Kevin Winter, Getty Images 2 Chainz will be a busy man this summer. The rap titan…
- Posted on Mar 16th 2010 12:09PM by Dan Manfield
Try to describe your sound.
The idea is basically to do cover songs that don't sound like cover songs, taking the main elements or a hook from songs you know and turning them into underground dance jams. Basically I try to find the hookiest part of a song and then turn it into this whole different dance material. The hooks are a point of reference for people. We're not pillaging a bunch of hits, but we keep tabs on the Top 40 for songs we like and can turn into something else.
How did you come together?
The first song we did was this sort of cover of T-Pain's "Can't Believe It", that was in September of 2008 or so. I'd known Maggie for a year from being in the same circles in the New York dance scene. After "Can't Believe It," we did two more tracks and released them as soon as we finished them. I'm a hip-hop producer turning more toward dance and pop music and Maggie had been singing and collaborating with other artists. Thankfully, our tastes were kind of in sync.
Who are your influences?
We're both really influenced by a group like Basement Jaxx. They're the biggest in the way they play around with dance and pop music but it still has an underground edge playing with electro, dubstep and British funky dance music. Girl Talk is another one when you talk about our live show and how crazy it gets. He uses the the genuine track and mashes it all together while for us there is no sampling at all. Maggie just sings the lyrics and I replay the song in a way that's totally new.
How did you come up with the name Telephoned?
It's very related to the process of how we make music, and how it's like that game Telephone from when we were kids. That's the one where you whisper something to the person next to you and they pass it on to the person next to them and what they're saying changes a little bit each time. By the time "Rockin' That Thang" by The Dream goes through four or five people it's changed a whole lot. What we do will always by influenced by or reference material that's already known in some way.
What's your big vice?
I've become very big on coffee lately. I drink a fair amount and I'm really interested in getting high quality beans and making them a specific way. When I'm on tour I'm always looking for where the good coffee shops are. In British Columbia, I found this place called Habitat that is simply amazing.
Do you have a survival kit for SXSW?
I've been there before but this will be Maggie's first time. Last year I was overwhelmed but I think part of how I'll survive this year is actually having a hotel that's close to downtown. I'm bringing my skateboard to get around although once you get into the middle of everything it's so crowded it'll be hard to get through all that. Another thing that's important is coconut water. I use it to counteract all the free beer I wind up drinking. It's amazing stuff. If I ran a beverage company I'd be selling coconut all over the place to everyone who's hung over.
Do you have a musical guilty pleasure?
Vampire Weekend is it. I think it's pretty guilty, anyway. I really want to not be into them because I just don't like what those guys are all about and it seems so contrived. It's all so sugary sweet and I don't like their lyrics at all either, but they make some amazing music, and I just can't deny it. After them, probably T-Pain, although that's not really very guilty.
Beatles or Stones?
The Beatles, definitely. The Stones have been around too long and there's no contest when it comes to which one has been a bigger influence on modern music.
Dan Manfield is a contributor from Seed.com. Learn how you can contribute here.