Hi Owls & Lions! We’re so excited to be chatting with you! Can you tell us how the band name Owls & Lions came to be?
Well, it’s a pretty profound story (not really lol) It happened pretty quick. We started to get a lot of opportunities to perform together almost as instantly as we came together, so we really needed a name to identify us. When we initially talked about it and shared our ideas, we just kind of immediately landed on what made most sense with regards to what represented us both. Nicole has always been sort of obsessed with anything having to do with Owls. So much so that people in her life would gift her any trinket or object involving an Owl that she has an overabundance of Owl items. She was probably an Owl in her past life. Also, we swear she has eyes on the back of her head because this girl doesn’t miss a beat. She sees it all, even at night! As for Jay, well you can’t get any more LEO than Jay Della Valle. Both his parents are Leos and if you were to visit the house he grew up in, all you’d see are suns and lions everywhere. He really just embodies a lot of the kinds of things you associate with Lions and Leos. We also liked the way they both seemed to contrast. An Owl and a Lion, an unlikely duo, but when it works, it works!
What is a goal you’ve set for 2021 for your music?
We’re really excited about 2021 and 2022 and the kinds of things we have planned. We’re scheduled to perform at over 70 private events/weddings this year and even a few fall music festivals that are optimistic the world will allow them to happen. We have a handful of new original songs and acoustic interpretations that we’re recording soon. Hoping to release another EP before the end of the year. We’ll be shooting a lot of content/videos over the Spring/Summer/Fall and sharing that across our platforms as well. Our goal is really just to stay healthy & sane (FIRST!) and then perform as much as possible and nurture the connection we have with our street team via Facebook. That’s really important to us
What inspired ‘There’s a Light’?
There’s A Light is actually the name of the EP itself, not any song on it. It’s actually a piece of a lyric used in one of the songs on the EP called Rainbow Roses. The full lyric is “there’s a light in you that shined when you first opened up your eyes.” Rainbow Roses is a song inspired by Jay’s then 6 year old daughter Sloane’s innocent request for Rainbow Roses on Valentine’s Day. Jay loved that as a title and it sparked a whole concept to write something that captured the appreciation he was feeling for his family and the privilege of being able to relive his own innocence through watching his children grow up. It ended up meaning even more than that as it evolved, but there’s this all-inclusive nature to it that just has everything to do with acceptance and gratitude for the people in our lives.
Where are you getting your inspiration to make new music from?
We have this drive to just chronicle and capture our artistic evolution in the form of song. The inspiration comes from the inane sorts of conflict we both confront in life or just topics/themes that we both feel are worthy of exploring. I mean, at the end of day we’re going to be sharing and performing the music we make, so we really have to feel excited about following through with what we start. It’s interesting to see which ideas end up with wind in their sails and seeing it through to the studio. The inspiration comes musically, lyrically and conceptually and it just all has to lead to a place that is fun enough for us to stick with and explore.
What’s one thing your fans don’t know about your career?
Just one thing? That’s tough! Here’s a few to choose from or use all of: Jay met Nicole at a mutual friend’s wedding they were both separately performing at. She was hired to play violin at the ceremony. He was hired to DJ. Not long after meeting, they were touring and performing together. Eventually the full band broke up, but Jay & Nicole kept playing together. Owls & Lions has performed at almost 1000 weddings in the last 12 years. Besides being in Owls & Lions, Nicole has her own company teaching children music. Jay’s an actor/filmmaker/composer and has worked on some fun movie projects. Both Jay and Nicole each have 2 kids (1 boy, 1 girl) almost the same age. They work a lot with the Ukulele Kids Club charity and often do house concerts/charity events to raise money for music therapy and kids in hospitals. Jay is currently in school pursuing his masters in Music Therapy.
We are loving everything you’re about! How do we keep learning more about you and keep up to date on ALL your projects!!
Thank you! The best place to keep up with us is by joining our private FB page HERE We direct all the people who are most interested in us – to that page. We announce all our shows and release our content here first and offer all sorts of deals on our merch. Other than that, we’re active on Instagram with photos/videos/creative content as we make it.
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