In tough economic times, people want to escape, and no city does escapism better than Los Angeles. This week, the charts are owned by L.A. artists that produce guilty pop pleasures (Ke$ha reigns atop Billboard’s Hot 100 chart followed by downtown L.A.’s Far East Movement, who held the top spot last week), haters be damned. Last night, Far East Movement were still feeling “Fly Like a G6,” and hit up Hollywood’s most escapist club, Drai’s, to celebrate. So what does the foursome think about penning the surprise guilty pop pleasure of 2010? We braved tragic “electro-hop” groupies to find out.
“It’s a trip because we made the song just for fun,” FEM’s Kev Nish said backstage before a packed show at the Key Club. “We never expected it to ever get on any chart.” Yet chart it has, and not only is the infectious single receiving airplay nationwide, but it’s selling big, with nearly 1.8 million paid digital downloads sold this year.
Last night at Drai’s, the foursome held court at kindred electro-rap spirits LMFAO’s “Party Rock Wednesdays” after their gig, and were treated as L.A. royalty despite dashing the crowd’s hopes that they’d break into their hit. (Instead, DJ Skeet Skeet simply played it.) ”There definitely is an L.A, sound,” yelled Nish over his own track. “It comes from the spirit of the clubbing culture in L.A. and we’re inspired by the scene.”
Inside Drai’s, it’s easy to see what inspires Far East Movement to pen their club-ready bangers. The vibe was straight out of a music video, replete with the proverbial “video hoes.” But the energy was infectious and no night at any club in Los Angeles has the kind of energy Drai’s is bringing right now on Wednesdays.
The rooftop action at the W Hollywood (where Drai’s is located) is ridiculous, straight-out-of-Vegas cheese, but the bar is beloved by thousands (many of whom drive in from the suburbs) all over SoCal for its hedonistic feel and emphasis on fun over pretense. Recently, the club seems even busier than it had been under the stewardship of Cy Waits, who made headlines a few months ago for a high-profile, drug-related arrest in Las Vegas with girlfriend Paris Hilton.
Drai’s is betting its new Friday night party, hosted by Jamie Foxx, will take weekend evenings at the W Hollywood to the next level this fall and into 2011, but in the meantime, it’s finding surprising success courting crowds with the sound Far East Movement helped popularize.
As the band’s next single, the more traditional pop-leaning “Rocketeer,” rockets up the charts, Nish has a message to all the would-be haters out there: “If it’s not for you, don’t worry about it, we don’t take offense,” he said. “At the same time, we’re proud of our work. You might like ‘G6‘ and might not like ‘Rocketeer,’ or you might like both, but as long as you love music, that’s all that matters.”