By Samantha Pitkin

Spotify might not play host to some of the world’s more popular artists, (looking at you, Taylor Swift); but for Gianni DiBernardo and Kyle Devore, the popular streaming service has skyrocketed their music.

DiBernardo, a senior communications major at this university, and Devore, a self-proclaimed college dropout, met their freshman year of high school in a technical education class, and the rest is history. After demoing their songs on SoundCloud, they eventually moved up the ranks to more popular platforms like Spotify, Apple Music, iTunes and YouTube. With six songs currently available on Spotify, and another project to premiere on Feb. 21, the duo, branded “gianni & kyle,” have no plans of slowing down anytime soon.

The Bloc sat down to discuss the duo’s history and future plans.

How long have you both been singing for? Do either of you play any instruments?

G: I’ve wanted to do this since I was little, but only started making music publicly my senior year of high school. So, around four years.

K: I’ve been doing it since I made a Spanish rap project about five years ago. I don’t know how to play an instrument, but I do find my way around a keyboard making beats.

From what I can tell, you guys have six songs on Spotify at the moment. Where else can people stream your music?

G: We use all music streaming services. Soundcloud, Spotify, Apple Music, iTunes, YouTube, etc. We use all of these platforms evenly, besides SoundCloud, which has a few older songs on it.

K: I’d say SoundCloud. Just because that’s what I’m always on and checking, plus it has older songs, like Gianni said.

Have you guys been approached by any other artists about collaborating? Who would be your dream person(s) to collaborate with?

G: As we keep becoming more popular within the industry, we’ve had people reach out to us for collaborations. We’ve done a few so far and are open to working with anyone whose music we genuinely enjoy or just good people in general. For a dream collaboration, I personally would choose Drake. Every song Drake gets featured on turns into a No. 1 hit. Having a No. 1 hit would be pretty cool for a senior in college.

K: It’s great because it’s not only musicians reaching out wanting to collaborate, it’s big YouTube vloggers, as well. My dream collab would have to be Shania Twain because she’s an OG and I think we would make some crazy music together. I’m half kidding but also half dead serious.

Can you tell me a little bit about how you guys first met and what got you interested in producing music?

G: We met freshman year in high school, I cheated off his tech-ed final. Years later, I started making YouTube covers and he reached out to me about working together because our friend Michael Seaberg and him used proper recording software and wanted to help me. We started off making solo music with a few songs together, but as we kept working we realized that we made a good team. That’s when “gianni & kyle” happened. The music kept getting better and our name started to spread and now here we are.

K: I made a lot of (terrible) remixes about my swim team, and somehow Gianni wanted to work together and that led to “gianni & kyle.”

How would you describe your genre of music?

G: A mix of pop and hip-hop music. We want to make music that anyone could enjoy. We don’t want to aim toward a specific audience, just feel good music for everyone.

K: Definitely good vibes. Those are the best kind of vibes.

I saw you guys have a pretty sizeable social media following. Do you take care of all of your own promotions?

G: We control all of our social media. We try to stay connected with the people that enjoy our music so they all can feel involved with this entire journey. Everything involving our social media is purely genuine.

K: It’s totally all the fans, too. They’re the ones spreading the word, reposting, all of that. Without the fan base, an artist is nothing.

What other musicians are you most inspired by and why?

G: Jon Bellion is a big inspiration for me. I started following him when he had about 2,000 followers, and a few years later, he has a platinum album and on a stadium tour. I watched his entire uprising, which inspires me to do the same.

K: Blackbear is someone I really admire. [He co-wrote] “Boyfriend” for Justin Bieber. His songwriting is incredible.

What have been the best and most difficult parts of your music endeavors so far?

G: The best part is becoming connected with so many people that truly believe in us. If it wasn’t for them, we wouldn’t be anything close to where we are, so just seeing all the positive feedback from people and knowing that hard work pays off is the best feeling. The most difficult is the process to get to points like this. We spent four years working very hard to start seeing the results we are now, and it was very difficult at some points in time. But we learned to be patient and it’s all paying off now.

K: Gianni hit it right on the head. Those years of knowing we were capable of so much more than 1,000 plays but not getting the results we were wanting. It’s amazing how much hard work and patience pays off.

Is there a tour in the works, and if not, what’s the next step in your music careers?

G: No tour in mind, we want to keep growing as artists. But hopefully soon! We’re getting more into practicing for live shows, and we’re trying to plan for shows as soon as possible so it’s all in the works. But a next big step for us is our new EP coming out Feb. 21.

K: Backstreet Boy Meets World, Feb. 21!

Aside from your own music, what can we most likely catch you jamming out to right now?

G: Right now I just became aware to how awesome this new Bruno Mars album is. So that and this new Kehlani album have been on repeat the past week.

K: I’ve been caught jamming out to some old Nelly Furtado.

There was a lot of controversy surrounding the Grammys this year, from Beyoncé not winning album of the year, to Drake winning for Hotline Bling (twice). Did you guys watch, and what are your opinions on the Grammys in general? Is it something you aspire to?

Photo courtesy of gianni & kyle.
Photo courtesy of gianni & kyle.

G: The only thing I will say about the Grammys is how Chance the Rapper made history. That was super inspiring. We’ll hopefully be there one day. I’m bringing my mom as my date.

K: I don’t really pay attention too much to the Grammys, but everyone always thinks “so and so” should of won instead of “blah blah blah.” I think as long as people are celebrating music in some capacity, that’s a plus.

Look out for gianni & kyle’s new EP, “backstreet boy meets world,” on Feb. 21.

Featured Photo Credit: Feature photo courtesy of gianni & kyle.

Samantha Pitkin is a senior journalism major and can be reached at spitkin@terpmail.umd.edu.

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