We had the good fortune of connecting with Caitlin & Melinda Dahl and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Caitlin & Melinda, have you ever found yourself in a spot where you had to decide whether to give up or keep going? How did you make the choice?
I guess the answer to this question depends on what exactly it is that we are choosing to “keep going” for.  Is it simply fame, wealth, or the validation of others? (And if so – does our work become irrelevant if we never achieve those things?)  Over time, we have enjoyed varying degrees of success in acting, directing, composing, performing music, and placing songs in movies and television shows like “Dumb and Dumber To” and “Virgin River”.  But while some artists work their craft in the hopes of making money, the truth is that we have spent most of our lives making money to support our craft. For years we ran our own company, “Dahlhouse Productions”, providing commercial content for companies such as Bosley, Guess, Sexy Hair and many more. And after paying the rent, almost every dollar we earned went back into our craft, recording our own albums such as “Midnight Picnic”, writing and directing short films, and shooting videos for our band, The Dahls. And while of course we would welcome that fame, wealth and the validation of others, the fact is that our work in the music and the arts is our passion. It brings us joy, fulfillment, and has always been a huge part of what defines us and always has. Making art is what feeds our minds and our souls. It is our therapy, our outlet and is the narrative of our lives. So, with that in mind, the answer of course is that we will never “give up”. Giving up is not an option – because how do you give up on what you ARE?  

Please tell us more about your art.
Like many artists, much of our work is in response to our life experiences – our joy, our pain, our upbringing, our losses and our triumphs. As humans, we take in the events of our life, absorb all of what we are feeling, and then put it into our work – be it through music, film or photography. But no matter the medium, all of it is in response to our experiences in a way that we hope is truthful, and therefore, relatable to others.

We’d love to hear what sets you apart from others, what you are most proud of or excited about.
We think that sometimes what sets us apart from others is the fact that that there are two of us. Obviously, we are both separate entities who are very different in many ways. But as twins, we share a unique and absolute connection that cannot be denied. And for most of our lives we have always enjoyed a special bond that has on some level made us feel as though we are in fact one entity – almost like one soul or spirit living in two bodies. We both know, and are always aware of when that spirit is expressing itself – and more times than not, that is when our best work happens. In our lifetime, we have known many siblings – twins even – who do not get along, so to maintain such a level of love and trust, and to see it reflected and expressed through our shared work is probably one of the things we are most proud of and excited about. What could be better than going to work every day with your best friend?

How did you get to where you are today professionally. Was it easy? If not, how did you overcome the challenges?
We think one of the things that has kept us on a path to where we our now is our perseverance, as well as the fact that we have each other. When you jump into the “deep end of the pool” in a place such as Los Angeles, the level of competition can be intimidating, and the level of rejection can be frustrating and discouraging.  But in spite of all obstacles, we have always found the strength to keep on going with as much spirit as possible.  After all, “You never really fail until you stop trying”!

What are the lessons you’ve learned along the way. What do you want the world to know about you or your brand and story?
We have learned many painful lessons about the music business – (and about some of the people who are involved in it!) – and more than a few times we’ve been let down and disappointed. But through all ups and downs, the one thing we have learned for sure is that the most important thing to us – aside from each other – is the work. So, in the wake of a set-back, or after the high of a triumph, our focus and our spirit is always turned back into our music and our art. And as we said, it is there that we find our fulfillment – regardless of the outcome. A few years back, we did a tour of clubs that included a stop in Nashville. We were both so excited to be playing in “The Music City”, and to share our songs with an audience who were most certainly accustomed to hearing truly great music. So, we were both a bit startled when we took the stage that night and – no exaggeration – we looked out to see a total of two people in the club! (Well, three, if you count the bartender, which of course we did!). It was humbling and sobering, but we had to admit, it was also kind of funny. And we realized that we were there, and we were getting paid, so the show had to go on. So, we played our entire set, pretty much smiling and laughing through every song at how crazy this was. And we think, that somehow if you could ever find that wonderful couple and that very kindly bartender who were there with us that night, we are certain that all five of us would concur on one thing…we were awesome! At the end of the tour about a week later, we played to a packed house at The Horseshoe in our hometown of Toronto. Same show – very different vibe, obviously – but a night to remember just as much as our near-private performance in Nashville.  And all of it a part of this wonderful ride that we continue to take, with gratitude, determination, and with true faith still that the best is yet to come.

If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
We live in Los Angeles and we always take our guests from all over the world to our favorite restaurant and bar, La Poubelle Bistro.  It is an iconic restaurant and you never know who you’ll run into or what kind of interesting and worldly people you’ll meet.  A walk around the Hollywood Reservoir is a must with its breathtaking views of the hills, the Hollywood sign and very active wildlife – including bobcats and deer!  A trip to the ocean is also on our list. One of our favorite beaches is El Matador beach in Malibu.   
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
If there is anything that we have learned working in the entertainment industry in the past twenty years, it is that it takes a village of supportive individuals to make magic happen. Working as a musician, actor or director is not a solo effort. The more people you involve that are professionals in their craft, the better and stronger your project will be. We have a lot of people that have been hugely instrumental in our lives that have helped us get to where we are. We would like to give them a shoutout and dedicate this article to them. Joshua Russel, Jeff Vespa, Dev Rice, Tom Markely, Lauren Gibson, Bruce McDonald, Sherman Halsey, Danny Smith, Peter Farrelly, Michael Gurley, Ryan Carman, Omar Velasco, Emily and Jordan Bromley, Jonathan Christiansen, Stephanie Goranson, Dylan Smith, Kirstie Mattheis, Shalon Goss, India Dupre, Sabrina Bates-Whited, Scott and Kaili Stanton and Alex Breckenridge.

Website: www.caitlindahl.com, www.melindadahl.com
Instagram: @caitlinthedahl, @melindadahlofficial
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TheDahlSisters, https://www.facebook.com/grownupsshortfilm, https://www.facebook.com/thegettogethershortfilm, https://www.facebook.com/The-Curlytops
Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/user/thedahlsmusic

Image Credits
Shalon Goss, Clifford Novey

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