Two brothers combine talents to form hip-hop duo
Patrick and Matt Duda agree when it comes to their music careers, two heads are better than one.
After dabbling in various solo projects, the two brothers decided to combine their efforts and created the hip-hop duo The Specktators.
“When we can combine our two enjoyments into one, we make songs that everyone can like and have aspects of music that everyone can enjoy,” supply chain management senior Patrick Duda said. “I think that’s what makes us tick.”
In October, they released a mixed tape and have been performing as much as possible since then, including at a show Friday at Mac’s Bar, 2700 E. Michigan Ave., in Lansing.
Matt Duda began performing on his own during his freshman year at Lansing Community College. He performed locally but said he felt his lyrical content was lacking, which is when he asked his brother to collaborate with him.
“We kind of just experimented around,” he said. “(Patrick) would kind of get into what I was doing, and it just dawned on me that he’s probably a better lyricist than I am.”
The two artists share similar influences, such as Big Sean and Drake, but they said they also have very different role models as well.
Patrick Duda said he takes inspiration from older Kanye West material and underground hip-hop artists, while his brother said he tends to listen to pop and techno-influenced hip-hop.
Although the siblings said there is not much of a hip-hop scene in the area, they feel as if they can use MSU’s campus and the surrounding areas to their advantage by connecting on a personal level with students.
“One of the things that helps us is that you have the whole college campus,” Patrick Duda said. “As far as our lyrics, we try not to go outside of ourselves. I talk about what I know — just college and girls and drinking. I think people can relate to it.”
The musicians recently filmed a music video for one of their most popular songs titled “EL Girls,” which is about college-aged women living in East Lansing and often is played at local bars.
The video was shot mostly in the city and on campus, featuring various locations along Grand River Avenue and an MSU lecture hall. It starred some of the rappers acquaintances and people they selected through a Facebook event they created calling for participants.
“It was a fun thing (to shoot),” Patrick Duda said. “We’re right here in East Lansing, we might as well take advantage of the campus.”
Criminal justice senior Eric Acevedo is one student who has been a fan of The Specktators from the beginning and was in multiple scenes of the video.
“It was definitely a new experience,” he said. “I’ve never been a part of a music video. It was fun just going around with them with all the cameras around and the equipment.”
He also is close friends with both brothers and said he is able to see a different side to the artists than most fans are able to, such as all the hard work they put into their music.
“I think they definitely have something, so they should keep pursuing it,” he said. “It’s got to be hard, both of them going to school and working, (but) I think it’ll pay off in the long run.”
While both brothers agree working closely with a sibling can be challenging, they said the outcome is worth the struggles they have had to endure.
“We get in a lot more fights than the average duo, but it results in good things,” Patrick Duda said. “If there’s something one of us doesn’t like, we’re not afraid to go and talk to the other about it.”
Although Patrick Duda plans to graduate in the spring, he said he intends on continuing to pursue his music career as a member of The Specktators.
“Hopefully this should be a big year for us,” he said. “What we really want to do is do these shows, make more music and see how it goes.”