Me an Di

Me an Di

Los Angeles-based duo Me an Di unveiled their debut single “All At Once” on May 30th.

Co-written by Me an Di & Tanja Utunen, and produced by Jay Phoenix, the electro-pop single introduces the band as strong songwriters and vocalists.

“The song is about realizing that the moments you’re sharing with a person mean more than you thought they would,” says the band.

Formed by Diana Cybulska and Jean-Marc Tardieu, the duo started working together after graduating from the Berklee College of Music.

As songwriters, the promising duo wrote songs for Los Angeles-based bands and artists, including Walla's "Talking Dirty" as well as American Idol contestant Isabelle's single, "Unlabeled".

“All At Once” is now available worldwide.

Photo credit:  Max Baker

Photo credit: Max Baker

Introduce yourselves - where are you from? 

My name is Diana Cybulska. I always say that I’m from Massachusetts because I spent most of my childhood there but I actually didn’t move to the U.S. until I was 7. I was born in Germany and lived in Poland before moving to America. My dad was Polish and my Mom is from Massachusetts. 

I’m Jean-Marc Tardieu, I was born and raised in Trinidad & Tobago in the Caribbean. I moved to Boston in January of 2010 to go to school at The Berklee College of Music. 

What's the band's story? 

JM - So we actually met and became friends in a music therapy class at Berklee in Boston years ago and only wrote together once cuz I came home early and helped Di and my roommate finish a song. We graduated in the same class and then I moved to California in 2014.

Di - I moved a few years later and we started writing together and found ourselves in sessions with artists frequently venting and talking about life. We realized how much we each had to say and how much our conversations forced us out of our comfort zones and helped us open up to new perspectives. 

JM - We decided that if the two of us could learn to have passionate debates that ended in growth and inspired us to be more creative, that we should share it wherever we go and spark conversations among our friends and in our families.

Di - We want to share these songs with audiences so we all realize we are going through the same things. Different circumstances but we all feel pain and sometimes joy in spite of it, so here we are :) 

How would you define Me an Di, the band? What made you want to name the band Me an Di? 

Di - Genre wise this project is going to be electro-pop with future bass influence and some other flavors as we go along. But name wise Jm actually came up with the name, he’s clever like that (laughs). A lot of people call me Di and we’ve been writing so much together the last couple of years, once we decided that this duo was what we wanted, the name felt fitting. 

JM - It’s sort of how I say it in when I talk normally and by that I mean in my Trinidadian accent I don’t pronounce the d in the ‘and’. Also to be very honest we had it spelt another way and the internet stepped in and decided it would only accept it that way (laughs). So we thought it played out how it should because it all fits. 

What did your time at The Berklee College of Music teach you? 

JM - It gave me a lot, knowledge-wise for sure but experience-wise it was also invaluable. The people that it brought into my life, well they are the ones that really helped shape who I am as a person and as a writer and artist and musician. Beyond the knowledge and musicality it’s the relationships that I think has forced me to be a better version of myself and made me love collaboration. 

Di - Many things. I studied songwriting and I definitely became a more polished writer coming out of there. But it also taught me that everybody is going to have a different opinion 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. 

"All At Once" is your debut single. How does it feel to release your first single together? 

JM - Awesome and like it’s about damn time cuz we’ve been talking about doing it for a minute (laughs) and it’s exciting because we also know what is to come and it’s all going to be a wild and fun journey. It’s all music that we love singing and it just genuinely brings us joy. 

Di - I’m super pumped because this is the first of many songs from a project that we’ve been working on for a long time. I’m ready and I’ve been ready. JM knows, I’m a bit impatient and I’ve been going crazy waiting to finally share who we are with the world.

When did you start working on this particular song? How did it come about? 

Di - We wrote this song in late 2017. I came up with some of the chorus while messing around on the piano and brought it to JM and our friend, songwriter Tanja Utunen. We planned to meet on a Sunday for brunch and champagne and didn’t specifically plan to write. The pouring continued, and we started talking and venting as we do, and the song continued to grow. I actually recently found the voice notes from the day that we finished it and it was very entertaining to listen to. 

JM - Like tmz call me level funny haha it was highly entertaining to relive that moment. 

What did you feel when writing this song? 

Di - The song definitely pulled me back to an emotion I hadn’t felt in a while. The song is about realizing that the moments you’re sharing with a person mean more than you thought they would. It’s about the second that it dawns on you that you are vulnerable and there isn’t anything you can do about it, except dive head first and accept that you’ve lost control. 

What made you want to release "All At Once" as your debut single? 

JM - I think it was just how it all came together because we didn’t intend for it to be for us initially, but it became the jumping off point for Me an Di and it became our cornerstone in a way, so it was fitting to release it first. Also in terms of story and looking at the songs coming next, “All At Once” is kind of the first scene of the movie, the first stage in a relationship and the rest of the songs kind of go through the cycles and progression of journeying with someone so it’s the start of it all in many ways.

What do you like the most about this song? 

JM - For me the more I listen to it the more I love the whole journey of the song and the way it builds almost like what a flashback would sound like. I love the prosody between the words and the production. 

Di - I like the vulnerability in this song and I think it will speak to people. Everybody is a bit afraid to be the first one to say that they are falling for another person.

What can you tell us about the artwork? 

JM - When we came up with the idea for the look of the first batch of content we wanted to release with the songs, we knew we wanted the artwork to be based around pictures and so we needed a great photographer and Max Baker was recommended by another artist friend of ours and she helped bring the vision to life along with her sister Samantha Baker who did the lighting for the shoot. For both Diana and I, photoshoots are awkward and Max coaches us through it and for the first time there was confidence where there used to be insecurity behind the camera. When we saw the pics we immediately knew which ones we wanted for the single artwork and Diana stumbled upon Nick Casele’s work on Instagram. When we reached out, he just got what we were trying to capture with the feeling of being blindsided and dazed by the emotions of falling for someone new. 

What is your goal for this debut single? 

Di - To start the ball rolling I guess. We artists always want to hold onto things til’ they are perfect but time doesn’t wait for us so there is a skill in just learning to let go and letting the process happen.

JM -  We also just wanted to start showing people what we’ve been up to and where we are at sonically. It’s like we are all mad scientists tinkering in our labs and when ppl ask we’re always working on something so it’s refreshing to have something tangible to show for it. Also it makes our moms happy (laughs).

In your opinion, what would make the world a better place? 

JM - If we all stopped listening only to respond and stopped needing the validation from being right, the world would be a lot better. If we just listened to one another, we’d be able to understand and learn new perspectives. Also, we could use more music that helps people out of their darkness, as opposed to music that just allows them to drown in it and dwell on it.

What biggest life lessons have you learned so far? 

Jm - (laughs) How much time do we have? Uhm if I had to pick one  I guess I’d say that nothing in this life worth having will be easy. The really good things are the things you have to work a little hard at to achieve cuz they tend to mean the most so don’t run from doing the work and putting in the time on yourself. 

Di - A big lesson that I’ve learned and am still reminding myself of every day is to trust myself. I’ve always been a good listener, which can be good,  but I think it can be my downfall. One of the things that has made me the most excited about starting this duo, is that JM and I have conversations about real and heavy things; our pasts, our fears, our downfalls. And in having these discussions, I’ve realized that I ask too many people their opinions before I really listen to myself and decide what I want first. 

JM - Hallelujah! She has risen (laughs)

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