After meeting in their hometown of Victoria, the 25-year-old BC natives Ajay Bhattacharyya and Amy Kirkpatrick moved to Vancouver to pursue different paths. While Kirkpatrick worked as a lighting technician and Bhattacharyya studied sound design, the duo eventually came together and started making music in 2009. They played under the alias “Names,” later changing their name to “Data Romance” after a song by Berlin techno producer Ellen Alien. Signed to Street Quality Entertainment, Data Romance has released an original soundtrack “Life Cycles”, as well as a self-titled EP under the label. Their unique sound, a combination of intricate electronic productions with elegant vocals, is what makes this band memorable and definitely worth following. Touring across Canada with Dragonette and Young Empires, Data Romance has certainly been nothing short of busy. I was lucky enough to squeeze in a chat with Amy and Ajay following their October 17th performance at Kingston’s very own Ale House.
A: First off I’d like to thank you both for taking the time to do this interview. To begin, how did you two meet and start making music?
DR: No problem. We fleetingly met in high school, but only started jamming together when Ajay started making electronic beats a while later. We used to send beats and vocals back and forth over e-mail until we ended up living in the same city again.
A: Data Romance has toured all over North America. Has there been a city or area that has stood out as particularly special for you?
DR: Texas for some reason responded really well to us. Who would’ve thought? But honestly there’s been a lot of cities that have been special and if we start naming names we feel like we’d leave too many out.
A: With the current mainstream rise of electronic music, where does Data Romance fit in in the realm of “EDM” (Electronic Dance Music)?
DR: EDM’s a broad term by definition. We remember when people used to say IDM to refer to “intelligent dance music”. Aphex Twin and Squarepusher and stuff… As pretentious as that was at least it was more descriptive than EDM. We’d say Data Romance is medium on the E, light on the D, and heavy on the M.
A: How do your personal and work experiences influence your sound and live performance?
DR: We have backgrounds in sound design for film, live theatre and stage lighting so they’re definitely applicable. It’s hard to look in from an outside perspective. Audio and visual art have just always been what we do.
A: Amy and Ajay, if each of you could work with any artist (dead or alive) who would they be and why?
Ajay: Justin Beiber: dead.
Amy: Johnny Cash, with a bottle of whisky and a pack of cigarettes.
A: With the recent release of the “Caves” remix compilation and subsequent tour with Young Empires and Dragonette, Data Romance has been making some big moves on the music scene! Where do you two see yourselves (individually and with the band) in the next five years?
DR: That’s such a long way away. We hope to be doing the same thing in a bigger capacity for more people. Is that a bad answer? We never like to think too far ahead in time. We’d start sucking at everything we’re doing right now if we were constantly thinking about the future.
For the latest Data Romance news, music, updates and their newly released video for their single, “Caves,” visit their website.
Andrea Nazarian, Co-Editor-in-Chief
For photo credit, click here.