Soul Sisters: The LIANA siblings on their strong Turkish roots, directing their own music videos and making a statement with their brand of lookbooks
As sisters, Lena and Lia look up to each other for inspirations, and their songs take shape as they merge their varied styles in LIANA
If you have a ear for mysterious electronic music with oriental influences, then you may want to give a listen to the music of these two young sisters Lia and Lena Göçer, better known as LIANA.
The siblings completely write and produce their own music and the first sonic offering from their upcoming EP came in the form of their single 'Psycho', which they released two months ago, along with a music video they directed.
Fresh from their music oven is their second single, 'Take It All', which unlike their first single's dark, mysterious and sensual sounds, has a more dreamy and orchestral feel to it. Of course, they never stray from their strong oriental roots. And for those wondering where their oriental influences in their music come from, well, the two sisters may be born in The Netherlands, but are by origin Armenian/Turkish.
In an exclusive conversation with Meaww, LIANA opens up about their musical journey, and how their origins have influenced their style in composing music.
How did your journey in music begin?
We were both very young when we decided that we wanted to make music. So we started with covers, Lena played the guitars and I (Lia) did the vocals. And then at one point we just started writing our own songs.
Your music seems to have a lot of Turkish influences. Have you had any training with Turkish music earlier?
Yes, we have been listening to Turkish music from a very young age. We kind of grew up with it, so we really like it a lot. Especially, the way they sing, the instruments are really beautiful and sound very beautiful to us. It is very natural.
Born in the Netherlands, you have been close to that country’s music as well. What do you think is the most striking difference between the music of the two countries?
(laughs) We don't listen to Dutch music much. We did grow up here, but we don't listen to it much, it's not really our thing. But we do listen to a lot of other different styles, like Turkish, Armenian, English, Pop, electronic, Jazz, oh..and soul, too. We like Jazz quite a lot actually. Both Turkish and Jazz. Turkish...it's more like belly dance music, it's more traditional. But Jazz is more relaxing, it's smooth. It is also something you can dance to but not like belly dance music. You get to hear a lot of cultural influences in Turkish music.
Do you have a preference in music?
Not really. We don't really have a preference. We listen to so many different styles. Like when we are cleaning the house, we listen to pop. When we are happy and on the road, we listen to a ballad. It's the influence of what we hear every day actually.
You both seem to be a little inclined towards Indie music. What do you think makes Indie music so appealing?
We are not making it to be Indie actually. When people listen to it, they think that it is indie music but to us, I don't know. Yeah, but indie music is appealing. Like it, our music too is more than just commercial.
How was it working as siblings?
(laughs) It happened very naturally. We know each other so well. Even if there is a fight, we make up because we are family. Lena is very talented (Lia too). To have a sister like her is just amazing. I mean when I look at her, performing on stage with me, I am like, "Wow, she's my sister." She's my best friend. She's blood.
Let’s come to your tracks now. What inspires you?
It comes from our daily lives. It's about being in love with someone so much that you lose yourself in that person. And when you really love someone, you don't want to lose that person. You want to be with that person, but then you lose yourself in that person as well. It is a bittersweet experience.
Can you elaborate on the production process?
Lia: Usually, we start off with the guitar. Lena picks up there, and then I come up with the lyrics and vocals. After that, the beats come around. We eventually produce something out of it.
Lena: Once it starts with the guitar, and I hear something that Lia is singing, it inspires me and I make something that she thinks fits the song right. That's how the production usually goes on. If she wasn't here, we wouldn't be here. You can say, we are like inspirations for each other.
It must have been a difficult yet enjoyable journey. How has the experience been?
I think the best experience is in making music for ourselves. To us, what's important is that we love what we do. We might be making music that people don't understand, but as long as we love it we are okay with it. It makes us really happy. What we create is something different, and isn't exactly like any other artistes. It's not always easy to get publicity that way. So we do most of it ourselves. Of course, if others love it, we would be very happy.
What are you working on now?
We are currently working on the music video for 'Take It All'. We are in the editing process right now. The shooting is already done. Again, we did it all by ourselves. The video is supposed to be out in October. And our EP will be out as well, maybe this year or the beginning of next year. We are writing a lot at the moment, so it's hard to choose between songs and pick up the right ones for recording. Let's make all that we can make, and then decide if it will be out this year or the next. Besides writing/producing new songs, we are spending our time in the studio and creating new stories for our videos.
We want to connect with new people, reach a bigger audience and build on a true following. We are also working on our passion for fashion, which we are already doing by creating lookbooks (you can find these on our YouTube channel), combining these with our own music, because these two are inseparable to us. To take this to a new level, we will be designing our own merch, including jewelry, clothing etc. which will be available next year.