Mystery behind the men and the music

Lily

B.R
Staff member
Given that they released a summer anthem which catapulted them to worldwide stardom it seems odd that Sylvester Martinez and Johnson ‘Durango Slim' Peterson lead a life of mystery.

Only photographed with their faces shielded with old school LP discs, the Australian duo, unlike the music they make, are rarely in the spotlight.

"What can we say? We just have faces for radio," joked Martinez in an interview with tabloid!.

We Speak No Americano enjoyed maximum airplay in the warmer months of 2010 scooping the guys the No 1 spot in nine countries in two months.

Ahead of their headline act at XL Beach Club's closing summer party Friday, Martinez spills the beans revealing a little of the mystery behind the men and the music.

What you probably won't know is the Australian duo, better known as Yolanda Be Cool, had major crushes on Kylie and the chicks from Diamonds and Pearls when they were teenagers.

"They were so hot," said Martinez.

The boys collaborated with Australian producer DCUP (real name Duncan MacLennan) to release an international single We Speak No Americano, featuring 1956 Neapolitan language hit Tu vuò fà l'americano by Renato Carosone and written by Carosone and Nicola "Nisa" Salerno.

Named after a reference in film Pulp Fiction, where Samuel L. Jackson's character Jules shouts "Yolanda, be cool" to a female armed robber named Yolanda, played by Amanda Plummer, the summer hit topped charts around the world, including German, Austrian, Irish, UK, Danish, Dutch, Swedish and Belgian lists.

We Speak No Americano achieved No 1 in nine countries. Did you ever expect the track to be so successful?

No we didn't ever think so, but we are not complaining.

Tell us about your collaboration with DCup, how you discovered Renato Carsone's original version, and how you produced it into a 2010 dance-floor hit?

We love DCup. He is our good friend and label mate on Sweat It Out. Renato Carsone's original track was a favourite track of our friend's father and we used to play the original at pool parties in the summertime.

Where did you witness the best and biggest reaction from it when you've played it live? Any funny stories?

We played at a student festival in Moldova last year to 50,000 people. That was pretty crazy.

I read you were once stopped at customs and the official had We Speak No Americano as his ringtone. Did you ever tell him who you were?

He was a pretty scary-looking guy.

What would you say to the people who brand your sound as "gimmicky" house'?

We'd say that's cool. You can think whatever you like. We just make music we like.

How would you describe yourselves as artists?

We draw squiggly lines, press buttons so people can look silly on the dancefloor early in the morning.

Tell us about the follow-up to We Speak No Americano?

It's a housey little number and features one of our favourite vocalists of all time.

Looking forward to Dubai?

It's a great place, the culture and the people so we are looking forward to the experience and having a good time. You can expect a lot of energy and some surprises. Some new tracks as well as some old favourites. I think you will like it.

Is there anything you would have done differently looking back now?

Insist the label clear the publishing earlier (Laughs). No just kidding. . The whole Americano journey has been really fun and doesn't look like stopping any time soon so we are happy."

Tell us a childhood memory which has inspired your music along the way?

I used to wake up at 6am every Saturday morning and watch RAGE (ABC music TV) for four hours straight hoping to see Prince sing and dance. Then I decided to learn guitar so I could one day pick up either Diamonds or Pearls. They were both hot.

Tell us one thing nobody knows about you?

I used to be in love with Kylie Minogue.
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