Yolanda Be Cool: The Americano way

No one has been more surprised by the wildfire success of bouncy club hit We No Speak Americano than its co-creators Yolanda Be Cool. The duo’s collaboration with Sydney producer DCUP has outgrown the dance world to make waves on pop charts worldwide, opening some alluring doors along the way. The guys are recently back on home soil after a romp around Europe, and their Parklife sets saw them in exuberant form.

There’s evidently more to the guys than one runaway tune, and the recent OneLove Smash Your Stereo compilation sees them flexing their DJ smarts. Overseeing the ‘Backroom’ disc, Yolanda Be Cool mix up quirky bombs from Jesse Rose, Jamie Jones, Drop The Lime and fellow bass fiends. We caught up with the unlikely pop stars while they were still gallivanting around the Northern Hemisphere.

How is the European tour going for you?

It’s nearly over and we are really looking forward to coming home and having a little bit more of a routine. And making music. It has been a bit hard on tour. But the tour overall has been awesome. Pretty crazy to think we are actually getting paid to go to crazy places like Tenerife in Spain, Algarve in Portugal or Rostov in Russia. So far, surfing the world’s biggest wave-pool for an hour by ourselves in Tenerife was the highlight….

We’re very curious to find out the story behind the performance of We No Speak Americano on German variety show The Dome. Were you involved in that at all?

Hmm. Well, they wanted us to perform the track and we said no way. Then they came up with the idea of the band and again, we said no way, but they tried very hard to convince us, including the general manager of the label flying to Helsinki where we were playing to try again. In the end, we said that if they did something along the lines of the Duck Sauce video for Anyway, we would be ok with it. We made it clear it was not us or DCUP. We don’t speak German, so not sure it came across that way, but fingers crossed.

Is it quite surreal to see the track achieve such widespread pop success?

Extremely surreal. We just wanted to make a fun party track that our favourite DJs wouldn’t hate us for!

Given how successful We No Speak Americano has been all over the world, do you have any more collaborations cooking with DCUP?

Most definitely. We are almost done with a follow-up, but this time we are clearing the sample first so just going through the process. We’ve also done a few remixes together and of course, playing Parklife together, so all is good.

Can you tell us a bit about the inspiration behind Villalobos For Presidente? There’s a lot of interesting stuff going on in the track…

Well basically we spent a couple of weeks in Ibiza together last year and the highlight by far, and possibly ever, was seeing Ricardo on the terrace at Sven Vath’s Monday night, Cocoon, at Amnesia. We just loved the way his set constantly surprised you. Just when you thought a bassline was about to drop, something else would happen. So we tried to do a track that sounded like his sets, in honour of him.

You handled the ‘Backroom’ disc on the latest OneLove Smash Your Stereo release. Do you think that disc is best suited to your style as DJs?

Well, we don’t really like typical main room music, so I guess from that point of view, we are always going to be more suited to a back room. They are dirtier and more fun so yes, I think so.

What qualities do you look for in a track for your DJ sets?

Well, we like club stuff that’s creative and interesting, and minimal stuff when it’s not boring or too serious, so a combination of these. All the Dirtybird stuff we have been losing it to lately; all so interesting.

The tracklisting for your disc is certainly on a different tip from the Nervo and Denzal Park mixes. Do you both tend to dig the same tracks, or are your DJ sets a little bit of both personalities?

Yes, we both dig the same stuff, for sure. We never play stuff that we both don’t love and we agree always on tracks used in mixes and snares used in tracks. Though if you did want to dig deeper, we definitely have a different take and we can always pick tracks the other will love.

You’ve also built a strong repertoire of Yolanda Be Cool remixes. Is remixing always an interesting challenge?

Yes. I guess remixing is as hard as the track you are remixing is good. If the track’s really good, the remix is pretty easy. But then we also try not to remix tracks that we already love because then you are only going to run into the problem of maybe making something you love not as good. Or if the track already sounds how we would like it to sound, then what’s the point?

What was the approach for Parklife?

Well, we love watching DJs play records, old school style, but as we are doing the tour with our man DCUP, we thought it could look a bit boring watching three guys wait for their turn to mix, so we got a little bit nerdy, incorporating a drum machine and sampler to make things more interesting.

OneLove Smash Your Stereo is out now.