Freshmen Jennifer Pham and Kayleigh Franco have always had a passion for music, and after connecting through social media, they recently started a band, RE
Their adventure first began at Garten’s Music where they both took guitar lessons and performed in a showcase.
“While I was taking lessons, I continuously tried to find a band,” said Pham. “I’m very picky. I don’t want to find people who just want to make noise. I want to find top-notch people who are passionate about music and who are good at music.”
Pham was so impressed with Franco’s voice at the showcase a couple of years ago that she finally decided to message her on Instagram in August 2018 to ask if she wanted to “collab.”
Franco said she was honored.
“I recognized her because I was like,’ oh … that’s the girl that can shred!'”
Franco half-joked that she wasn’t sure why Pham even took guitar lessons because she was so far above everyone else.
The two met up at the Guitar Center and began creating music right away.
Franco said, “We just vibed so well creatively. I think we wrote two or three songs actually, just little snippets of them. We never finished any because we were just jammin’ but it was just so easy because she would just play something and I’d make up a melody and then put lyrics on it. It just worked. So we said, ‘Okay, well this needs to be something.'”
Soon after, they found a drummer and a bassist and RE
The band consists of Pham as the guitarist, Franco as the singer, drummer Ryan Schultze and bassist Nick Wagner.
Pham and Franco agree that the band works well together as a creative team. Each member brings their own musical interests and gifts and the musical result of each individual style coming together is what sets them apart.
“Our motto is, ‘We make music for people who like to listen to music,'” said Pham. “Our music is never forced, everything comes very naturally.”
Franco added, “Our creative process is really, really cool. I feel like it’s pretty unique and it makes me happy.”
The band has been looking for new venues to play live music in Wichita and has a few shows planned for the coming months.
They are excited to share their talents and love for music with the public, they said. Their passion for music is apparent in their aspirations for RE
“Really, we want to make it big,” said Franco. “I’m never happier than when I’m playing music or performing. That’s the happiest you’ll ever see me. Even when I talk about it, I light up because it’s my everything. And being able to do that forever would be such a dream come true.”
Pham and Franco are both women of color and are excited to enter the Wichita music scene, which they feel is lacking in that aspect.
“Diverse representation is so important because I know when I see someone who’s of color and female doing something that I want to do, I’m like, ‘Yes, that’s me!’ I relate to that person and I feel like more people need that,” said Franco.
“Personally, for me as a guitarist, it’s just breaking the stigma that girls can only be singers or girls play the bass or something like that,” said Pham. “I’m both rhythm and lead guitarist and I want to take that stereotype of girls playing basic stuff and just elevate that level and be like, ‘Hey, we can shred and we can solo.'”
“For me, I want our music to make other people as happy as it makes me,” said Franco. “I feel like that would be the most amazing thing ever. When I’m performing, I just want people to have fun and have a good time. And I think if we had a big platform where we could make a lot of people happy, I think that would be incredible.”
Follow the band on Instagram @rrebound for upcoming shows.