Interview: Yolanda Be Cool

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If you are unfamiliar with the line “Fa, fa l’americano!” followed by a stream of catchy electronic beats, clearly the rock you live under is soundproof. We forgive you. Johnson Peterson and Sylvester Martinez, aka Yolanda Be Cool are the devil-may-care boys from Sydney responsible for getting We No Speak Americano stuck on mental replay. After being under the radar for a while, one fateful plane ride home with Aussie producer/DJ, D-CUP, changed it all. Together with D-CUP, they launched this infectious tune and rode the chart waves in the UK, Denmark, Spain and six other countries right up to numero uni. Since becoming one of the big timers, the boys have constantly been on the move playing gigs in Ibiza, Dubai and Berlin. But despite all the fame, whiskey sniffers and beautiful ladies throwing themselves at their feet, they still made time to speak to JUICE… well, at least Sylvester did… and we came out guns blazing ready to pick at his hefty brain…

How are you guys as a team? What is the dynamics behind Yolanda Be Cool?
We are a great team as we both take turns doing everything. Some weeks I do all the boring stuff whilst Johnson does all the fun stuff like sit on Beatport, and search all day and night for new music, then the next week it’s the opposite. We always make time to get in the studio though… teamwork is good.

So your name Yolanda Be Cool comes from a Pulp Fiction reference, any other favourite scenes/quotes from other Quentin Tarantino flicks?
There are so many. We love ‘The Wolf’ and Mr. Pink from Reservoir Dogs is amazing. The buried alive scene in Kill Bill really freaked me out watching it in the cinema.

Is it safe to assume you guys are huge film buffs? Give us the most obscure film reference you could think of.
Ummm… “Nobody puts baby in a corner.” Just kidding! Yes, we both love film. Johnson actually spent a year writing a script for a feature film in Rio. But ended up losing it as it was written on 1000 pieces of paper, haha. Even his dad wouldn’t read it.

We No Speak Americano is based upon Renato Carosone’s song, did you do the man proud or is he spinning in his grave?
We hope we did him proud; we are massive fans of his work so hopefully he would like our re-interpretation.

That song really sticks in your head on replay. Any other songs that you can’t get rid of?
Forward Motion feat. Ali Love by Jamie Jones and Lee Foss is a song we always sing when on the move…”FORWARD!” Also the bassline from Your Everything feat. Lousahhh! by Danny Daze is seriously amazing. I can’t stop listening to this song over and over and over again.

What is Yolanda Be Cool doing to avoid being a one-hit wonder?
Our next single is set to be released in October and we are putting the final touches on our album which is due to be released in March 2012. Hopefully there are some other hits in there. We are really happy with how it’s sounding so hopefully other people will like it as well.

The song is about Italians acting American (playing baseball, drinking whiskey). As an Australian, what is your version of acting American?
I think “The Situation” personifies the stereotype. But from our experience Americans are super friendly, kind and enthusiastic. We have done 3 US tours in the last year and have had so much fun partying there. We always look forward to playing the US.

Post-song, you guys have been doing extensive travelling, playing at so many different places. Where else do you two hope to get a chance to play your set at?
We are really looking forward to hanging out and playing records with all our friends from home in Bondi who we miss so much. Being with your friends is the best. But Glastonbury in the UK or Coachella in the US or Exit Festival in Serbia would all be amazing also.

Name the weirdest thing that has ever happened during a gig.
Wow, so many weird things. I have been bashed by a bouncer and sent to hospital for continuing to play after the club had closed one night. I guess it’s pretty weird to have other acts pretending to be us and do Yolanda Be Cool sets. This has happened more than once.

If you could work with anyone at all dead or alive, who and why?
Jim Morrison would be awesome. We love his music, his poetic lyrics and his ability to party.

What can the party people expect from you two at the upcoming Hennessy Artistry ‘The Global Art of Mixing’ event? Any tricks up your sleeves?
Yep, we have something special planned for this evening for sure. Visually and musically it is going to be something new and exciting that we haven’t done before.

Since your video has blown up (millions of hits), what is the next big thing you’ve got in sight?
More singles, albums, videos clips, collaboration, gigs and travels! It’s only the beginning for us. We are having too much fun to stop now.

…aaaaand repeat!

These two packed a solid one-two party punch at Henessy Artistry – The Global Art of Mixing last 12 November at MIECC, Mines Resort City. For more of them, go to