It’s pretty damn hard to make a hit. Everyone wants one, but few producers will ever strike it big with a track that causes a global stir. During the height of the Jersey Shore phenomenon a few years back, Yolanda Be Cool & DCUP made a cheeky little club track called “We No Speak Americano” that went viral before going viral was even a thing. Fast-forward to 2015, and the guys have teamed up yet again and have struck gold. “Soul Makossa” is the type of track you hear in a club and then realize that everyone around you is smiling. Luckily for you, it just got released via Sweat It Out!, so go cop it on iTunes.
Did you discuss or exchange ideas with other producers while creating this track?
As this one is a collaboration with DCUP, we certainly did. When we work together, we normally start by sending sample ideas to each other and all agreeing on what is worth working on. Then, one of us will whip a very rough demo up to make sure the sample actually sounds good at a tempo we would play it at. Once that’s established, we all get together and turn it into something playable. Then, it’s testing time. We’ll make changes, test again and then show our trusted label buddies and DJ mates to get their vibes.
Was there one particular moment in the recording or mixing process of this track that made you feel as though you were creating something pretty damn special?
Because we were dealing with a sample that is considered to be one of the very first disco records, we were already working with something special. Like cutting diamonds, I guess: Even if you do it badly, it’s still a diamond. But we also knew that we had to add some of our own schtick to the tune, so when we started chopping it up, we went through all these one- or two-word phrase samples. When we dropped the “money” sample in there, just before the drop, it felt like that was the little hook we were looking for. The same thing goes with the drum fill. They both glue the track together in a way that felt special and unique.
Describe the best setting/activity to hear this track.
It’s a party tune for sure, so definitely at a party. The Sweat It Out pool party in Miami during WMC this year was pretty special. We played at 6pm, just as the sun was setting, and opened with it and definitely got some tingles from looking down at the 1,500 peeps absolutely losing it to it. Would be happy to do that every day, that’s for sure.
How do you measure the success of a track?
We probably have three criteria to determine the success of a track; they are not mutually exclusive, though the ultimate success is when they are. The first test for us is if the track is one of the biggest tracks in our sets. We play what we love from the people we love the most, so if it can pass that test, then it’s definitely in some good company. The second test would be if our DJ mates and peers love it. If the answer is yes, and they are supporting it in their sets, then that means we have made a tune that has vibes for the club. We are, after all, club DJs, so it’s always our goal to have our music played in the clubs. The third test—which in some ways is the least important, but at the same time, the most important—is the commercial success of the track. If the track is big in our sets, and is supported by our DJ mates AND gets radio love and chart success, then we are truly stoked.
Have you played this one out in any of your sets? If so, what was the response?
Absolutely. We have been playing various versions of this one for a good nine months. When we did “Sugar Man,” we did a whole heap of demos, and this was one of them. It’s been worked on a lot, but the bare bones have been rocking our sets for ages. At first, we felt it was too much of a party jam to be a single, but then when you think about it, why shouldn’t your biggest party jam be a single? So that was kinda how it became the next single. We couldn’t argue with the results. It actually just goes off.