Former Interscope Records interns Kev Nish and Prohgress, who make up half of Asian-American group Far*East Movement, have come a long way since assisting in the label's publicity department five years ago.
The Los Angeles quartet makes the second-largest jump on the Billboard Hot 100 this week (41-21) with the club-ready single "Like a G6," featuring Cataracs & Dev. The song vaults 25-12 on Hot Digital Songs (selling 75,000, according to Nielsen SoundScan, up 54%), while airplay impressions climb 49% to 19.8 million. To date, "Like a G6" has sold 327,000 downloads, while the music video has received 2.2 million hits on YouTube.
Video: Far*East Movement, "Like a G6"
The single will be included on Far*East Movement's major-label debut and third album overall, "Free Wired," due Oct. 12 on Cherrytree Records/Interscope. Cross-wiring pop, hip-hop, dance and electro, the set features guest appearances by Snoop Dogg, Pitbull, OneRepublic's Ryan Tedder, Lil Jon and Keri Hilson, with production from the Stereotypes, Smeezingtons (Bruno Mars, Phil Lawrence), Roger Sanchez and Fernando Garibay.
Since the Interscope internship in late 2005, Far*East Movement (which also includes members J-Splif and DJ Virman) has evolved from organizing popular underground events in Los Angeles' Koreatown to touring alongside Lady Gaga and N*E*R*D. The act's music has also been used in several films and TV shows, among them "Get Him to the Greek," "The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift," "Entourage" and "CSI: Miami." The group is managed by Stampede Management's Ted Chung and Russell Redeaux.
"One thing we learned while interning was that you have to build your own movement," Nish says, noting the group achieves this by blogging and posting homemade tour videos, as well as participating in chat rooms and an online radio show on CherrytreeRecords.com. "So we stopped interning and hit the streets of L.A., performing in every club we could."
So far, the clubs have played a strong role in Far*East Movement's rising radio profile. Interscope marketing director Andrew Flad says the label began working "Like a G6" to clubs and mixshows several months ago, following the success of a behind-the-scenes viral video the group made for the track during its club tour last year with electro-pop duo LMFAO. "We serviced it to build a base there before we really attacked radio," Flad says. "Then crossover success started as some top 40 stations began playing it. Now it's starting to get major-market adds across the country."
In addition to the act's September/October North American club tour with Mike Posner, Interscope plans to maintain the "G6" momentum by servicing new club remixes. Flad says at least eight remixes are coming as well as a potential remix EP.
The next Far*East Movement single will be "Rocketeer," a softer track featuring Tedder on vocals. Beyond that, Flad says there will definitely be another club record. But, he adds, "it's important to show the depth of what these guys can do."