By Rachel Jones | Photograph from Emily Oleary
Everyone from Kings of Leon to Jackson 5 proves that siblings or family members make great music groups, as their voices naturally harmonize together. But for brothers Rederic and Rome Alexander, it’s their talents that fuse together beautifully.
The Pittsburgh natives started exploring their interests in music separately, with Rederic focusing on music production and DJing, and Rome writing lyrics and composing music. “It wasn’t until 2016 that the idea came about to combine our skills and team up,” Rederic says. “The first track we made together was an old instrumental track that I sent to Rome to work with. After hearing the lyrics and melodies he wrote over top of the track, it was clear to see there was so much potential between the two of us.”
As they’ve continued to work on their sound and take their music to a higher level, they’re doing so as “The Keymakers.” Since neither Rederic nor Rome is classically trained in music or knows how to read music, they always joke that they make their own keys. But the movie buffs also credited the name to one of their favorite characters from “The Matrix” franchise. “[The Keymaker] had this ability to take people to different places through the same door, depending on what key he turned the lock with,” Rome explains. “That’s part of what we want to do with our music — taking people to different places with each song and each listen.”
Their first single, “Good for You,” takes us to an upbeat place with a smooth, catchy melody that gives both pop and R&B vibes. And it’s taken The Keymakers across the country and even up to Canada with AMAG, an artist collective created by Cash Money Records executive Anshu Sharma, allowing them to work with producers, songwriters, engineers, and legends in the music industry.
“What’s interesting about our sound is that it’s dynamic,” Rederic says. “What we love to do with our music is to combine organic emotions with electronic elements. We are lucky to both have a background in several instruments and different styles of music creation that gives us the ability to fuse feelings and genres that keep our music fresh and evolving.” Rome adds, “Even though I’m the singer of the duo, that’s definitely not my favorite part of it, and I’ve never seen myself as a ‘singer’ until recently. For me, the creative side is the best. Sitting down by myself or with Rederic, locking the world away, and just focusing on the notes, melodies, and words. It’s a great escape and can be really therapeutic for both of us.”
Influenced by everyone from John Mayer and Ne-Yo, to Odesza and Kygo, to their childhoods spent listening to Earth Wind & Fire and Stevie Wonder, Rome says most of their inspiration comes from being music fans. “[We] go to a lot of shows, so I think that every one of those experiences is a learning opportunity and can be hugely influential in it’s own right.” The ease in collaboration they have with each other also plays a major role in their music. “In a creative space, it’s so important to be on the same wavelength as your partner,” Rederic says. “But it’s, sometimes even more so, important to trust the vision of your partner enough to feel comfortable bouncing ideas off each other. That’s where some of our best concepts have come from.”
The duo returned home to perform at WPXI-TV’s Holiday Parade on November 25, and spend time with family, friends, and their dog, Alice. Now, they’re focused on promoting their second single, “Flipside,” and taking every opportunity for growth that comes their way. “From new music, to collaborations with other artists, to performances in the future, things are moving pretty fast,” Rederic says. “So, we’re just enjoying every second of it, while staying excited and hungry for what’s to come.”
The Keymakers, WeAreTheKeymakers.com.