LA-based pop-duo VOILÀ, made up of Luke Eisner and Gus Ross, just released their debut album, Long Story Short.
The first single from the album, “If You Were Me”, is the perfect representation of their exotic pop style.
Gus says of the single, “This song was born out of one of the darkest times in my life but crucially uncovers the question: When faced with all the facts, do you stay or walk away? Sometimes you realize there isn’t a clear answer to the question, but one must choose whether to find false comfort in someone’s seemingly reliable presence or lose the purpose you once had.”
Luke and Gus met at USC studying music and have amassed more than 10 million streams since graduating a couple of years ago, winning over fans with their catchy songwriting, candid lyricism and dapper good looks. They’ve opened for the likes of Kesha, X Ambassadors, Walk The Moon and The Fray.
Luke, who writes most of the band’s lyrics, is also a model and actor. If he looks familiar, it could be that you recognize him as Stig Mohlin in the Netflix film Tall Girl. VOILÀ had released a track called “Stand Tall” a year before, and the movie’s producers took notice.
As Luke told PEOPLE, “I got the script and I saw that the last line, the last words were ‘stand tall,’” Eisner recalls about the coincidence. “It felt a little too ethereal to pass up.” In addition, Luke has done fashion campaigns with the likes of Ralph Lauren and Calvin Klein. Gus, the band’s lead singer, is an Englishman who attended Eton College and sang in jazz bands in London’s West End, before moving to LA.
Luke is also involved with quite a few mental health related organizations: To Write Love On Her Arms (a non-profit that works to provide hope to youth struggling with depression and self-injury), Day One New York (an education initiative teaching middle and high schools about mental health in relationships and toxicity with partners) and GAB (Generations Against Bullying), an elementary school visitation program talking about self-love and positivity that his dad founded actually (his dad sadly passed away from cancer last year and was the subject of their song “Stand Tall.”)
Talented, handsome and committed to important causes, Luke and Gus are a magical as their group’s name, and they took some time to answer our Socialite Seven. Check out what they had to say:
When did you know that you wanted to become a band? And have there been any moments in which you regret your decision (in the moment)?
Luke: We were making music since we met in college, but it was more EDM at the time. We had just finished playing shows with Flume and we both had a lot of heartache going on in our life that felt like we wanted to write more storyteller-based music than just DJ set music. The only time I’ve regretted it is when we fly with our equipment and TSA has a habit of tossing it around pretty hard. We’ve had many heartbreaks at the baggage claim over broken pieces.
Gus: Music is only an industry to take on if you inherently love it. You have to be as happy sitting in a room on your own making a new instrumental as you are performing in front of 10 thousand people. No one checks up on how many hours you put in. You have to be a self-starter to remain at it and improve!
Who has had the biggest influence on your music and why?
Luke: For me, it isn’t other musicians. It’s authors like Nicholas Sparks, Aubrey Niffenegger, and John Green that help me get into a writing mood. Elliott Smith was the artist that got me into music. He had a way of making sadness sound beautiful and comforting. I like a mix of Nashville storytelling and emo wit, so I’d also cite Sam Hunt and Pete Wentz (Fall Out Boy) as influences. Also, the Goo Goo Dolls because they were the first show I ever saw!
Gus: Avicii melodically. I listen to music for melodies and am obsessed by their creation and manipulation. Harmonies and melodies I could study forever. My voicenotes is testimony to that haha
Who (if anyone) would you love to collaborate with?
Luke: I think it would be cool to collaborate with an author. I’m not sure that’s really been done before, but I bet you could come up with a really cool concept. Imagine doing a whole record where each track was with a different author? I’m getting ahead of myself.
Gus: Hayley Williams, Lewis Capaldi and NF!!!
What type of music or artist that you listen to frequently do you think your fans would be surprised to learn that you’re a fan of?
Luke: My girl got me into listening to a lot of musicals actually. “The last five years” is one to check out if you haven’t heard or seen it. I’m also that guy who listens to the nightmare before Christmas all year round.
Gus: Off the beaten track here but NF and a British grime artist called Aitch! Would love to work with them both. The lyricism in NF’s music is bordering on biblical it’s incredible. And the way Aitch bounces certain words to rhythms is on another level.
What are you hoping to achieve with your music?
Luke: I was always that kid in the front row at the show after sitting outside the venue all day writing my favorite lyrics on my arm. Music gave me such a great childhood and saved me from a lot of sadness. I just want to give that same experience back to other kids and keep the cycle going.
Gus: I want to make the melodies that people remember periods of their life by.
What are three things you can’t live without?
Luke: My cat named Milk, my snake named Noodle, and microwaveable chicken pot pies.
Gus: Logic Pro, My Dynaudio Studio Monitors and an SM7.
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given?
Luke: My dad said, “do more significant than successful”. I love that. People get caught up in the business side of music a lot and it’s easy to forget we are just rhyming words and stretching out vowels. I’d like to make music a few people get tattoos of and a few brides have their first dance too. That’s more important to me than big numbers or awards.
Gus: Never make assumptions and ignore outside noise. People like to follow social convention. Try to break free of it.
Listen to VOILÀ’s “If You Were Me” below.
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