Everyone You Know, stylized as EYK, is a genre-breaking musical duo taking the U.K. by storm. Brothers Rhys Kirby-Cox and Harvey Kirby have been turning out hits since the band’s inception, with notable tracks like “The Drive” dominating the airwaves. Following the release of that exhilarating track, EYK signed a deal with Reebok and had their single “She Don’t Dance” placed in FIFA 20. The brothers went on to play sets at Reading and Leeds before embarking on a tour through the U.K. and Europe. They were poised to have another memorable year when the world shut down in 2020, but they took this in their stride.
Rhys and Harvey’s father had built them a recording studio in Denham, and it was this creative retreat that allowed them to produce their 13-track EP. Due out October 1st, “Just For The Times” showcases their eclectic style like never before. Featuring influential notes from the hip-hop, rock, and dance genres, this EP is representative of EYK’s unique talent. The duo is ambitious—with their sights set on the future, they’re hoping to reclaim the year they lost and set out stronger than ever.
Pentagon’s Sam Cohen spoke with EYK about the construction of “Just For The Times”, how the boys collaborate throughout the songwriting process, and what they hope fans take away from their music.
Congratulations on the release of your single Just For The Times with Joy Anonymous! I know you’ve spoken previously about Joy originally sending you the track back in 2019 and how you didn’t think it was the right fit at the time, but I was wondering if you could tell us more about your decision to pursue this opportunity two years later? What do you feel has changed for you creatively?
We always loved the track. And we always knew it had the potential to be a big tune. But it was about getting the content of the verses right. In the two years we had the track I had probably written 10+ verses and none of them ever felt like ‘the one’. So instead of trying to force the tune we decided to sit on it. And then at the beginning of the year, being back in lockdown, we decided to revisit it. We nailed the verses straight away and instantly knew that this was an important and special tune. So it was less about what changed with us creatively and more about how the things around us had changed that helped finish the tune off.
In addition to this incredible release, you’re also set to premiere your new single Radio on August 20th. What can you tell us about this song in terms of writing lyrics and creating melodies/beats to accompany those words?
Yeah this was another tune we made with Joy Anonymous. Musically it felt like a great step on from Just For The Time. Lyrically with this track we wanted it to be very descriptive of things you might have seen at a garage rave in the late 90’s/early 2000’s. And when people listen to it we want them to feel like they are immersed in that world. We were all in the studio working on this tune together and the chorus, melody, and lyrics just came out straight away. We were all gassed in the studio and our team loved it as soon as they heard it too.
You’ll follow up the release of Radio with the release of your 13-track EP “Just For The Times” on October 1st, so this is a very exciting time for you guys! You’ve stated that the EP is meant to represent the highs and lows of the last 15 months, and I was wondering if you could take us through the creative process behind this endeavor. Did you know heading into the recording process how many songs you wanted to dedicate to each emotion? Or did everything unfurl organically?
We are always making new music. It’s something we love doing, so we are constantly banging out new tunes. So with this project it was more a case of narrowing the track list down to what songs represented what we wanted to say on the record. We felt like the project had to have 10+ tunes on there to truly represent everything we wanted it to. Musically it has glimpses of all the genres that have influenced us growing up: Hip-Hop, garage, Rock, Dance…the list goes on. And lyrically we wanted to cover all bases of the things that have played big parts in our lives over the last couple of years. We always try to be as open and as honest as we can with our songwriting and let people into our world and our experiences.
I read as well that your dad had built you a studio in 2019 and this is what allowed you to remain collaborative during lockdown, which is such a thoughtful and wonderful gift. How did the process of creating new music in this studio amidst all the chaos of the past year help you two navigate the tumult of the world around you?
Yeah, he did build us a studio. And he absolutely smashed it, the legend! I think just being able to be creative and still have an area and a space to express yourself has been so crucial for us. We’ve probably never been more creative and productive than we have over the last 18 months. And having the studio has played a big, big part in that. It’s just a place you can step into to be away from everything else and really dive deep into making tunes.
You’ve had such remarkable success thus far in your career—you’ve had a deal with Reebok, your music has been featured in FIFA 20, you’ve gotten the chance to play Reading and Leeds—what other dream goals do you two have in mind for the future?
I wanna be headlining Reading and Leeds and Glastonbury and selling out stadium tours. We’ve always wanted to be right at the very top and I honestly believe we will be.
I think it’s wonderful that the two of you are brothers and best friends and that you’re able to successfully collaborate on this project together. Can you tell us more about your dynamic in terms of the musical creation process? Do you always work together cohesively or do you sort of produce certain aspects of the music independently and then come together later on to create the final product?
Genuinely our process is different every time we make a tune. We have no strict formula to how we make music. Sometimes the whole song might just be written on a piano or guitar and then we build it up once it’s written. Or sometimes the whole beat could be made before any lyrics have even been thought about. We’ve been working with a load of wicked songwriters/producers recently too and they all have different methods of working as well. So we like to be able to work a load of different ways.
What’s the most important thing you hope fans take away from your music?
I think our music is very hopeful. I feel like when we write music, even when we write sad songs, we always offer that element of hope. And to be honest, everyone reacts to songs differently, but I’d like to think people listen to our music and think “Everything is gonna be alright” no matter what they are going through. Like I’ve said before, we are always so open and honest with our music, so I’d like people to understand that they aren’t alone when they listen to EYK. We’re right here with ya.
I always like to end my interviews with one fun question, so: If you guys could create a soundtrack for any movie, which movie would you choose and why?I would love to have done something on Guy Ritchie’s early stuff. Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels or Snatch would have been great. The soundtracks to these—two tunes in particular—are great, so to be able to create something for one of them would have been amazing! Great question, by the way.
Photography: Abeiku Arthur
Fashion: Gurdit Singh
Words by Sam Cohen