By: Alexandria McLean | @itbalexandria
You probably have had the song Cool Kids stuck in your head at one point or another this summer. The people behind this catchy song are Echosmith. Made up of siblings Sydney, Jamie, Noah and Graham Sierota, Echosmith is an alternative pop band from California.
Echosmith travelled to Canada for the first time to perform at the finale of YTV’s The Next Star.
The Magazine got the chance to sit down with Sydney, Jamie, Graham, and Noah to discuss what qualities they think make up The Next Star and the response they have been receiving for their song Cool Kids.
The Magazine: This is your first Canadian TV performance, how did you go about preparing for it?
Sydney: We are eating lots of Ketchup chips, because that is what you would naturally do in Canada apparently. We are really excited because this is our first time doing something like this. We have done live TV before, but you know when you go to different countries it’s a new experience every time no matter what. It’s really exciting and we are kind of just prepping mentally I guess. It is just like a normal show, you only have one chance. Even though it is live and everyone gets freaked out, you only have one chance when you are doing a concert performance anyways. You know what I mean? We just see it as a normal show, and treat the fans as if it were a normal interaction rather than just some TV show.
The Magazine: What qualities do you think make up The Next Star?
Noah: A good voice, usually that would help normally.
Sydney: Yes, talent is a thing.
Noah: A good song helps as well.
Jamie: Authenticity. Being yourself.
Sydney: Yeah, being yourself even if you are on a TV show and there are a lot of opinions on you. It is important to still have your own look, and sound the way you want to sound. It is okay to figure it out, and try things out, but you still want to stay true to who you are as an artist. Otherwise, you will get lost in the shuffle of the millions of artists in the world.
The Magazine: How would you describe your sound?
Sydney: Right now we would say alternative pop. You can even just look at our influences and get the idea of our sound, which are The Smiths, and Joy Division, and The Killers, and Coldplay and U2, and lots of others. Even if you look at those and you can kind of hear a little bit of that in the music.
The Magazine: You are a fairly new band in the mainstream scene, so can you introduce one another?
Sydney: Graham, he is the drummer. Girls love him. He plays drums. He has a fantastic memory. If we forget what time something is at, or where we are going, he will remember everything. He is our calendar when we don’t have a phone.
Jamie: Sydney is our singer. She is very talkative. Her favourite movie is Anchorman 2.
Sydney: Okay Noah. Noah is our bass player. He is very tall. He is obsessed with H-Chews, the candy; apple flavour only. Jamie, he plays guitar. He usually consistently has a beard, a little bit of a beard. He can figure out basically anything if he wants to. He knows how to make leather bags now. Who knows how to do that? Nobody.
The Magazine: Cool Kids was featured on the Billboard Hot 100. How has the response for the song been?
Sydney: It’s been amazing. I mean, we put out that song over a year ago. It is amazing to see the traction that it has gotten even just recently. I think that the reason why this song is really working is because we wrote this song not with the intention of it being a hit. It was because we related to it. Everybody does at some point. Everybody has that longing to fit in or to be like somebody else at some point, whether you are a kid or not. We wrote that song because we have felt that way at different times. Other people are relating to it to. When you are real with your songs it’s more likely people will connect with it on a real level. The response has been amazing, and people are really connecting to it on a deeper level then oh you know “I like singing this song” or things like that. It is really helping people out as they go through their days and things like that. It has been amazing to see what has happened with that song.
The Magazine: Have you received any celebrity response that has left you starstruck?
Noah: There have been a few! What’s his name? Riff Raff, the rapper who is on the Katy Perry song, he did a Vine of him in the car holding his phone and singing along to Cool Kids. It is the greatest.
Sydney: He did that and he had something like pink dreads. I met Taylor Swift and she already knew our song and she told me she relates to it. That was awesome. There have been a few other people. I think Katy Perry was number one.
The Magazine: You are obviously all siblings, but how did you decide to come together as a band?
Jamie: We all grew up playing music and just kind of grew up in a musical family where instruments we all over the place. We all just got drawn naturally to the instruments that we play and we never thought of starting a band or doing that thing. We had all the pieces and all of our personalities go with what we play. Seven years ago we had the opportunity to play together, and we tried it out. We had everything there and we have been doing it since.
The Magazine: Cool Kids is about a boy or girl who doesn’t quite fit in. It is National Bullying Awareness Month in November. Do you have any advice for the boys and girls who may feel as if they don’t fit in or are experiencing bullying?
Sydney: Yeah, I mean, in general whether you are getting bullied or not it is really easy to find yourself comparing yourself to other people. Whether people telling you you are not good enough, or it’s yourself telling yourself that. You have to remember that we are in control of our thoughts and you have to choose to accept yourself and be okay with who you are. There are a lot of things that you have to accept about yourself and that will never change. Seriously, you just need to make a conscious decision to accept yourself before you get in that cycle of comparing yourself. You know, I have to make that decision everyday and it’s so easy, there are six billion people in the world, you are bound to compare yourself with somebody. With bullying and all that, I think the response is love rather than hurting yourself and hurting them. You need to love yourself and love them once you are bullied or anything like that. Even though it’s hard, the bully is going to be surprised and it will turn things around in a really special way.
The Magazine: What’s up for Echosmith?
Sydney: Lots of touring and lots of going to different places internationally. We will be coming back here eventually. I am not sure exactly when but lots of touring and everything is announced on our website. Everything is there.
The Magazine: Any message for your Canadian fans?
Sydney: We just want to say thank you and it’s really cool because we don’t get to come here too much. But, it is awesome to come here and meet the fans that we have. It is cool to go to new places and places you have never been before and have people care about you so much. I really appreciate everyone over here and we cannot wait to come back and perform a real show.
Make to purchase Echosmith’s debut album Talking Dreams which features their hit Cool Kids.