you dude?
Gethin: There wasn’t a background of music in my family, except for dancing to music, nobody really made music or wrote music, it was just like a fun thing to do. I fell in love with ‘Bob Marley’ when I was a kid and then I liked Ed Sheeran and I started playing guitar and singing, then I met Cat.
Gethin:Now I’m here.
ellesse: Did you always know that you wanted a career as a musician or did you just start playing? How did the interest come about?
Gethin: I was 16 so from my 16th birthday I just thought ‘I want to learn to play guitar’, so I actually got a game, it was so good, I can’t remember what it was called but it was this guitar game that you plug into a feel guitar and it tells you the notes and you play the notes as you go, and my dad was like ‘hey, here’s an acoustic guitar’ and I was like ‘boom’. So, I used that and then it just developed and then I went into writing songs…and that was it.
Matt: Was there a particular artist you were interested in the most?
ellesse: Do you know what, this is really weird and I’ve just remembered this right now, the first ever music that I genuinely got really got into was actually an ‘Eminem’ CD when I was like five.
Gethin: I don’t know how old I was, it could’ve been that age, but I was young and it was my sisters CD, it was the green one and it had like ‘The Way I Am’ on it and stuff. Mate, I used to love that, that was my first ever getting obsessed with a CD.
Catrin: When are you launching your rap career?
Gethin:No, seriously, I used to rap all the time. And the first time I think that I ever fell in love with music was just watching Ed Sheeran live. He did some sessions and I just love that.
Catrin: The first time my school had a talent show and I sang in that, just because all my friends made me do it and it was a bit of a gag.
Gethin: What did you sing?
Catrin: I sang ‘Hurt’ by Christina Aguilera.
Catrin: Yeah, and after that, I was like ‘I really want to do this’, I was like 14.
ellesse: What drives you to keep working on your music and working together?
Catrin: I think honestly, what drives us is to keep doing it, because pop-music and music in general moves so quickly and I think it’s always pushing us to keep doing it and keep getting better, to just stay relevant and keep doing it, because everything could go away so quickly. So, I think that’s the honest answer. That’s what drives us.
Gethin: For me, I’m just super competitive, like just ridiculously competitive. I’m just like always trying to improve myself and things musically. I love the music behind everything, you know, the production and things like that. So, it’s just about working on that, just competitive for me. Getting a number one, that week, you were the most listened to song, that’s what it is for me, competitiveness. I want to win.
ellesse: Do you find yourself listening to music that corresponds to your current feeling or mood? Some people find it helpful to listen to sad songs when they are sad and think it’s important to relate their emotions to the songs.
Catrin:I think that’s so true.
Gethin: That’s kind of the point of writing isn’t it.
Catrin:Yeah, that is so true, I think for me I have different play list that I listen to and I’ve realised that if I’m sad about something, I’ll put on a sad play list and I make myself sadder by listening to that playlist. And also, getting ready in the morning, I’m always at my best mood because I’m listing to pop-songs, like really happy songs. So I think that’s definitely a real thing.
Gethin:Imagine waking up at 7AM in the morning, you’re trying to get a coffee and all you’re hearing is loud singing. Mate. It’s hard.
Catrin: I have apologised so many times for this.
Gethin: It’s hard, but you carry on.
Catrin: I do.
Gethin: Like with ‘Bob Marley’, that was one of the reasons why I fell in love with him, because it’s like really happy music all the time and it makes you feel good.
ellesse: Do you have any current music inspirations? Artists, songs etc.…
Catrin: I think before we met we both had these people that we idolised, then, when we came together, we love ‘Clean Bandit’ so much, absolute bangers. When I think for me personally, it’s always Stevie Nicks, I just think, I don’t know how she puts words together that way, it just baffles my brain. It’s so good.
Gethin: And mine’s Ed Sheeran, well, Ed Sheeran and Bob Marley, I love reggae, but then Ed Sheeran as a pop artist. For me he changed it from being just ‘pop’ to being like a ‘song-writery’ kind of, and I really like that. I love, like I said, the behind the music type of stuff and he was really good at writing music, just him and a guitar, that was cool, it inspired me I think. But like Clean Bandit now are just banging aren’t they.
Gethin: And Julia Michaels.
Catrin: We could literally do this forever, we can be like ‘this person’s amazing, this person’s amazing’.
Catrin: Yeah sick.
Gethin: Smashing it. Major Lazor.
Catrin: Yeah, they’re banging as well.
ellesse: Do you have any routine or ritual you complete before going on stage or performing? Do you have a specific way to handle your nerves? If you get them.
Gethin:We should start doing that really shouldn’t we.
