In Paradise with 19&YOU

19&YOU is an alternative-pop band based in Los Angeles, California made-up of Cameron Graves on vocals, Jackson Leitch on guitar, Liam Wallis on drums, and Noah Taylor as executive producer. The four-piece came together in Australia back in 2020 and haven’t looked back since. We had the opportunity to speak to 19&YOU to discuss their growth as a band during the pandemic. We also got a behind-the-scenes look at what it takes to make their music videos.

Aniya: Hi guys! It’s such a pleasure interviewing you! I want to start off by asking, How and where did you guys meet?

Noah met our guitarist Jack when they were kids living in Charleston, South Carolina. When Noah flew to Sydney, Australia to visit a girl in 2020, they reconnected and ended up sleeping on the coach of Jack, Liam, and Cam’s apartment and the rest is history. 

A: 19&YOU formed in 2020 during the pandemic. At what point during the quarantine did you form? What was that like for you guys? Were you writing and recording during this time?

We never expected that when Noah flew out to Australia at the beginning of the pandemic we would all come together to form a band. Jack knew Noah from childhood, but it had been a while since they had hung out. At the time, Jack was living with Cam and Liam who were all studying in Australia and Noah ended up crashing on the couch when he visited. We began writing music for fun! Noah was producing for other artists on that trip so he had his mobile production rig with him which allowed us to make everything in our small living room. We knew we had something special and we knew we wanted people to hear. Within two weeks we wrote over half of our first EP, including our first song “RUNNIN’” and that’s how 19&YOU was born

A: How was it like filming your new single “Paradise?” What was the most complicated part of it all, and why?

Paradise was definitely the most memorable shoot we’ve had. It was freezing cold and super windy so it was difficult to focus and put a smile on for the camera! To add to that our director’s car got stuck in the sand and we had to spend a good while digging it out! All that being said, it’s definitely one of our favorite videos. Most of the work for it really fell on our incredible director Georgia Vannewkirk. She absolutely nailed it and was the driving force behind everything! 

A: You guys have 8 music videos filmed from your album “19&YOU”. What was the most complicated music video to film and why?

The video for “Part of You” (band version) was probably the most difficult to film because it was all done in one shot! We had to do the takes until we got the 

performance and nobody could mess up along the way. In the end, it took us around 15 tries to get it right! There was also a hairless cat at the shoot, so it just ended up being a fun night. It’s definitely one of our favorite videos!

A: Let’s say you guys are in the studio right now. Who is doing what?

Noah is always at the desk, mic’ing something up, or producing the song out in Pro Tools. Before we start writing, we always like to share what we’ve been listening to at the moment because that helps us figure out what vibe we want for a track. We’ll spend a bit tracking Liam’s drums after we have the base. Then Jack works out the guitar parts, and after we’ve written the topline, Noah will track Cam’s vocals. We all write and bounce off of each other. I think for us, It’s always ever changing because we don’t want to put a label on our genre, we just wanna make what we love and are inspired by. We keep the writing process fun and we make sure we have a lot of food too.. 

A: There’s a lot of bands around the world. How do you guys come up with different lyrics and beats for each of your songs for them to sound different from the rest?

We create using the “if it feels good it is good” philosophy. We don’t set any hard rules about what we’re allowed to do or what our sound is or isn’t. We try to not compare or have any expectations because that can put us in a hole creatively.  We just create and try things until something feels good. Not setting any preconceived idea about who we are and just allowing ourselves to be is what creates the 19&YOU sound.

A: In the two years that you’ve been together as a band, who has taught who the most?

We’ve all learned an abundant amount from each other, most of it probably subconsciously. We’ve been through so many different seasons of life together and we all bring something different to the table through those experiences. None of us are the same people we were when we started the band. We all challenge each other not just to be better musicians but to be better people as well. 

A: How has 19&YOU grown in the past two years? What are you doing now that you weren’t doing when the band first formed?

We’ve all started to place more emphasis on our social media presence and how we can really be using all these platforms to our advantage to reach and engage our fans. The pandemic really affected the ways in which artists could connect with fans and so we do our best to show our lives and share our stories through these platforms so listeners can get to know us better.

A: Out of all the songs from the album “19 &YOU,” which song took the most time to write?

“Adrenaline” was probably the one that took the most time! Noah wrote the first version and produced most of it back in 2018. It had already been through several versions even by that point. We changed the tempo and key of the song several times after it reached the band. It took us changing the tempo and re-recording Cam’s vocals four times before we got it right. It was definitely a test of patience and dedication to the song, but we’re glad we put in the time.

A: As a band, are there any complications dealing with schedules when you have to record, practice, and film?

We all work other jobs outside of making music so we can cover our basic needs and on top of making records, we spend a lot of time creating content for social media. It definitely takes extra effort to align everyone’s schedules, but we’re all super passionate about 19&YOU and building our band, so we always take the time to work together and get things done.

A: I’m pretty sure all your fans are wondering this question. WHEN are you guys headed on tour!! 

If all goes as planned, you can expect to see 19&YOU on the road very soon 🙂

Listen to Sentimental Playback

19&YOU: Instagram | Spotify | TikTok | SoundCloud | YouTube

Article By: Aniya Washington

Photos: Caleb Shane | Instagram

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