Him, from Caminha, Viana do Castelo in Portugal and her, from West-Flanders, Belgium, now both living and raising a daughter while creating organic Pop-Folk masterpieces in Moledo, Viana do Castelo. With the Blue Rhymez Entertainment readers, the Non Talkers don’t need an introduction, but for anyone else who might be introduced to them for the first time, consider yourself lucky. Acts like this, that were born naturally, organically, and were an act of love before they became an act of music, are one in a million. No. Let’s turn it up to 10 million as that’d be a much more accurate representation.
Writing out the full names of the Non Talkers is a fun task as their names feel disproportionately royal: André Marco Brantner Carvalho and Evita Barbiaux Carvalho. The feeling of regality would be justified too for Evita consistently carries this cool air of mystery that pervades the room. Marco displays his knighthood via his somber attire and usually serious facial expressions with a touch of high-end fashion, aka the hat he often wears. And that’s just the visual aspect.
Acoustically, the married couple plumbs the depth of human emotions and their life cycle. When Evita sings So many stories you’ve told/ About places I’d still like to go/ A hundred memories I keep/ From moments I would love to repeat in the beginning of You Don’t Remember Anymore, the initial thought is okay, this is a folk ballad. But as the song progresses, it cuts deep and you’re feeling perplexed by the layers of substance added to the narrative: I was left behind by those I’ve trusted the most/ For mistakes made by a young and stubborn soul/ Many times, I am totally out of control/ But now I’m afraid you won’t be there anymore/ To soften my fall.
“There’s always so much going on on your plate. How did you two excel so much in the last 2 years when everyone else was very much stopped in their tracks?” we ask of the two for starters. “There is not a special recipe besides working very hard and focusing your time on what really matters. There’s always a lot you must give up on and difficult choices must be made to keep on track with what you really want. We have tried searching for different opportunities to keep in touch with our listeners and keep evolving our work,” shares Marco with us. We had to dig about this as the Non Talkers have progressed at a phenomenal rate while mainstream acts were filing for Chapter 11.
“We know your story but our readers don’t. How did you two meet each other and how did you start making music together?” The hat-wearer decides to take the lead: “This brings us back to 2011 when I was working as the lead singer/guitar player in a 60’s band in Rhodes, Greece. I used to perform at different resorts there and in one of them, there she was, Evita, working as an entertainer. I would bump into her once every two months. We had a few conversations over that period but that was it.” But didn’t these two get married? Yes, they did! As a matter of fact, Marco adds: “After each of us went home, me to Portugal and Evita to Belgium, we started chatting over Skype and something developed there more than a friendship. Evita came to visit me in Portugal, and we started dating. At the time I had just released my first (and only) solo album and one day I heard Evita singing along to one of the songs and I was totally struck by her voice. How could someone so tiny have such a powerful and rough voice? I really didn’t see that coming! I just thought it must be destiny because I found my life partner but also my music twin flame. From then on, we have been performing together.” Ah! Modern love with the happiest of endings <3 Also, Skype should pay you for first-rate advertising! 😀
“How does being connected on the deepest level possible in real life, married AND with a child, translate to the working dynamic between the two of you? How do you manage disagreements?” we wonder about the Non Talkers. This time, Evita is the one satisfying our curiosity: “I’m not going to lie, it can be very challenging, especially because we are so different from each other. A lot of times the image of Homer Simpson strangling Bart really crosses our minds 😀 On the other hand, those differences end up compensating some of our weak points and we complement each other in a way that really benefits our working dynamic.”
Approaching topics of the most profound significance, such as love for one’s family, daughter, grandparents, and even making peace with the past, has been a long-standing feature of the songs the Non Talkers have blessed the world with. So we inquired about the fact and asked the husband and wife why the affinity to speak on serious issues and to celebrate deeply rooted values. “I consider myself an open book when it comes to showing how I feel about things around me and people, so for me, expressing my emotions through my songs is something natural and logical. Our new album, Roots, is probably always going to be my favorite one because of it. It embodies my true feeling towards family, past experiences, and expectations of the future,” answers Evita Brantner.
“What song took you the longest to write and why?” goes our next question as the duo’s repertoire is mightily impressive, especially if we add the tracklist of 14 songs comprised on Roots. Marco answers: “I cannot pinpoint what song took us the longest to write but I know what song took us the longest to record. Its final version was quite the task but I’m so happy we finally did it. It was the song Finding Myself Again off our new album. Gabriella Brusenbauch is a lovely Canadian lady that forwarded me once some great lyrics she penned to use in a song that I would compose. It took us about 6 years to get it recorded.” Now, this is a new standard of dedication! 6 years of recording the song and moulding it into its final version. The song, however, was totally worth it. Make sure you get to experience the whole project HERE.
