The Ladybugs are your new favorite band.
No really! Just check out their latest cover video of Billie Eilish’s “Bad Guy” and you’ll see what we mean. We caught up with the NYC outfit for a quick chat.
Where did you guys grow up?
Vanessa Perea: I grew up in Colonia, NJ, it’s a small suburban town in central New Jersey in a house with a yard and a swing set.
Martina DaSilva: I grew up in Manhattan with none of those things!
What is the musical background of The Ladybugs and why does it all work together so well?
Perea: We’re both professional jazz singers with classical training.
DaSilva: And we’re both Latin-American (I’m Brazilian-American, Vanessa’s Cuban-Colombian) so the music that we listened to with our parents growing up also has influenced both of us greatly.
Who are your favorite bands?
Perea: I don’t really listen to a lot of “bands.” I mainly listen to solo artists, jazz artists in particular. Some of my favorites are Nancy Wilson, Sarah Vaughan, and Frank Sinatra. Some contemporary jazz artists that I love are Gretchen Parlato and Diane Reeves.
DaSilva: I love all those artists as well! I’m also really into The Beatles, Randy Newman, Ray Charles, and more recently, Pentatonix, Kacey Musgraves, and some contemporary opera singers like Joyce DiDonato and Isabel Leonard.
How would you describe your stage show?
DaSilva: It’s fun and always changing! Even though we’ve been playing together for years, new things always happen on stage because we love to improvise and be in the moment.
In what ways has your newest music changed from when you first started?
Perea: We’re definitely incorporating more pop music, as you can see from our latest video. And we’re also trying to get our fans more involved these days, by taking song suggestions from them.
DaSilva: Musically, we started out as more of a traditional jazz band, and focused on songs from the 1920’s & 30s. Now we’ve opened up to music from any genre, as long as we like it and it sounds pretty! We’ve recently re-labeled our sound as “Dramy Latin Cowgirl Jazz”.
What would be your dream venue in which to perform and favorite cities?
DaSilva: I’d love to perform at the Sydney Opera house- it’s stunning.
Perea: Carnegie Hall in New York. As far as favorite cities go, New York is wonderful of course. I’ve always wanted to go to Paris, Barcelona, and Rome.
What famous musicians have you learned from?
Perea: Personally-Ella Fitzgerald. She was a huge influence on my singing and musicianship, [she has] perfect intonation & rhythm. As a band, The Andrews Sisters, The Boswell Sisters, The Ink Spots, and The Platters.
DaSilva: I’ve learned a lot from Amy Winehouse, Regina Spektor, and Lake Street Dive. All three of those artists have roots in jazz, but have incorporated it in a way that’s both fresh and retro, and the result is modern and beautiful.
Where does the band like to unwind and chill together? Any favorite local hangs?
Perea: We love hanging out at Barcade in downtown Manhattan after gigs. We also love getting dinner together at this great pan-latin diner in the West Village called Coppelia.
We love the video! Why “Bad Guy”?
DaSilva: Thank you! Billie Eilish is awesome and I’ve always wanted us to cover one of her songs. As soon as I heard “Bad Guy,” I knew it would sound awesome as a 60s-style Bossa-nova! And we had those red and yellow outfits from a photo shoot and I knew they would just pop in front of the colorful seats of the NYC subway cars. We had to film it at 2am, pretty much the only time the subway isn’t packed!
Keep up with The Ladybugs