Just Costa are releasing their EP Peachy on April 30, 2021, just in time for a burst of happy energy for our quarantine summer! Listen on Spotify!
Just Costa recently released the video 514, an anthem for Montreal.
For Jesse, it wasn’t one song in particular that cemented their style. It was because their parents constantly had music in the house from the “60s, 70s that we play to this day, from the love of our hearts.”
It may not be music Jesse listens to, but “subconsciously, it made such a mark.”
“Coming full circle, I’m playing songs I never thought I would play” because it was the soundtrack to their developing years and ears.
“It left a sweet spot on our heart that we channel today.”
Jesse shares that it’s more of a subconscious thing. “You pay attention to the songs you hear over and over, but it’s only later that you have different melody ideas or lyrics” that are inspired from those songs that left such an impression on those tender hearts.
“Our mom was folk/singer songwriter” continues Jesse. “Our dad, a Brazilian Jazz guy” introduced them to a wide spectrum of songs, from Guns & Roses to Michael Jackson.
“We are so lucky to have this plethora of influences” that they soaked in without realizing it.
Just like their parents had different musical influences, both Jesse and Juliana were going in different musical journeys.
Juliana was going in the direction of folk singer/songwriter, while Jesse was dipping his feet in the Rock world.
“Taking those amazing things from each of those genres of music” confesses Jesse was the key.
In folk, “it’s very melodic. It tells a story and gets personal. It’s less conceptual, and less tangible. Juliana brings those wonderful elements into our songwriting. Rock is about the energy, the dynamic feeling like your heart is jumping out of your chest. I brought a lot of that sensationalism to the music itself.”
They focused on their strengths and found what complements each other, rather than what detracts.
The result is a unique blend of styles that somehow works and highlights both their respective strengths.
“We really do play off each other very well” adds Juliana. From music, to business, to life in general, they complement each other in a way that many brother/sister relationships aspire to.
All this was a result of their dad having this vision of the two of them working together in harmony.
Travelling in Mexico
Both their parents worked in tourism, so the family got to spend quite some time in vacation locations of Mexico.
They went to school and blended into the community of Cancun, Ixtapa and Los Cabos.
It was the Latin culture that “is so undeniable” shares Juliana. That vibrant energy was picked up by Juliana. “It was just a special experience growing up.”
Jesse adds a “travelling, easy going spirit. Not being tied to one way of life. We just want to take in the sunshine and the good things in life, chase after the good feelings.”
That explains the soul of the band and Jess adds that the first line of Peachy is about “drinking pink Margaritas on the beach. That hits the nail on the head, even in Montreal Winter, here (Jesse points to his head) we are drinking pink Margaritas on the beach.”
Jesse believes that one should put aside all the mental resistance to packing up and going. “Sometimes, those are the richest experiences. Living light and living easy and not having mental blocks in place that keep you from wanting to do that.”
Enjoying the journey and not the destination is a lesson I draw from this. While many live their lives working hard to eventually enjoy their lives, they might miss out on the potential riches of adventure, while they are still young enough to enjoy it.
The previous logo of Just Costa featured a roller coaster, life’s has highs and lows.
They created the concept of “Just Costaland” and envisioned what it could be.
Juliana shares Jesse’s vision: “I always break life into two things: Doing the things you love and doing it with people you love.”
“It makes the highs, so much higher and then the lows don’t feel so bad. Our music is about positivity, but we definitely see the flip-side of the coin”, continues Juliana. “It’s not a naïve positivity. We are just trying to make the lows not feel so bad with our music.”
“Cookie Dough, Doritos, Gummy Worms. That’s the gist of how I deal with the lows” confesses Jesse.
Costaland Price of Admission
“To have an open mind” shares Jesse. “We love the live experiences where, regardless of what you listen to, who you are, your past or background…if you come and the energy is right, then it just gels.”
In their music, they strive to be open hearted, open minded, energetic and create a performance that meets people halfway. If the crowd can “get down with it and not take themselves so seriously and have a blast, then it instantly clicks”, continues Jesse.
Not being able to play shows is killing them, inside.
When asked what their first song will be, at the first post pandemic gig, Jesse instantly thinks Celebrate by Cool and The Gang.
Juliana suggests Peachy both at the beginning and end of the set.
“It’s our feel-good anthem” contributes Jesse.
Musings on Montreal
Their latest single is 514 which begs to ask: What are you most proud of from Montreal?
“It’s that open & free spiritedness and willingness to enjoy” shares Juliana. “I love how we value the arts and how it’s literally built into the city with Places des Festivals. You grow up with a sense of knowing that the arts are important. I love the vibrancy of the city. We have our issues, but I’m proud to be a Montrealer.”
Don’t get me started on the potholes! In the 514 video, the construction guys are dancing instead of repairing our streets. Who can blame them? It’s a catchy song.
