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They’re twin industrial and system engineers that sell real estate, produce music with the likes of Wiz Khalifa, Roy Woods, Megan Thee Stallion, Travis Scott and Kirko Bangz. They also run a startup.
Meet the Chandani twins, the duo behind THEMXXNLIGHT, an Indian-American group redefining R&B.
In light of THEMXXNLIGHT’s drop of “Naughty or Nice,” Benzinga spoke with Akash (Kush) and Krish (Luv) Chandani to learn more about their unique start, route to success and visions for the future.
Origins: The 25-year-old San Francisco natives who split their time between the Bay Area and Los Angeles seem to have it all figured out.
“Two or so years ago we were unsure about what we were going to focus on,” Akash told Benzinga. “Right now, it’s 100% clear.”
The Chandanis grew up as typical Indian kids from the Bay Area, Krish explained: “It’s like the Silicon Valley startup mindset; our whole lives were just math, science, and engineering.”
Amidst their studies, they developed an affinity for music in school. In particular, the saxophone, guitar, drums and piano were of interest to them.
Having been raised with lots of diverse music — everything from Bollywood to OVO — the Chandani’s explained they naturally expressed themselves through sound.
“We never took vocal lessons,” Krish added. “We just started singing for fun and everyone around was like ‘Oh, you have to start singing as a profession.'”
The Chandani’s have what’s called perfect pitch, or playing by ear. In minutes, they can listen, discern the pitch of notes played, and recreate with accuracy.
The two taught themselves how to pair their vocals and instrumentals with electronic beat-making via bare-bones applications such as GarageBand for Mac, learning the tips and tricks of editing from YouTube, as well as by trial and error.
“We bought really cheap microphones and tried to figure out what effects sounded best with our voice and similar to artists we liked to listen to,” Akash explained. “We had to teach ourselves.”
Getting Noticed: “We started freshman year of college with like three songs,” Krish said in reference to juggling music and engineering at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI), one of America’s oldest technological research universities. Akash added: “We made sure our first releases were good quality and that we came out with a bang.”
In light of their persistence, THEMXXNLIGHT rose to the top on platforms like SoundCloud.
At and around the time “Drunk” reached SoundCloud’s top music charts, the two were messaged on Twitter by Taylor Gang producer Sledgren on how great the song sounded.
“After working on about five or six songs, we sent them back to Wiz Khalifa’s team and two months later, Wiz called us out to New York for a listening party,” Akash said. “That’s when he told us we had three songs on his ‘Rolling Papers 2‘ album.”
“Naughty Or Nice”: THEMXXNLIGHT’s new hit single was the product of one of the brothers’ relationships for which it was very tough to find a commitment.
“It was after a party, we just kind of came up with the idea, went back to our room and we did our parts,” Akash said.
The song lay on the backburner after a few large labels told the Chandanis to hold onto it because it could be big with a feature.
“During one session with Wiz, there was a pause and he was like ‘Yo, twins, you want me to listen to anything,'” Akash said. “We played it and Wiz was like ‘Oh, this is fire, I’ll do it right now.'”
Out of six new songs with Wiz Khalifa, “Naughty or Nice” was released this month, catching the attention of many, Krish explained, as the duo decided to increase their social media presence: “Before, we didn’t show our faces.”
Akash added that being twins adds to their content going viral: “It’s a conversation starter that’s helped us gain a lot of traction.”
Thinking Big: “There’s probably one other major artist who is Indian and that’s Nav,” a Canadian singer, Krish said. “That puts us in a box,” Akash added.
In addressing their need to diversify, as well as a passion for connecting and business, the two spend the majority of their time in real estate.
“Our parents have been realtors and they have owned their real estate company for 35 years,” Krish noted. “We’ve grown up our whole lives listening to their calls, going to showings and so we naturally understand the business.”
The two sell as the Chandani Twins with their father, Deepak Chandani, under the Chandani Group, part of Compass, a massive luxury real estate brokerage. Thus far, they’ve sold nearly $70 million in real estate this year with the most expensive property in Monte Sereno, California pricing at $6.1 million.
“Compass has a separate division called ‘Sports & Entertainment’ and you usually need at least like 15 celebrity sales, as well as five to ten years of experience to be considered,” Akash said in reference to their celebrity contacts helping open doors. “After some interviews, they accepted us.”
The Future: Eventually, you may be able to catch the Chandanis balancing their music production, real estate and startup ventures in a Netflix or Amazon series.
“We have 100 unreleased songs and so our life is just real estate and then releasing our music,” Krish noted about using their real estate brand and music to cross-promote. “A show on the music life and running from studio sessions to real estate showings would be very cool,” Akash said.
Photo: Courtesy of Chandani Twins
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