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Interview: Cafe Lanai on the Montreal scene and coming to Hong Kong

The Canadian house and disco duo open up ahead of their gig at MOM Live House

Chill vibes, soothing bass and the sounds of the sea. Hailing from Vancouver, Michael Brock  and June Moon are the duo that comprise house and disco act Café Lanai. Formed after being inspired to collaborate while on a trip to Hawaii, the pair are finally bringing their deep bass anthems further across the Pacific to Hong Kong. Their music is laden with airy synths, dreamy vocals and bass lines that compell constant head-bobbing the entire night.

Ahead of their performance at MOM Live House on February 17 Jeremy Chan catches up with them to learn the origins of their name and all about the Montreal music scene...

There’s a very dreamy, chill vibe listening to music. Is that what you aim to evoke in listeners?
Moon: I just want to evoke – period. Move how you wanna move baby!

How did fans initially react to the first music you put out? 
Moon: I think our first official show was at The Projection Room in Vancouver on Valentine’s Day, and the system in the room isn’t meant for live vocals so we had a stressful time trying to make it work, but we pulled it off and had a hot set.
Brock: Listeners have been kind whenever we release music. After a gig at Fox Cabaret, we played a pool party show and jumped in.

Sounds fun! Any other amusing on-stage moments?
Brock: At one of our first shows, Grimes was playing nearby at the same time. We had like full choreography and a Spice Girls cover prepared, but the only people in the crowd were the four indie band bros that played before us. Private dancers.

How is the Montreal scene these days?
Moon: Montréal is super chill and très inspiring.
Brock: I don't know about the scene right now, but Ouri is my favourite local artist. I feel grateful for the pace of the city. I'd recommend Montreal to any artist who needs some space and time.

So how did that café in Hawaii inspire your stage name anyway?
Brock: The café is a cute coincidence. We’ll actually have to go to it someday. But lanai was a poem I wrote that later became the lyrics to our first song. A lanai is an outdoor, furnished living space. June and I used to meet there for coffee every single morning and June added the Cafe part to the name.

What’s the best setting to enjoy your tunes?
Moon: A dance floor. A pool party. Ideally a dance floor at a pool party.
Brock: Underwater.

We really dig your song Denim Jacket. What was the inspiration behind that?
Moon: Oh my god, that was our first song we ever wrote together!
Brock: Look to the final lyrics for hidden clues...

What equipment and software do you use to produce your tunes?
Moon: We both need new laptops. Someone help.
Brock: June’s laptop is named Claire. Mine is Hole. They’re like sisters. They use ableton and get around with different synths.

What are you looking forward to most about Hong Kong?
Moon: Surprise us!

Do you find there are big differences between audiences in different cities?
Brock: Same friends, different faces.

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