My next guests are comprised of smooth melodies, tight rhymes, and a chemistry that is obvious from first listen. Coming out of Seattle, Washington is Vanessa Stone and Shai Poent and they are, Serel. After one listen to their singles, “You Like It” and “Danger” it was quite apparent that Serel is the real deal. Vanessa holds down the smooth vocal harmonies while Shai is the emcee. When you merge the two you get music that makes you nod your head and take notice. Join Stoli as I speak to Serel about how they met, playing live in the NW USA, and are they more than music partners?
Stoli: Were you both solo musicians before Serel and what was it about each other that knew you should merge talents?
Serel: Before the emergence of Serel, both Shai and I were solo artists. I was writing hooks and verses for local musicians; mostly doing collaborations. Shai, on the other hand, was in college working on his Film degree as well as playing division-two basketball.
Stoli: Why did you decide to call your group, Serel?
Serel: The name “Serel” came forth from an endless brainstorming. We wanted to have a unisex name. We thought it would be a great representation of the group as it is made of a female and a male.
Stoli: I am really feeling how you merge Vanessa’s vocals with Shai’s flow. How did that sound come to be or was it just a natural transition?
Serel: Our sound definitely came together after a year of writing and recording songs together. We needed that time together–to feel each other’s flow in order to have cohesiveness in our music. Even after that, we’re still learning about each other’s style and growing as artists together. It’s quite exciting!
Stoli: What were you both doing before you put everything into Serel?
Serel: Shai was finishing up his Film degree and playing division-two basketball; might I add, he could have gone pro! I, on the other hand, still attend the University of Washington. Contrary to the belief, attending college is not hindering Serel. In fact, because of it, we’ve found a pool of great resource that allows us to expose ourselves to many audiences.
Stoli: Being that you both are attractive as well, is there any romantic chemistry there or is all music-based?
Serel: I think what Shai and I share is a common bond. We both love creating music and we enjoy each other’s company.
Stoli: Do you two like to hang out when you are not making music and what do you like to do?
Serel: Besides laboring in our music, we often hang out. Of course, he has his own set of friends and so do I. I love everything under the umbrella of Art. You can catch me at concert halls listening to new jazz prodigies, watching ballet extraordinaires, and treasure hunting in vintage shops. Nothing can really thwart my nomadic inclinations for new discoveries!
Stoli: Being from Seattle, WA what are some cool venues that you have played live?
Serel: Nestled between American Apparel and Neptune theatre is Trabant CafÃ©. This place was one of my favorite spot that we performed at. It was chilled and just had this relaxed vibe to it.
Stoli: When you are writing lyrics how much input do you both put in or is as even as possible?
Serel: In writing lyrics, we let the beat direct us. Essentially, we begin with what the beat is telling us. The following is what transpires from that initial thought: what sensory feelings the beat is giving off, what do we currently feel, what is inspiring us, and how can we resonate with someone who would feel that feeling.
Stoli: When you look at the industry today what does Serel add to the scene that you feel is missing?
Serel: Diversity. I’m Asian-American. A woman. A first-generation child. I have a heap of story to tell you that you may be interested in.
Stoli: I love your track, “Last Hunter.” What is the meaning behind that track?
Serel: “Last Hunter” is Karma. She is on the hunt to provide the result of our own past actions and our own present doings. Under this layer, the song tells you that we are the architects of our own fate.
Stoli: Where would you like to see Serel in 2 years and what is your plan to get there?
Serel: I’d love to see Serel being discovered by more people. Not just here in the U.S., but worldwide. As for our plan to get there, we just need to keep pushing the envelope and making our music available to millions of ears. After all, it starts and ends with a song.
Stoli: If I were to look at your i-Pods which artists would I find on there?
Serel: My ipod bumps Mile Davis, Zero 7, Outkast, Queen, The Beatles, and Billie Holiday.
Stoli: I feel like “Life On The Run” is a hit song. Do you get frustrated knowing that you have hits that should be all over urban radio nationwide?
Serel: YES! Who wouldn’t, right? Although, we’re never the ones that eagerly and greedily waits for the reward, I would love to have our songs, which we work hard to create, get the opportunity to be cradled in ipods, mp3’s and such.
Stoli: What about Serel would surprise Skope readers that not many people know about?
Serel: We are nerds! We love anime, video games, and vampires!
Stoli: What is coming up for Serel and where can readers get more from you?
Photo By: Shena Lee Photography