Sticking together to rise to the top

By Beverley Knight

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Growing up, identical twins MBS and XR were understandably close. They came as a pair in sports, with friends, you name it. Anyone who knew them couldn’t imagine a life where the two weren’t doing everything together. Music was a bond for them – it was a given that creating it as a duo would happen down the line.

Born and raised in London, they both get a kick from sharing their musical finds and introducing new artists to each other. It was after seeing Playboy Carti together in 2017 that lightning struck. Feeling buzzed, they both left the venue, saying, “We could do that.” At that moment, they knew they would. But they weren’t quite sure how. It wasn’t until years later their dream materialised.

MBS was away at university, and XR was working nine to five; something felt off. “We remember a particular phone call. MBS had enough of his course. XR had enough of work. All we talked about was music.” When they hung up, the pair had the very same thought. They started creating sound independently at first, releasing tracks in 2020. Some songs featured each other. It was a no-brainer. The duo TWN, Twn of the World, was born in 2021.

Self-taught in music engineering, it took the boys a few years to find their true sound. “We knew what we wanted, but no engineer could bring it to life. We found it through trial and error.” Finally, they’re at a place where they are comfortable with melodic and energy-fuelled rap and a five-track EP, Paradox of Paradise, released in 2023.

That’s the music sorted, but like many other creatives, breaking into the mainstream is the steepest challenge. The duo have unwavering faith in their talent and facilities to grow. “All we can do is keep consistent and take opportunities when they come knocking.”

Fortunately, the boys are not alone in their climb. It’s a comfort to surround themselves with like-minded people. They set up a network named ‘the population’ with their creative friends. Artists, directors, photographers, DJs, producers and music engineers help each member’s visions come to life.

“People in ‘the population’ have directed and shot all of our videos so far. Being a creative person is hard. You’re in your head a lot of the time.” Lifting friends and others in the industry is the best support system and tonic they could ask for.

Last July, TWN took a moment to appreciate their first headline show in London, selling over two hundred tickets. It was more than satisfying to see people sing the lyrics they wrote. The night was lively. There was even an enthusiastic stage dive from MBS. “That was our biggest achievement so far, but 2024 will be bigger and better.”

TWN are open to anyone who gets their frame of mind. “Our music is for listeners who feel us. Anyone who gets us and likes our attitude.” They consider their view on life in their art. “We use past experiences, present life and the future.” But listeners might not find a direct message in the pair’s sound; there are no worries about that. “If you can vibe with us and really hear the music, that’s all that matters.”

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