Anjunabeats and Mad Decent Team Up on Bad Royale 'Trancehall' Covers of Above & Beyond Tracks: Exclusive

Benjamin Lycett
Bad Royale

To superfans, Above & Beyond's music is akin to a religious experience, with grand sweeping melodies and emotional lyrics. Songs like “We're All We Need” and “Fly Me to New York” are a soft hand that warms your shoulder in times of joy and trouble.

That's why, when Bad Royale first took on these tracks with its signature dance hall rhythms, they thought it was just a goof, a thing to do for fun. They never saw Anjunabeats falling in love.

"We started by covering 'We're All We Need' as a tribute to our solo careers and to our good friends, Above & Beyond," the band says in a statement. "We were hesitant to show them knowing that what we had created was knee-jerking to say the least. Eventually we got around to showing Tony, from Above & Beyond, and he loved it and immediately asked that we do more."

Even Zoe Johnston, the original vocalist on both A&B's "We're All We Need" and "Fly Me to New York," was bowled over by what she heard.

"So many of us around the world have heard Above & Beyond songs in different settings,” she says, “but it's a whole other kind of magic to hear them re-created through the filter of different cultures and musical genres. Exciting stuff, and I love it.”

Bad Royale has covered in total three A&B songs, two in the style of reggae and one in Soca, adding “Blue Sky Action” to create a beautiful, sonically-explorative EP package. It's a twist on the familiar so enticing, it got Anjunabeats and Mad Decent to team for the first time ever on a joint release.

"The message is the music,” Mad Decent Head of A&R Paul Devro says in a statement. “It's the only explanation of how two labels from two different world's could mesh together so organically."

The EP, dubbed We Are All We Need, will be celebrated with a release party at Create LA presented by both Anjunabeats and Mad Decent, in partnership with Insomniac, an opportunity made possible when Tiesto had to cancel his scheduled appearance. It also inspired A&B to book Bad Royale for a Group Therapy guest mix. It sees official release Friday, Jan. 20, but you can hear the tracks in full below exclusively on Billboard Dance.

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