Night Lights is an alternative pop/rock band from Los Angeles.
With members originally from Mexico, Japan and Norway, the three members created the colorful pop/rock sound of Night Lights in 2015. Mauricio Jimenez, Yusuke Sato, Dag Hanken introduced their first single “Childish” in 2017.
They are now delivering a new single entitled “Talk To Me” produced by Brian Philipps (Walk the Moon, COIN), released on September 28th.
“This song was written and demo’d by the three of us. We had a session scheduled one day with someone who ended up cancelling last minute. We figured we might as well write something, so we challenged ourselves to write a song in an hour. This song came out in that hour. Then, when the song was done and demo ready, we took it to Brian Phillips who took it to the next level. The one that’s in your ears today,” says the band.
“Talk To Me” is now available worldwide.
Introduce the band.
Hey! We are Night Lights. Mau is the singer and songwriter/topliner for the band. Yusuke is the guitarist and does arranging & producing. Dag plays the drums and does sound design and production for the band as well.
What’s the band’s story?
We are all from 3 different countries. Mau is from Mexico, Yusuke is from Japan and Dag is from Norway. We all met at Berklee College of Music in Boston during our first week of classes. We didn’t decide to start the band till 2 years into school, but we all started as friends. Dag and Mau started jamming the first month of school with the pretense of starting a band. During our last year of college, we all decided to move to LA together after graduation to pursue the band. The first year in LA was tough, as we all had to work to earn visas to be able to stay here. Now that we all have gotten our visas, we’re rockin’ and rollin’ and sooo ready for everyone to hear what we’ve been working on!
How long have you been making music together?
We started jamming together as friends in college in 2012. In 2015, we started to feel that what we had was special, and started to take the band more seriously, you could say!
How would you define Night Lights, the band?
An alternative pop/rock band that loves people and wants to understand feelings better to help people process their emotions through our music.
“Childish” was your first single. What were your expectations for this first release?
We just wanted the song to connect with people. We expected for whoever heard it to think it was cool and different and make them want to dance, but we didn’t expect the reception we got. I mean, we thought the song was good and people would see that too, however, it’s hard to visualize hundreds of thousands of plays on a song when you’re an indie band.
What can you tell us about your new single “Talk To Me”? What’s the story behind it?
“Talk To Me” was a fun song to write. We were thinking about topics for this song and Mau thought back to all his elementary school friends that day for some reason, and we got to talking and reminiscing about our pasts…about our first crushes. The innocence and purity of them and how we wondered what they were up to now. If that spark would still be around. That’s what the song is about. The fantasy of you meeting your first crush again and it being as perfect as you imagined it.
What made you want to release “Talk To Me” as your second single?
“Childish” was one of our favorite songs from college, but after moving to LA, we realized we weren’t the same people or musicians that we were in college. We took time to rediscover our sound and image and write a lot before releasing the next thing. “Talk To Me” felt right. It’s a good balance from where we came to where we want to go.
You are from Mexico, Japan and Norway, how do your different backgrounds influence your creativity?
I think culturally, there are different ways of thinking. Norway has a very calm and collected culture. They think before they speak and don’t make brash decisions as a country. They listen. Japanese culture is wise and hard working. Mexicans are emotional in their feelings. Loud and proud and lively. Musically, we all grew up with similar styles of music. We all listened to Foo Fighters, Blink 182, Radiohead and so on. I think our cultures affect our creativity moreso in how the culture raised us. We are very much the descriptions of our cultures I described.
What made you want to move to LA?
LA is the hub of music in the world. It’s where music happens. It was just the right step for us as immigrants after college. We get to be close to the action and the industry.
Moving to America must have been a big step for each one of you. What were the biggest challenges?
The hardest part has been working and making money while pursuing the dream. Visas are a tricky thing. The visas we have are called O1 visas, and they allow artists with extraordinary and unique abilities to perform here in the USA. However, they limit your work to that of your permission. We are musicians, so we can only work in music.
How did Los Angeles change your lives, individually?
It’s pushed us into adulthood. Put some hair on our chest, hahaha. For real though, it’s made us really take our music seriously. It’s no longer a hobby. It’s still fun, of course, but it’s something we take seriously. We realize it’s bigger than us now and there’s a responsibility to that. The location is also amazing. Who can complain about great weather all year around and having access to the beach and mountains and snow and nature? We love it.
What advices would you give to anyone who’d like to pursue their dreams?
A dream is great, but the dream can’t happen without putting its feet on the ground. Once you have a clear vision, be responsible and take the steps to make it happen. Study up, work hard and make sure the dream doesn’t just happen while you’re sleeping or day dreaming.
What do you think of the music scene in Los Angeles?
It’s like its people, so varied and all over the place. There are so many people on so many different stages of their musical career. It’s great and inspiring and competitive.
Why do you make music? What keeps you motivated?
It’s like medicine. It makes life make sense to us, or at least helps us make sense of it. If we are sad it helps us process that, angry, the same, happy well happy is easy, but it just helps keep our minds in check and hopefully that connects with others so we can help others process their feelings. Growing up, we found poets and prophets in the music, helping us deal with our stages in life. We think we can do that for others too.
As a band, what’s the best thing that ever happened to you this year?
Our song was premiered on Billboard, which is pretty cool. It’s the first, we hope, of many. We also got to go on our first national tour with our friend Mako. Also the first of many, we hope.
Any upcoming project?
We are working on more music to release to everyone and a music video that will come out later this month. Lots and lots of music.
In your opinion, what would make the world a better place?
Empathy. If the world could empathize more, opposition would just be a matter of opinion as opposed to a fight we’d have to win. We could accept other opinions with empathy and have a clear enough mind to make better decisions.
What’s your purpose?
To make the world a better place. We are cursed [jk] with being musicians so we will give it our all to make the world a better place with our music.
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