Bars And Melody first walked into the spotlight in 2014 when they auditioned for Britain’s Got Talent with an original take on Twista and Faith Evan’s song ‘Hope’ about bullying. From there the pop-rap duo went onto placing third in the series and were catapulted to fame around the world after their audition went viral.
Fast forward six years and the Welsh duo have released four studio albums, 3 EP’s and completed multiple worldwide tours.
Their recently released fourth studio album ‘Sadboi’ hears them honing their sound in a bolder way by diving into their experimental sonic and purely creating music that feels authentic to their artistry. From that exploration comes the anthemic ‘Waiting For The Sun’, the summery ‘Lighthouse’ and the gritty ‘Addicted’.
I recently chatted to Charlie Lenehan and Leo Devries from Bars And Melody about the creative process behind their new album ‘Sadboi’, their personal growths from their time on Britain’s Got Talent and reflected on their recent touring memories. Check it out BELOW;
THOMAS BLEACH: Your new album ‘Sadboi’ is out now and hears you further exploring a pop meets EDM and hip-hop sonic. So what was inspiring you with this collection of tracks?
CHARLIE LENEHAN: We are trying so hard to discover our own sound, our own wave. And I feel like through ‘Sadboi’ we’ve discovered a lot and I can’t wait to put what we learnt writing this album into writing the next.
LEO DEVRIES: Our biggest inspiration is our fans. They support us so much and because of that we are allowed to be super experimental.
TB: Reflecting on the creative process behind the album, what would you say is the song that took the longest to hone into it’s final form and why?
CL: Definitely ‘Waiting For The Sun’, it was an absolute mission. Back and forth, changing mix, changing lyrics and changing sound, it was a VERY long process to finish that song. I believe our producer did something crazy like over 150 different mixes…
LD: Sometimes if you overcomplicate things, it just gets messy and that’s what happened with that song. We ended up going for one of the first versions in the end. We learnt a lot through that song.
TB: It’s been three years since the release of your last album ‘Generation Z’, so what is something that you learnt about yourselves as artists from releasing that album that influenced the way you approached ‘Sadboi’?
CL: I think just being true to our selves was our main aim. We love ‘Generation Z’ but we feel like we focused too much on trying to please our genre and the people, rather than focusing on what we want to sing and perform. And this makes a big difference to how you feel about each individual song.
LD: ‘Generation Z’ was the start of us truly understanding ourselves. Our style was something that took so long to find. But ‘Generation Z’ was a stepping stone for sure.
TB: You embarked on a huge tour of UK, Scandinavia and Asia last year. So what was one of the funniest or weirdest tour memories from that run of shows?
CL: I don’t think I could pin point one moment. The last big European run we did just before this tour which was around this time last year, and that was the craziest for me. I’ve never experienced a tour like it.
But Asia I have to say was the most memorable time. I don’t know what made this trip different but there was a special sort of vibe around it. We took our management this time around and just had a blast. We love our team and to bring them along on trips like this just adds nothing but vibes to the trip.
LD: The funniest thing that happened was probably when someone was trying to climb over the barrier and run up on stage. We gave her a hug, and security returned her to the crowd *laughs*.
TB: What song from ‘Sadboi’ are you most looking forward to bringing to life on the live stage once we are able to go to shows again?
CL: For me it’s ‘Addicted’. It’s the song I connect with most. It has the most meaning to me and I cannot wait to just let loose and bang this one out on stage.
LD: I am super excited to perform ‘Bloodshots’ live. It’s my favorite song off ‘Sadboi’, and I think its going to be so hype live.
TB: One of my favourite comments on a YouTube video from your time on BGT Champions is “It’s mad that they’ve stayed together all this time. They’ve been together longer than my parents were”. which made me have a little giggle. So what do you think has been the key for you guys to stay together and grow creatively over the years?
CL: We value each other equally. We both have different strengths and weaknesses, but the main thing is we know we would be nothing without each other. This is never something we wanted to do alone. We’ve been going for seven years now and we both just hope somehow it turns into seventy.
We are brothers, not friends. And a bond like this is unbreakable. Trust me, if you knew the stuff we’ve all been through you would ask HOW are they still together, and that’s the crazy thing. We stick together no matter what. Loyalty is everything.
LD: We’ve grown together. We’ve shared so much together. I can’t really imagine my life without Charlie. It’s just someone who is a constant variable in my life, no questions asked *laughs*.
TB: Looking back on that original audition from Britain’s Got Talent and everything that followed, what is a piece of advice that you would’ve liked to have received during that time?
CL: I would have liked someone to have warned me how tough, rough and intense this industry is. I adapted very quickly and am still learning everyday. But it was quite a shock, and I have seen and experienced things I thought I would never see, and maybe would only experience in this industry. But never the less, it’s a blessing to be in it, and just as it can be bad it can be incredibly good. It’s like an extreme ying & yang, the bad is very bad and the good is more good than words can explain.
LD: I would say; write your music for you, and not for anyone else.
TB: The world is currently enduring a very strange time with COVID-19 and the mandatory isolation. So how have you both found of your creativity has been impacted by this time? Are you writing at all?
CL: I feel like within this lockdown I’ve found some inner peace. I have been travelling and working non stop pretty much everyday of my life for 6 years. People don’t see the background but with constant phone calls, emails, interviews and social media, we actually never really stop.
I feel like this isolation has given me time to actually think and care for myself and learn stuff about myself. I’ve found so many things I now enjoy that I thought I never would.
I think situations like this always plan out however you take it. If you take this time as a negative time, it will be negative. Treat it positive and you will find ways to make this time worth while and productive. Truthfully I think humanity needed this isolation and break. The world needed to breathe.
LD: We have wrote a whole albums worth of material during this time *laughs*. It’s been crazy fun and I’m so hyped to keep going.
TB: Let’s play a quick game of rapid fire questions, Are you ready?
CL: Let’s do it!
TB: Our pre show routine involves…
CL: Absolutely nothing. Bit of music and some snacks, that’s about it!
LD: Blasting super loud rock music!
TB: The TV show I’ve been binging during isolation is…
CL: ‘Midnight Gospel’, I cannot stop.
LD: Alias Grace.
TB: When I think of Australia I think of…
CL: Crying… I would do anything to get back out to Australia right now. Have missed it so much and can’t wait to visit again.
TB: Pineapple on Pizza is…
CL: The devils dinner!
Bars And Melody’s new album ‘SADBOI’ is out now!
Check out their newly launched SADBOI clothing store HERE;