Q+A: 5 Minutes with Cimo Fränkel & Skofee

Sometimes when two sounds collide, they produce an explosion of sonic fireworks so bright that they set fire to the heavens, as is the case with emotive musicians Cimo Fränkel and Skofee. The pair have imbued Cimo’s original song, ‘Where Do You Hide Your Love’, with new energy, recreating the single by boiling it down to its bare essence. They have released the new song via Sign From The Universe / Tunecore. 

Stream/ Download: ‘Where Do You Hide Your Love’

In music, the minimal approach is a challenging one to pull off, but these two clearly know what they’re doing, slowing the track down to create an intimacy that, like a whisper, pulls you closer.  Leaning in, we asked the pair a few questions about their collaboration, and they gave us their insightful answers.

Hi Cimo Fränkel and Skofee, thank you for taking the time to answer our questions about your latest release. What has been the most exciting aspect of collaborating together?

Cimo Fränkel: For me, there are multiple aspects. It’s actually my first release as a duet and it kind of came about in an unusual way where I basically feature on her new release, which is a song that I wrote, her version of this song was the pitch. It brings it back full circle.

Skofee: Cimo is so talented. I feel really lucky to be able to collaborate with him—and that he was open to a new take on his song. He’s also hilarious, it’s been really fun getting to know him.

You both have distinct styles in the pop music sphere. Has collaborating together inspired your production styles?

Cimo Fränkel: Definitely, co-producing this version of the song especially made me look at angles for each song I write. It inspired me to try a slower version or moodier version (or the other way around) of any song I have been writing after recording this one with Skofee.

Skofee: For me, this song was more about stripping back what we both usually do. While our solo music is different, I think this collaboration was a slightly new direction for both of us, and we intentionally wanted to keep the production simple to highlight the vocals and emotionality of the song.

Did you have any other career aspirations besides pursuing music, or was this always the plan?

Cimo Fränkel: I always knew I had to do something creative.  Music has always been in my life, as my father was a musician as well. Growing up, schools in Amsterdam did not really promote music as a “real” job so yes I was interested, but I never realized it would be my work until I dropped out and started looking at the world less stoically. There were times when I thought digital design was a path for me as well.

Skofee: I’m pretty sure I wanted to be a scientist when I was growing up? I think we can all be grateful I abandoned that by the second grade. I’ve always loved writing and music separately, so combining the two in the form of songwriting feeds both of those for me. I didn’t see that path for a career in music until high school, and as soon as I saw older classmates doing it I knew I wanted to as well.

You are both based in Los Angeles, did you always think you would live in this city?

Cimo Fränkel: I always had this dream of living in LA. This is probably because of movies and tv series I watched, but also the artists I listened to were mainly based here as well. In the back of my mind, I think I did know.

Skofee: I didn’t! I grew up in the Midwest and came to LA for college at the last minute. I’ve been here since and don’t plan to leave anytime soon.

What inspires your creativity when making music?

Cimo Fränkel: It’s honestly really hard to answer this. I would say everyday life. I really find myself writing different types of melodies depending on my mood. I think the most inspiring thing for me is really having no one around and working until I lose track of time. You kinda get sucked into this vortex where everyday thoughts convert to art without trying.

Skofee: Depends! Working with other artists inspires me and is definitely one of my favorite parts of writing and performing. Sometimes I’m inspired when I wake up, others I’m not. Cloudy or rainy days always make me feel creative. Seeing an artist perform a really thought-out show makes me want to go home and write; that happened most recently for me after a Dijon show.

This release creates a beautiful contrast emotionally, as we get to hear two different sides to the same story. Was this always the intention?

Cimo Fränkel: It was not necessarily the intention, I never realized it could be. But it works so well this way.

Skofee: The importance of those differing sides was clear once we started the recording process and decided which lyrics we’d each be singing. For two people to both be asking where the other hides their love is heartbreaking. I think the song worked so well originally and just has a slightly different meaning as a duet.

What is your musical guilty pleasure?

Cimo Fränkel: A Thousand Miles. I think it is genius. I don’t think people realize how good it is. Most people see it as a corny gimmick and the soundtrack of a slapstick movie, but if you really dive into the core of the song, I think it’s brilliant. That brings me back to: what if this same song had a different approach like we did here with ‘Where Do You Hide Your Love’.

Skofee: Mr. Saxobeat.

What can we expect to hear from you two in the months to follow? 

Cimo Fränkel: I recently got inspired again to write a lot of things that are really me. I can’t wait to update my live setlist with the songs that are coming up.

Skofee: I’m releasing a six-song EP called ‘Joyland’. Look for my first single “Wind Up Hero” very soon. We also might have a stripped live version of “Where Do You Hide Your Love” coming as well.

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