Timeflies Singer Cal Goes Solo With New Songs 'My Brother' and 'So Cal': 'I'm Ready to Tell My Story'

Dalton Misner


On Aug. 7, pop duo Timeflies took to social media to announce that both members, Cal and Rob, had been working on solo projects "cuz once in a while you need to let your creativity explore new places." One week later, Cal's venture has already begun.

Going as Cal (stylized CAL), the singer dropped the first taste of what his solo music sounds like with the piano-tinged "My Brother" and guitar-plucking "So Cal" on Thursday (Aug. 15). The two tracks are part of a bigger project Cal plans to release titled The Identity Crisis, which will give fans a deeper look into his personal life -- and as he puts it, "sets out to answer the question, 'Who is Cal?'"

Ahead of releasing the songs, Cal filled Billboard in on his new solo project and what it means for Timeflies (hint, Timeflies fans: don't worry).

Why did you want to pursue music on your own outside of what Timeflies was doing?

Creatively, I never really had much experience outside of Timeflies. We played in places I never dreamed I’d ever go, and more importantly, created relationships that will last a lifetime. But I always wondered who I would be and what my sound would be if and when I created music on my own. But everything I’m doing now isn’t anything to spite Timeflies. I'm just ready to tell my story.

How did you figure out what your solo sound was going to be?

It was just kind of in my head. I had endless voice notes for each individual song, labeled things like “bass line” and “lead synth melody” -- but my general thought was, I wanted my choruses to have a powerful lyric about myself with classic production, while the verses would feel more contemporary. I wanted honesty and self reflection to be the prevailing concept, while musically doing things that would catch you off guard.

Also, I’ve been lucky enough to meet so many collaborators along my journey that I was able to work with some of my favorite and most talented writers and producers to help me bring my ideas to life. Thank you to each and every one of them.

What made "My Brother" and "So Cal" feel like the right songs to release first?

Honesty and authenticity. "My Brother" was based on a real conversation I had with my brother. Even though I had put in so much work already there were obviously moments of doubt and I remember asking him, “Am I crazy for wanting to start a new project?” Before I could even finish he dropped this knowledge on me: “You’ll never be as young as you are right now.” And I can honestly say it fucked me up…I know I’ve heard that expression before, but for some reason, in that moment, I actually heard it. It clicked. There are so many things I’ve wanted to do where I’ve said, “Mmm, there’s no time right now, and I really should’ve started it five years ago anyway.” But the truth is, I’d probably say that same comment five years from now. So by that logic, just start. I view this song as a tone setter for my project as the lyrics kind of explain why I want to do this. Why I’m ready to finally be Cal.

And "So Cal"? Instagram and YouTube and whatnot only capture the highlights, and I wanted to express my real experience. I’m an East Coast kid, and I truly love it out here in L.A., but it’s different. Very different. I think everyone has that leaving home experience, wondering who their true ride or die friends will be. If they needed one, whose couch would they would sleep on? I wanted to shed a little light on the dark side of sunny L.A.

Are any of the songs you plan to release as Cal tracks that were written with Timeflies in mind that didn't end up working out for Timeflies' catalog?

Never. The idea for Cal records were always separate ideas that served a purpose to my project and telling my story.

Does this mean Timeflies is done for good, or just on a hiatus?

No; I think hiatus is a fair term. Both Rob and I have been involved in everything each of us has done for as long as I can remember. We both wanted the opportunity to see where our individual ideas could take us.

What else can fans get excited about that's coming from you? 

I think my fans are really going to connect with someone telling an honest story. Each song conveys a real moment or emotion. After these first two songs there will be videos for both, and then two more songs with videos a few weeks after that. The first couple releases will be centered around duality, with one song featuring bigger production and the other a more stripped back acoustic record. Obviously there will be shows, but right now, I cannot wait for them to hear what I’ve been working on.


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