Caleb and Georgina Nott are the creative duo behind BROODS and their partnership extends far beyond their musical pairing. Hailing from the mountainous island of New Zealand, the siblings have been making music together since infancy, the culmination being their debut EP Evergreen in 2014. Mastering the melding of smooth synth layers and RnB undertones, the brother-and-sister duo released their second album Conscious earlier this year, pairing with musical heavy weights Lorde – also a New Zealand native – and Swedish pop sensation Tove Lo. Collective Hub had a chat with Georgina to discuss humble beginnings, their creative process and what’s next for the unstoppable pair.
What is your first memory of informally making music together?
It would probably actually be when our parents used to sit us in front of the piano to keep us entertained. I was still in a high chair so I must of only been around one year old (Caleb was three). I would smash the low range, which our mum called “the elephants”, and Caleb would tinker on the high octaves, also known as “the birds”.
When did it evolve into a more serious, ‘let’s-do-this’ decision?
When we were in high school, we really got into the performing side of things. We always loved playing for our own entertainment but when we started doing gigs we realised other people quite enjoyed it too. Our parents and our music teacher were our biggest supporters, always encouraging us to take any opportunity to play to an audience. Eventually, we worked up the courage to play originals and that was when it really started to feel like something we could make careers out of.
What do each of you bring to your music (are you similar and support each other’s ideas or are you yin and yang and create healthy opposition)?
The formula for an effective team is different strengths and weaknesses, but the same outlook and goal. That’s what Caleb and I have. We definitely bring different things to the table. On our own we are capable writers and musicians but when we we’re working on stuff together we excel.
You had incredible success last year. How did that affect the creative process of making your next album?
We definitely wanted this album to be a step up from Evergreen, but without compromising our integrity. We took the emotion to a higher level on this album as well as the production. I think it turned out to be the strongest representation of us.
What is your creative process for coming up with a song? Do you sit together and work through chords and lyrics or does one person write most of it and then bring it to the other person for input?
Sometimes we’ll come into the studio with an element of a song, whether it’s a beat or a lyrics, and then we’ll build up from that. Other times, we’ll almost have a full song that we’ve written at home and we’ll just tighten it up. I’m definitely more into the lyrical content. The first thing I take in when I listen to a song is the lyrics, whereas Caleb listens to the arrangement and production. We definitely balance each other out.
What are some of the downsides of being a brother/sister duo?
Everyone asking “do you guys fight a lot?” No, we don’t. We know how to work well together, when to give support and when to give space. People seem to think working with family is a nightmare but we weren’t really raised to have that mind set.
What would be your biggest piece of advice for people who want to work with their siblings?
You can’t put your work before your sibling. As important as our music is to us, if we don’t keep each other as the priority, everything else crumbles.
What’s next for you touring/music-wise?
Our album Conscious drops on the 24th of June and we start our album tour in Australia and New Zealand in July which is so exciting. Then we move on to our North American tour in August.
Tell us about your spot on the James Corden show. What’s the prep like for a show like that? (How many rehearsals do you have, did you meet any cool celebs? Try and score yourself a spot on Carpool Karaoke?)
It was really fun. James is really nice! Those kinds of performances are a big thing for bands like us and it’s nice when everyone at the studio really understand and respect that. It was such a good vibe and there was an actual live crowd which makes such a huge difference. Car pool karaoke would be so amazing but we might have to work our way up to that.
Hear BROODS’ cover of Drake’s One Dance below.