Photo: Robert Vivancos
PLYA - who named themselves after the Spanish word for beach after staying at a friend's place on Santa Monica beach whilst in Los Angeles writing music - have been on an incredible trajectory from being completely unknown, releasing their debut single 'Thinking Of You' in 2017 and then having their song 'Feast My Eye' chosen by none other than Sir Elton John to be played on his Apple Music Beats 1 Radio Show.
Here the exciting three-piece tell us about getting a nod from their "hero" Elton, what inspired their new single 'Dynamite', their penchant for weird synth sounds and wanting to work with the songwriter behind cinematic pop queen Billie Eilish's hits, Finneas O'Connell.
What was it like the day Feast My Eye was hand-selected by Sir Elton John for his radio show?
It was amazing. We were so excited. He is a huge hero of ours so to have his nod of approval meant so much. We didn't speak to him directly but it was fun to hear him on the radio talking about us.
What was the starting point for Dynamite?
We actually wrote our previous single, 'Feast My Eye', in the same week we wrote 'Dynamite'.
We were in quite a fiery, fearless, don’t-mess-with-me kinda mood so 'Dynamite' was very quick to write. We wrote and recorded the main body of it in a day.
What is the track about lyrically?
It's about that fiery relationship you know isn't good for your health but you just can't get enough of.
That internal battle of whether this person is ruining your life or completing it.
A lot of bands are experimenting with synths, take Bring Me The Horizon for example, are you fans of their new album amo?
We love using synths in our songs. A PLYA track wouldn’t be a PLYA track without a synth in there somewhere.
We love the new direction on their album.
Do you get geeky in the studio?
Yeah for sure. We find that sometimes the less we know about how the synth works the better.
"They throw out completely weird and wonderful sounds that we normally stumble upon accidentally. The weirder the better.
Your music videos are amazing and award-winning. How much input do you have with the process?
We are very hands on with the production of all creative content.
We normally have a good idea on what the music video for the song will be about and look like quite soon after it's written - if not whilst we are writing it.
We've been very lucky to work with directors Tom Cole and David Evans on our videos who have helped us bring the songs to life.
Photo: Fraser Taylor
There is still a long way to go with regards to the gender gap in music.
A recent statistic showed that only 17% of PRS for Music’s registered songwriters are female. What do you think needs to change?
That's crazy. It's a tricky one. Most of the producers we've worked with have been males, and actually most contact that I have on tour are also males.
It's getting better though. We have worked with some amazing female producers and feel like they are definitely on the rise.
There is also still a stigma about age and being able to have a career and make money from being a musician which I think is even more pressure on females.
I wish I knew the answer to that one, but I'm hopeful about all the incredible female talent that's coming up.
Have you been writing with anyone cool?
We have. We wrote 'Dynamite' and another song off our forthcoming record with the amazing Matias Mora. He is a genius. We also worked with producers called Rob Rox and Frederik Thaae (Michelle Branch, Kate Nash) on the new record. They are both incredible.
K.flay has been a big supporter. Could we see you teaming up on a song?
A collab with K.Flay would be so fun. We would love to but we haven’t got around to asking yet. We would love to work with Disclosure or Finneas O'Connell.
You got to record at The Church studios which is stepped in history. Is there a certain presence to the place?
Oh there is definitely a presence to the place. We worked with a wonderful female producer there called Chloe Kraemer. So many synths.
When can we expect an album?
You only get one debut album so we want it to be the best body of work we have ever put out.
So when we have the right bunch of songs and support, the album will come.
Where would you like to see PLYA in the next five years?
We would like to be selling out headline shows around the UK and Europe.
PLYA play London's Thousand Island on February 28.
FFO: Billie Eilish, PVRIS and Chvrches