Introducing Interview: Best Youth

 Having been making music together for years, Portuguese duo Ed Rocha Gonçalves and Catarina Salinas – aka Best Youth – create dreamy soundscapes filled with ethereal melodies alongside smooth, sultry vocals and uptempo electro-pop vibes.

Set to re-release their debut album next month, we caught up with the duo to find out more…

Can you tell us a little bit about Best Youth?
K – We´re basically two really close friends that share a great admiration for music! We met as teenagers during the summer holidays, our parents used to go to the same place at the same time so it was inevitable that we would meet and become close! We started playing together while in our teens, so the name Best Youth is obviously inspired by our friendship and is also reminiscent of those summer times!

Your new video for ‘Renaissance’ is out now, can you tell us about the ideas behind it?
K – The idea came from the director Tiago Ribeiro (Bold Creative) who presented us with a fashion video concept and with that in mind we talked with the team at DSection Creative who introduced us to this beautiful young actress called Kelly Bailey. The mood of the song, which is upbeat and kind of uplifting, contrasts with the lyrics that talk about how fast our life is nowadays and how people feel entitled to everything and we wanted the video to illustrate that in a way.

You’re also set to re-release your album Highway Moon next month – what inspired this decision?
E – The album did really well in Portugal, it was on the biggest album of the year lists and the first edition of the CD actually sold out. Also, it reached a surprising amount of people in other countries considering it was self-released on a really small budget. Station 5 felt that the album didn’t get the release it deserved outside of Portugal, so, since we were planning on doing a second run of CDs anyway, we decided to do a special edition and try to have it reach some audiences that maybe didn’t hear about us when we released it. We’re still on schedule for our new album, so it’s all good.

You’ve been compared to the likes of Lapsley and The Knife, but who would you say are you main musical influences?
K – Me and Ed come from different backgrounds, I’m more of a blues and pop girl and Ed draws more from rock and electronic music, so you can say our influences go from Big Mamma Thornton to Radiohead and everything in between!
E – Yeah, the end result is basically us meeting halfway.

Having both played music in various line ups over the years, what made you decide to form Best Youth and create music together as a duo?
K – Even though we played in different music projects growing up, we’ve always ended up making music together one way or another. This last time, Ed was planning on making a solo album and invited me to sing on one song, soon enough the solo project was no longer happening and Best Youth was born! It wasn’t planned, it never is, it just felt right.

If you could collaborate with any musician, past or present, who would it be and why?
K – Roisin Murphy – since Moloko she’s been a risk-taker in terms of sounds, structure, lyrics and visuals, and I would love to see how she would read our music.
E – I’d love to have had the opportunity to work with David Bowie. I love artists that have the courage to re-invent themselves and their sound throughout their career instead of just keeping within their set boundaries.

And if you had to describe your sound in three words, what would they be?
K – Dreamy, nostalgic and sultry.
E – Smooth, dreamy and introspective.

As we’re a new music focused site, can you tell us any other bands/artists at the moment that you’re particularly excited about?
E – I’ve been mostly listening to soundtracks recently – Cliff Martinez, Johán Johansson… I love their stuff and it’s great to break from the thought process of composing songs, which is what we’ve been up to for a few months now.
K – Lately I’ve been listening to Alexandra Savior and Sampha. Even though musically and lyric-wise they’re quite different from one another, they both have a certain emotional rawness that I relate to. Also both their new albums are quite visual – Alexandra Savior’s being more of a cool past era, and Sampha’s taking us through a more futuristic picture. I like that a lot.

And what else does 2017 have in store for Best Youth?
K – A new single will be coming out along with the re-release and we’re also working on the new album, hopefully to put it out towards the end of this year. Let’s see how it goes!

Huge thanks to Best Youth for answering our questions! 

Highway Moon, the re-release album from Best Youth, is out 26 May via Station 5.

Mari Lane

Mari Lane

Editor, London. Likes: Kathleen Hanna, 6Music, live music in the sunshine. Dislikes: Sexism, pineapples, the misuse of apostrophes.