Anna and Sonya Kuprienko - aka the Bloom Twins - are a quadruple threat, seamlessly treading the boards across film, fashion, music and DJing. Upon meeting the pair, inside Liberty’s cafe-restaurant, Arthur’s, I’m first struck but their enviable attire. Today, modelling an off-beat mix of Japanese streetwear, Uniqlo roll-necks and heavy-duty stomping boots. They look like adult versions of Natalie Portman in 90s cult classic Léon (in case you were wondering, hair stylist Andy Smith tends to their ‘sci-fi bobs’); they describe both their style and the songs they produce as dark pop. “We thought, why don’t we put one label on everything we do?” Anna says. “It all just feeds into one another. Dark pop refers to things that we put together that seemingly contradict themselves.”
Growing up in Ukraine, pursuing a career in music wasn’t completely outside of the box - their father is a drummer and their mother a singer and vocal coach. “We were singing before we could speak, it was 24/7!” Anna says, laughing. “Our parents then put us into music school at the age of five. It was all about classical music – nothing else was allowed. Lots of Bach and Debussy…and Chopin, of course, was the romantic choice.”
At just 16 years old, the duo relocated to London. “We had to grow up very quickly,” Sonya says. “It was difficult at first - we couldn’t speak English, we couldn’t cook, we couldn’t do anything! So, we then both got jobs in Starbucks - to not only make money, but also to learn the language. It was the best thing we ever did.” Fast-forward six-years and the duo have scored gigs supporting artists from Duran Duran to Nile Rogers (“after the show he [Nile Rogers] tweeted: ‘the Bloom Twins had such a great vibe, ah when are we writing a smash hit together?’ he’s so sweet!”). Below the pair share their most influential artists that have shaped their careers.
I listen to a lot of underground, alternative music. People are always asking “what the hell are you listening to?” I really got into Radiohead when I was in 8th grade – I was around 12 or 13 years old. I transformed into being this nice, cute kid at school to someone who wanted to wear black and be more punk. It was at a time I was becoming more self-observant, reading more books and listening to music. I remember how much I enjoyed listening to Radiohead in between classes. I think Thom Yorke gave me that more introverted side of me, even though I’m quite sociable as well. I love Radiohead’s album Kid A – it’s emotional rock music, and Thom Yorke’s Modern Boxes. That album is more about the instrumentals; more sonically emotional.
My favourite Radiohead song? Creep. It is just so relatable. It’s not about the production of it, it’s a simple message and it’s so easy to connect to. When you get to know yourself better you understand different sides of you, and maybe some sides that you think “oh people are not going to like that? Maybe there’s something odd about me,” but we’re all odd in some ways. Everyone’s a creep – it’s awesome!"
In the last two years I’ve become really obsessed with Madonna. I watch so many interviews with her – she’s so interesting. For me, a great artist is not just about the songs they produce - obviously I love the songs - [but] it’s also about personality. I feel like people should listen to albums and then interviews after, to find out what the person was going through. Madonna really stands up for her music. She was super young and saying to MTV: “look - you don’t want to put out my video because there’s lots of sexuality in this but [then] you should also filter on guns but you’re not going to do this, right? So why is this such a bad thing? And, actually, I think this is a good thing because then kids will go to their parents and start asking questions." If I could only listen to one Madonna song it would probably be Like A Virgin. I mean who doesn’t love that song? To me she hasn’t changed a bit since the 1980s. Her lyrics are so interesting, crossing into different genres. I love how honest she is and that’s what I want to portray in my music - I don’t want it to be a like some mathematical equation you have to try and solve.”
The Bloom Twins single, Free Fall is out now. Check out their playlist below.