Brother/sister duo Phillip and Natalie LaRue have already embarked on the adventure of a lifetime -- and they're not yet out of their teens! Just five years ago, Phillip, bedridden with mononucleosis, picked up a guitar to alleviate the boredom of recuperation. Within a few months, he and Natalie had composed the first of several songs that would appear on their 1999 debut disc, LaRue. Brimming with sparkling pop songs, the album features winning harmonies, Phillip's musical gifts, and more of Natalie's introspective lyrics. Their forthcoming second disc, Transparent, contains more mature gems, such as "Jaded," "Fly," and "I Can't Sing."
How long have you been performing, and what led you to a life as musicians?
Natalie: We have been performing together, more seriously, for about a year now. As for becoming musicians, it was never something Phil and I aspired to do; rather we kind of fell into it. We have always loved music, so we are blessed to be making a career out of something that we love.
What other musicians, groups, musical styles, or music from different cultures influence your work?
Natalie: We have taken from all different musical backgrounds; our family likes all different styles. But the people that have most influenced our lives are those we consider real artists: the kind that write, sing, and feel their music -- artists that you can tell are being honest and vulnerable with you.
Do you have a current project or album you are excited about working on?
Natalie: We just finished working on our second album, Transparent, and it will be coming out early next year. We are excited about the album, and we are eager to see our audience's response.
What are your goals and aspirations for your music over the next five years?
Natalie: The thing is, Phil and I never knew we would be doing this. It's definitely something God has brought us into, and in that same way we want to be doing this only as long as God is calling us to. As for dreams, we wish to continue growing and maturing to our fullest potential and to keep stretching the boundary of openness and transparency to our fans.
Do you have a best performance moment you could share? A worst moment?
Natalie: Probably the best performance that we have ever had was at an event called DC/LA. It's where about 20,000 religious teenagers get together to learn how to reach this world. Even though Phil and I only got to sing a few songs, it was awesome to be a part of it.
What do you see as the power of music in society?
Phillip: Music affects a lot of things in our society. It can define who you are and who you hang out with. Many times what music you listen to reflects your ethnic background. As a whole, though, I've found that society listens to music not only for entertainment, but also because it represents who they are or who they want to be.
How has your career as a musician affected your private life?
Phillip: I guess sometimes I have a fear of someone wanting to get to know me just because I'm in the music biz, or I fear getting hurt by being too vulnerable with someone.
If you could choose a different career, what would you do?
Phillip: I think I would be interested in acting or learning about directing. I used to be in a drama group a couple of years ago, and at that time I had a real drive to act. I love being expressive and have always loved to be in front of the camera. I have a real respect for actors and actresses who make you feel what they feel as they portray their parts.
What advice could you give to students who are interested in pursuing a career like yours?
Phillip: I would suggest beginning to play or sing wherever you are right now. If you go to church, ask if you can play sometime, or ask at your school if there is an event where you can perform. Starting out right now in your life can do nothing but help you for the future.
What was your favorite subject in school and why?
Phillip: My favorite subject in school is history. I love learning about the past. I find it so amazing that we get the privilege of looking back at so many years that have affected our world today.