GOING IN DEEP: SNEAKY SOUND SYSTEM
The Australian duo, Miss Connie and Black Angus, need no introduction. They’ve been making headlines, since they began slinging out hits together in 2004. Better known as, Sneaky Sound System, the couple initially released a series of singles. However, in 2006 they released their self-titled debut album, spearheaded by a spectacular salvo of chart-toppers. The album peaked at #5 on the ARIA Albums Chart in mid-November 2007 and was certified 3x platinum by December 2011, denoted by 210,000 shipments of the copy.
Sneaky Sound Systems ‘I Love It’ became their breakthrough single, off their self-titled debut album, released on 8th July 2006. The track hit #24 on the ARIA Singles Chart and spent an incredible 73 weeks in the Top 100 – breaking the record as the longest charting single, which was previously held by The Living Ends 1997 hit ‘Second Solution/Prisoner of Society’ at 69 weeks.
Sneaky Sound System definitely owe much of their initial success to their native country, from which they’ve gained massive support and love from. They’ve been nominated a groundbreaking fourteen times at ARIA Music Awards, ultimately winning twice in 2007 for Best Dance Release and Breakthrough Artist with their eponymous album.
When August of 2008 hit, the duo released their second studio effort. The appropriately named album, ‘2’, graced them with their first #1 album. The following year, Sneaky Sound System kicked the doors down and established themselves as one of the headline acts for the annual Big Day Out Festival in Australia; playing in Auckland, Gold Coast, Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide and Perth.
Antecedent to the pairs release of their album ‘2’ in the United Kingdom in early 2009, they signed to independent UK label, ‘14th Floor Records’. Carrying their success in Australia to the UK, their tour in the latter included appearances at Glastonbury, Oxegen and a performance on BBC Radio 1. They even took off on their first-ever UK headline tour on 8 March, starting in Glasgow and ending off in London on 11 March 2009. Sneaky Sound System didn’t just make their mark in the UK, they also embarked on tours in Australia and New Zealand for their ‘Poptronica Tour’ and also toured the United States for the first time in the same year.
Their climb to the top has not gone unnoticed in the industry though, seeing as Sneaky Sound System has been raking in nominations, high-profile collaborations and chart bangers since the beginning of time. At the APRA Music Awards of 2009, they were nominated for ‘Dance Work of the Year’ for their track ‘Kansas City.’ Their massive collaboration with Dutch musician, Tiësto, on his single “I Will Be Here’ amounted over 10 million views on Youtube and the duo even went on to play with him at the Victoria Park Concert in London in July 2009. The collab track also reigned on the US Billboard’s Dance Radio Airplay Chart at #1 in November 2009.
Sneaking into 2010, Angus and Connie were nominated for yet another APRA Dance Work of the Year Award, this time it was for their groove-guaranteed track ‘16’. By mid-2010, the duo would be boasting studio time with some heavyweights in the commercial industry. Contributing vocals to Rick Ross ‘Teflon Don’ (Life Fast, Die Young), Kanye West’s ‘Graduation’ (Can’t Tell Me Nothing & Flashing Lights), collaborating with Beyonce and for Kanye and Jay-Z’s ‘Watch the Throne’ album released in 2011.
Rolling into October 2011, Sneaky Sound System put out their third album ‘From Here To Anywhere’ – accolades from critics around the world flowed in: MTV called it, “an incredible effort,” Rave Magazine Brisbane deemed it “a minor pop masterpiece.” and Sydney’s Daily Telegraph described it as “a delicious feast of world class dance-pop songs.” The single ‘We love’ off the album peaked at #29 on the ARIA Singles Chart and the album itself hit #11 on the ARIA Albums Chart. That year, they played live at Ministry of Sound in London, Pacha in Ibiza, Homelanz Festival in London, Vladivostok, Isle of Wight and Berlin.
Connie Mitchell, went on to be a mentor to Seal’s artists on Season 2 of the Australian version of The Voice, in 2013. That same year, in a peer-voted survey conducted by Melbourne’s Herald Sun Newspapers, Connie was named #18 on the list of Australia’s greatest singers of all time! The duo then announced a number of collaborations would be in the works. The first was a release with US duo ‘The Knocks’ called ‘The One’, appearing on the EP ‘Comfortable’ in 2014. Following not far behind with Noir Records, was ‘This Feeling’ accredited to Larse and Sneaky Sound System.
Hitting close to the present time, the band put out two club tracks on limited release – ‘Summertime Madness’ and ‘All I Need’ in 2015. Then they released ‘I Ain’t Over You’ which hit #3 on AIR Charts, with an accompanying music video which they described as “their first proper music video in four years.” Keeping it consistent, in 2017 they dropped their 2-track EP, ‘Do Ya Thing’ and ‘I Like Techno’ with Club Sweat/Sweat It Out Records’. On TMRW Music (formerly Ministry of Sound), the remixes of ‘Pictures’ released by Mall Grab, Dom Dolla and Colour Castle, included a Sneaky Sundays remix. These remixes climbed to #2 on the ARIA Club Chart.
