Sydney trio The Potbelleez first burst onto the charts with their 2007 debut single ‘Don’t Hold Back’, which is still doing the rounds thanks to its use in the high profile ‘Jeep’ TV commercials. After a string of chart and club hits, the band has just released their new tune ‘Magic Number’, which employs the guest vocal services of US rapper B.o.B.
In addition, they’ve just been nominated for an ARIA in the Best Dance Release category for their previous single ‘Saved In A Bottle’. So we felt it was high time that we put a series of questions to the boys about their chances of winning the ARIA, property ownership, their new tune and what’s around the corner.
Q. First and foremost, a hearty congratulations on your ARIA nomination, you must be plenty pleased!?
A. Thankyou, we are chuffed to be nominated this year. It’s always good to know you’re doing something right after seven years of releasing tunes.
Q. How do you rate your chances this time around?
A. We are in the running and that’s the important thing, although we think it should be called the Flume awards this year, and deservedly so.
Q. How important are these types of nominations for you?
A. We have been nominated six times in our career and they’re all important to us as our work is being recognised, but sadly no ARIA awards yet. To be with such high class company is a honour.
Q. Are you happy with the way the Aussie industry treats its own on the whole? Or should there be more support?
A. Yes, ARIA and APRA and PPCA do a great job for the artist, I think we are very lucky in this country with the different governing bodies looking after us. I think there should be more Australian content on the radio though. We are well behind countries like France.
Q. Is it true you guys have decided to turn your back on the concept of “the album”?
A. We have decided this time around to do a couple of EPs. They are more manageable bite size chunks of music, in this day of iTunes buyers being able to buy the singles within a album, it makes more sense. Also we can pack it full of the best tunes without the album fillers.
Q. Are the days of the album numbered?
A. No I don’t think so, in the U.S it’s still a big thing to do a album and it’s well respected. We will never rule out doing a album.
Q. Now… ‘Don’t Hold Back’. Have you all bought houses off the back of the ‘Jeep’ campaign?
Q. That’s the kind of sync some artists can only ever dream about…?
A. Sometimes these things come along and just fit so perfectly, we were in the right place at the right time.
Q. Tell us all about your new single ‘Magic Number’, what it’s about and how it came to be.
A. ‘Magic Number’ was produced and written in France and in Sydney, B.o.B recorded in L.A. and was mixed in London, so that track has a few air miles already!! We are heading to Atlanta GA to flim the music video this week.
We all want to believe in the magic of the world and to be able to understand it. Why do we feel this, is there a deeper meaning, why is this happening to me, why don’t they feel the same way, why is everything so upside down? Sometimes we need to just let go and let us just ride the wave.
This song is about accepting that life and love will throw us challenges and that only you can choose how to ride them. It was written while Ilan was surfing Maroubra one day, it just came. B.o.B loved it from the moment go. He flipped the whole thing and caught us by surprise with his bending, sophisticated, controlled chaos. What a legend.
Q. How did the collaboration with B.o.B. come about?
A. We put the song out to a few rappers in the U.S. and B.o.B was the first to come back saying he loved the beats and also the vocal and was pumped to feature on it. Within a week we had him in Paramount Studios in L.A. recording it. It was real easy and a pleasure.
Q. Is the feature vocalist thing something we should expect a bit more of from you in the future?
A. When we got B.o.B in Paramount Studios, that same day we got a call from one of the other U.S. rappers saying he wanted to feature on ‘Magic Number’, so unfortunately we had to tell him it was off the table, although he said he really liked our vibe and was keen to work with us in the future, so that would be great.
Q. What else is in The Potbelleez’ pipeline?
A. We are touring around the country performing our new material; we will be doing lightening strikes to the U.S. over the next 12 months. Tunes coming out with Kaz James, Bombs Away featuring on our next two EPs, just basically keeping on the run and working with other producers.
The Potbelleez’ new single ‘Magic Number’ (featuring B.o.B.) is available now.