2017 is all about the boy/girl pop pairing, and Welsh newcomers Dusky Grey. Made up of Gethin Williams and Catrin (Catty) Hopkins, the duo have racked up over 15 million streams in their first year making music together, as their debut single ‘Told Me’ struck a chord with listeners. Their effervescent follow-up track ‘Call Me Over’ is likewise an addictive pop gem that’ll have your toes tapping throughout the day. Now, a year on from ‘Told Me’’s release, they’ve put out an acoustic version of the song, and we caught up with Catty to reflect on their whirlwind year.
Let’s get started – tell me a bit about how you started making music together.
It’s a bit of a weird story really – we didn’t know each other last year, so we’ve only known each other like a year! But we live in a predominantly Welsh area, and then Geth released an English album and then I think I found it on Facebook, so I messaged him and I was like ‘This is great!’ And his friends knew who I was ‘cause I was working in the Welsh music industry. And then he came over to my house and then we wrote ‘Told Me’ and released it and became a band! [Laughs]
That’s really cool! So what was it like when you first wrote that song together – was it apparent really quickly that you wanted to work together?
Yeah! It was really weird ‘cause we were working on a different song – Geth initially came over to help me write a song ‘cause I wanted to fix this guitar part so he came over to help with that. And then we like slipped into ‘Told Me’ as we were writing a completely different song. And literally as soon as he walked into my house I was like, ‘This is my best friend!’ We just got along so quickly.
Literally as soon as [Gethin] walked into my house I was like, ‘This is my best friend!’ We just got along so quickly.
Do you both have the same kind of musical background? Do you both listen to the same type of music or do you listen to completely different things?
We really don’t, actually! I think Geth is mostly into Ed Sheeran and Bob Marley and I’m into Lady Gaga and Fleetwood Mac, so we don’t really know how we got to this place! [Laughs]
That’s really cool though! Was there any particular inspiration behind ‘Told Me’ or was it just [that], as you say, it came out of nowhere?
The melody and the guitar part literally came out of nowhere – it came out of another song we were writing. But what the song’s about came out of a mutual friend, because we had mutual friends in the area, and we were like [Laughing] he shouldn’t have been doing what he was doing!
Does he know that it’s about him?!
He doesn’t, no! [Laughs]
Ok! Well, that’s pretty cool, a big secret, that’s great! [Laughs] What was it like getting to revisit [‘Told Me’]? Because you’ve just done an acoustic version, right? Now that it’s a year later. What was it like getting to do that?
It was really nice to do an acoustic version! It always is – we always want to do that, I think. ‘Cause obviously when we write the songs we don’t really write them in a studio. We wrote ‘Call Me Over’ on the guitar in a basement, and we wrote ‘Told Me’ on a guitar in the living room, so obviously when we write the songs they’re a bit slower, and you hear the words a bit more. So obviously we love doing acoustic versions.
Have you gotten much opportunity to perform your songs live so far this year?
We actually haven’t but we are in talks about getting live events as soon as next year starts, which is gonna be great! We’re really excited – that’s probably what we’re most excited for.
Definitely, that’s really exciting! Is there anyone that you can think of that you think it’d be a dream to collaborate with?
Anyone who wants to collaborate with us! [Both laugh] I think Clean Bandit would be sick. That would be amazing.
That would be really cool! So, playing live – that’s one of your big plans for next year. Have you got anything else lined up that you’re really excited about? Are you writing any more music?
Yeah, that’s what we’ve been doing this year! We’ve been writing a lot. And obviously we’ve kind of grown together this year and our music’s kind of grown with us so we’re really excited to be releasing next year. And then there’ll be a few releases next year, which is exciting.
Yeah! Have you gotten any really good advice from people in the industry so far? Is there anything that stands out to you as good advice you’ve been given?
Yeah! Actually, we always say this – it’s such simple advice, we don’t know why it’s so effective – but we worked with [one] writer and producer [who] told us ‘If you wanna make a song better, just take out the bad parts and put in the good ones.’ And we were like ‘That’s so simple and it shouldn’t work!’ But every time we’re writing … we’re kind of like ‘We’ll just take out the bad parts…’ And it works for some reason! It’s such bad advice but it’s good advice! [Laughs]
I think sometimes simple advice is all you need because it’s so easy to remember! What was it like writing ‘Call Me Over’, ‘cause that’s gotten such a great response since you released it – what was it like writing that one?
There was a bit of pressure with that one, if we’re honest. Because obviously we’d released one song and it did much better than anybody expected it to. And we released it without a label, without management, without anything… And then, when we released ‘Call Me Over’, we were just hoping that it would get a good response as well, so we’re really thankful and happy that it did!
That’s great! Thanks so much, Catty!
Watch the video for Dusky Grey’s acoustic version of ‘Told Me’ below.
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