Yolanda Be Cool Have fun 10 Years of “We No Converse Americano” [Interview]
We often think that EDM and dance music are a fairly young genre, which it is. But dance music has long invaded the pop charts. Today we’re celebrating the 10th anniversary of a groundbreaking dance / pop crossover hit: “We don’t speak American”From the Australian duo Yolando be cool.
I vividly remember hearing the song constantly on the radio (streaming wasn’t the monster it was then). For me it was certainly not something I had ever heard. those hopping horns, the bizarre Italian sample. It was also a great way for an American audience to experience more club-oriented sounds. “We No Speak Americano” actually reached number 29 on the Billboard Hot 100 at the time, but was an even bigger success internationally, reaching number 1 in Europe and Latin America. Needless to say, the Australian duo of Andy Stanley and Matt Handley have been far more successful than they could have ever imagined.
For the 10th anniversary of “We No Speak Americano” the guys are releasing a special EP with a special adaptation of the track by Yolanda Be Cool and the original staff member DCup. There are also top-notch arrangements from Sllash & Doppe, Chemical Surf and JAXX DA FISHWORKS. We had the chance to sit down and chat with Yolanda Be Cool. They considered how international success affected their careers, how they are now taking up the music scene, how they are excited about music and quarantine activities.
Hey Andrew and Matt! Thank you for talking to us. We’re celebrating the 10th anniversary of your breakout single “We No Speak Americano”. Can you think about the last 10 years and how your music career has changed since this song was released?
A: “Like you said it was the breakout single, things haven’t been the same in a good way since then. We have to travel the world, play fun parties and most importantly, make great friends all over the world. We are allowed to make our dreams come true, making music during the day and playing shows at night. So that has changed, we did it before, but only a lot fewer planes, hotels and countries and stamps on the passport. “
M: “You feel old when you think now that if you are 20 you were 10 when it came out. Big ups, maybe the 10 year olds are 20 now and are hearing it for the first time. “
A: “You heard it in the children’s films, like Madagascar, Peter Rabbit. It was in all of these, you just hear it, it’s funny. “
How did you get started releasing songs after that? I’m sure you knew this would be difficult to beat, maybe you didn’t want to. What was the approach?
M: “I think, to be honest, we definitely had problems, probably for a year, because we never planned to have a song played after Britney Spears. And even at DJ gigs, we’d book some gigs and the people would be all, oh, if you’re doing a commercial song, you’re doing commercials. But we never really tried to make commercial music, and so we never really played commercial music. I think when this song happened there was a bit of pressure to try the same thing again. So I definitely think it took us a couple of years to get our groove back because it was difficult to follow up and it was definitely a bit of a strange time, but we feel good about it now. “
Tell us how you originally started making dance music and what keeps you going?
A: “I was thinking about it the other day. Matty and I always say we’re DJs first (this is all of my vinyls). I think that was one of our advantages. If you are a DJ, you are a person, you can look around the room, you can see that person there, he has to get up. Or this song was played and the majority of people like that, so I’m going to get into this tip, it’s almost a fun and educational thing to do. Obviously we wanted to do some mashups and you start experimenting you know I found this acapella and it would sound good over this beat. So you do this so you have something fresh for your set that no one else had. And then that kind just led into production. So we weren’t the type of people who were studio nerds who only knew how to make great music, but then got to a MIDI controller and just found out they couldn’t hang up. So that was kind of an advance for the whole thing, DJing, mashups and then bootlegs, and then we can try to get an original voice here, or we should try to be this sample. And then converting it into original productions, that’s how it went for us. “
How do you assess the state of dance music in general?
