Good Vibes: Catching up with Raquel Peralta of Stereo Kela

We had such a great time earlier in the year shooting with Raquel Peralta of Stereo Kela for the S/S half of Collection #8. It’s been a while so we decided to catch up and see how the Bristol-based duo are getting on…

So tell us about your latest release…

“Beats in the Heart” is a track that Josh started when I was in New York visiting family. Obsessed with writing a Micheal Jackson cap-tip kind of beat, he started on a groove and a baseline inspired by Billie Jean.
When I was away I was reading a lot of books on channeling and I was trying out combining meditation and singing, as many vocalists have done throughout the ages. I discovered that this practice allowed me to really open up. Strangely, at the same time Josh was writing that beat, I was watching interviews of Micheal Jackson discussing how he doesn’t write his music. MJ explained that the music writes itself, through him, alluding to some kind of “channeling”. I found this super interesting. Upon my return I wasn’t at all surprised we had been on the same tip, both getting into the Micheal Jackson kind of vibe at the same time, thousands of miles apart—-since we’ve known each other we’ve been pretty telepathically connected. So “Beats in the Heart” is about the kind of freedom you get when you are that open. A perfect example is when a bunch of people are dancing together at a club. Since very little thought is involved in these moments of openness, we thought it would be good vibes to write a track about that experience, as the world seems dominated by our logical minds. Hence, “Beats in the Heart” was born.

How do those concepts play into your general approach to writing music as a duo?

Josh and I have a very symbiotic partnership. We develop our music in a fluid way with no structure or plan. Sometimes Josh will write a full backing score and I will just sing on it. Sometimes I’ll write a song on the piano, structure an arrangement and fill it with synth, and Josh will develop those ideas to a professional level. Lately we’ve written a lot of songs through Josh picking up a guitar and me just singing and a song just magically appears. It can be tough though to be objective about your own art and we struggle with that a lot. But we’re both so proud that everything we do is composed, recorded, mixed and mastered by us.

What’s it like to be part of the creative scene in Bristol?

Ha! I don’t know if we’re part of any scene! We’re always joking that we’re hermits because we tend to literally spend all of our time in the studio—but we are so happy that Bristol has embraced us and for the first time we feel understood and feel safe to come out with our very eclectic kind of music. We’ve had some great shows as of late, and we’ve made some wonderful friends here so we appreciate every moment.

A bit of a vain one from us – what’s your fave piece from the collection you modeled and why?

My fave piece has to be the amazing turquoise and black print leggings that I actually now own! That whole collection of leggings are absolutely fantastic and they fit like a glove. I feel like I can literally do anything in these leggings—from coffee, to a show, to camping… so comfy you forget you have clothes on [we hope that’s a good thing!], but durable enough that if I end up tripping and falling on my face, they don’t tear. Sweet.

Tell us about your plans for the year to come!

Our plans for the year to come… well…we see some awesome club gigs in the future. We hope to add projected visuals to our set, and we hope to write many many more uplifting tracks to get people feeling free and liberated. We hope to play more festivals next summer, and get on some great bills, who knows. Whatever the universe gives us!

Catch Stereo Kela at the Balloon Fiesta on August 8th at 4:30pm on the Bandstand Stage


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