“A lot of cities are a lot of one thing. Montreal is so equally everything else. It’s like 10 sides of a coin and everyone is so cool and accepting with that”, relates Jesse.
“It’s like you get to travel without travelling because you get to see so many slices of life, ways of thinking and it works harmoniously.”
The Filming Process
The 514 video was done entirely by Jesse and Juliana, with the help of a camera operator, who was probably not expecting “13 hours of back to back to back” filming.
The band were trying to time the sunset in the Old Port for the bridge of the song. They had 7 minutes before the light of the sun retreated behind the cityscape.
As the clock ticks, a security guard puts a stop to the filming asking for their permit to film. Jesse credits “magic in the air” that somehow convinced this potential roadblock to understand that “this video will be dope.”
“Please hook us up,” Jesse pleaded, and he did. “The shot was amazing! It’s one of my favorite parts of the video.”
The City That Makes You Wait
The lyrics state: “Says she’s never late but she’ll always make you wait.”
When asked who in the duo where always late, Juliana relates how they kept “personifying the city and giving it almost human traits. Looking back at the line now, it’s like Montreal is never ready. It’s always so close and then six new projects open up, and it’s under construction.”
If it’s not construction, your “waiting for the summer”, concludes Juliana.
For Jesse, it was a real person, and not Juliana that inspired that line. “It’s interesting how the same line can mean two different things for two different people in the same project.”
Juliana loves when meanings diverge and “over time, they take on more meaning.”
As a brother/sister duo, are any topics off limits?
As a songwriter, Juliana is ready to put any subject on the table. Maybe a Just Costa song could only be Jesse or only Juliana’s thoughts, but together, it gives them more options.
“If you listen to Come Together by the Beatles, each verse is one Beatle writing about another Beatle”, adds Jesse. “If they can do that, which is pretty woke. Nothing is off the table.”
“If you write a song, the thought, concept and emotions tied behind writing the song can’t be taken personally.” emphasizes Jesse.
Jesse believes that a song about an ex, for instance, should not illicit anger because you are only expressing yourself, not trying to hurt someone.
He gives the example of Dua Lipa’s latest album abounding with angry breakup songs, yet being in a happy relationship for several years.
“Maybe being able to connect with millions of people is a bigger part of who you are then what the song actually speaks to.”
For Juliana, it was Miley Cyrus who said that songs don’t define you. It’s that feeling, in that moment, in the song, that is out there, but it’s not the whole story.
Just Costa is known for grasping at a moment of inspiration and just doing a deep dive into that feeling.
While touring Italy, there was a shift in the creative process of songwriting.
The warmth of the hotel room reflected back from the orange walls. Surrounded by fine wine from the vineyard down the street, one specific bottle needed to be opened that night, but not a corkscrew in sight.
A quest was initiated, and finally an open shop uncorked a bottle full of promise.
“It was the first time we were capturing this fleeting moment” explains Jesse. “We formed a new way of writing songs. Anything goes. It was a huge turning point.”
They stepped away from themselves and chose to focus on the moment, to fully express it.
That was the birth of Peachy EP.
Does the guitar case still smell like cat pee? You will have to ask them for the full story, but luckily, it’s defusing its scent in the garage, awaiting the next road trip.
Fantasy Rock Band
Just Costa has the task to build the ultimate band. Who will they choose?
Jesse right away picks Paul McCartney because he “can hold down the acoustic section of the show. He can get on the piano for the ballads. He can get on the bass and the bass player get on keyboards.”
Juliana’s first thought was Bruno Mars, but quickly resurrects Michael Jackson as the front man. Jesse convinces her to stick with her first choice to bring the modern spin to it.
For the drums, Juliana didn’t hesitate on Anderson .Paak. “100%”, chimes in Jesse. “He can be playing Come Down, sing at the same time and Paul can be vamping on the piano.”
“Slash on the guitar in a heartbeat” contributes Jesse.
Juliana then adds the horn section of Earth Wind and Fire or the Grooveline Horns that played with Jason Mraz.
Singer: Bruno Mars
Bass/piano/synth: Paul McCartney
Drums: Anderson .Paak
Horns: Earth Wind and Fire tie with Grooveline
Of course, this is simply to understand the influences of the band. What it tells me is a mixture of young and old feelgood sounding music.
Such is the feeling behind a Just Costa song. As the brother/sister duo explore this new writing style that originated in Italy, we look forward to what comes next.
Interviewer & Writer: Randal Wark is a Professional Speaker and MasterMind Facilitator with a passion for live music. You can follow him on Instagram, Twitter and YouTube. His Podcast RockStar Today helps musicians quit their days jobs with out of the box advice from Ted Talk Speakers, Best Selling Authors and other interesting Entrepreneurs and Creatives.Share this :