The love for creating music started early in Joshua Martinez and Denise Nunez and it hasn't stopped since. Based in Valencia, CA, the couple has come together to make the musical group Belenn, an alternative/electronic rock duo. With influences like Arcade Fire, Bon Iver, Radiohead, and Pink Floyd, they use their many talents to create songs from the start to finish. Together they write the lyrics and provide vocals, while Joshua produces and engineers the sound. Their main goal is to make music that complements the personal stories illustrated in its lyrics. Their work is truly captivating, so let's take a look at their debut single!
"Evanesce" is a beautifully crafted song with a dreamy sound. It's an incredibly fresh take on the classic breakup song. The feelings shown throughout are raw and are set perfectly in the electronic soundscape that Joshua has constructed. Denise's vocals are that of a wounded angel. She plays a broken girl, who is contemplating the condition of her crumbling relationship. We can sense the damage in her delicate voice. It may be odd to say, but it shows the beauty of heartbreak. The rough, stuttered transition into her counterpart's vocals emulates the disconnect between the two lovers. There are so many subtle touches within the song, it's a technicolored story worth experiencing.
Listen to "Evanesce" here and get to know more about Belenn in our interview below!
Hello Belenn! We are so happy to have you two! "Evanesce" is your debut single and it's about breaking up. How did you all choose this as the topic of the first song you released as Belenn?
Joshua: Thank you for having us! We appreciate you taking the time to set this up. Evanesce is an interesting song that I would describe is about a slow breakup. One that is still trying to stand, but in the end is better off letting go. The way we decided on this topic was we would just listen to the instrumental and figure what we felt from it. When making music I tend to just go based on however I’m feeling & then finding the words to what we feel best describes the music.
Denise: I would have to agree with Joshua, regarding the stance of the song. Evanesce is the result of a failing relationship gradually falling to its detriment. It is a breakup song, but it is also a farewell to an enduring chapter. As for the song topic, I use the same method as Joshua and we come to a consensus from there.
Did creating "Evanesce" bring you two closer together as a couple?
Joshua: I believe creating a song together has brought us closer to where we are more comfortable with sharing really personal thoughts and ideas that we can put into creating our music. Because the things we create come from deep within us and it’s kind of nerve-wracking when you’re about to share such an intimate part of yourself with someone. I’m really happy that we can share that with each other knowing that we won’t be shut down or judged by one another.
Denise: I feel the song creating process definitely strengthened our bond as a couple. It has really allowed us to be vulnerable with one another, in the sense that we were, in fact, sharing very intimate details. Of course, we’re always respectful towards one another and it’s simply a great feeling when you’re able to connect with your partner on a different level of intimacy.
How do you go about writing song lyrics together? Is it easier or harder than writing alone?
Joshua: We try to start off with what concept of the theme we are getting from how the music sounds like. We ask ourselves how does the music makes us feel and what we think about when we hear it. After that is decided, we usually go off our own and try to come up with lyrics to then share with each other. I usually come up with lyrics when I’m driving and listening to the instrumental on blast. But when we’re together, it’s nice to give an idea on a lyric and then the other person expanding on that idea making it better. I do find it easier to write alone though because I can really get lost inside my mind and just focus on the song.
Denise: I actually find myself working more efficiently on writing lyrics when Joshua is with me. When working with a partner there are moments when the two of you are just spitting out ideas and there’s agreeing and disagreeing, and there’s this fantastic moment when ideas are building off one another. I find that way of working more enjoyable for me rather than working alone.
Do you feel your shared heritage and religious backgrounds helped you two to find common ground in music?
Joshua: I think our upbringing in heritage and religious background has helped us to relate a lot and become as close as we are now, but our similar musical taste is what really has helped us find common ground in music I believe. It allows us to both be satisfied with what we create with little to no compromise.
Denise: Our similar music taste is what allows us to agree on what genre of music we wish to create. I feel if our music taste was drastically different it would’ve been a bit difficult to come to a consensus on what genre to focus on. Our heritage and religious past serve as a good conversation starter and it allows us to relate on various topics, but no, I wouldn’t say it helped us find common ground in music.
Thank you guys! What's next for Belenn? Are there any upcoming projects you can tell us about?
Joshua: We are currently working on a new song called Just Us that we hope to release sometime in November, along with a music video. We are really excited about this song which has an 80s Alternative Vibe to it. We also just released a clip called Lover on Soundcloud. This is not a song, but more of a moment we had together with no preconceived ideas or notions about what we were about to create. I believe that Lover sets a tone for our listeners to show them that we aren’t afraid to be vulnerable in our music. Especially after following up Evanesce, which was a song that had a lot of thought and works put into it. But we hope to just keep releasing more stuff that people can enjoy and hopefully connect to in a personal way. And hopefully you can also enjoy our upcoming projects as well. Thank you again for having us!
Denise: Yes, thank you so much for taking the time to interview us. We hope we can do this again soon.