If you’re at least somewhat familiar with the Non Talkers, then you know that Marco is a sort of a superhero of music: he plays multiple instruments, produces, composes, writes. “Marco plays a whole lot of instruments. How did you select those specifically and for how long you’ve been playing them?” we ask for details. The man reveals in the answer an underlying regret which we did not expect: “My first instrument was the piano at age 8 but I hated it. I was only learning classical music and it really didn’t motivate me. After 2 years, I quit. I really regret it and I wish I had started with a genre that appealed more to me. Next, I can’t even remember very well when, it must have been around 20 years, but suddenly I developed a passion for singing. A couple of years later I felt like I should express myself through music and started writing songs with a friend of mine who played guitar. I was very hungry for songwriting but my friend didn’t invest his time or effort as much so I made a life-changing decision. I decided to learn the guitar myself. I have been playing for 17 years now. In the meantime, I ended up learning the basics of other instruments like the bass, piano, and percussion, to gain even more freedom and control over the songwriting process.”
Do you remember where Marco and Evita live? Yup, Portugal. But did you notice the language they sing in? Aha, English. Now, how do these mega-talented individuals make it work in a language other than their state official one?
“I think it makes it much harder to market our music here in Portugal as a lot of listeners resist the idea of Portuguese artists singing in another language. Then we have the mainstream music industry that’s also very reluctant to accept national artists singing in foreign languages. In our case, it wouldn’t make a lot of sense because Evita is Belgian but despite that, I think we will always choose to mainly sing in English because that’s where our big influences come from. I don’t mean that we won’t sing in other languages, and we do, but because of the music we heard growing up, I think it will always lead us back to English,” reflects Marco on the matter.
Did you take notice of the myriad of names credited in the Non Talkers review articles? Take Noa for example. We have a total of 7 people including the couple. Other records feature even more participating talents. The big numbers are explained by Marco and Evita collaborating with some of the most illustrious instrumentalists in Portugal. The latter attributes the town of Moledo, Viana do Castelo, to the easy access to these valuable connections: “We are very lucky with the musicians we have, but I have to say that the place where we live for being such a small town is loaded with great musicians and talent in general.” Well now we got a new place to visit on our bucket list! BRE coming to Portugal guided by the Non Talkers :star:
“We know you, Evita, don’t have professional vocal training and yet you’re one hell of a vocal master. How did that happen?” The singer dissects her technical-not-so-technical ability: “I always loved singing, just never considered becoming a professional singer. I also tell people that technically I am not an outstanding singer but I am definitely passionate about it and I believe I manage to carry and deliver my genuine emotions through my singing and in the end that is what matters.” Once more, the Non Talkers prove that emotion is at the core of all they do, singing comprised.
Speaking of Noa, the song dedicated to the newest and youngest member of the Non Talkers, Evita shares an endearing insight: “Noa has a lot of my temper. She is highly energetic and such a rebel, just like her mom. She loves singing but doesn’t have the patience to pick up an instrument. Again, just like me. 😀” Fair enough! Like mother like daughter.
The two souls, in constant motion artistically and emotionally with each other, must have some secret ingredient that keeps them glued together, right? We thought so too so we didn’t hesitate to ask what they like about other when it comes to the musical aspect of their relationship. “I fell for Marco’s voice before all else. It is very particular,” discloses Evita. “As I’ve already mentioned before, I am the biggest fan of Evita’s vocals. I just don’t get tired of her singing,” completes the happy family picture the one and only, Marco.
In trying to perceive how the two differ in taste, we asked what the couple’s favorite music video was individually and we got the following answer from Marco: “As indie do-it-all artists, we always get confronted with a lack of resources to achieve something the way we really envision it coming to reality. In the case of the videos, it happens very often, and we end up finding alternatives within our means but then there’s that feeling of “It is ok but not really how I actually intended it.” I think the video for “Pendulum Of Time” is the one, in that sense, that I feel more accomplished for.” Evita, on the other hand, says that You Don’t Remember Anymore is her top choice for it has an emotional reali-life basis for her.
As for the rest of the year, Marco says: “We have released our new album, Roots, in physical format and we will be releasing the tracklist as singles over the course of the year. We want to celebrate the concept of an album as a whole and those who appreciate the touch of a real, tangible product. Fans of the digital era will have to be a bit more patient. Hopefully, we can get back to performing live to present it to our listeners.”
The Non Talkers posses a musical legacy that is immense in value and real in its grip on the audience. The more time passes and the more material the two release to the world, the increasingly distinct their brand asserts itself on the market. Taking the road less traveled and less guaranteed, that of praising family values while so many advocate for finding yourself and putting yourself first, is contrastingly and immediately placing the Pop-Folk duo in a league of their own, that of founders of a healthy society.
Make sure you buy a copy of the Roots album at the Non Talkers official Shop. You can also reach out to the awesome Evita, fabulous Marco, and rebel Noa by messaging the band on their Facebook HERE, on Instagram HERE, on TikTok HERE. Support the Non Talkers by streaming their music on Amazon Music HERE, on Deezer HERE, on Apple Music HERE, and on Spotify below:
Interview conducted by Mariana Berdianu
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