Seattle duo channel the night into an evocative electronic sound.
From underneath the overcast skies of the Pacific Northwest, Seattle duo NAVVI make slinky electronic music that sounds ideal for the shadows and darkness of the night. Made up of vocalist Kristin Henry and producer Brad Henry, the two have united to create a covey of singles as well as full length album Omni, which they released in 2016.
We spoke with both members about the video game origins of their name, their history, songwriting process and upcoming music.
Hometown/Homebase: Seattle, WA
What inspired your band name? How did you pick it?
Kristin Henry: It was effortless and not something we spent a lot of time on. From what I remember, it happened via text one night when we were just bouncing ideas back and forth. I threw NAVVI out there because I’m a huge Legend of Zelda fan and Navi is, to this date, my favorite fairy companion. I don’t think Brad knew at the time that it was a Zelda reference, but it was compelling enough so we rolled with it.
How did you meet initially? What sparked your collaboration?
Brad Boettger: We met through a mutual friend. We both had aspirations to be in a band that was doing this kind of music. It was something neither of us had done but that we both had a common interest in.
Kristin: We met back in 2013 through a mutual friend. My old band had just fallen apart, so I was actively looking for new artists to collaborate with. The band I had just left leaned more country/folk-rock, so I had every intention of starting over and moving in the opposite direction. A friend told me about a producer I had to meet and that’s how I got connected with Brad.
How would you describe your sound?
Brad: We always shoot for something that feels cinematic to some degree.
Kristin: I typically agree when people describe us as “nocturnal” and “ethereal.”
What's your songwriting process like? How long does it take for a track to come together?
Brad: Sometimes it can take a couple of days to see a song through from beginning to end, and other times it can take a month. It varies. But it's a very collaborative process.
Kristin: Yeah, it really depends. I think "Polychrome" took us less than a week to write and record, while "What Reason Do We Need?" took over a month. We don’t have a process that we adhere to strictly, and we like it that way. It’s collaborative – we're with each other every step of the way. I don’t know my way around Ableton, but I make important decisions alongside Brad on things related to production. Brad is not the vocalist in the group, but he is as much part of the melody and lyric writing as I am. We don’t assign “roles” during the song-writing process. There are no clean lines, and this has worked to our advantage.