99 Percent on Being Childhood Frenemies and 'Cake' Collaborators With Flo Rida
Bay Area duo 99 Percent -- made up of longtime friends Cameron 'Camouflage' Schauer and Johnnie 'JayB' Jacob Jr. -- have been churning out catchy dance-pop hits for years, making it big with 2014's pair of viral hits "Shabooyah!" and "Yike It In." Now, the two have scored their first Hot 100 hit with the Flo Rida assisted track "Cake."
The song, which came with a viral challenge (#CakeChallenge) that saw fans submit homemade videos of them dancing to the track, has slowly climbed the Hot 100 (it sits at No. 77 this week, up from No. 78 last week). Following the song's success, Camouflage spoke with Billboard about how he and JayB first started making music together, and what it was like working with Flo Rida, who they "grew up listening to."
How did you and JayB meet?
We met in middle school. At first, we knew each other, but we didn’t necessarily like each other. We used to play this game Dead Leg in middle school, where we would walk around and punch people in the leg. So I punched him in the leg and didn’t know he had his brand new Sidekick in his pocket. I broke the whole screen. We ended up becoming friends after that; we’ve been doing music for about eight years now.
How did you two end up collaborating with Flo Rida on this song?
We had the song “Cake” for about a year and a half before it was even released. When we were in the studio making [the track], we said how he would be perfect on it, and everybody else was like, “Good luck.” Our label sent the record to him, and he liked it so much it became a joint single. Once we heard him on it we were like, “Oh, yeah, this is a hit.”
What was it like when you guys first met him?
The first time we met him was actually at the video shoot in Miami. After the shoot he took us out and showed us the city. JayB asked him if he could drive the Bugatti and he told him yes, but that it was getting a tune up. I don’t know if that was the truth or not, but he was super cool.
Considering you guys started the #CakeChallenge that asked fans to dance to the music video, what background do you and JayB have in dance?
Honestly, we suck at dancing. We were on the Let’s Dance tour last year with Silento, iHeartMemphis, and all the people that have the super big dance records, and we were honestly the worst dancers on the tour. We’re not the dancers, but we want to make music that you can dance to. We collectively came up with the idea to have a challenge; now that they're so big on the internet, it’s really helpful to attach one to a song.
What’s next for the two of you?
We’re working on a bunch of new music. We have an EP coming out real soon, and also a new single as well. I think we might be having another featured artist for the next single as well, but no one I can say yet.