In A Time Loop with Myles & Cilla

By: Trish Perez

Myles Vincent Perez and Priscilla Lauren Perez are siblings who make music as a two-piece band. The 17 and 15 year old duo started to make music after self quarantine was declared and they did it in an attempt to find a creative outlet to let out their anxiety, fear, and disappointment.

“Time Loop” music video & song was nominated & won its first week with 5,600 votes among other newly debuted Instagram artists chosen.

Time Loop is defined as a constant resetting and/or starting over which describes quarantine life today. Also, It’s the title of Myles and Cilla's latest song. They created it from their bedroom studio before the brutal pandemic hit the US. I can’t get their song out of my head. Each morning as I lay in bed, I hear, “Locked in a cage, no key to find … stuck in my room, no interest in my mind … slowly starting to fear as I’m wasting time.” Although the song was written about their frustrations regarding moving away from their childhood home, the lyrics seem to fit my internal panic regarding the sudden COVID-19 outbreak. It’s a song with a monotonous beat matching my mood of feeling trapped like everyday is Groundhog’s Day. The music video depicts the song well bringing awareness to the chaos around us. It begins with a New Year’s Eve countdown followed by each month flashing across the screen highlighting the worsening timeline of events of 2020. It mirrored real life moments in our home while debuting two teens in charge of us all.

From the start, it may seem accidental for my two aspiring artists to fall into music-making but who knows if it was predestined all along. I once thought their beautiful names Myles Vincent Perez and Priscilla Lauren Perez were meant to be on print somewhere but sadly they simply prefer Myles and Cilla on their music platforms. They are the least likely siblings in the family we’d see working together as a duo. Witnessing their 17 & 15 year old minds connect effortlessly with their new found passion is a sweet surprise. As the world slowly came to a halt, I was concerned they would dive into a depressive mode since they didn’t surface out of their rooms. News of the pandemic invaded everyone’s psyche and being told to self quarantine and not leave our homes meant no creative outlets for them. It would be especially difficult for these kids immersed in LA’s busy Hollywood culture. They’ve adapted showbiz-ready habits learned early from their childhood careers … professionally acting and dancing for Disney, Nickelodeon and other networks. Suddenly, no auditions, dance classes, tapings or social interactions with friends. Thank God for the internet where friendships continued to blossom on chat rooms and gaming communities. It was there, in one of the gaming groups, where Myles bonded with friends in the industry whom he experimented his first sounds with. He was excited in discovering his talent for producing so he used his hard earned savings to set up his own studio in his room. The equipment initially intended for his gaming channel consisted of four different sized monitors lined up on his wall along with LED lighting everywhere, instruments and even his computer keyboard screamed neon lights. At the same time, above on the 2nd floor, Cilla created music for her best friends Erin and Kaylee who needed cheering up from their relocation/separation anxieties. The then 14 year old trio had been besties since elementary school and it was difficult for them to be apart. It was their constant encouragement over group chats essential in boosting her confidence to continue singing. As a tribute to their strong bond, she wrote, produced and dedicated her first song to them. What transpired from Myles & Cilla’s friendships set the next course of events.

One day, Cilla wandered into Myles studio attempting to borrow his new mic and soon after, a collaboration began. In the height of the pandemic, their first single “Inner Space” was released on May 15, 2020. Surprisingly, it was well received by our so-called “Boomer” (meaning us parents & grandparents, affectionately coined by them) generation. I guess we could all relate to their interpretation of feeling lost and lonely in the lyrics and rejoicing at the end of verse 3 when you hear, “Searching was I wrong ... and then you came along.” Their soaring vocals compliment each other in a way where you don’t want the song to end. Despite having polar opposite personalities, it didn’t interfere with the flow of writing it. Myles produced the beats but they both contributed with lyrics. Their two collaboration tracks lead in Spotify streams versus their solo tracks and hopefully people will continue to appreciate the sound of their blended voices. Their soon to be released music video for “Time Loop” is the brainchild of older brother Zach who also directed it. Myles new solo single “Good Boy” was recognized on Instagram’s Pop Smash Radio countdown based in the east coast and ranked 8th on their list when it debuted on July 10. His first boy band experience as “4 The Moment” member along with friends Tren, IJ and Freddy won a group award on the same IG Radio show. Also, his runaway hit “Let Me Hold Your Hand” on SoundCloud is a sampled track that continues gaining streams by the thousands since its May release. Cilla’s new single “Slowly” was recently released on July 31st. It’s another product of quarantine produced and emotionally written to describe her feelings of being trapped between two emotions of sadness and anger. It has a more mature sound compared to her 1st EP (Extended Play) album “Journal” recorded with a basic starter mic that includes four tracks. Their homemade creations from inside their bedrooms have reached the outside world thanks to music platforms; Spotify, Apple Music, Amazon Music, Pandora, SoundCloud, YouTube and Instagram. Their profiles can be found on Spotify under MYLES (in all caps) and under Cilla along with @okaymyles and @cilla.exe on Instagram. They are ecstatic to gain listeners from the Philippines, Japan, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Germany, India, UK, South America, Fiji and are grateful for the new cities and countries popping up. It’s especially memorable when friends and family give their positive feedback.

