Taking the plunge together

Student duo release three-song EP, an homage to Kingston

The EP was released while Glover (left) was on exchange.
The EP was released while Glover (left) was on exchange.
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Don’t be afraid to take your first plunge into the passion that drives you.

That’s the advice Khalid Yassein and Devan Glover give to anyone ready to pursue their dreams.

This Town, the duo’s debut EP, encompasses that passion and indicates how the band pushed themselves to pursue their dreams.

“The EP is a little bit of an homage to Kingston. Devan and I met in Kingston, and created music here together and this place has been a huge part of our lives ever since we came to Queen’s,” Yassein, ArtSci ’15, said. “Most of the songs are written about memories, people and feelings we’ve had in Kingston and how it’s become our home in the last few years.” Both Yassein and Glover said they feel the EP is about intimacy and simplicity, and that it can speak to people in the different ways that make them human.

The idea for the band was conceived here in the city.

“We met through mutual friends at Queen’s, and we just started getting together and doing covers and practicing once in a while. Eventually we got serious about it, and started doing shows ,” Glover, ArtSci ’15, said. “We started with open mics, and then began booking shows. Then we grew more serious and started producing our own music.” Yassein often records melodies on his phone and sends them to Glover.

“Before the album, we spent a couple of hours every day in my room just recording little things on my phone to see what sounded good in terms of instruments and the layout of the song, and that was when they really came together as you hear them on the album,” Yassein said.

For Glover, the song “Paul Simon” captures the heart of the album because it was the first song the band performed. They received encouraging feedback, which sparked their desire to create more songs together.

“That song pinpoints the beginning of a bigger process for me, and that’s why it’s my favourite song from the album,” Glover said.

Glover and Yassein love doing rap and hip-hop covers to mix up their music and to add innovation and creative vibrancy to their songs. They both listen to a broad range of musical styles, and share a common love for James Taylor.

“My interest in music grew out of listening to my parents’ old CDs and singers like Cat Stevens and Elton John.”

Currently, Glover’s favourite group in terms of song writing and composition is Coldplay.

“For female inspiration, I listen to Florence and the Machine as I find their music immensely stimulating,” Glover said.

The pair are on their way towards achieving their goals and dreams, and said they can’t imagine following conventional career paths and not playing music. Looking ahead, the duo has lined up shows in the summer and the new school year.

“My advice to aspiring musicians is to do as much as you can,” Yassein said. “Meet as many musicians as you can. Share ideas and don’t be afraid to take the first plunge in showing your stuff to your friends, or playing your first original which can be extremely nerve-wracking and puts you in a pretty vulnerable position.”

“You just need to get out there and take that plunge.”

Devan and Khalid’s EP This Town can be heard on Bandcamp at:

devanandkhalid.bandcamp.com

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