No one can sing an Adele song better than Adele. At least I’ve always thought so… then I heard the Walkie Talkies’ mash-up of Adele’s Rolling in the Deep and Gnarls Barkley’s Crazy which they wittingly titled, Crazy in the Deep.
Meet Cebuano sisters Raleene and Rizza Cabrera. They have gone viral – thanks to their awesome singing skills, funny YouTube videos and cool style. Get to know these up and coming young talents as we chat with them about their individual personality, style and music.
032: Can you tell us a little bit about yourselves?
Ral: I’ve been performing in school ever since I was 6 or 7. My mom’s been giving me advice ever since. I was always asked to perform during school functions and productions. I got the most rigorous voice training when I joined the chorale in college (Coro San Benildo). That’s about the same time Riz and I started posting videos online & getting invitations to do gigs. I learned to play the violin and piano at a young age and continued to have lessons till high school, but I was never as diligent as my sister and brother.
Riz: I’ve always been interested in music, but I never took it seriously until the summer before 2nd year High School; that’s when I started to write songs. In fact, that’s when I wrote one of the songs we perform onstage. I’m glad that I started learning at an early age (piano at 6, recruited for the school’s String Ensemble when I was 11, guitar at 12). It made it a bit easier for me to converse in the language of music. I make it a point to never stop learning and finding new ways to write and play; picking up techniques here and there.
We’re just sisters who love music and bond through it. It gets hard, though, especially since we have very different tastes in music, but we always manage to find a common ground.
Ral: Because we couldn’t think of a name and someone said we should just be called the Walkie Talkies during a meeting when we couldn’t stop yapping. As soon as they introduced us with that name during one of our gigs, we knew we couldn’t change it anymore! But I don’t know… we like it. Most of our songs have “answering back” parts too (maybe that’s why some people who don’t know us think we’re not sisters when we perform and when we post videos on YouTube. LOL!). But when Riz and I are together, we do get carried away and talk endlessly without realizing that others are just amused and staring at us. They keep saying that we both should get our own show, but we think we’re not funny enough.
Riz: You should hear us during a gig. When we start talking before a song, we can’t shut up. Heck, even when we’re just hanging out, we can’t shut up. People have confused our conversations for fights and arguments (though, we do argue often). We just talk a lot, really. And not only is the quantity of words escaping our mouths unquantifiable, but the velocity (velocity because the direction at which our words escape is toward your eardrums LOL!) at which it travels is rather high too, and it increases the longer we converse. We used to kid around, telling people that Ral was Talkie, being the more talkative one, and I was Walkie. We quickly scrapped that joke as soon as we realized that both walking and talking could be attributed to just Raleene and not me. She talks more and enjoys walking more than I do! haha!
032: Describe the music of WalkieTalkies?
Riz and Ral: We mostly play acoustic songs, but that’s because Ral refuses play during gigs. We don’t exactly have a preferred genre when we cover a song. The only criteria we consider is whether or not it sounds okay when played with just a guitar. As for our originals, we don’t have a genre either. Riz writes the songs, and she has a habit of writing one song as different from the others as possible.
Riz and Ral: We were part of our church’s Christmas album. That’s the only one we have released so far. Some of the other artists that took part in the project were The Plan, Paolo Valenciano, Robin Nievera, Julianne, Marcus Davis, and many more. It’s an honor to be part of a CD they’re in. We’ll also be in the next album of our church releases too!
We usually play, well, anywhere! We don’t have a regular gig place. We play whenever we get asked to. We do impromptu gigs too, AND we sometimes play in the most random places just because we feel like it. Like when we went to Singapore, we went through this tunnel and I looked at Ral and said, “Let’s sing here” and we did.
032: What are your plans and goals as a musical duo?
Ral: I can’t wait for Riz to graduate. We’ve agreed to go full-on with this music thing as soon as she’s done! We love doing a lot of things apart from school but we promised our parents to put our studies first.
1. Play as much as we can.
2. Remain a duo whilst having other progressive projects on the side.
3. Not break up (this sounds wrong).
4. Write more songs.
5. Differentiate ourselves more from other musicians in our generation, stand out and be known for a distinct sound.
7. Hug more (Riz likes hugs).
8. Play gigs in the south – people have been asking me about this.
9. Learn to use the equipment we bought for our gigs.
10. Post more videos on YouTube. We haven’t had a WT video up in a while.
032: Where can we reach or catch the WalkieTalkies?
Riz and Ral: People can talk to us via our Facebook page, Twitter or Formspring. They can also come up to us during events/gigs or when they see us around. It’s strange how some people are afraid to approach us. We don’t bite!
*Editor’s note – The girls happened to play in our very first Assembly Bazaar. They were awesome!