To many of their fans online, they were already Team Andrew, but earlier this year, frequent collaborators Andrew Huang and Andrew Gunadie (aka Gunnarolla) cemented a pop music partnership and formed Dreamz. The Toronto-based musicians and YouTube personalities introduced their new duo with several covers of classic boyband songs and have recently released the video for their debut single “Come On” with a second coming shortly. Dreamz delivers some fun and lively melodies that manage to be both old school and contemporary with a healthy dose of the pair’s wit and charm.
We’ve had a chance to speak to both Huang and Gunnarolla about their solo work, but let’s touch base with them on how Dreamz came to be:
How did you both meet up and start collaborating?
Huang: We had both appreciated each other’s work online for a while and just sort of grew from occasional comments to Facebook messages to sushi hangouts to video collabs to international tour dates.
Gunnarolla: I was actually a fan of Songs To Wear Pants To several years before Andrew became active on YouTube. I checked him out originally because I was told that “this Andrew guy” was a lot like me and that I’d enjoy his stuff. And of course I did.
Fast-forward a few years – I’m doing the VEDA daily series and I see that ‘songstowearpantsto’ has subscribed to me on YouTube. Well, I was pretty excited about this, so I shouted him out. Andrew saw the shoutout so he created a little response for me.
After some back and forth in each other’s videos, we decided to meet up one night for sushi.
Next thing you know: a couple months later, we’re driving a U-Haul across North America on our first tour. We spent those 2 weeks together literally inseparable (if we weren’t doing a show together, then we were trapped in a vehicle or a hotel room together). Somehow we remained friends! We’ve since toured and traveled a ton, and I don’t think there’s a week that has gone by where we haven’t seen each other at least 2-3 times. Andrew is one of the only people that can and would want to tolerate me that much. We’re friends forever.
It was a while before we actually produced a song/video together, though. That took some time – we have similar skills, and I don’t like to force collabs. But we’ve learned what works, and I think that we make a great team. I’ve worked with a lot of people, but there is something special about the stuff that we make together.
Huang: [working with Gunnarolla] is fun, it’s interesting, it’s challenging, it’s everything […] We have a ton of things in common while also maintaining drastically different approaches and outlooks on art, work and life – but our strengths are absolutely complementary and have led us to work on an enormous range of things together.
Like you’ve said, you’ve both worked with each other several times before, but what inspired you both to officially form Dreamz?
Huang: Dreamz, or specifically the idea of unabashedly catchy pop music, felt like an area we were both very passionate and excited about at the same time. Our work, both individually and as a team, has always been a kind of scattered variety show, and we felt with Dreamz we were able to both put something forward that would be a solid, consistent, branded joint effort.
Gunnarolla: I was relieved when Andrew approached me about the CBC Music Searchlight contest because I had actually planned to enter on my own. I did not want to compete with him! But it made a lot of sense to work together – we had been wanting to collaborate on more music.
What was that whole experience with entering your song “Come On” into the CBC Music Searchlight contest like?
Gunnarolla: We started off really strongly. The response to the song was really positive. We had a lot of different, complicated ideas for how to get those voting reminders out there, but in the end we settled on doing a boyband cover a week. This was on top of a daily series that I was doing in February, and a daily series that Andrew was doing in March. Of course.
Everyone was voting as much as they could. The covers were turning really great, too. But I think we lost some momentum toward the Week 5 (the week that we lost) – people were probably getting tired of voting, and our focus was shifting. Andrew was promoting Lip Bomb, and we didn’t have our [latest] boyband cover ready in time. Since the contest wasn’t totally transparent, we also had no concept of how many votes we needed to win against Vancouver.
Huang: The support from fans was really amazing. A contest that calls for 8 straight weeks of daily voting is a little insane, and we had people voting as much as they possibly could and sending us encouraging messages the whole time we were in the running.
Gunnarolla: We didn’t win the contest – but I’m still happy that we got those boyband covers done, and of course, “Come On” is an awesome song. I think we learned some important lessons for the next time. We definitely over-extended ourselves: daily videos, weekly boyband covers AND videos, on top of producing other stuff not related to the contest! There was too much going on. But in the end, it was a great way to kickstart the whole pop music partnership.
So what’s coming next for Dreamz?
Huang: More good songs!
Gunnarolla: We’re locking our next single, “Let Go”. The video incorporates a lot of footage from our travels this past summer, and it’s a really upbeat song. We’ve also got a few other songs in development. We’ve talked about an album, and it’s definitely something that we both want to happen. But we’ve got to find a way to fit it in amongst the millions of other things that we have going on.
And there you have it! So if you’re in the mood for some fun pop music, check out more of Dreamz at the links below!