doubleVee is an indie band based in Oklahoma City, comprised of married couple Allan and Barb Vest. The pair has been creating music since 2012 and just released their second full-length album, Treat Her Strangely. Allan was the primary songwriter, lead vocalist and multi-instrumentalist for indie/orchestral pop band Starlight Mints, while Barb’s diverse background includes sixteen years in public radio.
How did you get started?
Allan: I started playing piano, viola and cello as a child and moved onto guitar at thirteen. I’m a self-taught producer and particularly enjoy film and television scoring projects.
Barb: I grew up in a musical family and earned a Broadcast Journalism degree from the University of Oklahoma, going on to host and produce a nationally syndicated public radio program focusing on film music. I played the piano and sang from an early age and have loved delving into creating original music with Allan.
Did you always want a career in the music industry?
Allan: It wasn’t until after a few years of college that I saw myself as pursuing a career in music. I really found myself through experimentation with cassette four track home recordings. I never wanted to be a singer until I started hearing myself on playbacks and gaining confidence through feedback from my peers. I was definitely a late bloomer in the vocal arena.
Barb: As a pre-teen and teenager, I dreamed about owning my own alternative music radio station. I loved all aspects of music and dabbled in performing, but it would be many years before I would leave public radio behind and devote my focus to doubleVee and other creative endeavors.
What is your role in the music industry?
Allan: Songwriter, Musician, Vocalist, Producer, Sound Designer, Guitar/Bass/Music Software and Production Instructor, Video Editor, Camera Operator
Barb: Songwriter, Musician, Vocalist, Producer, Video Editor, Camera Operator
Most Recent Successes / Placements / Accomplishments / Projects? Career highlight?
Our song “Last Castaways” was featured on the soundtrack for Beyond Blue, an immersive video game set in the depths of the Pacific Ocean created by E-Line Media in conjunction with BBC Studios and Blue Planet II.
What is your favorite Oklahoma music venue, music store, or recording studio?
115 Recording in Norman is our favorite studio to work with on finishing the mixing and mastering of our albums, since we get to spend time with the wizard-engineer Wes Sharon. He has a wonderfully fine-tuned set of ears, skills and resources…we’re glad to have worked with him on all three of our releases.
Networking and connecting with others who share your dream or vision is a vital aspect of the music industry. Can you share which Oklahoma organizations (if any) have contributed to your success and are there other Oklahoma organizations you would recommend others connect with to help further their craft or promotions?
The Spy FM and KOSU have been very supportive of our music since we released our first demos in 2013. We encourage any local musicians who haven’t shared their music with them to do so. Brandy McDonnell at The Oklahoman has also been an amazing advocate for us and the music and arts scene in general. NonDoc, The Norman Transcript, Oklahoma Gazette, Uncovering Oklahoma, Oklahoma Lefty and Make Oklahoma Weirder have also been champions of our music at various times.
How can we follow you? Best place to purchase and listen to your music?
doubleVee can be followed via our Facebook page, Twitter and Instagram profiles, and our YouTube channel. Our music can be downloaded and streamed via digital retailers, including Spotify, Amazon Music, Deezer, Tidal and Bandcamp. Compact discs can be ordered from local indie music stores or via the shop on our website.
Do you have any advice for someone interested in working in the music industry?
We’d advise them to be in it first and foremost for the love of creativity and bringing something new to the world that didn’t exist before, since making a living in the industry has only gotten more challenging as streaming continues to expand.
What are some of the benefits of having a music career in Oklahoma?
The lower cost of living here is a big plus. There are several long-time and newer music venues and a really active arts scene full of talented folks.
“Sing While You May.” It’s actually the motto and philosophy of Edward Ka-Spel and his fantastical band, The Legendary Pink Dots, but we find it to be a meaningful reminder for all of us to do what we can to make our voices heard while we still have breath to drive them.
Each featured individual or business is given the provided questions to answer in their own voice. Other than formatting and grammar, the answers are personal to each featured voice, and are not provided by the Oklahoma Film + Music Office.