Last year saw the release of new remixes of their track ‘I Love It’ by Death Ray Shake, Jordan Burns, Superlover and Luke Million – the remixed spent four weeks at #3 on the ARIA Club Chart. They also released their single ‘Can’t Help The Way That I Feel’ on Cr2 Records, the track sat comfortably for two months on the Beatport Main Chart at #2, three weeks at #1 on the Beatport House Chart and beat everyone out for the #1 spot on the UK Club Chart.
Spinning into the present, they dropped their new single ‘We Belong’ also with Cr2 Records and in July Beatport named Sneaky Sound System their Artist of the Week. Now, before the killer duo makes their massive return to Mrs Sippy’s stage on December 21st, we caught up with them and got them to answer a few of our burning questions. Scroll down to find out some juicy tea and some serious discussion about the industry, with Sneaky Sound System.
What are the pros and cons of having kids, whilst still travelling the world making and playing music?
Hahaha…well there are no cons, of course, but it means you have to be very very very very very organised. We love having our little travelling circus and for the most part it’s very entertaining, but the reality is we obviously need time to play shows, and even more time to make music. They just want to sing and hit things when we work in the studio so we’ve worked out it’s much more effective if they aren’t around for that part!
What are 3 recent tracks you guys are absolutely loving right now?
Seeing it’s the end of the year I’ll go one step further and give you our top 5 for 2019.
1. Kink – RAW
2. Hyslop – What We Gonna Do?
3. Alex Kennon – The Lover
4. Marie Davidson – Work It (Soulwax Remix)
5. RareTwo Inc – Farley
(We at Secret Bali Life, would just love to give a shout-out to Sneaky Sound System for the dedicated response to this question. We love the effort and passion for music (and our questions). BIG FANS! ❤)
You guys work together on everything business related. How do you manage separating your personal life, family life and work life from each other?
Yeah right! Our life is totally and entirely intermingled, but that’s all we know. Luckily we can put up with each other and man oh man, we sure have some belly laughs.
Mixmag just released a feature called “UNHEALTHY SCENE: HOW SKY-HIGH DJ FEES ARE CRIPPLING DANCE MUSIC.” What are your thoughts on this and how do you think it affects the scene at a grass roots level and the future of the scene?
That has been a problem for a long time now – the greed is out of control on so many levels. You have artists that are over-hyped by their management or agents after doing fucking nothing. You have festivals and clubs in massive bidding wars pushing up the prices of everything. You have so many people who are prepared to screw over just about anyone. It’s cannibalism and it’s so short-sighted and stupid. It’s a problem that runs deep. It’s disappointing but widespread. Thankfully there are also a good bunch of decent people in this game who care about the future and we always try and align ourselves with them.
When it comes to collaborations or remixes, is there anyone in particular dead or alive you would love to work with who you haven’t already?
Connie (Mitchell) and Freddie Mercury going for it would be top of the list, going full disco in 1983 with Chic as the backing band.
What do you think goes into and what does it take to sling out hit after hit, win multiple awards, and dominate the charts consistently over 10 years?
Follow your instincts and only make music you really love and are proud of….and always, always, always perform like it’s your last ever show.
You’ve just finished your 3-month residency at Mrs Sippy. Have you guys played anywhere else besides Mrs Sippy in Bali and are there any places that you would love to play at?
Mrs Sippy was amazing. We’ve played at a couple of other places in Bail over the years but this was a much bigger commitment, and risk I guess. We’re good friends with the guys who own the venue so we really didn’t want to mess it up. Thankfully it turned out to be a wonderful collaboration and the only place you’ll see us play in Bali is Mrs Sippy….and hopefully for years to come.
You’ve spent some time in Bali because of your residency. What would be your favourite place to go to for some downtime?
We had a great week in Nusa Lembongan just chilling, but to be honest, we’re both into our sport. We both love tennis and the new Liga Tennis Academy is great. Connie loves boxing at Daily Gym, and you’ll find me a few days a week at the Bali National Golf Club which is epic. And we don’t mind some eating in our downtime too… Barbacoa, Indigo, Da Maria, Sangsaka and Kaum are our regular spots.
What ice cream flavour describes Sneaky Sound Systems sound?
That’s an easy one…two scoops. First scoop dark chocolate, second scoop salted caramel. Every time.
What changes have you seen in the Dance/Electro House/Electro-pop scene in the last 5 years?
Last 5 years? Much better house music, which is music to our ears. We live in our own little bubble so I’m not sure really, but I’m just so happy that the dreadful EDM period has passed (for a while at least). They were the dark years for many of us. Onwards and upwards.
What does 2020 look like for Sneaky Sound System?
We have some great new music coming out, we’ll be playing at plenty of festivals and clubs and parties, and we’ll be coming back to Bali (am I allowed to say that?). We’ll give fasting another crack, and we’ll be juggling….lots and lots of juggling.
NYE is just around the corner, what track would be your absolute Midnight Banger?
That’s so easy: Sneaky Sound System – We Belong