Catrin: ‘How do you handle your nerves?’ – badly. I handle my nerves really badly. I get very nervous, you don’t seem to get nervous pre-show.
Gethin: I am, just not like to the point where I’m like ‘urgh’. I’ve never been a nervous type of person really, obviously singing is difficult like, your nerves go straight away?
Catrin: Yeah, it’s really weird for me like, before we start singing, I’m like sick with nerves, I’m blank, like I can’t think, it’s really bad. But then as soon as I start singing, it all melts away and it’s completely fine.
Gethin: But then again, I feel like nerves are kind of normal as well though. Because I think that, I can’t imagine anyone not being nervous.
Catrin: Someone said to me recently, if you’re not nervous, you don’t care enough, and that does make sense to me because you do get nervous when you start.
Gethin: Only when I start yeah. But I’ve never been a nervous guy though. You know that ‘sicky’ feeling you get in your belly? I only get that on a roller-coaster and a plane, I never get that anywhere else.
ellesse: In what way do you think music helps others or makes situations better? Do you think it makes things better?
Gethin: I think it genuinely makes everything better. For one, it cures awkward silences, put a bit of music on and you can chill with somebody all day, it’s fine you know, can set the mood.
Catrin: I think music makes things better for me because when I hear a song that reminds me of a certain moment, it takes me back to where I was in that moment. Or if I’m like at a beach somewhere with my friends and I hear a song, I assign that song to that moment.
Gethin: Smells as well, that happens too. But yeah, songs like fill the memories, like you say they can make you feel happier, it’s like another sense isn’t it, you know what I mean?
Catrin: But also, music actually brings people together, that’s something I always forget about, it actually brings people together. Like when we were performing recently, you just look at everybody and everyone’s like dancing together. And when you go to a festival, as soon as the music starts everyone’s watching the music, it genuinely brings people together, which is such a powerful thing.
Gethin: Yeah, and as well, people like similar stuff, people get close because of certain types of music, which is always a really good way to get friendly with people.
ellesse: Like concerts and gigs? Do you think that they bring people together?
Gethin: It’s a happy place isn’t it, unless you’re in a mosh pit…having a good time, the other people on the floor that have been knocked out, they’re not having a good time.
ellesse: You ever got into a mosh pit?
Gethin: No but I have pushed my friends into a mosh pit once, it was a nightmare. I pushed Rhys into a mosh pit once, and he got punched.
Catrin: I will never trust you again.
Gethin: I felt so bad.
ellesse: What sort of things would you be found doing in the studios? Is there ever a fun vibe or anything?
Gethin: Do you know what, in the studios, if there is any kind of vibe, we just dance.
Gethin: We get excited, we just dance together for ages.
Catrin:We throw down.
Gethin: Like all the time, we would just dance. It’s always good to be fair, sharing it as well, a duo is so much better, because nobody else feels that excitement when you’re with your duo partner you’re excited together.
Catrin: Yeah 100%, there will be like a day where if one of us has a bad day, we’ll be like ‘let’s just listen to some demos and go through some things’ and then we’ll listen to the demos and get excited again, your bad mood melts away because we are both dancing in the kitchen.
Gethin: Or you prank each other and that’s just even better.
Catrin: That is the worst part of this band.
ellesse: What’s the best prank you’ve pulled?
Gethin: I think the best prank I did with you, go on our Facebook it’s on there somewhere, we moved down to London and people were asking for a tour, we did like an MTV Cribs…
Catrin: We did like a house tour.
Gethin: Yeah, we walked in and I was stood in the shower and was like ‘this is the shower’ and I was like ‘Cat, come in the shower’ and she ran in and I just pushed her and turned the tap on and she just got soaked.
Catrin: Fully clothed, man.
Gethin: Fully clothed, what were you in a fur thing? No, I was in the fur thing.
Catrin: Yeah it was like a furry…
Gethin: No, I was in that, I was in your white furry….
Catrin: No, I was in the leopard print one, we had some questionably outfits.
Gethin: Yeah! It got soaking, it was great man. She does this thing to me every day, which is so frustrating.
Catrin: Every morning.
Gethin: I’ve got this horn out of them Joy Rides video…
Catrin: It’s like a little fog horn where you squeeze it and it makes a big noise. So every morning he walks in to the living room and I’m stood behind the door.
Gethin: It’s like *fog horn noise*, *jumps up* it’s so frustrating. But I’ve got a few good ones up my sleeve that I’m going to be ripping out soon.
Catrin: I’m moving out.
Gethin: Do you remember when I tried with the bottle, and I tried to out the glass on top of the door and I tried to trick her, she opened the door and It fell on me. I was like ‘oh my gosh’.