Hypeddit Artist of the Month: Two Friends
Many aspiring musicians dream of being able to make a career out of producing music with their friends. Unfortunately not many get to live out that dream. For our June Artists of the Month however, that dream is very much a reality:
Matt Halper and Eli Sones, AKA Two Friends, have quickly revamped from high school bedroom producers to one of the most promising dance music duos of 2016. Two Friends’ tracks and remixes are being supported by some of the biggest names in dance music such as Tiesto, Chainsmokers, or Krewella, and they can be found on prestigious labels like Spinnin, Ultra, Monstercat, Armada music and many more.
With their Spotify and SoundCloud views now exceeding 25 million, fourteen #1 hits on Hype Machine, and shows across North America, Central America and Europe, it’s pretty safe to say that Two Friends are a powerhouse music duo to watch!
That’s why we invited Matt and Eli to be our ‘Artists of the Month’ and talk about music production tips and tricks, how they are getting exposure for their free downloads, what’s next in their music career, and more.
H: What DAW are you currently using?
TF: We’re on ProTools which is not something you’ll typically hear from dance music producers. Been giving us some major memory issues and becoming a little too unreliable, so gonna probably be switching over to Logic soon. Back in 2011, when we first teamed up, we thought we were gonna be hip-hop producers, and we probably read on a forum that ProTools was the way to go. So even when we transitioned to making dance music, ProTools was just what we were comfortable with and what felt right for us.
H: What is the best production tip you can give to other Hypeddit Producers?
TF: Little victories are everything. Don’t compare yourself to your favorite top producer if you’re just starting. They went through the same thing and it sounded awful in the beginning. Just gotta put in the hours, and this one’s big, try to mostly have fun while producing. Cuz if you don’t grow the joy, you likely will not be able to rack those necessary hours.
H: How do you get exposure for your free downloads?
TF: Having a loyal and engaged fan-base has been truly awesome and something we’d never take for granted, cuz they help us so much when it comes to sharing music and spreading the word about Two Friends. Other resources that have been great are radio, blogs, YouTube curator channels, Hype Machine, DJs tossing our songs into their sets or mixshows, creating interesting videos or content surrounding the music, and most importantly, doing everything we possibly can to ensure that the music we are releasing is music that people will fall in love with.
H: Can you elaborate on how you reach out to radios, blogs, and YouTube curator channels?
TF: Since we started Two Friends five years ago, we’ve worked hard to build and maintain a lot of really great relationships with people in all facets of our world– whether that’s blog writers, YouTube curators, radio dudes, the list goes on and on… and it’s important not to take any of those relationships for granted. A big piece of advice we could give is that you never wanna start out right off the bat by begging for favors. You want to give people a reason to WANT to help you and WANT to be part of your longer-term journey. You’ll see the results are much more beneficial for all involved.
Proximity is one of the YouTube channels whose support of several of our songs and remixes has been amazing.
H: What was your first real big opportunity, and how did you get it?
TF: I think getting a remix into rotation on a radio station for the first time. We were still relatively new producers, and that was such an exciting accomplishment. Honestly it came from a lot of luck and good timing, but we worked hard to be able to capitalize off of that and keep momentum going strong.
H: Do you have a favorite or go to plugin that you use a lot?
TF: Instrument-wise we use a lot of Sylenth right now, simply because we are most comfortable translating the sound in our head to the plug-in. With that said we use a few awesome piano plug-ins like Minigrand (Protools plug-in, sorry!) and Nexus for certain layers. We’re starting to experiment with Serum as well, and have used Massive a bunch more recently too. If computer power was a non-issue, Omnisphere would probably be one of our most-used as well. Effects-wise, I think Fab Filter is on top of the game with usability. The weirder Waves plug ins are dope too, just got to know how to use them right. For reverb we usually go back to Valhalla Room time after time, and for delay we love H-Delay from Waves.
H: What does your studio setup consist of?
TF: We’re actually currently undergoing a big renovation of our studio. Hopefully gonna be ready very soon, but we’ve had to cram into a make-shift studio in Matt’s bedroom for the last little while. We’re really excited for it all to come together, gonna be an awesome work environment. Gonna have Adam S2x monitors (been on Rokit 5s for years), some dope hardware, a vocal booth, and a few more cool gadgets. And of course all of our guitars! For the most part up to this point our set up has been super minimal. Just a used old Apogee duet, and of course lots of plug-ins.
H: What do you want to accomplish most with your music career?
TF: We have many goals when it comes to what we hope to accomplish with our music, and we’re gonna work tirelessly to bring all of our listeners music that makes them feel, music that leaves an impression, music that makes them dance, and music that makes them maniacally crave more from Two Friends. And hopefully be able to do that for many many years.