Republic Records’ Marian Hill consists of Jeremy Lloyd (music/lyrics/production) and Samantha Gongol (music/lyrics/vocals).
They released their debut album Act One in June 2016 and their infectious track “Down” became a smash after being featured in an ad for Apple’s wireless earphones AirPods.
We spoke with the talented musicians on the red carpet for Universal Music Group’s 2018 Grammy After Party, presented by Rémy Martin, American Airlines and Citi at Spring Studios. Check out our exclusive interview below:
The Knockturnal: You guys had a pretty exciting year.
Sam: It was so crazy, it was such a whirlwind. I think one of the most exciting things was that it was so unexpected and we were able to travel to so many different cities. We traveled abroad to support the record, and we’re just ready to put out new music I think that’s what we’re most looking forward to.
Jeremy: So many things about it were exciting, but if I can sum it up in one moment it was being in my apartment and hearing our song coming from the street outside. I see music as a big conversation between all these different artists. We’re all learning from each other all the time and being affected by each other’s music, and to be apart of that conversation is such a privilege. And this I feel really asserted us in that conversation and there’s not much more you can ask for.
The Knockturnal: What’s your collaborative process like together? Is it just you two?
Jeremy: It is just us two on this upcoming album. We worked with one other producer, Boi-1da, who is one of my idols. And it was a real honor, but that’s on one song and the rest of it is me and Sam.
Sam: And our saxophonist Steve does some improv. So we always love working with him. He’s fantastic.
The Knockturnal: What can fans expect from your next project?
Jeremy: I think you can see us pushing things forward. My beats are a little harder. And a little harder hitting. I think your vocals have evolved and there’s a lot more nuance and character going on.
Sam: I’ll take that, I’ll take that.
Jeremy: And it’s a tauter album, it’s ten songs. We were writing a lot, through when “Down” was happening and we hunkered down the summer after and I think we were able to just look at the 30 songs we were sitting on, and we were like “wait there are ten that are our favorites. That’s the album, we’re done.” These ten are all like we can’t pick favorites, it’s been impossible trying to pick a single. But the single is coming out in two weeks.
The Knockturnal: When did you first realize you were musical?
Jeremy: My dad’s a choral director and my mom sings and plays piano. I apparently asked them to play violin when I was four, I don’t remember. But music has been something that I do and love for a long, long, long time. It’s definitely a dream to be able to do it as a job, when I first realized that could happen it was a big moment for me.
Sam: I started singing from when I was so young and it sounds cliché, but I honestly think “Home On The Range” was the first song. It was like pre-pre-school. My parents were like “Oh maybe you should explore this.”
The Knockturnal: Did you go on to take lessons?
Sam: I did, yeah. I took vocal lessons in high school. And piano and guitar.
Jeremy: You never really needed them.
Sam: Thanks! It’s good for your voice, but voice is really my instrument and I wanted to do it always.