Meet Tre Banks and Brandon, the creative duo behind 2SEATER Audio. We had a chance to chop it up with them to talk about their early beginnings, the current state of music, their favorite kicks, and more.
HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE 2 SEATER - OR BETTER QUESTION, WHAT IS 2 SEATER?
Tre Banks: 2SEATER has always been an audio experiment to me. We are finding ways to build a creative business model with a foundation in sound. We may guest DJ or curate an event, serve as creative consultants (for an artist, producer, or brand), or even push content out that targets various communities nationwide who share similar interests and aspirations. The intangible web of music ties each of these components together.
Brandon: Yeah, an audio/visual experiment is what I call it. A collection of executed ideas between Tre & I, Mixing our experiences and influences from our childhood together with the culture we're immersed in the present day.
HOW DID YOU TWO MEET?
T: I was a private school kid, who didn't know many people in the neighborhood yet, and Brandon and his twin brother (Bernard) moved right next door to me. They went to the neighborhood public school, they would be outside playing with kids around the way, and I jumped off the porch and joined them. We all eventually started going to school together once I left private school, and since I already knew them outside of school, we remained close through all the years. We like 20 something years deep.
B: We lived next door to each other when we were super young, Erlen Road. Our houses were 3 seconds apart from each other. I think basketball was both our thing then; we both had basketball courts. That's probably our bond first, looking back at it.
WHAT GOES INTO MAKING A GOOD PLAYLIST?
T: I have two approaches. On the one hand, I like a playlist with a consistent vibe, like all chill shit, throwbacks, or new trap slaps that put you in a specific zone. On the other hand, I can also appreciate a playlist with an array, and you just put it on shuffle. This type of playlist allows you to sit back and discover new songs and different vibes, plus the listener doesn't know what they're about to get, it's like a new age radio station (sort of).
B: Yeah, I think having a variety of sonics is pretty essential. I can't have one sound the whole time.
WHAT INSPIRED YOUR LOVE FOR MUSIC - OR EVEN THIS ‘CULTURE’ AS A WHOLE?
T: Just being a slight nerd that had a love for the nuances in people. Like it's tough now because the internet made so much the same across the board. The nuances that came from local or regional trends to the point where you had to dive in to understand it seem to be getting lost. The discovery rate is moving at lightspeed along with trends. 2SEATER allows us to still mine for that niche gold when tapping in with people, but it's intentional work at this point. Also, I would be dead wrong for not adding Kanye West. I would have never realized how important PERSPECTIVE and RISK TAKING were for the growth and progress of culture. I would have always felt like I needed to do what I already see to fit in and "make it", but seeing a pink Polo next to a State property jacket opened up my world of possibilities in music and culture.
B: Being on the internet early was a good time in mid-late 2000. I was also traveling and seeing new things from different cultures. Growing up in the 90s was crazy; that was like the shift of everything culture-related. Artists/producers from every region were starting to pop, Timbaland, The Hot Boyz, Kilo Ali, Lil Kim, stuff like that that didn't sound or look the same. It was all just super interesting, so that's definitely where it started.
WHAT CITIES SHOULD PEOPLE HAVE THEIR EYES ON RIGHT NOW?
T: New Orleans has something cool brewing. I like Stone Cold Jzzle, Malik Ninety Five, and the whole Freewater movement. I also like what's happening in Atlanta with artists like Tony Shhnow, Bear1Boss, Popstar Benny, and Cash Cache. I always say look out for Philly and the DMV because those are the two scenes that molded me and I know how much talent is overlooked in those two areas. Artists like Joony and OT7 Quanny are exciting but could name many more.
B: I'm always going to say Philly first, only because it's the hometown, but there's a lot of talent there. Nate Runner, Wewantdrogas, DIDIT, Jah$star, the list goes on and on. But aside from that, I'd say Atlanta will always be in the mix as far as music goes. There's this R&B singer named Kyeoshin out there; she's going to be big. Lastly, I'd probably say L.A., the underground scene out here, is super slept on.
WE’RE INTERVIEWING THE INTERVIEWERS; AFTER LISTENING TO A FEW OF YOUR INTERVIEWS - THEY SEEM MORE LIKE TALKS AND CONVERSATIONS - TO YOU, WHAT GOES INTO DOING A GOOD INTERVIEW?
T: Most people we have had on our radio program so far have been hand-selected by one of us. We feel it's still early enough to highlight our immediate network, and these are people who share unique experiences with us already. So rather than it feeling like interviews, it's just an inside look on pre-existing working or personal relationships we have. I think it's important to highlight the people we come across so that their audience can grow, but it's also important that anyone who decides to sit down with us feels comfortable. I don't like the idea of someone feeling interrogated, I want to laugh and build deeper connections with the talented ass people that come through --- so much more comes after the interview and I always try to keep that in mind.
