Local Tallahassee Band "Why Not Y" Releases New Album

In March 2015, I interviewed a new band just starting out in the Tallahassee area. They went by the name of Why Not Y. Fast forward a year later and Why Not Y has not ceased to amaze me with their intense drive, willingness to learn and overall fantastic music. I first interviewed Ryan Raines, Pio Molina and Kelley Kessell at a coffee shop in Strozier library on Florida State's campus, and I could tell right away they were something special. Their excitement and enthusiasm as they told me about their music resonates in their kick-a*s new album: Blue Lazers. I got a chance to catch up with them to see what they have been up to for the past year.

Why Not Y officially began in March 2014 when they came out with their first song, "Young." The group, all originally from South Florida, met in middle school as well as through random roommate selections. They combined their knowledge of jazz, orchestra, R&B and pop to make a killer sound that appeals to literally everyone. Back when I spoke to them last March, they just finished producing a music video, had released a self-titled EP and preformed in a live show at The Warehouse here in Tally. Needless to say, the band has been up to a lot since then. 

Courtesy: Jon Sams

In the summer of 2015, the band made a unanimous decision to travel 2,250 miles to Los Angeles, California in search of landing a record deal and producing their album. They also wanted to make tons of connections, but overall they were trying to get signed. Unfortunately, not everything worked out as the band had planned.

“We went out there with high hopes, almost like it was the Promised Land. We didn’t necessarily know what the hell to do when we got there and we weren’t there long enough to figure it out,” Molina admitted.

Why Not Y struggled financially and had to resort to street performing, which ended up being “quite the experience,” according to Molina. They racked up a few hundred bucks that aided them in their journey and they met a couple of cool people along the way. 

Courtesy: Ryan Raines

“It was a huge reality check, honestly. It wasn’t only a kick in the butt, it was a kick in the... everything,” said Raines. 

The band faced another, slightly bigger setback, this past year as well. The band officially broke up in January, the day before I called them to do an interview. Kelley is now happily working on her career at Young Arts, a scholarship foundation, where she works in computer software. As far as vocals go, the guys are collaborating with some friends for the time being. They are also going to rebrand, and when I asked if they had any ideas for a new name, they told me it was to be announced. Why Not Y is also currently working on a new music project!

Courtesy: Why Not Y

The entire trip wasn’t a total bust, however. The band recorded and wrote most of the music you’ll find on their new album, Blue Lazers, at a home office in the Air BnB they stayed at in LA. They got incredible inspiration from the city that surrounded them and it helped the album come together. They finished all of the vocals and had the tracks written and roughly finished, all in the month and a half while they were visiting LA. When asked where the inspiration came from for the album as a whole, Molina jokingly said, “The universe.” 

“No, but really. There was inspiration coming from so many different areas and aspects of our life while we were in LA," said Raines. "The song ‘Santa Monica,’ which is probably my favorite song, came directly from spending the time in LA. I remember a specific moment, when we were all walking around Hollywood on the first day, and Kelley said, ‘I feel like I’m just floating,’ and that was a really cool moment for us.”

Molina continues, “It’s like you know California exists, and you know you can fly there. But when you drive from here to California? It’s like you don’t know all that stuff in between exists until you break the freaking boundaries that you’ve spent all your life within! You’re practically going through mountains to get to this new place that people talk so much about! And to be totally free of that boundary that we know exists—it’s just surreal. I think that idea inspired a lot of our songs.”

Courtesy: Kelley Kessell

The boys might love “Santa Monica,” but I’m definitely torn between “Future Feel” and “The Line” for my personal favorite. It’s actually pretty hard to decide seeing as how just about EVERY song is so awesome. Precision has a great techy, pop vibe and combining Kelley’s sultry voice to the mix is the icing on top. I’m pretty sure I learned the lyrics to “The Line” only after the third time listening to it, and now I sing it at the top of my lungs every time it comes on.

Oh, and can I just say the chorus for “Turn the Night Around” is everything I will ever need in my life. I heard this album once and I was already humming every song on my way to the gym. Do yourself a huge favor and download Why Not Y’s FREE album on Soundcloud. You’ll have them on repeat just like they have been for me over the past week.

Listen to Why Not Y’s newest album Blue Lazers here