If you haven’t heard of the duo Amistat, it’s about time you do.
“We created our own genre and call it “amenic”. Seeing with your ears!”
After five years of busking in the streets of Australia, twins Josef and Jan are now touring Australia and Europe with their new EP “Nostalgia.”
“Amistat started out as a duo. We started busking on the streets of Melbourne and worked our way up from there. We had a few different band members over the past 4-5 years and have been a trio for about 2 years. Now its back to performing as a duo mainly, sometimes a third member joins us for some additional percussion/piano/bass.”
Since Josef arrived in Australia in 2012 and Jan, a year later, Amistat has been melting their way into the hearts of Australians with performances in Melbourne occurring frequently, especially at Victoria Market and The Night Market, a popular site for buskers. Their debut album ‘Parley’ was released in 2016, with two EP’s, ‘It’s Not Words’ and ‘Somewhere Sometime’, created through their experiences travelling on the road. After the release of their latest single ‘The Coward’ in late 2017, they revealed their third and newest EP ‘Nostalgia.’ All of which are available on Spotify, Triple J Unearthed and Sound Cloud.
“We grew up listening to Cat Stevens, The Bee Gees and The Beatles. Those artists had an impact on us early and are the reason we love acoustic, authentic music. Over the last six years the biggest influences have been Damien Rice, Ben Howard and recently Dermot Kennedy from Ireland.”
Their music is surreal in its essence and intimate in its harmonies. A beautiful melancholy of notes that demand to be heard, not by force, but by the awe they create.
When Dscribe asked them how they found their “unique” sound they responded, “We were always lucky in that sense I guess. When we write and perform music we always focus on being as authentic and real as we can. In doing that you start to develop a unique style and sound. It’s the most important to find something that has not been done before and stand out of the crowd.”
You’re probably wondering about their name. Why are they named Amistat? Is it even a real word? Well it might be more familiar to you than you initially thought.
“There is a song by the Fray called “You found me”. The lyrics say something about “the corner of first and Amistat. That’s where we initially got the idea for our band name from. We then googled the meaning of it and it means friendship in Catalan as well as “ Am I present.”
Every band, solo artist and duo has a favorite song, although they may find it hard to choose between their musical creations, there will always be a song that sticks the hardest, holds the tightest and means the most.
“Our most favourite song to perform is “Age of Thrones”. We wrote it when we first got to Melbourne and we have a special connection to that song. It always takes us back to the start and keeps reminding us to be grateful and to always remember where we came from.”
But alas, the musical duo will not be staying in Australia much longer. They will be heading back to Europe where they will continue to create soul-soaring stories through their music.
“The most important goal for us is to keep living off music full-time! We want to keep devoting all our time and energy to our music and grow as people and musicians. We are looking at new challenges and to grow through those challenges”
As for anyone out there who is an aspiring musician and needs some advice, Amistat has a few wise words.
“Play as much as you can! Don’t worry too much about if you are good enough and what other people think of you and your music. Just do it! Put yourself out there as much as you can, the most important ingredient is BELIEVE!”