On May 9, 2014, Examiner.com was invited to Z100 Studios to view a special performance by Republic Records' latest signee "Us The Duo" who became viral sensations after posting 6-second covers on Vine. The group which consists of married couple Carissa and Michael Alvardo were a joy to meet. This week on May 6, they released their second full-length album, "No Matter Where You Are."
So why did you choose Vine to showcase your music instead of YouTube?
Michael: We both had a YouTube channel and did not get a lot of views. There is a lot of content so we wanted to do something different. We noticed Vine had a lot of comedy, but no singing so we decided to start singing on Vine and that’s how it came about.
How did you two meet?
Michael: Well my friend asked to go on a road trip to California cause he wanted to pursue acting. One night we happened to be at a music video shoot as extras and Carissa was helping out and an extra as well so that’s how we meet and hit it off. After three hours I got back into the car and I told my friend that’s the girl I’m going to marry. It was just a feeling that I knew and my stomach got this feeling. I just knew. After I got back to North Carolina I thought how am I going to make her fall in love with me, so I started tweeting her and then got her attention after we moved up to Facebook and then FaceTime and that’s how we fell in love. After I moved to California and asked her to marry me and that’s UsTheDuo.
Carissa: Yes, so that’s basically how it happened!
So the duo formed after you were married?
Carissa: Yes, so we were doing our own things and then realized our harmonies worked together. We did covers together and people really loved it on YouTube so we decided to make “UsTheDuo."
How did you find the sound for your music?
Carissa: Our styles were kind of the same you know writing and acoustic. Our harmonies lock and I’ve never felt that way when I sang with someone and we really base it off our harmonies. We decided to go more pop folk with this album and it just felt right. It’s just very fun and up beat and that’s what we want.
How long did it take to write the album?
Michael: Four months start to finish. It just came out - wrote about things we were feeling and it worked.
How do you feel in this moment selling out a show in New York City? Also your first show in New York!
Carissa: We are just kind of overwhelmed it’s just been like a whirlwind, a great whirlwind. This is our first show in New York and for it to be sold out is amazing. To look out the crows and see everyone singing our songs is the best feeling in the world.
If you could do a collaboration with anybody dead or alive who would it be?
Michael: Dead or alive that’s hard! Well alive would be Taylor Swift we love her and John Mayer we love him he is so great. Dead of course would be Michael Jackson, we love him we actually named our dog Billie Jean.
So how do you choose the songs to sing on Vine?
Michael: We have always been a fan of pop music so we choose the songs that are popular and the songs we love. We do mash-ups of artists we love and choose the most popular phrases out of the songs and pick a key and record the vine.
Us The Duo have two sold out nights at the Troubadour in Los Angeles on May 19 and 21. Following these special performances, Us The Duo plan to tour North America this summer.
Brianna Bicking contributed reporting.