January 25, 2016 08:15 PM

Meet St. Beauty, two friends making music on their own terms.

The duo – Alex Belle, 22, and Isis Valentino, 24 – hit it off while working at vintage thrift shop Poor Little Rich Girl in Atlanta as teenagers. Five years later, they have a big record deal and momentum thanks to their unique sound.

“We write our own lyrics. We always produce or demo our songs, so all of what you hear is the true essence of us,” Valentino tells PEOPLE exclusively. “We want to inspire people.”

When it comes to the music industry, St. Beauty march to the beat of their own drum – much like musician Janelle Monae, who discovered and signed the musical pair to Wondaland and Epic Records.

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“We’re just a little quirky,” says Valentino. “We just have different ideas. [Our record label accepts] the ideas, but it’s always like, ‘All right, what’s St. Beauty talking about?’ That kind of thing. I guess we’re wild childs. We go out more – we’re not like crazy, but we’re more involved [in the community].”

But they’ve also been receptive to Monae’s advice, which has included staying “true to ourselves,” explains Belle.

“If you don’t have answers for [people], whatever empty holes you have, they’re going to try and fill them up,” adds Valentino. “You need to know who you are, inside and out, because you don’t want people making decisions for you that are going to mess you up in the future.”

After releasing their single "Going Nowhere," the ladies promise more “honest, very organic” on their upcoming EP.

“When we first started, it was kind of just like acoustic sets,” Valentino says. “It was just me and Alex. Me on the guitar and me and her singing. Now, we have a band. It’s going to be fuller – we’re making sure of that.”

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