Hailing from Budapest, Hungary, we spoke with the guys of Belau on their newest single, playing in the United States for a few days, and much more! Make sure to follow the guys on social media and read our interview below.
Hi Péter and Krisztián, how are you doing today?
Hey there, this is Krisztián from Belau. Thank you for having us here at your magazine. Everything is going well, the weather is fascinating here in Budapest. Right now we are working on our new live set to make the Belau experience even better, while the new songs getting together in the background. Next week Croatia, so the tour is also 24/7.
You have a new single, Breath featuring Sophie Lindinger. How has the reaction been to the track so far?
Thankfully the new track got a great response from the fans and a lot of critics and music blogs were really satisfied with it, especially abroad. Sophie, who is singing in the band called Leyya has a unique voice and ability to create diverse melodies and thrilling harmonies. It turned out a great collaboration.
How did this collaboration come about? Who contacted who and how long did it take to create the song?
We were the ones who initiated the collaboration. Noticing that Leyya is a great upcoming act with a lot of possibilities was obvious, also that one of the reasons for this was Sophie’s voice. So we contacted her, she liked the instrumental instantly and we did not have to wait too much for her to write her part and send us back. Although we did not meet during the recording session, we had a chance to play together in Austin, Texas at SXSW.
For Breath, did you know you wanted a female vocalist from the beginning?
Our concept is that we only work with female vocalists. Breath was the part of this process. Our debut album, The Odyssey-era has been featured six different girls, and our next album we want to continue this tradition.
How did you get the name Belau?
That is an old story that comes from our young ages. When we were kids we were really into geography and know all the capitals of the countries around the world by heart. We discovered Palau’s island which is a small country on the Pacific Ocean and somehow the name and the culture there remained an inspiration throughout the years. The inhabitants call Palau a different name: it’s Belau. Someday we gonna play there, I am sure about that.
You were in the US earlier this year in New York and SXSW Festival in Texas. How were the shows?
Our first experience across the sea, and what can we say. We won’t forget it. The culture, the approach of music and the way how the industry determines the scene is way more different than in Europe, or even in Hungary. We have learned a lot and felt that people in the US are more open minded for the Central European region than the Western Europe scene. Probably the Hungarian bands are way more exotic for them and we can represent a unique and unknown vibe towards them. Playing at SXSW is a worthy experience.
What big differences did you notice right away from Hungary to the United States?
As the phrase says: “everything is bigger in Texas”. That’s the most outstanding thing that you will notice right away: ridiculously big cars, huge menus, wide roads, greater units, longer roads. The food is obviously different: I think in Europe we eat healthier, but a thing like chicken waffle is something that worth trying. And of course Uber is not being banned is a great possibility, because you guys don’t have public transportation.
I read that you both plan releasing an album around September or October of this year. Is that still happening?
That was true, but a couple of weeks ago we decided it to postpone the album release for early 2019 to shape everything together in a more convenient way. The second full-length is slowly getting together, but we did not want to hurry ourselves. The final product should be perfect.
Who are some artists you are listening to right now?
From Belau Peter is the one who are more into the actual electronic / chillwave scene, but both of us likes Odesza, Tycho or Ibeyi nowadays. In my spare time I take inspiration from the metal scene, because the contrast is the reason I love making music.
I would gladly choose Beth Gibbons from Portishead.