The music industry as a whole lends itself more to the bachelor or spinster (aka bachelorette). With eager groupies and endless tours, the business can really take a toll on personal relationships, especially marriage. And, it’s as such that the industry doesn’t have a significant number of husband and wife duos. And, also why industry insiders don’t get too excited about married duos. Which, really is a shame, because pretty much every married husband and wife duo, from Sonny and Cher, to Gloria Estefan And Emilio have found great success. Suggesting that there must be real and tangible benefits to finding that special someone and sharing a music career and journey together.
And, so it goes with Kenny Cash and Laura Cash, an alternative-pop husband and wife duo out of Connecticut who go by the name Che-Val. They recently released their debut full length album titled “Waterproof.” As described it, the album,
fuses edgy alternative pop with a classic throwback multi-genre vibe. The first track “Oh Darling” flirts with ‘60s soul, “My Beat” nods to ’80s and early ’90s pop (sax solo and all), while “Love Still Waiting” plays with old-school funk (horns courtesy of the Funky Dawgs Brass Band).”
Each song from the “Waterproof” album was produced and recorded at the Cash’s record label, the Factory Underground, studio in Norwalk CT. Waterproof is available on iTunes.
After the release of the album, we got a chance to speak with them. Check it out:
Before we get into your recently released debut album “Waterproof,” Let’s get to know you guys a little bit. Your first single was released in 2014, called “My Beat”. So, basically, you’re relatively new as artists in the industry. So what were you guys doing before 2014, and how did you guys decide to become musicians?
Kenny: I don’t think we decided to become musicians, I think music more gave us a creative outlet. We’ve both been working on music since we were teenagers in one way or another. Before 2014, we were doing the same thing we were doing now. Producing, songwriting, learning, teaching, etc. I think in 2014 we just decided to put our music out there for others to hear.
Now it seems part of your selling point is that you are a husband and wife duo. So, I’m curious did the music making come before the marriage? Is this like a Celine Dion and Renee, and a Gloria and Emilio Estefan love story?
Laura: Yes, we met through music! I met Kenny 9 years ago at his studio (which at the time was in a barn!) while recording a hook for my rapper friend. I still remember my first impression of him clear as day, wearing a purple Prince T-shirt and vacuuming when I first entered (what girl wouldn’t love that?). He told my friend, “She’s humble and she can sing,” after which my friend had no problem telling me that he was off-limits so I didn’t mess with his musical endeavors. So of course we dated. I was actually working on country music when we first got together. We worked on music together, but my goal was always to be more of a songwriter. It wasn’t until after we married that I felt like we should be artists ourselves to get my songwriting and his production out there.
Getting back to your debut album, the lead single off the album is also called Waterproof. When I listened to it, it almost came across as a musical or a Broadway production soundtrack. Was that where you were taking the sound? And, I guess I’m also curious what you would say inspires your sound.
Kenny: For me, one of the great things about being an indie artist is that your music doesn’t have to fit into any particular box. I think that our sound is influenced by what we are inspired by at the time and what we want to experiment with. I was sitting down at the piano after being inspired by Brian Wilson of the Beach Boys’ chord progressions, and I was just trying to play around with arranging different chords in different orders. I tracked an idea at the home studio, went off to work, and when I came home, Laura had written a song to it. After she did, she was like “By the way, can I write to this?”
The music video also takes cue from the drama/stage element in my last question, since the video uses footage from Gene Kelly “Singing in the Rain.” Basically, the question I have for you is why? Was there a significance to this?
Kenny: I felt that the imagery of someone embracing the rain, which is most times looked upon as negative, was powerful. When I heard the lyrics, I saw the Gene Kelly footage in my mind. Lucky for us, it kind of lined up in a Pink Floyd/Wizard of Oz kind of way. Maybe it was in my subconscious, but I don’t think so.
Laura: What Kenny said about embracing the rain ties back into the story about the song. I was inspired to write the song because at the time, while at my past job, one of my coworkers essentially stole my intellectual property and tried to pass it off as their own. I said to myself “You know what? I can either let in this negativity, or I rise up and make something good come from it… I can write an awesome song about it.” And that’s what I did. Luckily Kenny left the computer open that day!
For each of you, what is your favorite track of the Waterproof album? And, why?
Laura: My favorite track is “Poison.” This is one of the tracks where my song influenced Kenny’s instrumentation rather than the other way around. I loved seeing the process of an acapella turning into an entire song and how it can evolve through collaboration.
Kenny: I don’t know. I’m in the postpartum stage of the album, where all I hear is what we can improve upon. I’ll probably be better able to decide in a couple of months. Lol.
What advice would you give to a younger 15 year old you?
Kenny: Don’t rush to perfection, it can make you miss enjoying the process and close doors that could have been valuable learning and growing experiences.
Laura: Can you please just learn the piano? Please? Haha.
Finally, tell us about your name?
Laura: We named us after the first piece of furniture that we got for our house together – a cheval mirror (a free standing mirror that swings in a frame). We thought the name was pretty cool, so we looked it up and also learned that it meant support (also a horse, but whatever). We felt like that was the perfect name for a husband and wife team, and even emphasized our bond by adding a dash in the word. Plus, we liked the Justin Timberlake song “Mirrors,” which was out around the same time.
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