M: I think it’s really good. I feel like with the internet that has obviously been around for a long time, just the fact that everything is so easy to access now. It is as if every single subgenre can find its audience, regardless of whether that audience is spread over 100 countries or grouped in one city. I think the internet allows people to find exactly what they like and walk with it. I think it gives people visibility too, things like they used to be, you had to have a big record label, you had to be on a big radio station so people could hear your music. While you can now pirate a song on your crappy used laptop and publish it on the internet, it could possibly be number one! Not that we did that, but we weren’t that far away. “
A: “I remember that question when we last played EDC, we finished our set, which was great fun, it was great, we went back and did some tequila recordings, we walked around and we were on the main stage. Matty and I are open to all types of music but there was stuff like complextro, crazy sounds, I’m sure it’s super difficult to do and the kids loved that! I thought that was cool and then just a short walk away we rocked to the Martinez Brothers elsewhere. I thought man, dance music is for everyone. I really appreciated seeing all these kids go crazy, it was making some pretty outrageous noises. There was also Martin Garrix, with whom we are friends and whom we respect. And then we found our little bag tucked away and that was super cool too. I think there is something for everyone right now that is good, it can even be pop. Skrillex and Diplo merged some really cool underground sounds, but if you throw Bieber to the top you have a hit. Dance music has really made progress. “
Obviously this year sucked, what did you do in 2020 and how did you stay positive during the quarantine?
M: “I was in my little neighborhood, I have a beautiful little area, the beach is very close. I have my studio, my garden, my dog, my girlfriend and the internet. And that was pretty much me, just switching between working on melodies and working on stuff for the label. We both meditate twice a day, this definitely helped with sanity and positive attitude. The weather in Southern California is always pretty good. It’s a shame I can’t go back to Aus to see my family and friends, possibly even concerts like Andy. I think I was pretty cute. “
A: “In the beginning it was a novelty, we don’t have to go to work, we stayed home, I taught my kids at home, things like that, we went to the studio, we had fun, but then it was like that was pulled a bit. But we’ve always made up our minds, let’s just pretend we’re in the studio, let’s go full steam ahead so we can have a full release calendar, probably just like any other year. We shot video clips, we just want to keep going. put things out for anyone who wants to hear. And then when the restrictions relax and the borders open and the flights fly again, we’re ready to rock, we’re ready to go, that’s it for us. “
What can fans look forward to from you in 2021?
M: “Just a lot of songs, I think. We’re going to try to do a few more things with DCup, which will be fun because we didn’t do anything with him. We have a melody with Noizu, we have a lot of other things, we have another EP for Meliis label, we only did one that we really liked. And hopefully we can hang out and do some shows. This is the first time I haven’t been home for Christmas. Hopefully we can tour and play parties, swim in the ocean, hug people, stuff like that. “
A: “We have a music bank that we have been working on and that we need to finish. Some club stuff, maybe more radio stuff, we’ll just go full blast like I said and hopefully do a few shows when we can. “
Ten years after a massive international hit, how do you see yourselves and what is your place in the music field in 2020?
M: “I have a feeling that our best is yet to come, which may sound strange when you consider that we had a huge success 10 years ago. But maybe in some ways that goal came earlier than it should have been in our careers. And I feel like now, ironically, we’ve built ourselves up to be ready to do it again. We’re still very excited to jump in the studio and see what could happen. We surprise ourselves with what might come out, we are really inspired by young and old people. We’re just as excited now as we were 10 years ago, but we’re probably smarter. We probably don’t go that many after parties, but we’re definitely ready to go to a few. And we haven’t had an argument in so many years, pretty much since we started meditating. I think in the early years when we were touring non-stop and were very tired and very hungover we definitely had some disagreements. Including trying to rip out USBs. I would like to think that we are better versions. “
A: “I think that was all right. Music is one of the best things in the world, makes us happy and it’s best to meet other people who share the same passion and who we get along with. We have homies, London, San Francisco, LA, you can just land anywhere in the world and you have a small family there, it’s honestly something special. It can be just a little Instagram or What’s App and you’re back in homie land in no time. That’s the sad thing about this Covid, you haven’t seen anyone in a long time. We all share the same passion and the foam is high. “
Any dream collapses?
M: “I would definitely like to have a meeting with Armand Van Helden.”
Any words for the fans?
A: “Thank you for all of your support over the years and hope you celebrate the new 10th anniversary of ‘We No Speak Americano’. We waited 10 years to bring it back but I think it could be a bit of fun. I am sorry.”
M: “Hopefully this version won’t be as annoying as the last.”
Check out the special commemorative EP for the 10th anniversary of Yolanda Be Cool & DCups “We No Speak Americano” Sweat it out. Also check out the latest Insomniac live stream!