Musician to Musician, The Indie Music Rise-Up Edition: “The Ivy”
by Sophia Gatti
Hello UPG community! I am Sophia Gatti. I am currently a student here at UPG, and I am a staff member here at The Insider. When I’m not in classes, I spend my time as a musician. My current project is “Carmela Donna.” I am a singer, songwriter, and I play the ukulele.
This new Musician to Musician (M2M) column is something I thought would catch the eyes of many of you. I will be discussing music with other indie artists and getting a deeper insight into their path to success in music.
For our first M2M, I got the opportunity to chat with, “The Ivy,” a band from Oklahoma. They are an up-and-coming Indie-Synth pop duo (lead singer Wyatt Clem and instrumentalist Shawn Abhari). Together they collaborate to create retro vibes and groovy tunes. They have around 700,000 monthly listeners on Spotify, and have gotten the opportunity to perform with some very big bands and artists. Their breakout song, titled “Have You Ever Been In Love,” has over
13, 000, 000 plays on Spotify alone.
I caught up with them to talk about their rise to fame, their inspiration, and their hopes for the future.
Wyatt Clem, lead singer of “The Ivy”
“I’ve been writing and recording songs since I was 15 years old. I started on an iPad with an app called, “BeatMaker 2.”
M2M: What is your creative process?
Wyatt: So, the process of writing an Ivy song typically goes like I will start a core idea and get a good direction going, just inside my room on my computer. Then, once I get that idea strong enough I will show it to Shawn, and that’s typically where he and I will collaborate and start to brainstorm structure and get things more solidified. And then, I will struggle to write lyrics (laughs). Once that process is finally done, we will take it to a producer to help us elevate the idea. Then, we get it mixed and mastered.
M2M: What does it feel like to look out at a crowd and see people singing your lyrics?
Wyatt: It’s hard to describe how good that feels. I mean I literally made these songs in my bedroom, and then I look out and I’m in some random city in Ohio, and there’s an entire front row of people that know every word. I mean that is mindblowing. It’s very, very cool. I don’t know if I will ever get used to that, and I hope I don’t because I love how exciting that is.
M2M: Have you had a moment of “Wow, I’ve made it” yet? If so, what was it, and how did the feel?
Wyatt: I have not had a feeling like “Wow I’ve made it, I’m here” yet. But we’ve had really cool moments and people we’ve gotten to work with and things that make me feel grateful for the position we are in. But we have a long way to go before I can confidently say, “I’ve made it.”
M2M: How does collaborating work?
Wyatt: Collaborating is something we are still trying to work on with every new song that comes about. It’s not difficult, but sometimes I feel like I need to just be alone in a dark room to get to the place where I can write something meaningful. But Shawn does an excellent job of bringing new perspectives and new things that are interesting sonically, like textures and synth sounds. Every now and then we will actually write lyrics together. I’m working on being more open to letting him in more on the lyrical side. But, ultimately we’re pretty good at working with each other.
Shawn Abhari, instrumentalist of “The Ivy”
I knew I wanted to become a musician when I was 10 years old.
Abhari: I was playing my older brother’s 7th grade talent show. We played, “Holiday,” by Green Day, and when I played the guitar solo and people cheered, it was the best feeling. I had such a big smile. I remember thinking: I have to do this when I grow up.
M2M: How would you describe “The Ivy” sound?
Abhari: Indie alternative music driven by melody and emotion.
M2M: Where do you see the band headed next?
Abhari: We are definitely planning to play as much as possible. Perhaps an album?
M2M: Have you had a moment of “Wow, I’ve made it” yet? If so, what was it, and how did that feel?
Abhari: I remember sitting in the offices at Sony, in a high rise in Berlin GE and thinking: “How am I here right now?” That was definitely a cool moment for Wyatt and me!
M2M: How does collaborating work for you?
Abhari: I think the both of us are so used to each other by now, we are comfortable giving each other space to listen to the other’s pitch ideas and then change our own.
“The Ivy” can be found on any streaming platform, and is planning to start doing as many shows as they can. Make sure to give them a listen. And keep a lookout for a “The Ivy” show coming to a city near you.
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