Academie are Jean-Louise and Alex Parker, musical conjurors of soundscapes from the beyond the frontiers of the pop. Their arresting aesthetic and intensely conceived performances have fortified the duo’s standing as one of South Africa‚Äôs most exciting creative groups. Their new single, Monochrome, was released this week – so we took the opportunity for a quick peak behind the scenes:

Where is your favourite place to write music, and why?

Academie: We are most comfortable writing in our apartment. In fact, Monochrome was written and recorded in our basement. Sometimes we write together and bounce ideas off one another, and other times we write separately and bring the idea over once one of us has something going. Our apartment has a few spaces in which to write and we often explore them at different times.

What music/song(s) made you first pick up an instrument, and why?

Alex: Oasis – Wonderwall. I remember wanting to learn to play and sing that song so that I could impress girls. So I started learning the guitar and from there it was any instrument I could get my hands on.

Jean-Louise: Early Beatles stuff. I remember being aware of all the different textures and wanting to recreate that. They made me really want to be in a band.

Listen to Monochrome here: