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HomeFashion NewsKTJ & Carly Break Down Self-Identity In Second EP, "Ego Death"

KTJ & Carly Break Down Self-Identity In Second EP, “Ego Death”

Few artists are lucky enough to work with their twin sister. It’s an opportunity KTJ & CARLY don’t take for granted. “It’s so much fun! We can be 100% real with each other, and we’re like snowflakes from the same snowball. Same thing, but different. It can also be hard. Growing up, we always had our little sister arguments, but we’re here to do the damn thing and we don’t let that get in the way of our vision/mission,” explains KT. Carly adds: “Just like she said. We trust each other more than anyone and that’s about all what you can expect from a band mate/partner. The bond we have is eternal and it makes us so much more special when we make music.” They enhance each other’s musical perspectives through a fusion of eclectic tastes.”Carly loves pop artists like Banks, PVRIS and PJ Harvey…and I like soul/punk/indie. I feel like we’re bringing those two worlds together, which is cool,” KT enthuses. Carly underlines the depth of their soul connection. “Like I said before, our bond is very special. I say this literally and figuratively, but we are like sisters. We are each other’s best friends and trust each other with our lives and so it is as co-workers and twins.”

The duo takes their collaboration to a new level with their second EP, ego dead† Carly describes it as a descent into the self. “Our new EP, ego dead, goes through all five layers of the ego. As we travel through the song, it covers all the layers that need to be shed to truly experience self-actualization. We talk about money, relationships, self-care, passion and perspective.” The title refers to the immense potential you can discover if they are willing to completely break free from their egos ego dead is the complete loss of subjective self-identity. When one loses the thing that builds their ego, they can be reborn in their highest selves. Every song on this EP represents those layers that build an ego. Hence the title of the song’, says Carly. According to KT, it also reflects the bubbling up of existential dismay. “I feel like this EP was just a diary entry from a transition period in our lives full of doubt and confusion. I felt a little pissed off when I realized that the world is powered by money and power, and those people in power thrive by keeping everyone else doubtful and confused. Everything is gated, because people want to feel important. The truth is, yes, we are all important, but we are little dots in the universe. The least we can do is acknowledge that and be just decent people. My older sister once said to me, we don’t have to figure everything out! As long as we’re decent people, it’s okay. The EP is an aural representation of that. Most of these songs are mid-tempo, but I feel like it has a sad girl vibe to it. I’m excited about what’s to come and that I can look back on this EP in the future and see it as a reminder not to let others put me or my loved ones down.”

Many of the songs contain hard life lessons, but one song in particular is the most meaningful to both sisters. KT uses it to remind herself to stay grounded. “’Unsubscribe’ is the most important to me. I think it’s so important to disconnect from social media and the like. Anyone who lives a perfect life is such a lie. Just because someone posts a nice picture doesn’t mean you should follow their influence. It is important to trust your own intuition. Furthermore, I would say ‘Pink Ferrari’ or ‘Heartless’. For ‘Pink Ferrari’ this was the moment when I realized it’s okay to be sad or anxious in life, and all feelings are valid, and to know that you never know what someone is going through. It is important to be curious about people’s lives and not to judge. I feel that when people are open to mental health issues, there is more room for growth. Awareness is the key. We played a hitherto sound show once, and someone asked us if we’d made it big, what we were going to do with that success, and how we’d watch this song. I see it as a reminder of where I come from, and I will never allow myself to become the company in heartlessness, and never let anyone walk all over me like that.’

Carly expresses a similar skepticism about the glossy Instagram posts, noting how unavoidable the human toll of feeling the pressure to maintain such a picture perfect image. “I’d also opt for “Unsubscribe.” For me it’s about not being able to finish what you have to do mentally and physically. As Katie mentioned, social media is a big part of it. Nowadays everyone on social media seems to do everything and have their life together. It sometimes seems impossible to keep up. The online world expects you to be beautiful and successful, to have many friends, to have good fashion, to go out a lot, to have infinite quality content… even though it sounds too good to be true, it’s hard to realize that most of it isn’t. so is 100% authentic. So instead, it’s easy to overload yourself to keep up with the glamor of a “cool life.” But if you do, it’s going to hurt you physically and mentally…and all you can do is unsubscribe.”

The two are candid about where they are in each of their respective journeys of ego-death. “I feel like I’m in a place where I don’t doubt myself, instead I see potential in myself and find validation from myself. I ride with a growth mindset. It is so crucial in life; with friends, family, at work and my music career. I feel like the possibilities are endless, and no matter what happens, I survive and do what I love to do. In the end, that’s all that matters,” says KT. Meanwhile, Carly admits that the road may be a little longer for her. “Honestly, I’m far from it. I wish I could say the opposite, but I still have a lot of work to do. I definitely don’t care about what others think as much as I used to and I’ve found my place in the world, but the safety and the physical aspect of it still gets to me. My spiritual and individual desires all match, but sometimes my social desires (money, honor, control, knowledge, etc.) cloud my judgment. I think it’s incredibly hard not to care about that at all, but that’s also what we’re talking about in the EP. It’s not an easy task to get rid of your ego, but I can imagine it would be liberating.”

They are realistic about their ego as a natural part of life, but they are determined instead to let their art be guided by the inherent connectedness of universal emotion. “There are so many positives, but I feel like there’s also a part of having an ego that can be good for a particular person. That sounds awful to say, but it’s a catch 22. For example, in our song “Heartless,” the person we sing about became so driven by money and success that they made tons of money, which at first glance sounds really nice. .. but we learn that in the end it left them no one to love. Overcoming your ego means not caring about money or materialistic things. Not caring about having money or luxuries, but just love and a spiritual environment, not only sounds beautiful but also inspiring. Creative, I mean. I think it’s better to have a life that is inspiring in our career than to have money every day. I think a lot of artists, especially today, will try to just write a hit instead of writing from the heart. I think as long as your heart is in the right place and there’s no ego involved in making art, you’ll never get tired of it,” muses Carly. Like her EP, KT gets introspective: “There’s no such thing as letting go of your ego 100%. It will always be part of our biological frame, but there would be a lot of positives if everyone did. We live in such an individualistic society and it feels like no one knows what to do even though the answers are right in front of us. This is controversial, but the fact that reporters interviewed the children of the shooting this month asked them to describe and relive their trauma so we know what happened, rather than do something about it. Society is confronted with the paradox of choice, while the world is on fire. Letting go of our egos would take that away and even if no one else did, I believe it would make our careers so much better. When we create, we never do it from an ego-driven place, otherwise we would never be satisfied. We never create for others – we create from our hearts with the hope that others will feel and feel it in their hearts too.” As long as they continue to lead their art with their hearts, they can never misdirect themselves.

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KTJ & Carly Break Down Self-Identity In Second EP, “Ego Death.” Photo credit: Joseph Lee.

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