Zoe Kravitz may have introduced Chelsea Tyler and Jon Foster, but fate already had that planned. Forty-eight hours after they met, their love of music inspired them to create songs together. Before that magical moment, they were just two souls waiting for the other half of their inspiration to arrive.
Just a few years back, Tyler hopped off a bus ride from her Boston art school, arriving in New York City for a weekend modeling gig. She had a random thought to call Kravitz. The two ladies met through their rock star fathers, Steven and Lenny, when they were just four years old. As the women reconnected, looking at old photos later that night, “I was like 'Who’s that?'” Tyler remembers, zoning in on a guy. “It was totally a setup.”
Jon Foster had met Kravitz through his brother during a Fourth of July party the two men hosted at Hollywood Tower. Dating Foster’s brother for a few years, Kravitz was “like a sister” to him. So when she invited him to a party in NYC, he showed up, not realizing fate waited on the other side of the door.
“Kaneholler” was the name of a bamboo forest owned by Tyler’s grandfather. Now it carries different weight as hers and Foster’s band name. The pair embark on many firsts together now, like a national tour supporting The Ting Tings, including a performance at the Fonda March 24. They were also guest editors on Tommy Hilfiger’s website, moderating fashions they’d like to wear, and just finished their second music video, for the song “Paper Games.”
The soon-to-be married artists work and live together in their Venice Beach home studio. “I think [the studio] was set up before the bed frame was,” Foster says. A mobile recording studio and cohabitation allows for 3 a.m. work sessions and, according to Foster, “There’s a lot of dancing, at all hours…especially at 11 a.m. when there’s coffee!”
Their music video for “Someone New” emulates snapshots of their new SoCal lifestyle. “Being in love and supporting each other just helps the music free flow. We basically have invented our own language.” Tyler says.
With tastes that vary from Skrillex to Billie Holliday and Michael Jackson to DJ Shadow, Kaneholler successfully fuse their favorite styles in their self-titled, three-volume EP collection. “The first one is more trip-hoppy, more jazz, lo-fi elements to it, then throughout the EPs it grows into a dance-y feel,” Foster says.
A huge EDM fan, Tyler recalls seeing Bassnectar at her first electronic show. “I felt possessed,” she remembers, adding that the “music makes the [audience] shake and move in ways I’ve never seen… [It’s] life altering.”
Living on tour with Aerosmith until the age of thirteen, Tyler gained invaluable lessons “understanding tour life, the nature of being a performer, and showmanship.” Music is just in her blood. Watching her father, she notes, “He can pick up anything, a pair of scissors, and turn it into a musical instrument. Music is just flying out of him all the time.”
Plagued with stage fright for many years, Tyler has finally settled into her skin while performing. She corrects herself onstage when her dad’s style seeps in periodically. “The face is enough of a resemblance,” she explains, but add that his influence is “immeasurable…he’s a force to be reckoned with, onstage and off.”
As Kaneholler hits the road, their dream comes alive, with a Skrillex and Ella Fitzgerald soundtrack alternately wafting and thumping out the van windows.
When asked what gifts they’d like from fans, Foster says, “We really like ramen.”
“It’s true,” Tyler chimes in. “We eat a lot of ramen…and Red Bull.” She laughs, then catches herself and gives a more earnest answer: “Just their smiling faces and dancing feet!”
Kaneholler and The Ting Tings perform at the Fonda Theatre on Tuesday, March 24. More info.