'By portraying ourselves as pop stars, we become it.'
One day soon enough, 2015 Lakeridge High School graduates Kyle DelFatti and Tim Jordan hope that people scrolling through a music festival lineup will pause at their new band name, Famous Kids, and become interested enough to listen and find out more about the people behind the moniker.
Currently, rather than living in mansions and evading paparazzi like their name might suggest, the duo consists of two college students trying to keep up with schoolwork while attempting to vault their music careers. And they are more likely to eat rice and beans for dinner than anything fancy.
To DelFatti and Jordan, the unreality of Famous Kids is the point.
"It's an idea that it's all about self actualization through presentation," DelFatti said. "Tim and I are two broke kids from Oregon who don't know what we're doing, but by portraying ourselves as pop stars, we become it."
Famous Kids is set to release a new EP soon and is unveiling singles accompanied by music videos every two weeks including the recently released "Ellendale" and "Better Days."
While at Lakeridge, DelFatti and Jordan were a part of school choirs and a band that played in the Lake Oswego and Portland area.
The two went their separate ways, with Delfatti first attending Seattle University and then the University of Southern California and Jordan attending Emerson College in Boston, but continued to make music together on opposite coasts. They formed the band One11Twenty and one of their songs, "Stuck," garnered over 16,000 YouTube views.
DelFatti and Jordan, though, recently transitioned from a three-person band to a duo and changed their band name to Famous Kids.
And this summer, Jordan moved to Los Angeles to study at the Emerson College campus and to work more closely with DelFatti. The two now have a manager who they said previously worked with the popular singer Lizzo and are hoping to sign with a record label soon.
While DelFatti described their high school band as having a "super indie rock Portland vibe," their new music reflects the evolution in their tastes.
Since high school, DelFatti has gotten into more synthetic, pop production — he's inspired by Taylor Swift and Lorde producer Jack Antonoff — while Jordan said his lyricism is now influenced both by hip-hop artists like Nas and members of A Tribe Called Quest and folk artists like Bob Dylan and John Prine.
Jordan says DelFatti can also play many instruments and the two use traditional instruments like guitars and pianos in some of their songs.
However, they think the electronic component made possible through software programs like Logic allow them to explore a broader array of soundscapes.
"It's broadening the horizon for what sounds are possible," DelFatti said.
Jordan's lyrics, he says, reflect his personal struggles, love, moving to a new city and other authentic topics, but he also mixes in pop culture references. Jordan said listeners shouldn't let the breezy nature of their songs fool them into thinking the lyrics are vapid.
"We aren't trying to tell stories that aren't ours," DelFatti said. "Tim's writing style is really intricate, his word play is fantastic, everything rhymes with everything else. It's just clever."
Also, with help from their friend Nick Smiley, the duo shoots their own music videos. At a recent video shoot, they danced at various locations in Los Angeles.
"We both have a knack for figuring stuff out. You can do anything for free if you do it yourself. We need a professional looking music video. We have willed ourselves to do that," DelFatti said.
DelFatti and Jordan hope to garner some buzz for their upcoming EP and then would love to be named a tour opener for a more established artist by next year.
While their name indicates a fantasy they are hoping to live up to, Jordan and DelFatti said their music is more grounded in reality.
"I think music has always been the thing that allows you to express the thing you have been carrying around all day and don't know what to do with," Jordan said.
To view their music videos, go to the Famous Kids YouTube channel.
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