Yolanda Be Cool and DCup celebrate 10th anniversary of ‘We No Speak Americano’ with new remixes
Ten years ago, Andy Stanley and Matt Handley, otherwise known as Yolanda Be Cool, were in the studio in Sydney with producer DCup, throwing ideas around for an upbeat banger that their DJ colleagues could play.
Handley’s girlfriend suggested they sample a 1956 Italian (though sung in Neapolitan) song ‘Tu Vuò Fà L’Americano’ by crooner Renato Carosone, written by Nicola Salerno and himself.
The late DJ Ajax, who helped the pair set up the Sweat It Out label, started playing the swing-house ‘We No Speak Americano’ in clubs. It topped the ARIA Club and Beatport charts, and triple j put it on high circulation.
Then it went viral.
“There were a couple of WTF moments,” Stanley recalls when it took off.
“The first one that I remember happened was when we were both at my place in Bondi and Matty came over then we got a random message on FB from this guy in Latvia saying ‘Boys….WTF is this song. I heard it in the club last night and I picked up this girl and we have had it on repeat for six hours back in my apartment…’
“We were like ‘holy shit, how did someone hear our song in Latvia?’”
‘We No Speak Americano’ went #1 in over 20 countries and made the top 10 in 40, including the US, UK, Russia, South Africa, Brazil, Mexico, France, Italy, New Zealand, Spain and Switzerland. It became a cultural flashpoint, also featuring in countless movies and ads, and spurred a myriad of covers. The last time they looked, it had done an estimated 1 billion sales.
Says Stanley, “Across converted sales, streams – there’s so many versions on YouTube and Spotify – we’ve been advised it is 1 billion total.
“We are working with our distributor and publishers to make it all official, but it’s a lengthy process due to all the partners and various edits.”
Last week, Sweat It Out announced it is dropping a 10th-anniversary remix package with Brazil duo Chemical Surf, who inject a warehouse bass shade, Tokyo-based DJ and producer JAXX DA FISHWORKS, who steps in with his signature bass house sound, and Romanian tech-house cousins SLLASH & DOPPE with a tribal calypso tech treatment.
Stanley relates, “SLLASH & DOPPE and Chemical Surf are both super talented duos that have made some absolute weapons over the past few years that we have thrashed in YBC sets, so they were both top of mind – and they delivered.
“JAXX DA FISHWORKS is an old school homie who we have known for ages but just recently hung out with again when we played in Tokyo in March. We hit him up and sent him the stems on the way to the airport and he pretty much sent us his amazing remix by the time we landed back in Sydney. We love all the remixes!”
The fourth track is their own update.
“As the saying goes on the $5 tourist t-shirt that you buy in Bangkok, ‘Same Same But Different’. Basically, we wanted to give lovers of the original tune another chance to love it again, whilst also trying to freshen it up for people that have just had enough!”
Yolanda Be Cool know that feeling. Ten years ago, at the peak of the song’s success (read: overkill) they stopped playing it at some shows.
“I think everyone got over it for a period of time. It was so overplayed, which is a good problem to have!” the duo said.
“Then the internet started breaking out with dancing cat videos going viral, as well as The Inbetweeners Movie dance scene etc. So whilst we always loved it, it didn’t feel right to play at some more tastemaker gigs and festivals.
“But now whenever we play it, people love it.”
What impressed the two of them the most – the track was in the Peter Rabbit movie? Sampled by Pitbull in ‘Bon Bon’? Used by US gymnast Gabby Douglas in her gold medal-winning final floor routine at the 2012 Summer Olympics in London? Or included in video games Zumba Fitness 2 and Just Dance 4?
“The fact that Pitbull sampled it in ‘Bon Bon’ turned out to be a good thing, although my kids would say Peter Rabbit,” Stanley said.
For those wondering, the Yolanda Be Cool moniker came from their admiration for Quentin Tarantino and Pulp Fiction. In one scene, Samuel L. Jackson’s character Jules shouts at armed robber Yolanda (played by Amanda Plummer), “Be cool!”
They recently did a livestream with Club Sweat and Beatport, and have locked in a few more in the coming weeks on Twitch.
Yolanda Be Cool have a number of recordings in the pipeline over the next two years.
While releasing their own tracks on hot labels as Solardo’s Sola, Lee Foss’ Repopulate Mar and, Mele’s Club Bad, they also built up Sweat It Out signing Purple Disco Machine, RÜFÜS DÜ SOL, Dom Dolla and Torren Foot.