Far*East Movement, the Los Angeles electro/hip-hop outfit behind such hits as "Like a G6" and "Rocketeer," is looking beyond the dancefloor and hopes to inspire a whole new movement with its latest album, "Dirty Bass."
"Far*East Movement are what I call 'futuristic-renaissance artists,'" says Martin Kierszenbaum, chairman of Cherrytree Records, which will release the album through Interscope on June 5. "The aesthetic message is unified and presented together via their videos, Web episodes, artwork, performances, et cetera. It's all one cohesive through-line of 'Dirty Bass': a sound, lifestyle and movement."
The foundation for "Dirty Bass," a bass-thumping, genre-hopping party record, was first heard in the group's early music as its song "Girls on the Dance Floor" began to generate buzz throughout Los Angeles' club scene. Far*East Movement's Kev Nish says the group -- which also includes Prohgress, J-Splif and DJ Virman -- used to hand out homemade CDs on the street and post music online before "Girls on the Dance Floor" started to take off.
The song caught the attention of Kierszenbaum, who signed Far*East Movement in 2009. The group's debut, "Free Wired," arrived in 2010 and has sold 175,000 copies, according to Nielsen SoundScan. Singles "Rocketeer" and "Like a G6" peaked on the Billboard Hot 100 at Nos. 7 and 1, respectively, the latter becoming the first chart-topper by an Asian-American band.
"We recorded 'Like a G6' with a microphone hooked up to a computer -- we had no idea it would ever do what it did," Nish says of the song's popularity. "That first album was us figuring out what our sound would be like."
Nish adds that Far*East Movement's tours with everyone from Rihanna to LMFAO introduced the group to different dance, pop and hip-hop audiences, which also influenced its sound. "It's what we call 'the golden era': that gold chain, 1990s bass music . . . it's booty-poppin' music," Nish says of the new songs. "We're really including all types of 'dirty bass.'"
For the set, the group enlisted a variety of hitmakers and collaborators including RedOne, Tyga, LMFAO's RedFoo and Tokio Hotel, as well as lining up Justin Bieber to perform on the first single, "Live My Life," which debuted and peaked at No. 21 on the Hot 100.
"Far*East Movement makes music that appeals to everybody," Kierszenbaum says. Touring the globe, making videos, creating wild artwork and extensive activity online -- including a weekly radio show at CherrytreeRadio.com -- has helped Far*East Movement stay connected to its fan base. The group's relationship with fans is "dynamic and constant," he says, and its output is "continuous."
To help spread the "Dirty Bass" message, the group plans pop-up shows and still-to-be-announced Web exclusives. Nish adds that the group will host meet-and-greets at high schools to connect with younger fans who can't attend live shows. That all-ages mentality contributes to the inviting nature of the band.
"We always want to create a party where there's no security guards, no VIP," Nish says. "It's an all-inclusive party, all-ages, and we're especially keeping it really multicultural. It's a good way to start the vibe to let people know what we're about."