SINDOSI:22, a Los Angeles-via-Seoul brother and sister musical duo, has released their first body of work with their new album “howtosurvive______.”
The siblings, who go by their anonymous names No. 20 and No. 21, conceal their identities with futuristic-looking helmets, prompting listeners to turn their attention toward the duo’s music.
The siblings’ new album, released under Sony Music Korea, contains a variety of genres — lo-fi, R&B, hip-hop, indie and bedroom pop — that are featured over five dynamic tracks. To celebrate the release of “howtosurvive______,” SINDOSI:22 chatted with NextShark about creating their album, maintaining their anonymity and their methods of surviving the Earth.
NextShark: Immediately upon seeing the title “howtosurvive_____,” I’m reminded of the recent COVID-19 pandemic. Did that experience shape your outlook on “surviving” the Earth and the creation of your first album?
No. 21: Yes, while I was working on this album, it was an opportunity to build ways to get through life, not only limiting it to the pandemic. I was hoping that in the empty part of the album title, people would put different words depending on how they felt. For example, whether it’s work, life balance or negative comments online, whatever you’re going through, you have to be positive no matter what. … I learned that having one small happiness every day helps a lot, even if it’s the same thing.
This is an album that we poured our honest feelings [into], so it’s very raw. You will understand us even more without having to know who we are in real life. While Earth is an amazing planet, our human world has become an ugly place. And we want to hope for the better when sometimes it’s hopeless, to be honest. So it’s our attitude toward the world – how to survive the reality, I guess.
You mention that your tracks reflect a wide variety of musical styles. Why did you decide to create a diverse album headed toward a central theme?
We live with many different thoughts a day. Sometimes, we drift away from the main things, but also [we sometimes] focus on them. We thought one genre of music could not contain everything we would like, so I reinterpreted various genres with our ideas. Our solution was that every day, when we thought of different things, we put it into different songs.
In the music video for the track “swerve,” we see headlines and news articles pop up all over the screen, only disappearing when the signal is disconnected. As artists in the entertainment industry, are there times when social media overwhelms you? What do you do to return to a sense of normalcy?
When I am on social media in my personal time, I often see people with ulterior motives. Whenever I see that, I ignore it and think there is no point in giving it any time. The day continues either way. I focus on the positive instead of the negative.
The music video for “swerve” is about executing the keyboard wreckers, those who hide behind the anonymity online and write hate comments, which leads to a huge social problem. Sometimes, we think people don’t understand the power of words — whether written or spoken verbally — and how it impacts those around them. As part of the theme of “howtosurvive____” a.k.a. how to survive our harsh reality, we wanted to address these problems through music and [a] music video.
You mention bilingual lyricism as an aspect of your music. How has it aided your musical creativity?
I think it’s important to act on your feelings and thoughts right away when you feel them, and when you’re bilingual, sometimes it’s hard to express [your feelings and thoughts] the way you want to because you can think of it in either language. This is something I am improving every day, and it’s been helpful.
In your title song “domythang,” you call for acknowledging your true self. How has your journey been when grappling with identity, dreams and aspirations?
As a brother and sister duo, my dream is to continue doing our best and making our favorite music. We all have dreams, and we are creatives. We aspire to do what we love to do, and we identify with music like everyone else does. We just want to do what we love, and we are excited with the chances we receive.
As someone with a sibling, I know these relationships can be complex but genuine. What has it been like working with your sibling? Any negatives? Positives?
We have ups and downs in our relationship as siblings. When we work together, we try to have a professional mind and keep our emotions aside. When we don’t work, we sometimes argue like all siblings do. Plus, it’s better to work with the same bloodline … we can rely on each other [instead of on other people].
You’ve chosen to keep your identity hidden. How has this impacted your work and the process of sharing your music?
I think it’s easier to talk about a subject with our identity hidden and to focus on the production. It’s ironic to me that one of the themes of the album is criticizing the 악플러s (malicious comments), how haters hide their identity and talk down on someone.
What’s the inspiration behind the Daft Punk-inspired helmets?
The inspiration was more about concealing our identity and just focusing hard on the music and talent. We did not want to have a face, but more like, a visual that can be universal. Daft Punk is dope, but our inspiration was different. Also, we come from [a] different universe — in a galaxy close to Earth: Prism Galaxy. We are used to being underneath the helmets.
Which song from the new album is your favorite or the one you’re most proud of?
No. 20: The songs I’m most proud of are “lazy” and “boss.” The reason why I’m proud of the song “lazy” is because it was the first-ever song [I composed] lyrics and melodies for. “Boss” is the song that we first recorded and … [led us] to start a sibling duo.
No. 21: One of my favorites from the album is “domythang.” I care a lot for this song because it’s the first song that we released as a sibling duo, and also the first music video that we shot ever.
Listen to SINDOSI:22’s “Howtosurvive” here.