MILWAUKEE – August 3, 2017 - Sisters Victoriah and Gabriela are no strangers to the Rock the Green scene. If they look familiar, you may remember them headlining Rock the Green’s Annual Earth Day Celebration back in 2014, as the duo “Vic and Gab.” Since then, they have continued to grow as musicians, and are now REYNA. While living in Milwaukee, the sisters travel frequently to New York or Los Angeles to meet with producers, collaborate with other musicians and work in the studio. Victoriah and Gabriela have expanded their sound to emerge as one of indie pop’s brightest up and coming groups. Blending together tight vocal harmonies, lush melodies that get stuck in your head, and infectiously groovy beats, the sisters are riding high off of a series of stellar singles which have generated hundreds of thousands of hits on streaming services like Spotify and Apple Music. REYNA simply makes music that is equal parts introspective and contagiously catchy. Singles like last year’s “Magazines,” and “Ink on my Skin,” along with their latest release “Maintee” showcase the band’s musical prowess, dexterity and growth as artists. Rock the Green had a chance to catch up with Vic and Gab to chat about their music, sustainability and the upcoming festival on Saturday, September 9th:
RTG: How would you describe your sound, especially for folks that might have know you as Vic and Gab as you’ve transitioned into REYNA?
Vic and Gab: When we were playing as Vic and Gab we were very young, and everything we did, we did ourselves. When we performed, we were never able to put our instruments down. When we got with our new management, we were encouraged to collaborate with producers and other musicians. We now are able to try so many new things that we were never able to do before, and make our sound a lot more full… the way we’ve always wanted it. RTG: How did the whole creative arts community in Milwaukee help you grow as a band?
Vic and Gab: We grew up in El Paso, Texas and moved to Milwaukee eight or nine years ago. The Milwaukee music scene really embraced us. The music community was so open to inviting us out to shows and helping us get shows. There is a community here that is committed to helping each other out. The Milwaukee music scene is thriving and has grown so much in such a short amount of time.
RTG: Back in 2014, you headlined Rock the Green’s annual Earth Day celebration. From playing a RTG event previously, what’s it like?
Vic and Gab: Oh my gosh, playing on the pedal power stage was SO much fun. It is really a one-of-a-kind experience because the bike riders are so close to the stage. It’s like doing a live spinning class…the riders encourage us and we encourage the riders. It is such a cool idea and something that we’ll always remember fondly as musicians. The Rock the Green crowd is always so positive and fun too… it was a special opportunity for us to play the pedal power stage.
RTG: RTG is a family-oriented event, what advice would you give to those kids who want to be on stage one day?
Vic and Gab: You have to be very patient, be you, and keep going. It is a very hard thing to do. It’s not like going to school where you go, take classes, graduate and get a job. It’s very different. You need to have crazy wild dreams and just go out there and make it happen. You can’t be afraid of failure and just have to keep pushing and being true to yourself.
Playing live is SO fun, and a total adrenaline rush. There’s nothing like it. We love seeing people dancing and singing along. It’s addicting to do what you love and see people out there enjoying it. Every show has a different vibe and different feel.
Writing songs is a very personal act-- you write lyrics and make them with your feelings and experiences in mind. When you play them live and see others connecting with them…dancing, singing along…it is just the greatest feeling in the world, that you are able to make something that resonates with others.
RTG: Do you seek out inspiration for your music and life or does it find you in unexpected ways?
Vic and Gab: It depends on the song that we’re trying to write and the mood we’re in. There are moments in the studio where we get a little bit stuck. When this happens, you have to just let your imagination and inspiration fly. Often times ideas will come to us randomly. Vic or I’ll be sitting somewhere and we’ll need to grab our phone and write down ideas. It’s like grabbing bits and pieces from everyday life and putting it together in the studio. I have so many notes on my phone where I’ll have a ton of sentences and ideas, and then when we get together we’ll go through them and something will just click.
RTG: Rock the Green is a 501c3 charity teaching people to do things that are possible to protect resources and the planet. Our sustainability festival operates on a zero waste program. Working with fans and community partners, we have had upwards of 93% of our production materials diverted from landfill. What steps do you take on the road to leave as little impact as possible and what advice do you have for folks about ways to go green?
Vic and Gab: Vic and I always try to carry our own water bottles. This sounds small, but when you think about it, if everyone did it, think about the impact it would make? When we’re in the studio we always have these big nalgene water bottles with us.
When we were little kids, our grandfather would always talk to us about “leaving water for our kids,” and encourage us to conserve water in simple ways like taking quick showers, turning off faucets, etc. Every time I think about water, I think of him. His advice really makes us think about the importance of water and need to “leave water for our kids” and future generations. Water is such a precious resource. Easy little things that we could change about our lives can help out huge if we all took steps to do them together. We love that Rock The Green helps educate people about the environment and ways to be more sustainable. We can’t wait to play Rock The Green!
Be sure to check out REYNA’s amazing live performance at Rock the Green 2017 on Saturday, September 9th.