Written by Ashley Friedman
Flora Cash, a Swedish-American duo, releases their latest single, “Feeling So Down,” today. The song is hot on the heels of the duo’s recent album, Baby, It’s Okay.
The duo recently chatted with Elicit Magazine about their journey as up and coming musicians, tending to their newborn baby girl, Rocker, while also juggling their never-ending love for music.
“Music-as-a-career really hit us once we met each other… Once we had someone else to share the same dream with, we were all in,” says Flora Cash. “It’s tricky to pursue a career in music if your significant other isn’t necessarily on the same page… We both agreed that either we were going to be successful or we were going to be poor; there was no plan B.”
Flora Cash, made up of Shpresa Lleshaj and Cole Randall, released their first single together, “Summerset,” back in 2013. The song offers a nostalgic feel as we’re taken back through the seasons while reflecting on the power of love at a distance.
“We wrote [Summerset] at the very end of Shpresa’s trip to Minnesota in the summer of 2012. It was a bittersweet feeling; bitter in that our magical and somewhat idyllic first summer together was ending, but sweet in that it felt like something life-changing was just beginning.”
Their first performance together was just a month or so after meeting in person. Thanks to Cole’s Aunt Tamara’s insistence to perform, and an undeniable love that was blossoming before their own eyes, Flora Cash was introduced as one in a very small town of Park Rapids, Minnesota.
“We had like two days to prepare and we performed a cover of Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zero’s ‘Home.’ We ended up winning 2nd place and the prize was $150. So, it was not just our first live performance together, but our first paid performance!” comments Flora Cash. Soon after, the duo found out that they would have won 1st place, but unfortunately, due to Shpresa not being a resident of Minnesota, was unable to be crowned the winner.
“We had a lot of fun that day, but it was nerve-wracking and that feeling of actually winning something and being well received gave us a lot of confidence that we were on to something.”
And, on to something they were. Since Flora Cash’s inception, the duo has continued to release music that has captured listeners far and wide, breaking into the mainstream with chart-topping hits like, “You’re Somebody Else,” “Missing Home,” and “They Own This Town.” Not to mention, the duo has also toured with notables like AJR, Judah & the Lion, lovelytheband and more!
Their latest song, “Feeling So Down” jumpstarts their upcoming ambitious release schedule.
“We want people to know that these songs we have coming soon have been lovingly hand crafted; we took no shortcuts, we never settled for a throwaway lyric and we’ve put more attention to detail into these songs than ever before,” comments Flora Cash.
“Feeling So Down” showcases vulnerability at its finest, with lyrics like, “I’ve been feeling so down this time / wear your hoodie to bed at night.” The song is sure to connect with those who feel lost in their own story, giving off a darkly optimistic vibe that they’ll find their way back onto life’s path.
“We put a ton of time into getting every little piece just right and it felt like since we spent so much time getting every detail the way we wanted it, that it would be a good first song to kick off the year.”
The initial lyrics came to the duo while on tour in a green room after a show. Although the duo can’t remember the location, it was Shpresa who originally came up with the start of the song, “I’ve been feeling so down this time.” From there, the song blossomed into what you hear today. The duo wrote, recorded and produced the song while in quarantine.
“It’s a little different than anything else we’ve put out and we really connect with it thematically and tone-wise. It has this kind of old-timey vibe in places that make us nostalgic, but it also feels forward-looking.”
With little contact to the outside world, this global pandemic has given both Shpresa & Cole the confidence that, as they put it, “if the apocalypse ever hits, we could survive in a bunker together and be ok.” They also reveal that they’ve gone back to the basics in rediscovering why they’re making music in the first place.
“At the end of the day, it’s about the songs for us and making a little piece of art that someone can hopefully feel better having listened to. We’re just making something that gives us joy during those small moments for other people to enjoy in their small moments.”
Although Flora Cash admits that songwriting has been a bit trickier lately as they tend to their newborn, they still manage to find time to write.
“Normally we write in shifts these days and not as often at the same time so that one of us can focus on Rocker while the other works… Rocker is our main priority now, but Flora Cash comes in a very close second; they’re both our babies and we feel a deep responsibility to keep them both happy and healthy and to help them grow.”
It might be a while before any “Rocker inspired tracks” make it our way, but the duo insists that they’re working on them, and hope that they make Rocker proud when she’s older.
This year, the duo aims to reach twice as many people with their music as they did last with an optimistic state of mind. “Never limit your thinking,” says Flora Cash. “Try not to doubt yourself because usually you’re capable of more than you realize.”
A message to “never give up” is brought to life on the Flora Cash YouTube channel where the duo has a specific playlist dedicated to their fan covers.
“We think anyone that takes the time to learn one of our songs deserves recognition. It’s honestly an honor that people care enough to sit and spend time learning and performing our music, comments Flora Cash. “The least we can do is give them a platform and maybe a chance to reach an audience of their own. Our fans mean everything to us. Without them, our dream would be dead.”
As for advice for other up and coming musicians, Flora Cash comments, “Opportunities are everywhere, but sometimes they require sacrifice; get out of your comfort zone.” The duo goes on to mention the importance of taking small steps toward improvements, getting out there and networking, holding onto your dream and protecting it.
“You know your own potential. It’s up to you whether you prove the doubters right.”
Listen to Flora Cash’s latest single, “Feeling So Down.”
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