Foley. The two New Zealanders Ashleigh Wallace and Gabriel Everett capture the heart of millennial pop with their cleverly crafted melodies, inescapable chorus and glossy sonic beats.
Unheard Gems: Thank you so much for joining us on Unheard Gems! I am so excited to get the chance to talk with you guys!
Foley: Thank you so much for having us! Lovely to have a chat with you guys.
Unheard Gems: Can you just start out by telling us a little bit about yourselves? How did you both get into music?
Foley: Sure! So we are an indie-pop duo from Auckland, New Zealand, and we’ve been writing music together for the last 2 years under the pseudonym ‘Foley’. We are best mates which makes things super fun and easy, and it means even when we are writing or practicing we are still always having an awesome time and hanging out. We both got into music at quite young ages
Ash: I started out doing musical theatre, drama and dance and it took me a while to work out that out of all the performance disciplines I actually really just loved music and wanted as much to do with it as I could. After that I joined a band and never looked back!
Gabe: Mum made me play the flute, which I did happily for a couple years but then I started playing guitar once I saw how easy learning tabs from ultimate-guitar.com was - all uphill from there
Unheard Gems: How did “Foley” come to be? What is your origin story as a duo, how did you come up with the name, and what sets you apart?
Foley: We were both in separate bands throughout high school and we met at a national band competition in New Zealand. It’s been really hilarious going from competing with each other to being on the same team, and we have so many classic memories of participating in those early competitions at about 16 years old, and being so obsessed with beating each other. Good fun!
From there we became best friends, and a few years in decided we may as well join forces since we were already spending so much time together! We searched for a name for so long- it’s always such a struggle to find something that really represents your music and who you are. We went travelling in Vietnam together and while we were over there we decided that when we landed back in NZ we had to have decided. Foley was the one we had upon our arrival so it stuck!
Ash: I think what sets us apart is that we write everything together and we don’t slip in to the mould of male producer, female singer. We collaborate in every sense of the word, and that’s why we are both so invested and so in love with our music.
Gabe: It’s quite rare to see a male/female friendship in pop culture, every movie or TV show with those characters always develops into love at some point so I think it’s quite refreshing to see. I love the energy that comes across through our music and imagery and think it’s testament to our crazy close collaboration.
Unheard Gems: I really love your music and honestly could see it making big waves in the US on the radio. What can you tell us about your writing and creative process for your music?
Foley: Aw we appreciate that so much! It’s always lovely to hear that people enjoy what we do because it takes our blood sweat and tears!!
Our creative process can differ depending on if we are working with a producer or on our own, but usually we will jump on acoustic instruments, maybe Ash on piano and Gabe on bass, and write the bones of the song before adding any production. If a song is good it should be able to stand alone acoustically without all the bells and whistles.
After that we start to build up the production and work out how the song needs to move. Sometimes the song will just flow out so quickly and other times it’s a more purposeful, defined approach.
Unheard Gems: You recently released a music video to your song “Stranger”. It looked like so much fun to film, what can you tell us about this song and video?
Foley: It was so much fun- We had planned a whole story and a bunch of different shots but ended up just flaggin the whole thing and essentially just ran around London being idiots and having a laugh. I think the best videos can sometimes be the one that are off the cuff. Our amazing director James Murray put up with so many shenanigans from us, he’s an absolute gem.
Ash: The song is sort of a past vs present concept. I saw a person that I had been incredibly close with for a catch up and they had become a completely different person in a really short time since we had last seen each other. It was completely surreal for me. You think you know someone and then they do things that are so out of character, and that can be a lot to deal with. Particularly when it comes to relationships it can be wild to see how someone treats you after it breaks down.
Unheard Gems: What can we expect from you guys the rest of this year? What is in the works that you can tell us about?
Foley: We are writing and playing all the time! We are huge fans of collaboration and have some really great co-writes in the works which is exciting. Currently working towards a larger body of work and hopefully a wee tour !
Unheard Gems: I love talking to duos and bands because I love hearing the stories about the dynamic of the group. Do you guys have any favourite memories or stories as a duo that you wouldn’t mind sharing?
Foley: Yeah for sure- definitely have had some hilarious times particularly because we’ve been mates for so long. It’s a different dynamic to other bands we’ve been in because we scrap like siblings.
Ash: Gabe and I will have full on tantrums and meltdowns with each other because we are so comfortable and he is honestly like my brother. When we were on tour around New Zealand we had some seriously overtired cabin fever moments of hysteria.
Gabe: Yeah in a weird way it's really freeing to have someone who you can be completely open with, without having to deal with the usual conversation idioms. Not that we’re nasty to each other or anything but the openness is really special. We’ve had a physical fight before - not for anything particular just needed to vent for some reason. But how many people can you do that with and still be 100% ok after? I trust Ash with everything
Unheard Gems: Also as a duo in New Zealand, what do you think of the NZ music scene and how do you think it has an affect on your music?
Foley: The NZ music scene is incredibly diverse and ranging. It is so inspiring for us to be able to go to different shows in our area and see such a broad spectrum of music. The thing that I love about kiwi music is that people aren’t all out there trying to make it. We have a huge scene of musicians who are just doing it for the love and to create something unique. Not to say that they aren’t successful!! But it’s a unique culture in New Zealand that you can be creatively free and not be judged for it. That has a huge impact because we have always felt that our music will be embraced if we take risks and test things out.
Unheard Gems: I love hearing what the artists we talk to are listening to. Who are some artists you think deserve more attention in the music industry and why?
Foley: There is an infinite list of unheard gems! (Great name btw). So hard to pick!
Ash: I love this Australian artist mallrat, who is such a killer songwriter and has a really eclectic lyrical style. Also a huge fan of middle kids, lime cordiale, cubsport, gold member, jungle giants, and the list honestly is endless but it’s exciting that there’s all this talent just waiting to be heard and discovered.
Gabe: Got some incredible friends making crazy music here in NZ, Abby Wolfe, LA Women, CLAYE and 0800 are my current favs. Also a big fan of this duo Litany who are from the States
Unheard Gems:Lastly, for all of our readers, where can they find you and your music and is there anything else you want to leave us with that we didn’t talk about in our questions?
Foley: You can find our music on Spotify, and our social media on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter all under @wearefoley .
Obtain that grain everyone!
Interview by Hannah Schneider