We speak with Frankie Reyes, one half of the LA based avant-soul duo 'The Steoples', whose music has been described as "an eclectic range of sounds from Latin rhythms to ‘80s soul and sombre tones of folk fused with R&B".
Signed to Stones Throw Records, their incredible second album Wide Through The Eyes Of No One was released on the 6th August 2021, following on from their debut project Six Rocks in 2017.
The group comprised of musicians Frankie Reyes and Yeofi have known each other for 15 years and this chemistry is evident in their work as they seamlessly flow between genres and a range of emotions...
“There are no rules, and that's what keeps the music interesting and unpredictable for us.” - Yeofi
We were delighted to have the chance to speak with Frankie Reyes of The Steoples to find out more about them & the ideas behind their new project....
How was the name 'The Steoples' created and what does that mean to you ?
The Steoples is a play on words between steeples and people. Taking the crude symbology of the steeple to represent an exterior place of communion with the divine. Steoples represent the communion without the exterior structure ie no other institution or agency is necessary. The people are steeples unto themselves excluding the middleman who would try to broker the deal.
How did you initially meet ?
We met in the studio through a friend of Yeofi's (and now a mutual friend) who somehow met someone I was working with at the time and heard what I was doing, maybe he sensed that something would come of connecting that with what Yeofi was already doing. I was pretty inspired when I heard his sound...didn't really sound like anything else directly comparable in the way that most artists do. I also sensed that we had a common way of hearing music and seeing life. The collaboration felt automatic to me.
What was the inspiration behind this new album ?
These songs came through naturally kinda just based on the things Yeofi and I talk about in general...again, that common way of viewing life. I/we can't take any true personal credit for how or why the music happened...it's not based on a preconceived inspiration. It's really just what happened as we were taken by the current of inspiration that we had no control over. It came through as it apparently needed to. And for Yeofi it could have been seen as a completely different source of inspiration. I know that answer may be frustrating because it would be much easier to be able to point to a certain concept or the work of another artist being my source of inspiration, and at the same time I'm not trying to be cryptic or mysterious. It just is what it is.
What is your relationship to spirituality ?
I acknowledge all things to be spiritual. Our music both is and is not special in that regard. Really all musicians who have charted their own musical paths by just being themselves and expressing what was true for them in the way that felt truest. Life. Nature. Love. The Unknown. Joy.
What’s your process when it comes to creativity and song writing ?
It's different every time. Sometimes it starts with playing around on an instrument and stumbling upon something I like, then recording that whether via audio or MIDI and then the experimentation keeps happening. Or maybe it's a sample that initiates the process. Then Yeofi and I might pass ideas back and forth to build on or totally reshape, and so forth, until it becomes the song.
What’s been the most memorable moment of your musical career thus far ?
I'd say the pandemic lockdown. Having to get creative to make a living as a musician in totally new ways. Not connecting face to face with the people I'm sharing music with.
What are your most and least favourite things about LA ?
My 3 favorite things about LA would be the weather, my community of friends and family there, and its variety of cultures. My 3 least favorite things about LA would be the pretentiousness of "Hollywood (or the entertainment industry at large that distorts the humanity in so many of those who participate in it)", the herd mentality/groupthink when it comes to all things creative (rather than celebrating each other's originality and our own), and the high cost of living that has left tens of thousands of its citizens homeless.
What advice would you have for emerging musicians that are trying to establish themselves and be signed by labels ?
Don't try too hard. Especially don't try to be noticed. Just do what brings out the best in yourself and gives you the most joy. May your creations be truly inspired from within.
You can discover more of The Steoples music via:
- PSYCHIC GARDEN