Sarah Ferguson | October 28, 2013
A year after their performance at the dXb festival in Dubai, Far East Movement are back in the UAE to play as part of the F1 weekend in Abu Dhabi. Consisting of Kev Nish, Prohgress, J-Splif and DJ Virman, they are the first Asian-American group to have a No 1 hit in the US with Like a G6 from their album Free Wired in 2010, and their single Round Round featured in the movie The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift.
They’ve collaborated with artists from Justin Bieber, Snoop Dogg, Flo Rida and Bruno Mars to Wiz Khalifa, and have supported the likes of Rihanna, Lady Gaga, Robyn and Kelis on tours. We caught up with Kev Nish ahead of the group’s performance at the exclusive Amber Lounge after-party on Sunday night.
Growing up, who were your musical influences? Who or what influences your sound now
“We were influenced by what our older homies were bumpin’ around the block and we grew up in LA, so there was a lot of West Coast hip-hop from Snoop to the Dogg Pound and Tupac. Mash-up crews like Linkin Park and Outkast were always on the playlist and, from the dance world, a lot of old trance and rave hits. The Beastie Boys were a huge influence, from how they always switched up styles and sounds and the way they broke down barriers racially in hip-hop. Nowadays, influences are coming from the new generation – those producers on SoundCloud and YouTube who may not have a crazy following, but are pushing the limits with new sounds and styles. We just started working with a new producer named Rell The Soundbender. He is ill.”
How are you adapting to the rock-star lifestyle?
“One sec, I need to feed my Bengal tiger 250lbs of filet mignon and and we can finish this interview in Juanita, our private Boeing 777. Its hard in these streets when we don’t get the silk toilet paper and babies’ breath from three infants to humidify our rooms on our rider request from clubs … but the show must go on. I’m fanning myself with Hermes, my bald eagle feather.”
You’ve collaborated with a lot of people during the past few years such as Justin Bieber, Flo Rida, Snoop Dogg, and Ryan Tedder. Out of all of them, who was your favourite to work with?
It will always be Uncle Snoop Dogg. We grew up listening to Snoop and its always sick when you meet someone you’re a huge fan of and they are even cooler in real life. It was an honour to have him do something outside the box with us, too. What’s even cooler is when we have shows together, like, even a few months ago he took out Gin & Juice from his set so he could bring us on stage. We were thinking ‘shoot me now, I really wanted to see Gin & Juice…’ Jokes aside, it was a real honour having an OG like Snoop Dogg cut any song to make room for us to rock with him.”
This isn’t your first time in the UAE. What brings you back here?
“The next-level-ness. The whole city and next-level creations and extravagance reminds me of how I’m living. You know, the life I would create in a fantasy video game if I was dreaming (laughs).”
Your performance at Amber Lounge is scheduled for Sunday. Any plans to watch the race?
“Yes indeed, the closest we’ve been to a legit race was Mario Kart.. so if a banana peel makes its way on to the race track, don’t look at us.”
What are you currently working on?
“We just released our new single The Illest featuring Riff Raff, which is starting to buzz in LA, so we’re planning on getting out there and spreading the new song further and any time we get in green rooms and hotel rooms we’re experimenting and getting the new sound together for our next album. For the producer and DJ side of Far East Movement, we’re putting out a free EP online called Murder Was the Bass with Rell The Soundbender and Kurupt from the Doggpound. Its a mash-up project of traphouse, hardstyle and twerk meets classic West Coast vibes and a play-off of Snoop’s Murder Was the Case, for the heads who might not know.”
Far East Movement are at Amber Lounge, Yas Marina, Building 1 on Sunday night. Doors open at 11pm, tickets start from Dh3,030. For more information and to book tickets, visit www.amber-lounge.com or email firstname.lastname@example.org