Far East Movement just released their debut disc, Free Wired, a week ago and they're already off to a massive head start. That's because the Asian-American pop group's magnetic dance cut, "Like A G6," has stormed the charts to take the #1 position on the iTunes singles chart - and is just a hair away from also overtaking the Billboard Hot 100 top spot.
Before their heads get too big, I decided to catch up with the LA-based former Interscope Records interns - Kev Nish, Prohgress, J-Splif and DJ Virman to see how they're processing this seemingly unstoppable traction -- and they're food obsession. Oh, and before I forget, visit www.FarEastMovement.com for more!
UsMagazine.com: Congratulations on "Like a G6" climbing to #1 on the iTunes singles chart!
Kev Nish: Thanks! We are shocked!
US: I heard the video had a million hits on YouTube before it even hit the radio. How did that happen?
KN: We made the song really quickly, then we went on tour. We put the song online and then we came back three months later, checked the web, and there were a million hits on YouTube!
US: When you shot the video did you think, 'we're going to put this on our next record.'
KN: When we did the video we wanted to shoot something that reflected the way we really live, so we hooked up with our buddies at SkeeTV, who are L.A. natives. We just took a camera through downtown L.A. -- to the liquor store we grew up at, the loft we throw parties at and the Korean BBQ we conduct our meetings at -- and attached it to a girl to represent a day in the life. It's crazy to see something we did for fun on MTV. It's a trip!
US: What made you write about a plane?
Prohgress: There was a private plane called a G4. Drake talks about how he knows the pilots on a first name basis and Jay-Z also talks about it. We wanted to go even flyer than that. At that point the G6 hadn't even been made yet, and we just wanted to be at an astronomical fly rate, so we wanted the G6. And no it's not about a Pontiac!
US: Tell me about getting your start in LA, how did you break out of the LA scene?
KN: We had Bruno Mars in the studio, and then that's when we created the song, "Girls on The Dance Floor," We did it in two hours, and literally a week latter it premiered on the LA radio station, Power 106, and from there, next thing you know we are seeing it on, America's Best Dance Crew, Miss America, and Gossip Girl.
US: Are you pumped that the album is out?
KN: Absolutely. We always talk about how we interned at Interscope back in the day. We literally stuffed Jiffy envelopes full of Interscope albums and sent them out ourselves, 300 per day. We worked for the publicity department and we would do that for free any day. The fact that our names on our albums are actually going to be sent out kinda trips us out. We are geeking out over here -- it's a non-stop geek fest.
US: I've read some interviews with you, and you use the term "free wired" as a metaphor for the way you live?
KN: "Free wired" is the name we came up with, that we thought really represented our lifestyle. "Free wired," the free part is just geeking out as yourself, going hard as yourself. When you see us on stage we just really wile out, rocking the ties, streetwear, all that stuff encompassed into an international perspective on L.A. The wired side is living our lives online. We do food blogs, we do video blogs...
US: Tell me about your food blog!
KN: Every city we go to, we rate our favorite restaurants. The tripped out part is one of our food blogs actually ended up on Zagat.com!
US: What's your blog called?
KN: We call it Eating FM. We go to different restaurants and rate them. Zagat put up one of our cheesesteak challenges we did in Philly. It was a trip. We are aiming for Food Network, one day -- we are gunning for Bobby Flay!
US: You've toured with Lady Gaga. Get a chance to try her disco stick?
J-Splif: Being able to tour with Lady Gaga was a crazy experience. It was actually our first time out in Japan, and to just to see her get down as Lady Gaga -- from her sets, to her costumes, to her songs, everything is put together so well. It is almost like you are watching a circus slash theater type of show. You are sitting there for 2 hours and you get worn out from the whole artistry of it. It's just her working so hard and being such a humble sweet person.
US: What kind of advice did you get?
KN: For instance, we were backstage with Lady Gaga and in her recording studio she has built in these arenas. She just said 'keep your ears to the streets and to the clubs and to the people that have supported you from the beginning." We practically live in the club, as much as our record is not 100% a dance record, it is heavily inspired by dance. Always keeping in tune with what's hot and what's new is very important.
US: You recorded a song with Snoop Dogg on your new album, too?
P: Yep. That was a super geek out moment because Snoop Dogg is someone we grew up with and consider one of the kings of the West Coast. He didn't just drop a regular sixteen bar rap, he's actually singing the song.