Us The Duo reveals how they 'slow down time,' new direction for their music and why they adore their fans
Possibly the most adorable couple on this planet, Michael and Carissa Alvarado make up the musical melodies of Us The Duo.
The folk-pop duo's six second Vine videos have made this husband-and-wife duo incredibly well-known. In fact, Us The Duo has a whopping 4.3M followers on Vine, 3.7M likes on Facebook, 725k followers on Instagram, 196K Twitter followers and over a million subscribers on Youtube!
Signed to superstar record label, Republic Records about a year and a half ago, Michael and Carissa are becoming busier and busier by the second.
With the debut of their new single, "Slow Down Time," the duo was eager to tell us how they personally "slow down time" for each other — to enjoy life amid the hustle and bustle. Get the inside scoop on their favorite place to unwind, music they're totally into, and so much more. Take a look!
Talk to me about "Slow Down Time!" What was the inspiration behind the song? Was there a particular moment or event that made you want to create a song with this particular message?
(Carissa) The inspiration was based on our life at that moment; everything was a whirlwind for us, how quickly things picked up, after Vine and getting signed to the label. So since then, it's just been so busy and so crazy, we're on a plane most of the time. We're traveling, we're in the studio, we're meeting new people. It just got really hectic.
So we're like, we need "slow down time." We need to go away, so we actually went on a writing retreat. We completely shut off our phones, no technology at all. We went up to the Joshua Tree and wrote our hearts out. It was a nice reminder to us to really "slow down time" and live in the moment, and remember that we're married and we have eachother, that we have family and friends to spend time with as well. That's always our main priority, before our music.
In the song, you talk about freezing moments before they pass. What's one moment in your lives that you wish you could freeze in time?
(Michael) Oh man, we tend to remember trips more than anything else. But we've had so many cool moments in our career, whether it was meeting Oprah or Michelle Obama.
But you know, the most memorable moments in our life are the most simple, remote places where I'm just staring at her and the background is gorgeous, and I just remember to snapshot it. Like we do this thing, it's really stupid...we were in Hawaii the day before, we were at this beach and I'm like 'babe we have to remember this moment, you have to snapshot this.'
(Carissa) And I go, "click."
(Michael) That way we can grab onto that moment at a later time. I think I have like eight frozen moments in my mind, and they're all of that type of thing.
While the song comments on time and moving too quickly, it seems like at its core it's a love song. If you had one week off to do absolutely anything together, money as no object, what would you do?
(Carissa) I would say we would go to Barcelona. We just recently visited for a short time, and we fell in love with it. We could totally see ourselves living there at some point down the line. They just have the best tapas, and sangria, and we just chilled on the beach all day long. It was perfect.
I've heard that this song is a first glimpse at new music to come from you two. How would you describe your upcoming music with regard to storyline and genre?
(Carissa) The genre is definitely changing and molding into a new and exciting sound, it's definitely more pop. We started off more folk pop, more acoustic; the music now will have more dance elements that we all love, and can't resist dancing too. But we'll still remain ourselves and stay true to Us The Duo by keeping those harmonies in there that make us who we are, and we're never gonna let go of that. So it's kind of a mix of two different genres.
You guys are obviously known for your Vine covers, but it seems like you've been posting more on other social media outlets lately as well. For example, you posted an amazing cover of "Like I'm Gonna Lose You" on YouTube. Do you see yourselves moving away from Vine in the near future or continuing with Vine in addition to other outlets?
(Carissa) We feel as if Vine for music is dying a little bit, but we have our followers on there, so we're never going to leave them out of nowhere. I think we're going to do what you said, and use all social media platforms and just stay consistent on everything. We have our Facebook page now, and we've seen a big growth there, I think we're at like 3.7 million followers on Facebook. And we started out on YouTube, so we like to still put videos on there, because that's where we really started. So yeah, just got to use all your platforms.
(Michael) In different ways, too. We don't want to just make one video and put it on everything. It's important to say ok, what is great on Vine? Let's feed them something different than we did on Facebook.
What's your favorite song or album to listen to right now?
(Carissa) Right now, I'm getting to know the new Selena Gomez album, "Revival." She's got some good jams on there. And some songs that make you want to get up and dance and go hang out with your girls.
(Michael) Oh man, I just recently redownloaded Michael Jackson's "Thriller" album on my iTunes, there was some crazy special for it. I already have it, but it's on a disk somewhere, so I think on iTunes it was like $5.99 or something crazy, so I redownloaded it. So I'm revisiting all the songs and they're so good, and I'm just on the plane probably looking crazy by myself, like chillin by the window, moonwalking. There's never a bad day for Michael Jackson.
Are there certain artists you would say you look up to or are especially inspired by?
(Carissa) We're totally inspired by Taylor Swift. She's a genius, marketing wise and how she treats her fans, I think that's awesome. And she's just such a great writer, too. She just 'gets' you. And all of the feels. So we'd definitely love to meet her and pick her brain one day.
What is your absolute favorite thing about your fans "Us the Family?"
(Michael) We love that Us The Family is so responsive on social media. It's almost become like a support group, it's interesting. We'll tweet like 'hey guys' we're having a mediocre day, can you just send us something to make us laugh, and we get all these tweets of like memes, and jokes..It's really become this support group.
(Carissa) We're a family.
(Michael) It's actually really funny because sometimes when we're at live shows, some people will bring fake adoption papers for us to sign, like 'can I be your official child?' And we'll sign the papers; so now we have a bunch of illegitimate children roaming around.
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