Interview: 5 Minutes with TGC

Marlow Bevan and Milla Sunde are the two talented musicians living between Norway and London who have brought us the glorious synth-pop outfit that is TGC. The moniker stands for ‘The Green Children’, and once you listen to their music, you’ll understand why. There is something undeniably elven and magical about this impressive duo’s sound, blending modern pop sounds with the ethereal mood of a mystical forest.

No strangers to the electronic music scene, TGC has remixed and collaborated with notable, like-minded producers such as Paul Oakenfold, Linus Loves, Moguai, Downlow’d & M4SONIC and loads more. The talented duo have just released their latest single, a scintillating track that oozes sparkling synths, soaring vocals and sultry lyrics, titled ‘ECG’.

Check out the mesmerising lyric video for TGC’s latest single ‘ECG’, below.

We caught up with Milla of TGC and chatted about storytelling, improvisation and retro sci-fi.

Set the tone for us. Why the arts?

Both Marlow and I grew up in small magical towns, so I think storytelling has always been a big part of our lives. I grew up on the west coast of Norway, home to very dramatic nature and some of my earliest memories are of singing melodies whilst hiking through the woods. We are both daydreamers and realized very soon upon meeting that we shared the same love for fantasy and sci-fi movies. Marlow started playing instruments very young and it was clear we were an amazing creative fit after penning just one song together.

Which comes first when you’re producing – the sound or the idea?

Often, we’ll find a sound we love first. A great sound can lead you on an interesting path that you wouldn’t have gone down otherwise.

Does your material feature any collaborations?

We actually haven’t collaborated much at all. Given that we write and produce everything I guess we are quick specific about our direction. It could certainly be a cool thing with the right creative fit. We have had a bunch of Remixes from talented up and comers like Embody to veteran DJs like Paul Oakenfold.

What’s on your current playlist?

We actually just started a new public Spotify playlist which includes some old favourites like Empire Of The Sun and Röyksopp to newer discoveries like San Holo and Mahmut Orhan.

Tell us about the chemistry you have with your fans on stage.

There is always a great energy at our shows because it seems like we are very like-minded to our supporters. We always try to have some magical elements in our show, even if they are smaller. I think if you are true to yourself in your performance and the words you choose to say the chemistry comes naturally. We have had great experiences where fans copy make-up from specific videos such as ‘Outline’. In an ever-present digital world, it is wonderful to connect with real people in this way.

What techniques do you experiment with to get your original sound?

Probably our biggest technique for both production and writing is improvisation. We really try to push our boundaries by giving ourselves as much freedom in the studio as possible. I often start my vocal melodies and lyrics from the performance I record the first time I hear the music. I like to lay down my most natural and instinctive choices to begin with as the initial foundation. Of course, this doesn’t always work but it is core part of our creative style.

Take us through a day in the recording studio.

Although we mix it up, Marlow is often the one tinkering away on many musical ideas for me to listen to. I normally have to connect with the music immediately, and it is very clear when I think we are on to a winner. Then comes the improvisation and then lots of discussions about the story and visuals we are imagining. It develops from there.

Was there a specific moment in your life where you thought, “this is what I want to do”?

For me, I have always been happiest whilst singing, so it was clear from a very young age that I would need to do it in some capacity. Obviously, the entertainment industry it is a rollercoaster ride, so you really need to be compelled to write music it you are going to stick with it!

What do you keep close by while you’re playing a set?

I always have some herbal tea nearby, my throat is very sensitive so it helps a lot between songs.

What gets your creative juices flowing?

As I mentioned we are huge fans of fantasy and sci-fi movies, particularly some of the retro classics like Harry Potter and The Neverending Story. A lot of our songs have story telling elements and we love to escape into alternate realities whenever possible. We also spend a lot of time in nature, escaping the digital world and taking some time with the trees.

Take us through your collection of gear, tech or software that accompanies your creative expression.

We use Logic, as we find it is the quickest tool for the type of music we make which involves a lot of MIDI. Other than that, we use various different software and hardware instruments all the time, once we get a bit bored we move on. Always trying to get the best vocals, through a good preamp and convertors, but we are not really gear-heads.

Any side projects you’re working on?

We do, but they are top secret right now, sorry!

How have you refined your craft since you entered the industry?

I supposed we have developed our technical skills somewhat since we produce everything ourselves but I think the biggest development is just learning to trust your ears and instincts 100%. When starting out I think there are more distractions that can make you insecure about song and production direction. Nowadays, we just know when we like something and then hope others connect with it.

Breakdown the news for us: what can we expect from you this year?

Next up is a new music video for our single ‘ECG’ followed by another single, remix and then another single! Our album is planned for next year, together with a tour around Europe and the US. We’ll post all our updates to our website when we have them.

Listen to ‘EGC’ on Spotify:

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