Tell us a little bit about yourselves.
My name is Diana Cybulska I grew up in Massachusetts but didn’t actually move to the U.S. until I was 7. I was born in Germany and lived in Poland before moving to America. My friends give me crap because they say I’m way too into true crime stories to the point where a criminology background is on my list of qualities for my dream guy (hahaha) and I can’t do without coffee.
I’m Jean-Marc Tardieu, I was born and raised in Trinidad & Tobago in the Caribbean. I moved to Boston in 2010 to go to Berklee college of music. I am a Board Certified Music Therapist and work in Mental Health and Substance Abuse. I have an unhealthy obsession with television shows but make no apologies for it and food is life.
How did your time at Berklee College of Music prepare you for your careers?
JM – Berklee was a great training ground and the knowledge and musicianship that the education provides is invaluable of course but more so for me, you’re surrounded by talent everywhere and everyone is driven, it’s intoxicating and kind of intimidating but the pace of it all looking back now, was a true gift. The late nights and deadlines and juggling multiple projects and rehearsals and social events and recording sessions all while trying to learn instruments and make connections and have fun and stay sane was the best preparation for LA and this industry.
Di – I definitely became a more polished songwriter coming out of there. However, it also taught me that we all have different opinions and in the end it is your art and you should always trust your gut on how to create. I think it’s important to listen to criticism in order to grow, but it’s important to not let other people’s opinions make you doubt yourself to the point of paralysis
What prompted you to start writing your own music after writing songs for other artists?
Di- Working with other artists, we always found that there were thoughts that kept lingering and weighing on us, things left over that we needed to say differently and we had to learn to listen to that creative voice that wouldn’t leave us alone. We spend so much time sorting through people’s truth and crafting stories and when you get to help someone else articulate how they feel about a situation or person, it clarifies what’s true for you too. It’s also been fun doing this project because we get to explore sounds and content that speaks to us and it was important to us to get these songs out because of the conversations that they could spark.
How did you come together to form Me an Di?
JM- We met years ago in a music therapy class at Berklee. We both eventually moved to LA, and slowly began writing together and found ourselves constantly venting and talking about life. We realized how much our conversations forced us out of our comfort zones and helped us grow. We decided that if the two of us could learn to have heated discussions about life with our very different backgrounds and could use that to make us better more compassionate people then maybe we should share it wherever we go and spark conversations among our friends, in our families and share the songs with audiences so we all realize we are going through pain and none of us really have it all together.
What can you tell us about your debut single, “All At Once”?
JM – Well firstly we didn’t intend for it to be for us, we just sat with our friend Tanja Utunen, who’s also a songwriter, and we started messing with bubbly and an idea Di had and it all just flowed from there, but it became the jumping off point for Me an Di. It’s about the moment that it dawns on you that you are totally vulnerable and there isn’t anything you can do about it, except dive in head first and accept that you’ve lost control and fallen for someone. You know when those moments you’re sharing with a person start to mean more than you thought they would?
Do you have other songs on the way?
Di- We have many in the works. I think we have a compulsive need to keep writing all the time so there are always songs floating around. We are trying to get them all finished the way we want and plan the releases etc. but definitely a lot more on the way. Maybe even before the end of the summer 🙂
What’s next for your careers?
Jm – Who knows to be honest. We always have plans and then life steps in. We are definitely always gonna keep writing cuz like di said we have a compulsion for it because it’s how we communicate with the world. Beyond that, hopefully, we can get on tour and start seeing the world while we make music cuz that’s the dream. For now, though, we will stay on the grind and keep putting out music and we shall see where it all takes us but we are trying to learn to enjoy the entire journey.
How would you describe your musical style?
Di – Somewhere in between Pop, Edm (Future Bass) and singer/songwriter stuff I guess, with some tropical elements in there cuz JM just can’t help it. (Haha)
What advice would you have for aspiring singers/songwriters?
JM – the best songwriting advice I was ever by a mentor and professor at Berklee was “you have to decide how fearless you want to be” and it’s so true. Being honest is scary sometimes and being willing to face your emotions and demons head on makes the songs authentic in a way that tends to connect with others better and isn’t that the purpose of music to connect us?
What are your lives like outside of music?
JM – Non stop working (haha) we both are trying to provide for ourselves so we are on the millennial grind of working multiple jobs while simultaneously trying to build the dream into reality and pay bills and try to stay sane and manage to just live enough to have life experiences to draw from to write about them. It’s an interesting and character building vortex for sure.
Let the readers know where to find you online.
IG/FB/Twitter – @meandimusic