Sneaky Sound System is Miss Connie and Black Angus. 2006 saw the release of their self-titled, 3 x platinum debut album. Spearheaded by UFO, Pictures and I Love It, it won ARIA Awards for Breakthrough Artist and Best Dance Release. Second long-player and #1 album ‘2’ followed in 2008 with more dancefloor slayers – Kansas City, When We Were Young and #1 UK club smash It’s Not My Problem. In 2009 I Will Be Here, a collaboration with superstar DJ Tiesto, topped both the US dance airplay and UK club charts. In 2011, album no. 3: From Here To Anywhere. MTV called it: “incredible”, Sydney’s Telegraph “a delicious feast of world class dance-pop songs”. A nomination in the prestigious 2012 Intl DJ Awards underscored Sneaky’s escalating reputation. Meantime Connie lent vocals and lyrics to albums from superstars Jay-Z, Kanye West and Snoop Dogg, A 2013 a critics poll ranked Connie #18 of all-time Australian singers. And Sneaky Sundays, the beloved club night, is now 15+ years strong and, in 2017, into its third year at world renowned Mykonos hotspot, Scorpios. Sneaky recent releases are more akin to the sound of these parties like Summertime Madness, All I Need Is You and I Ain’t Over You. July ’17 saw the release of Do Ya Thing b/w I Like Techno. And 10+ years after its first release, new remixes arrived for Pictures, reaching #2 on the ARIA Club Chart. Remixes of I Love It followed in early 2018, also reaching the upper echelons of the chart. Proof indeed that great music never dies.
So, where did you all meet and how did Sneaky Sound System first come together?
It all happened by pure chance. I (Black Angus) was about to start a small Sunday night called Sneaky Sundays in Bondi Beach, Sydney, Australia. The night before the first gig I met MC Double D at a Cowboys and Indians fancy dress party; we clicked I asked him to come down and host the night and maybe jump on the mic, albeit occasionally (he had never emceed before!). He ended up busting out a few rhymes while I spun records and everyone went nuts – it worked big time. After a few years of playing the club and festival circuit we stumbled across Miss Connie in a park, where she was playing guitar and singing to a friend (and no, she wasn’t busking). We got chatting and I played a new song I written called ‘I Love It’. Connie loved it and a couple of weeks later we was recorded it. It went on to become our breakthrough hit and the rest as they say, is history.
How do you all find working together?
We’re very different people but over the years you work out which buttons to press and which ones not to. Being in a band can feel like school camp for adults at times, and occasionally you want to buck the system, but for the most part it’s pretty harmonious.
Who are Sneaky Sound Systems main influences?
We grew up on The Cure, Depeche Mode, The Human League, New Order, ELO, The Cars etc and have moved through Italo disco, French house, German techno, Brit pop, American soul, you name it! Somehow all of that runs through our musical veins and we come up with something else.
How would you describe your genre of music for someone who hadn’t heard it before?
Music with one foot in the club and the other in the radio. It’s music with two feet, and both those feet, they’re moving. We’re one part nostalgia and two parts future. One part electronica to two parts pop. I could go on… We didn’t sit at a table and decide what music we’d make. It was natural for us to create music we’d like to listen to, and hopefully it would resonate with others too. Which appears to be the case.
Did you both know when you were kids that you wanted to get into the music industry?
I avoided being in the music industry for as long as possible, but eventually I succumbed at the ripe old age of 30. I guess you’d call me a late bloomer. And I fell into performing by showing off at school. Music always felt natural.
Where do you draw inspiration for your songs?
We’re always out and about checking what’s happening. It keeps your perspective fresh and is a constant source of inspiration. It’s cool to hang out with other artists and hear what they’re up to, hear their take on things.
Who does most of the song writing?
It’s varied, but for the most part I usually come up with a bunch of musical ideas and play them to Connie. If she likes them we go our separate ways and write lyrics. Then we put our bits together in a big melting pot and somehow it usually makes sense. In general, Connie is more of the verse type while I am more the chorus dude.
What do you think your biggest achievement has been in your music careers?
There have been some special moments: Hearing our first song on the radio was rad, having a number one club hit with ‘Pictures’ was dope, winning those ARIA’s made our mums and dads proud, playing Glastonbury was sick, selling out Horden Pavillion was intoxicating, travelling the world has been eye opening, scoring a big international record deal was amazing times a million, and finding all these incredible fans along the way. That has made the whole shebang very rewarding. It’s safe to say we feel blessed. Don’t take anything for granted. Oh, and recording with Kanye West and Jay-Z and hanging out with Beyonce in a Bellevue Hill Mansion was pretty amazing too!
How would you define “success?” ?
Being able to travel the world and make a living writing and playing music, doing what you love and having fun doing it!
Who would you most like to do a collaboration with?
So many people! Prince or David Bowie would be cool. I know Connie would choose Phil Collins in a heartbeat. I think I could come up with a list of 1000 people actually, from obscure to obvious.