Just a few years ago, two brothers from Warwick found themselves handing out their mixtape to anyone who would listen. Now they’re on tour and recently headlined a show in Los Angeles.
The Cardiff Brothers, Jake and John, always knew they would pursue a career in music, and despite some criticism, they persisted. In 2014, they released an EP entitled The Beginning. In 2015, they dropped their first album, All From Home – a fitting title for the record, since it was recorded in the kitchen of their apartment. To their surprise, the album hit #28 on the iTunes charts.
The Cardiff Brothers’ catalog is diverse. Although some songs are rap-based “turn-up” tunes, others have a pop beat or an R&B sound. John wouldn’t categorize their music as belonging to a certain genre, claiming, “We’re Cardiff Brothers. We make what we feel.”
Following the release of All From Home, they played some local shows, but mainly took time to focus on growth. “Our immediate mindset wasn’t ‘We gotta follow this album up,’ it was ‘we want to get better,’” John says. After listening to the record and newly released singles like “Brown Eyes” and “Call Me,” John can see his progression. He says that on the first album, he was softly mumbling, but now he’s belting out lyrics. “It’s maturity,” John says. “We just sound like we belong now. We’re not nervous or hesitant or timid. We’ve really grown up and solidified our sound.”
Right now, they are living the stories that could be featured on their new album. “It’s taken a lot longer than we expected or hoped to finish, but I can’t help but smile thinking about it because of the growth of us as people,” Jake says.
That growth has been personal and professional. For the first time, the Rhode Island natives are crossing the country to support their music, hitting states like Minnesota, Washington and California while out on tour.
“It’s something you dream of,” John says. “These people really want to see us perform. It’s pretty crazy to think about.”
Just in 2016 alone, the duo gained thousands of new listeners. After their tour in May, they’ll probably aim to finish the new album in time for a June release, then kick off their summer tour. The Cardiff Brothers may be the “Same Ol Kids,” but they’re making some serious noise in the music scene. –Olivia Perrault