We had the good fortune of connecting with Grayson Ellis, Rae Cunningham N/A and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Grayson, Rae, why did you pursue a creative career?
Growing up queer, trying to find representation in the art forms we loved often felt like an endless and impossible search. Not feeling represented in mainstream media made it much harder to come to terms with ourselves, or feel understood at all. We live in a society where a huge part of our identity is seen as not normal. While we are seeing a rise queerness in music, TV, film, etc, we want to be the rockstars that we needed while growing up. The power comes not from “gay songs”, but from artists who are unafraid to be themselves.
People are craving artists that provide them with music that not only makes it okay to be an outcast, but to help them celebrate that nothing about any of us is “wrong”.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
For a songwriting assignment in college, we got paired together for a collaborative assignment. We met to work on the project and ended up having a long discussion about sexuality and gender first—particularly about how we share so many experiences in only 20 years of life that stem primarily from the music industry’s lack of honest queer representation. We’ve both faced the consequences of growing up queer in our society, and now we want to be the most ostentatious and unapologetic versions of ourselves in TWINFLAME to make a joke out of the sexuality and gender constructs we’ve freed ourselves from. In addition, writing together has really felt like a therapeutic outlet for our experiences fighting to be recognized by many peers, friends, and family members. Starting this project has given us the chance to reclaim our past feelings of being an outsider, which also has allowed us to channel our reclaimed energy into becoming the confident lesbian rockstars that we dreamed of being at a young age. (Think of us as a 5 Seconds of Summer for existential lesbians). We are most excited for our debut single, “Lunatic”, to drop this summer, because the queer generation is freer than ever to dance and make-out to songs about queer love on the hot summer streets. We’ll certainly be doing those things, and we know you’ll want to as well when you hear “Lunatic”.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
Rose Bowl Flea Market – It’s on the second Sunday of every month. They have everything from amazing food to vintage t-shirts and furniture. It’s huge and if you get there early, you will definitely find some great things.
Hamburger Mary’s – It’s a drag queen bar with great food as well. We have seen some of our favorite drag queens there and it’s a great, queer inclusive spot.
We would also take somebody to a show at the Hollywood Bowl for sure!
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
Grayson and Rae would love to shoutout Marley Sall. Marley is a 20 year old interdisciplinary artist who has helped us in every step of getting ready for our debut single and music video. Originally, we asked Marley to play the femme fatale role in our debut music video for our single “Lunatic”, but she ended being a key contributer and supporter in TWINFLAME’s creative vision as a whole. Marley was one of the first figures in a professional setting to make our objective feel understood and match our level of passion and commitment for this project.