Merge As the students…
- Posted on Feb 1st 2011 11:30AM by Anne T Donahue
Taylor Hill, Getty Images
"We don't wake up one morning and ask our manager [who we can work with]," P-Thugg, aka Patrick Gemayel, tells Spinner.
"There's a certain affinity between the two parties, and we've probably already met. [Vampire Weekend's] Ezra [Koenig] is a good friend of Dave's; La Roux we've been in touch with since before both of our rises. So at some point it becomes logical to just collaborate because we've been following each other's careers, we're mutual fans and it just happens."
Since releasing their 2007 sophomore record, 'Fancy Footwork,' the duo has gone on to find success in both the underground and mainstream arena, earning accolades for their remixes as well as for their musical alliances -- a trend that continued on their 2010 follow-up, 'Business Casual,' which saw collaborations with the likes of La Roux and Solange Knowles.
Yet despite the attention they've received for such partnerships, the two-piece remain adamant that "whether it's a Chromeo song or a collaboration, you can still feel the work that's been put behind it."
"There's different people who want different things, and it's always been like that," says P-Thugg. "I think there's a certain type of people who don't really care; some people need the Katy Perrys and the Ke$has. We can't force people to like whatever we do. Some people don't really like music. But you can tell when something has been forced or not. Half our success is based on how sincere we are, which translates into the music, and you can recognize that, I think."
"We keep working, and we never really pat ourselves on the back," he continues. "When we get good news, we're like, 'Oh cool. Let's work on the next thing.' We never really sit down and think about stuff, we just work, work, work -- and things fall into place when you work hard on what you do."
In addition to their work-heavy ethos, P-Thugg, who's been collecting records since he was a teenager, says Chromeo's owes much of their star power to the fact they've done their homework.
"You know when Europeans want to do American music, they study it because it's not really in them?" he says. "I think we have a bit of that because we're Canadian and we didn't really grow up with all this music. I didn't have an auntie or an uncle listening to funk all day. I'm very far from that so all of this was studied; it came later.
"It's the same for both of us. We learned all of this and internalized that attitude -- that American hip-hop attitude -- [but we're] a little European in studying and making sure we know every detail that we put into a song is correct."
With the next 11 months reserved for touring and album promotion, there's nothing casual about how Chromeo are approaching their career. Though P-Thugg still seems hesitant to talk shop should a slick marketing term like "campaign" roll off his tongue.
"I don't really like that word," he says. "But we're promoting the record and playing shows."
"Hopefully, there's going to be a lot of nice surprises like [the] Daryl Hall collaboration -- [or] David Letterman. Hopefully, one day we can do 'SNL' -- that's our dream."