We had a little chat with Beatrix and Sarah, aka FLTY BRGR GRL, who make cute and creepy indie music that almost always ends up being about falling in love, sometimes unrequitedly. The two of them met when they were working at a summer camp for kids three years ago and immediately got a friend crush on each other – bonding over heartbreaks. At the time, Sarah already played in the band Calvert and Beatrix in Level & Tyson, but two years later, their heartbreak stories turned into sweet music when they decided to turn their dream of playing together into reality!
Beatrix says that Sarah is the one with the most professional music background while she’s the punk one who started playing quite late, but that she thinks their differences is what makes them work so well together. We ask them about their musical journeys; having gotten into music at different stages in life, was indie pop always “the one” for them both, genre wise?
- We’re actually into several genres! We do like indie, but we also like punk and hip-hop a lot. However, when making songs for this specific project, it felt totally right that it sounds the way it does; this is California vibes - it’s burgers, palm trees and swimming pools. To us, the feeling is more important than the genre.
"This is California vibes - it’s burgers,
palm trees and swimming pools"
FLTY BRGR GRL came to be after Beatrix had been on a solo trip to Los Angeles, California, where she had an epiphany of a meal at an In-N-Out burger shop: their juicy, greasy burger sort of became her muse: it made her feel a little bit dirty and ashamed, but also completely free, and these bad-but-good feelings translated into a wicked band name! We ask if there are other things than burgers that inspire them:
- We’re very inspired by crushes, breakups and heartbreaks, and we also love the thin line between being in love and being obsessed. The road from charming and cute love to stalkerish is very short!
Foto: Johnny Vaet Nordskog
In addition to making bangers and eating burgers, FLTY BRGR GRL wants to challenge the expectations people have of women who make music, and particularly when it comes to artists who also are women of colour. We ask them a little bit about the pros and cons of being different than most artists in their genre:
- Be My Boy, which is dropping on November 8, is our debut song, but we have already been subject to both mansplaining and to people being surprised that our music is not “urban” when they get a sneak peak of our songs... We do realize that there might not be that many women playing in indie bands that have the same background as for example Beatrix, who has Pakistani parents, but that doesn’t mean that people with such background aren’t into it!
Truth to be told, indie-rock is full of white, privileged kids, something artist Jen Cloher has talked about, and we dig her for that! We think that music lovers are open to diversity, but at the same time, there is a need for role models. Most importantly, the music industry needs to take a hard look in the mirror – there are still festivals in Norway that book practically only straight, white men.
The thing is that we, women of colour, can do exactly what we want, and it’s good that more of us now are doing different things. Some make hip-hop and R&B, some make pop, and we make indie-rock. In a way, we’re happy to represent that segment. We missed having role models when we were younger; girls who looked like us and played in bands. So we hope that more people can get inspired now, see themselves in us and in our songs. Perhaps we’ll contribute with a new outlook on things just by being who we are, but we’re also conscious of this when we choose what direction we take our songs in.
Foto: Johnny Vaet Nordskog
In their bio, FLTY BRGR GRL write that nothing inspires them more than “being in love, breakups and heartache.” Their debut song, Be My Boy, is also about falling in love, a classic theme in music that has inspired many. What we want to know is if the idea of love or even the painful parts of falling in love (breakups, unrequited love), can be just as inspiring as actually finding true love? And do Beatrix and Sarah think it a little sad - or also good - that the worst parts of life often can inspire the best art?
- For sure, it’s almost like breakups and unrequited love inspire us more than a happy kind of crush. The thought behind Be My Boy for example – although it may sound more like a declaration of love – is exactly that: it’s about declaring your love to someone who doesn’t necessarily like you back, or at least not to the same extent. Just think about what a breakup or rejection can do to people; it can make you reevaluate everything in your life. It’s incredibly fascinating. We think it’s good that the worst parts of life sometimes can become the best thing about art, because when it does, at least you got something good out of it. Maybe you need the bad things to appreciate the good.
FLTY BRGR GRL's tune "Be my boy" will be released on Spotify and other music outlets on November 8th, and they're also having a video release party on November 7th! In the meantime, we of course got you a little sneak preview: