Calabasas booking

Calabasas use their emotive, genre-melding pop songs as a way to work through some of life's most complex questions. The Los Angeles-based duo of musicians Franskiiz and Watrcup has thrived in fearless experimentation and intense personal exploration since coming together in 2018. After trial and error in searching for their purest identity, Those Were the Days, their debut album due out via Def Jam in June 2023, finds them digging deep, and revealing their most authentic vision and perspective. Upbeat lead single "Figure It Out" matches Franskiiz' layered production with Watrcup's introspective songwriting. It's a coming-of-age tale that's vulnerable and real, but immediately memorable as well. "Been swimming alone for so long," Franskiiz sings. "Step aside from the pain / It's alright, if only everything could be better now."

"As we get older, we grew into becoming who we really wanted to be," Franskiiz says. Mostly, that means making songs like this -- that are easygoing and infectious, but earnest and real too. Relentless head-nodders that are deep and honest. "It just feels way more natural right now," Watrcup adds. "It's not overthought."

The group's beginnings were pretty effortless too. Franskiiz grew up in Hawaii, playing the piano and violin as a child before falling in love with hip-hop and trying his hand at making music as a teenager. He studied engineering, eventually landing in Los Angeles, where he interned at recording studios. Watrcup grew up in L.A., passionate about writing and catching on to house and electronic music from his Eastern European father.

While attending college in Oregon, Watrcup returned home for a studio session. "I had somebody else who was supposed to do the session for me, and he had to leave halfway through," he recalls. "When I met Fran, I was super thankful because I had booked out four or five hours."

Watrcup initially set out to be a solo artist, but Franskiiz was the teammate he needed. Industry icon Bu Thiam, then at Def Jam, instantly recognized how perfectly the two complemented each other after catching wind of them in early 2020.

The pandemic paused the duo's momentum, forcing them to forget about external validation and focus on finding their sound. "Every single day was something completely different, and we were teaching ourselves to make songs that I don't think we would've even attempted if there were people in our ear telling us do this, do this, do this," Watrcup says.

Their eclectic palette bred 2020's hip-hop-laced hit "Beaujolais," which clocked more than 3.5 million Spotify streams, and last year's breakout party anthem "Gory Love," featuring distorted vocals and an unabashed hook: "Maybe I'm wrong, but I'll never say I'm sorry." Rap was still a central piece in July 2021's lustful, melodic "First Time Thing," but Calabasas' wholehearted embrace of pop began in earnest the following month on "Voices" with Marc E. Bassy, whom they supported on tour earlier this year -- propelling them toward February 2022's acoustic slow burner "The Mend" and Those Were the Days.

The album solidifies once and for all that Calabasas' freewheeling approach can't be pinned down. The juxtaposition between singles like "Going, Going, Gone," fueled by a kinetic beat, and the raw reflection of the acoustic title track represents their boundless potential. "The biggest validation is knowing that it's not just one record that people love, but it's all of it," Watrcup says. "Together, we're capable of doing so many different things, and we don't plan to do one thing forever."

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Agents Daniel Lee
Stephanie Aristakesian

Exclusive Booking Agency for Calabasas: Worldwide except Europe