By Nicholas Jason Lopez
In 2018, Venus, Patrick Joseph and Kyu Malik – a combination of singers, instrumentalists and producers – formed a trio to showcase each other’s strengths and knew the possibilities could be endless.
Nowadays, the group – collectively known as Ahmore – have had what many could consider a successful 2021, with the release of a new EP ‘Sonder’ this past summer, notable for the Latin-tinged debut single “Rioja (Next To You)” and its followup “Forward.”
The Music Bugle had the chance to talk with the Los Angeles soulful alt-pop/R&B act about ‘Sonder’ and more.
Music Bugle – What made you want to release “Rioja (Next To You)” as a single?
Patrick Joseph – The song has a nice Spanish vibe that I completely fell in love with. When you listen to it, it feels like summer and being on a night out with friends. The song is also a step out of all of our comfort levels, as far as sounds. It’s pretty experimental for us! There were sounds we used that I didn’t imagine would come together, but once we put it all together and shot the cover art, everything just kind of fell into place for it to be the single.
Music Bugle – What excites you the most about your style of music?
Venus – What excites me the most about our style of music is that we’re truly making our own unique style. We all listen to different types of music, so when we come together and create, you get a piece of each of our styles of music and the different genres that we all listen to. It makes such a cool sound that honestly inspires us to keep making more music together. We’re making a style of music that we would want to hear.
Music Bugle – What is the biggest challenge in being a musical trio?
Kyu Malik – In general, there are probably challenges that come up for music trios, but for us, honestly speaking, it’s been the easiest music-making experience I’ve ever had. We haven’t had any significant challenges. This project was really easy and fun to create, because we were basically all on the same page the whole time.
Music Bugle – What was it like putting together your EP ‘Sonder’?
Patrick Joseph – It’s been super natural. It was definitely a lot of hard work and we spent a lot of time on the project seeing what worked and what didn’t, but overall, it was smooth. I feel like I was expecting more hiccups in the creation process, as far as having three people working on the project. We all have different music tastes, but surprisingly, there was no creative dissonance. The project was exciting! It’s been dope working with my friends to make this.
Music Bugle – How did you decide the “Ahmore” name?
Venus – There was one night we were all together working on a song and decided to take one of our famous breaks where we just start watching random YouTube videos. Patrick turned on The Maria’s and the word “amor” automatically stuck out to us. As a group, I would say, we are really moved by love and this EP specifically has to do with aspects of love and how human beings love in general, so it just fit. Figuring out our group name was actually the hardest part of this whole project. I mean, this name did not come easy and we really wanted to make it original, so that’s why we did a play on the word.
Music Bugle – How would you describe Los Angeles to someone who has never been there before?
Venus – I would describe Los Angeles as a dream land. You come here and everyone you meet will have a story of the dream that they’re following. It’s really inspiring when you see so many people striving towards something just like you are and what makes it even cooler is that there’s people from all walks of life, from all different types of backgrounds and places. It’s one big melting pot of culture, inspiration and big, tall, bright buildings. People also dress fly as hell.
Music Bugle – How have you been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic?
Patrick Joseph – I feel like it awakened a lot of artists honestly, including myself, to seeing that there’s more to life than just working. It gave us time to think and I think for a lot of people, seeing how unfairly workers are compensated pushed us to strive for our dreams. Having the ability to really focus on your dreams and really realize how caught up in life all we were was the silver lining to such a devastating pandemic.
Music Bugle – Does social media help or hurt musicians?
Kyu Malik – It’s a little bit of both, in all honesty. Focusing on the analytics of social media can hinder your creative process, because you end up doubting yourself with the numbers, but when you treat it as nothing more than just another apparatus to share your musical thoughts and influence, in terms of what you want to do in the music industry, it becomes a lot less stressful. It becomes more like another form of artistic expression.
Music Bugle – Where do you go when you need a break?
Venus – When we needed a break, we usually went out to eat… or on a drive. A lot of times, we just stayed in the studio and watched YouTube videos or talked to each other about life. We’re actually real-life friends, ya know! We give each friend therapy sessions in between songs! (Laughs)
Music Bugle – What’s a quote that motivates you to keep doing what you do?
Kyu Malik – “If you take time and your talent is real, what you create will last the tests of time,” from Bill Evans.
Venus – “Life is a dream. Realize it,” from Mother Teresa.
Patrick Joseph – “I’m way too young to be getting old,” from Mac Miller.
*Photo Credit – Christopher Caspe*