The infectious energy and eclectic influences of both halves of the Garçons duo Deelo and Julian Strangelove have found in one another perfect collaborators.
Refusing to limit their sound to one specific genre, the experimental nature of music duo Garçons is evident on their debut single “Numba One” with a fusion influences ranging from soul-funk to hip-hop. Over a groovy head-banging instrumental, Deelo paints a vivid picture with his lyrics about the highs and lows of getting to know a new crush.
The single also comes with a pastel-coloured music video directed by Strangelove himself. The Tarantino-themed visual follows the duo through some of the hippest spots around their hometown Ottawa, including a retro arcade and colourful ice cream shop seen alongside everything from vintage muscle cars to boomboxes. “Our music is very colourful and I wanted to show that in the visuals,” Strangelove explains.
The Canadian duo first met in 2014 through a mutual friend when Deelo was just beginning to sing and create music.
“I just loved his energy,” Strangelove recounts. “The uniqueness of his voice reminded me of voices like Bob Dylan or Amy Winehouse.”
Before they knew it, the two were jamming out at the studio together, and last summer they decided to take to Strangelove’s Ottawa apartment to record their debut EP Body Language, set to release in the coming months.
In working together, they seem to have found the ideal partner in each other. Strangelove’s soul-meets-reggaeton beats and his tendency to think outside of the box when it comes to the production only served to bring out the best in Deelo’s bohemian rap lyricism. Strangelove’s song-crafting and tendency to experiment and tinker with sounds provides the perfect vehicle for Deelo’s lyricism, sound, eccentric personality and infectious energy to thrive.
“There’s a lot of freedom between us,” Strangelove explains. “We both love making weird music, being unique and standing out. There aren’t any boundaries in our creative process and we both fully trust each other’s ideas.”
For Deelo, who was born in Nigeria but moved to Ottawa, he speaks on his experience of growing up with a unique cultural lens. From the cuisine of growing up in an immigrant household to the exposure to different traditions, he’s grown up with, Deelo is grateful for “the luxury of experience” that he’s been afforded.
These different experiences that come from living in different parts of the world and appreciating different cultures have undeniably played a role in shaping Deelo’s personality and outlook on life. He was exposed to music that he wouldn’t have heard if he had only lived in one part of the world. Through this cultural lens, Garçons’ embraces what makes them stand out as individuals and artists.
“Deelo and I love embracing the things that make us human and we love to talk about that in the music,” Strangelove explains. “The most beautiful people we’ve ever met were always the most unique ones.”
“We try to have absolutely no limits,” Deelo adds. “Nothing is weird.”
The duo goes on to list an eclectic list of artists that they look at for inspiration, such as Frank Ocean, Erykah Badu and A Tribe Called Quest. If “Numba One” is any indication, listeners can expect similar experimental soul-funk for the forthcoming 7-track Body Language EP, a result of the natural progression of the duo’s musical organic evolution together.
Strangelove’s obsessive and constant search for new sounds as well as Deelo’s poeticism behind the lyrics and soul of the song that seems to always come back to the themes of women, love and “the art of being a human” are looking forward to the future. Tracks that make you want to “ride around the boulevard with the music blaring loud.”
“Hopefully, the listener can find something within the song to relate to,” Strangelove concludes. “And if it makes them smile, dance, laugh or cry – we’ve done a good job.”
Words by Braeden Alexander.