Dante Jones and Drew Love are THEY., a pair of Los Angeles-based rebels smashing stereotypes with music that defies genre.
Before launching their joint venture, THEY. got their start as beatmakers for the likes of Jeremih, Kelly Clarkson, and will.i.am before striking out on their own. The band's major-label debut, Nü Religion: Hyena, released last year, established THEY. as industry rule-breakers, melding unexpected R&B melodies with electric guitar, and autobiographical lyrics based on their reverence for '90s pop culture and life experience growing up as outsiders.
It's all there — the stylistic playfulness and irreverence — in the music. (Fun fact: some of Jones' favorite bands as a kid range from Fall Out Boy to Circa Survive, while Love grew up singing Britney Spears' "...Baby One More Time" and Hanson's "MMMBop" in the shower). Their new project, Fireside is out November 9 and features high-profile collaborations with Ty Dolla $ign, Jeremih, Gallant, Vic Mensa, and Jessie Reyez.
The video for Fireside's first single, the just-released "What I Know Now," puts the budding stars in a raw performance set-up alongside Wiz Khalifa. The song's lyrics address the journey toward hard-earned maturity over seamlessly harmonic guitar and trap production, which the video amplifies through its throwback simplicity. "Some of our favorite and most influential music came from the '90s," THEY. tells PAPER. "[With that in mind] we felt like shooting the video in the style of live performance videos of that era would really bring home and compliment the vibe of the song. It was great to bring real fans through to be a part of the experience."
Catch the PAPER premiere of THEY.'s "What I Know Now" with Wiz Khalifa, below.
Photography: Lloyd Pursall