Interview with Rap Duo: Joey Valence & Brae
Rap Duo Joey Valence & Brae might just be the biggest thing to come out of Penn State in a long time. What started as just two college kids goofing around in their bedroom studio has turned into a worldwide phenomenon, with their songs reaching millions of people across the globe.
Both Joey Bertolino and Braedan Lugue are just 22 years old, and they both originate from Centre County, PA.
Bringing back the sounds of 80s and 90s hip-hop, their past five singles have done exceptionally well in such a small time. Using social media such as TikTok and Instagram, the duo has been able to reach a new audience, one that values their high energy and charisma.
Currently, they are boasting just under 500k listeners on Spotify and have accumulated 550k followers on TikTok, plus over 72 million views on the app as well.
Both Valence and Brae recently graduated from Penn State and are ready for bigger and better things. Not too long ago, they flew across the country to debut their first performance ever on The Ellen DeGeneres Show. Now they are talking with other producers and musicians trying to crank out more singles and maybe even an EP.
So how did this all happen so fast? With an authentic and friendly interview, they opened up about their stories.
Valence & Brae met each other their first year on campus, as they were first introduced by Brae’s cousin. Valence had been making music since he was only 12 years old and they decided to start writing over a variety of different style rap beats.
"We would write stupid lyrics to songs just to be funny," Valence said. "One of those times where we were just being silly turned into ‘Crank it Up,’ that was the first song that we released together, and I put it on TikTok, and it just blew up. It was two kids laughing and making a song together."
Joey submitted his verse from the song to an online talent show and won the contest receiving $10,000 to help further his career. This was when the views started accumulating, and soon enough, more hits started coming.
This also helped them both to convince their parents to let them pursue music more seriously. Once they saw that they had potential, they were given six months to make something out of it. They sure did, as both of their mothers watched them perform front row on Ellen.
Commenting on how they ended up making old-school-sounding tracks, Joey said, "It wasn’t a conscious decision to start going that route." Brae added, "it comes from such a genuine place trying to push a sound and style that is repackaged for 2022 and beyond."
When asked about their recording process, they revealed that they had worked entirely from Joey’s bedroom. With very limited gear, essentially there was no budget for any of the recordings. "You do not need a lot to be creative when making music," Brae said.
The two have a fast-paced creative process. For their newest single, "Double Jump," it was noted that the track was recorded, mixed, mastered, distributed along with a music video in just under 30 hours. Joey mentioned that he tends not to overthink while working, as he knows if it's there, it's there.
The duo does not want to be referred to as "TikTok artists." Joey said, "We are musicians first… TikTok just came as a promotional platform. Unfortunately, it is the only way to do it now, you cannot get out your music without getting it out there."
When asked about the future and what they would recommend for anyone who is trying to make it in the music industry, they talked about the idea of success. They believe that if someone follows their passion, and that passion makes them happy, then they are succeeding. "Our idea of having success is having fun and making each other laugh as much as possible."
Joey Valence & Brae have already put smiles on numerous faces with their eccentric personalities and lively music. It is guaranteed that they will do so even more, check them out in the links below.
We at CommRadio thank you, Joey Valence and Brae, for the interview and support of other Penn State students.
Spotify Link: https: //open.spotify.com/artist/6BkiL5nhcwWK6JqWbBjNgu
Apple Music Link: https://music.apple.com/us/artist/joey-valence/962798477
TikTok Link: https: //www.tiktok.com/@joeyvalence
Caelan Chevrier is a second-year majoring in journalism. To contact him, email email@example.com.
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Third Year / Marketing & Journalism