B: I have no idea what goes into a good interview. I used to hate doing them cause I don't talk as much, and Tre is so much more well-spoken than I am. He's truly a professional when it comes to that. But I do enjoy most of the talks we do; I think they're just easily flowing conversations. We don't have any scripts or notes prepared. Our guests, who are usually homies of ours, just pull up, we talk a few minutes before getting on camera then usually get right to it.
HOW DO YOU DISCOVER NEW TALENT?
T: Pre-COVID, I was hosting many events and traveling city to city, really checking out scenes and hitting local events with people I knew were trapped in. When on the ground and amongst the energy, you really know what's going to work in a way that being on social media just can't gage. Since COVID though, I lean heavily on a certain side of my network that I know has good music taste, and is pretty early in discovering things. I still pay attention to social media, scroll Soundcloud, and listen for who/what is brought up in multiple conversations that I should be checking for. Things are moving faster and the lines of what's "new" or simply just "undiscovered" are starting to blur so crazy that this question is hard even to answer.
B: Friends with good taste, poking around outside, and of course my own ear. I'm still digging for stuff on SoundCloud and Bandcamp.
SNEAKERS, FASHION AND MUSIC ALL KIND OF RUN IN THE SAME WORLD. HOW HAVE SNEAKERS PLAYED A ROLE IN YOUR LIFE TO THIS POINT? WHAT’S ONE OF YOUR EARLIEST SNEAKER MEMORIES?
Tr: Man the first "cool" job I ever had was at Footaction at Cheltenham Mall and 69th Street. My earliest sneaker memories are honestly having the Reebok Answer 4's. I was a Philly young bull and everyone knows Iverson was our Jordan. I feel like when the Answer 4's dropped, I was just coming of age where I started to care about sneaks and those were like the Sixers vs Lakers in the Finals year along with NBA ASW being in Philly. The feeling of having the kicks of a hometown favorite with ball culture thriving in Philly, and the intersection of hip hop with it all really opened my eyes to how fashion, music, and sports collide.
B: My dad used to buy Jordans for me and my brother all of the time, those are like the first pairs of sneakers I can recall getting. I played basketball all throughout my childhood, so I was into a lot of Nike and adidas stuff, then Reebok when Allen Iverson dropped his collab. Fast forward to high school, and that's when I got into like Dunks and skateboard shoes, stuff like that.
DO YOU THINK YOUR MUSICAL TASTE COINCIDES WITH THE WAY YOU DRESS? WHO WERE SOME OF YOUR EARLY INSPIRATIONS ON THE FASHION TIP, WHO SO HAPPENED TO MAKE MUSIC?
T: Yeah 100%. Like as a kid I just wanted to dress like State Prop and people on Headshot DVD's. Once I started developing a taste that represented who I was, Kanye and his squad (Taz Arnold, Ibn Jasper, Don C, Virgil Abloh, Fonzworth Bentley), N.E. R.D. / Pharrell, Chuck Inglish of The Cool Kids, Asaad and even Tyler, the Creator a bit later on.
B: Yeah for sure. That's probably because of Kanye. I think he changed a lot about style and dress when he first came on the scene, made people in the culture get a bit more serious about the way they put it together and presented themselves. As far as early inspirations, Kanye, Pharrell and The Cool Kids.
BEST DRESSED RAPPER?
T: I don't know, this question is a bit weird speaking today. But three guys that come to mind are A$AP Nast, Carti, and Kanye. I genuinely don't pay much attention, though, because I'm at the point where I can get ideas from others, but I think I'm pretty set in what works for me and leave the other stuff to the other guys. Giving staple Tre' Banks looks on the daily like a cartoon ya dig. I'm the best-dressed rapper, actually.
WHAT’S YOUR CURRENT ROTATION LOOKING LIKE?
T: Right now, I'm a heavy Shadow 1's boul, along with the Stray Rats New Balance jawns, and my most recent pick up was some Nike Air Max 96's.
B: I'm usually going for comfortability over everything these days; you're liable to catch me in my Birkenstocks any day of the week. Aside from that, there are a couple of pairs of New Balances that I frequent, but it's mainly just sandals, L.A. will do that to you. I am on the hunt for the tone of those Rebook Pyer Moss collabs though.
WHAT’S NEXT FOR 2 SEATER?
T: Funny because we ask people this question all the time, and I realize it just induces anxiety. But being featured by Atmos is next :) -- plus some other cool things for you to watch, listen to, buy, or attend.
B: We're focused on evolving and growing right now in every way possible. We're learning as we go, but I like the direction we're headed because it still feels new to us; there's so much that we haven't removed from behind the curtain. I'm excited for it all.
Click here to check out the playlist that 2 SEATER curated. Make sure to follow us on Spotify at atmos USA to stay updated with our playlist and newest sounds.