REYNA are sisters Victoriah (vocal/guitar/keys) and Hannah Gabriela Banuelos (lead vocal/bass/keys) from Milwaukee, Wiscocsin and their beautiful yet melancholy brand of electronic pop was an instant hit in the Electronic North office. We caught up with REYNA to chat about their influences, background and future plans.
Tell us a little bit about yourselves. What’s the story behind Reyna and how would you describe your sound?
Victoriah – We love sad lyrics with beautiful melodies and bouncy beats. Being sisters, our voices naturally blend well and we love playing our instruments so there are a lot of live elements to our music. After driving thousands of miles playing shows under a different name (Vic and Gab) we decided it was time to shake things up a little and venture out to L.A. We went through a songwriting trance and wrote over 20 songs the last couple of months with producer Drew Pearson, we can’t wait to get our favorite tracks out as part of our first EP.
What motivates you to create music and inspires it, your aesthetic and vibe?
We write music to feel a little less alone. We are inspired by our heartache and desires. The pretty strangers we meet who become lovers or friends only to become distant memories we write about.
Your recent single, ‘Kill Me’ was just released; tell us a bit about the production and writing process for the track.
Hannah Gabriela – We wrote ‘Kill Me’ in L.A. with producer Drew Pearson, we had written a lot of fun dancey pop songs prior to working on ‘Kill Me’ and we were getting more comfortable with each other. I had these lyrics for a while and was always afraid to share them because of how sad and morbid they were. Whenever I tried working on the song it always brought me back to a sad place and I don’t think I was ready to go there in front of any one. But somehow we clicked with Drew and he helped us give the song a melodramatic bouncy vibe that we love.
Reyna is made up of sisters Victoriah and Hannah Gabriela. Does your family bond affect the dynamics of the band at all?
Hannah Gabriela – I think the face that we are sisters makes everything a lot more personal and intense for us. But it definitely is a strength we have, we always know what the other is thinking on stage or in the studio so it makes it easy to work with other people. We have been writing and playing together since we were kids so its second nature. At the end of the day, playing shows and doing what we love together is amazing. You know they say sisters are built in best friends!
You recently played live as special guests of CHVRCHES (who we’re big fans of at Electronic North!) – how did that come about and how was the experience for you?
Opening for CHVRCHES was insane, their fans are amazing and the band was so nice to us. We were humbled to share the stage with Lauren Mayberry she is so fucking cool and someone we look up to. The venue was a beautiful historic theater which made the night even more majestic.
Finally, what does the future have in store for Reyna – gigs, releases, new ventures?
We are releasing another single in the coming weeks before releasing our first EP. We are currently taking writing trips to L.A. and NYC to write as many songs as possible. We are taking our time with our writing process and collaborating with some awesome producers/writers. We also had some pretty rad shows this summer, like opening for CHVRCHES and Death Cab for Cutie, we are looking forward to playing more shows!