Jake Hennien and Jeremy Buffa form the Australian duo Contrakids to "make hot babies," or in other words, make great music. Though the two have been working together for quite some time, they've steadily been churning out a few key songs and remixes that have garnered them more attention, like their remix of Savoir Adore's "Regalia," or my personal favorite "Blur." Their single "We Go You Go" has since been remixed by the likes of Dim Mak'sYung Skeeter, Age of Rockets and yes, Savoir Adore. In each release, we see Contrakids successfully building upon their ability to fuse hip-hop, electronic and pop elements. They have just released their 5-track EP Dreaming in 3D, which harbors the lead single "Good Girl," an electronic-tinged pop song that will be perfect for the upcoming summer judging by its effervescent synths and catchy hook. The PetPet rework below is not to be missed. Press play and head over to their Soundcloud for a free download, courtesy of Jake and Jeremy.
Though the guys may sing about love and heartbreak (or trying to avoid it on songs like "Good Girl"), they've got a sense of humor that makes it hard to believe they've lived through the situations Jake sings about. Read on to learn about their babymaking process, a slight Selena Gomez attraction, and their craziest moment on stage (it involves a condom, but no, it's not what you're thinking).
EARMILK: First off, what's the story behind the name "Contrakids"?
CONTRAKIDS: We always knew "kids" would be in the name. It's who we are, and I think we'll always be kids at heart. We threw out a few ideas of words that could go with it and quickly found that almost every band had "kids" in their name. So Jeremy turned to the trusty encyclopaedia index, looking for something different and what do you know, he stumbled on "contra".
EM: How long have you guys been producing together, and how did you meet?
CONTRAKIDS: We've been working together for a while and only really started to take it seriously about 2 years ago. We met through Jeremy's older brother, he thought that the two of us would make hot babies (music).
EM: Why did you choose to be a duo rather than work separately?
CONTRAKIDS: Jake's love for R&B, hip-hop and pop and Jeremy's love of cinematic instrumental music and more eclectic bands, means we're able to look at songs from different perspectives. Jake's focus on melody and lyrics and Jeremy's need to create the newest sounds means those hot babies are on the way. Jeremy can give birth though; Jake needs to keep his pristine physique intact.
EM: Explain your work process. Is there a specific formula / method to making music together?
CONTRAKIDS: It can differ from time to time; usually we'll start with a chorus. We then get together and Jeremy builds the music for the chorus, then if we're happy from there, Jake will take it and write and record the rest of the parts. We then have another get together and Jeremy puts the final musical parts down and puts his final touches down. Export and send to our manager, the lovely Lauren Glucksman, and hope she loves it. Then turn on the TV, seeing as we do all this in Jeremy's lounge room.
EM: Tell us how you'd describe your sound.
CONTRAKIDS: We try our best to make something different and special, but we also want to keep it accessible as well. We try and mix elements of some more unknown artists that we like, with pop. There is a lot of dance hall synths, over a hip hop bass. Every now and then we do like to use a harp as well.
EM: You're based in Australia, where electronic music has a relatively large following. What's it like making music and performing over there?
CONTRAKIDS: It's a little bit more difficult to find places to perform, as the majority of smaller places are geared more towards the indie rock crowd. The crowds that do come to see us are really fun though.
EM: Planning on being in the States anytime soon? And when you do get over here, where do you plan going first?
CONTRAKIDS: We're planning on being in the states in October of this year, we pretty much can't wait. Being the pop sensation we are, and seeing as our fame can be compared to the Justin Biebers and Katy Perrys of the world I can imagine our schedule will be jam packed, but I'm sure we'll be able to find a moment to hang with you. As convincing as that all sounded, the plan for now is to spend some time in Los Angeles writing and playing some shows, and then heading over to New York. It's are a bit up in the air at the moment but stay tuned!
EM:Who are some of your influences?
CONTRAKIDS: They'd have to be: Kanye West, Michael Jackson, Robyn, The Weeknd and Chet Faker.
EM: You've got the opportunity to work with anyone (living). Who's your dream collaborator?
CONTRAKIDS: Kanye West or James Blake.
EM: Name the last track that was stuck in your head.