Family is most important in their musical journey because their heritage is the backbone and spiritual compass to navigating America’s huge melting pot of influences. It’s a thrill to see their followers grow but more heartwarming when an Instagram follower asked Myles in a recent post, ”you are half Filipino right?” and him answering, ”yes and proud to be'' including a Filipino flag at the end of his comment. My kids were born in 2 separate American coasts but in their profiles you will see a Filipino flag next to a Puerto Rican flag. They paid attention to the many stories we shared regarding our heritage and how to embrace their destined combination. Bruno Mars is an admired artist, an explosive talent ... and a true testament to the Filipino and Puerto Rican fusion. Their racial makeup may no longer be unique but the festive nature of loved ones beside them fuels the passion felt within. From living with a forever young Filipina grandmother listening to Elvis and other nonstop oldies to hearing stories about their late great grandmother’s classical operatic high notes and late grandfather’s adoration to Frank Sinatra is a staple. Seeing their Puerto Rican grandparents dance to Salsa greats Tito Puente and Celia Cruz over the years is added inspiration for experimenting with Latin beats. Defining and learning from each family member’s taste in music or preferred genre is another fun family activity. They respect their Brooklyn-born dad’s New York Hip hop roots and patiently listen to my obsessive fan tales about Michael Jackson, Prince and Duran Duran from the legendary 80’s era. If it wasn’t for 90’s R&B groups like Shai, Jodeci and Boys To Men playing in the Bay Area clubs of NorCal where their father and I met, they wouldn’t be in this world today. New sounds don’t cease to enter our home as Cilla introduced Kpop into the mix. We fangirl over our beloved BTS, Stray Kids, Ateez and other groups and you can find her Kpop covers on SoundCloud. My favorite Ateez cover “Answer” is sung entirely in Korean (another added blessing) secretly uploaded on our family YouTube channel under Much love, Perez Fam. Myles singing style was inspired by Joji’s vocals from “88 Rising” a company focused on Asian artists. They learned that embracing their diverse family background led them to being open to more cultures and sounds.

Several years ago, our Orlando home consisted of talented, multi-racial local artists who introduced the music industry to my family. We experimented running a record label and all four of our children wandered into our office-turned-studio like clockwork. Myles was only 4 years old at the time and Cilla was a curious 2 year old toddler. The loud beats bouncing off the walls must have brought them in. They would sit quietly on the couch observing all the creative chaos happening in front of their eyes. Today, the noise level in our home is tolerable despite the unpredictable hours as long as it means a new song is about to drop. We love taking part in the process whether quietly delivering food to their rooms, being available for last minute background vocals or running around for hair and makeup for photo and video shoots. You will hear their brother Justin’s distinct voice in one of Cilla’s tracks and see my hands flailing about in a music video. Even the young and talented teen artists who once blessed our home resurrected from FL & PA igniting a 360 degree full circled fire in everyone. It’s fascinating to hear them share their amazing success stories about their roles in the music industry today as artists and producers. It must be nostalgic for them to remember the once tiny toddlers watching them many years ago, now itching to enter their domain. Today, they are 30 something year old fathers to toddlers of their own ready and willing to impart knowledge and offer help to their young successors.

When tastes in music typically divides a generation, I am grateful for my teen duo for inviting me in and narrowing the gap. They patiently walked me through the variety of new sounds and helped expand my current playlist which includes their music. They taught me that hope is not lost in their era and that it’s never too late to learn something new even if it means enduring more thundering speaker volumes and vibrating walls. I do prefer the quiet moments walking around in our backyard as the first listener to their unreleased tracks and wondering if one day others will get to hear them too. As I walk, I can’t help but smile recalling a 3 year old Cilla looking up at me stating, “I want to be a singer when I grow up Mama ”and how I regret scoffing at the idea since she belongs to a family of dancers. Now 12 years later, to receive a recommendation from Spotify to create a playlist including her name and album cover on the front is beyond surreal to see. I am moved by their abilities but as their mother, deep down I step to the side knowing I’m only #2 to a God who designed and created these amazing beings. As their fan, I will remain in the #1 position forever. I am deeply proud of them and the rest of the family/crew by their side. I hope and pray the world heals and will no longer feel stuck. Thanks to Myles and Cilla’s version of Time Loop, we can coast through this too. We just need to search for it and tap PLAY!