Photo: Paul Langston Carter

LA-based littleDNGR is a genre-spanning project from Grammy and Oscar-nominated artists Joshua Bartholomew and Lisa Harriton. After both were left feeling burnt out from writing and producing music for others, they decided to join forces on a new creative outlet that was unmistakably their own. They’ve just released their anthemic second single, “i love DANGER”, so we caught up with the duo to chat about the song, their creative process, and the musical influences that have helped to shape their sound.

From the Strait: Tell us about the new single, “i love DANGER”.

littleDNGR: “i love DANGER” is one of the first songs we wrote for littleDNGR and it all came together in less than an hour. The lyrics, the basic production, everything. Like it was just waiting in the ether for us to acknowledge it and bring it to life. The lyrics are about chasing the feeling that sets your heart on fire, no matter the cost. It’s almost like we inadvertently wrote a theme song for our band!

FTS: As Grammy and Oscar-nominated songwriters, how does the songwriting process within the duo work? What is your usual process?

littleDNGR:  We’ve been writing together for nearly a decade now and our process can be so different from song to song. We’ve been fortunate enough to work on some big theme songs for both film and TV (“Everything Is Awesome”, “The Masked Singer”, “I Can See Your Voice”) and we’ve scored original music for many shows, and commercials. We’re usually a bit more methodical with that kind of material, but that’s why we formed littleDNGR. We wanted a muse to put all our unrestricted creativity into.

For “i love DNGR”, we really just let that song happen. Lisa had this incredible beat she had built and then just started rattling off lyrics over it. Usually, one of us will bring a melodic or musical idea to the table and if it get’s us both excited, we dive in head first. We’ll talk about what direction we hear the song going and eventually end up at our workstations putting ideas down. Once we’ve got some semblance of a track, we’ll start working on lyrics. The writing process usually flows quickly for us. I think the reason we are able to work so well together is that we give each other the space to create separately, if necessary. We trade stems back and forth a lot. There’s so much musical trust between us and we’re genuinely such big fans of each other that we get excited to hear what the other is cooking up!

FTS: What’s one album you can’t get enough of right now?

littleDNGR: We’re huge fans of the band Unloved. Their ‘Guilty of Love’ record is just brilliant. So cinematic and sexy. We’re also huge fans of the show Killing Eve and love the story of how their music became the soundtrack for the show. It’s so ubiquitous, it’s like a character in the show. That’s definitely a life goal for littleDNGR – to create the sonic identity for a killer TV show.

FTS: Who would you say are your biggest musical influences, and how have they helped to shape your sound?

littleDNGR: Both of us grew up in musical households so we’ve been surrounded by music our whole lives. That said, our parents record collections could not have been more different! Josh grew up with The Beatles, Led Zeppelin and Michael Jackson, while I was raised on a solid diet of Chopin, Debussy and Bill Evans. Of course, as we got older and started developing our own tastes, we discovered and fell in love with so much of the same music.

The influences for littleDNGR are all over the place. We’re such big fans of artists like The Kills, Phantogram, Radiohead, K. Flay, but we also get super inspired by film composers and modern orchestral music.

FTS: What’s coming up next for littleDNGR?

littleDNGR: These past couple of years have been strange and difficult, to say the least, but we made the most of it by working on a ton of new music. We’re planning to release a bunch of new songs over the coming months, culminating into an EP release at the top of next year.

Check out “i love DANGER”, the new single from littleDNGR!