Far East Movement: Party boys on stage, food critics off stage

By Zaki Jufri & Debbie NgEvents - 09 September 2013 5:46 PM | Updated 6:14 PM

Far East Movement: Party boys on stage, food critics off stage

In the space between hip hop and electro lies Far East Movement, the Los Angeles-based quartet behind the 2009 album ‘Animal’, who have been hard at work pumping out hypnotic beats and bleeps. 

The band will be in Singapore for the two-day 1 World Music Festival, held at the Marina Barrage on 20 and 21 September.

Performing on the second night of the festival, the band will take to the stage alongside acts such as Moby, Snoop Dogg, DJ Fresh, Tinie Tempah and Yuna. 

Also read: 5 reasons to checkout 1 World Music Festival

Last year, they rocked out at the Hard Rock Hotel in Resorts World Sentosa on 8 August and even found time to indulge in a favourite Singaporean pastime: eating.

But more on that later.

Far East Movement is made up of Kevin Nishimura (Kev Nish), who is half-Chinese, half-Japanese, James Roh (Prohgress) and Jae Choung (J-Splif), who were born in South Korea, as well as DJ Virman, who is of Filipino descent.

Raised and living in the US, the four of them took over the airwaves and dance floors everywhere with their album ‘Free Wired’ in 2010, containing the infectious single ‘Like a G6’. It earned the band the honour of being the first Asian-American pop act to get a number one record.

Since then, they have worked with artistes such as Snoop Dogg, Bruno Mars, Pitbull, Tyga and OneRepublic‘s Ryan Tedder.

Their current album, ‘Dirty Bass’, which was released last year, continues the pop-rap group’s penchant for blending catchy beats, intoxicating bass lines and sing-along choruses, as they collaborate with artists such as Cassie, Flo Rida, Bill Kaulitz from German rock band Tokio Hotel and even Justin Bieber.

Two hit singles later, the band have just released a new mixtape in June, which hints at what their new album will sound like.

We caught up with frontman Kev Nish ahead of the gig in Singapore.

You’ve collaborated with many international artistes… Pitbull, Justin Bieber, Snoop Lion. Who’s next?

We have been really following a lot of the next-generation artistes and producers. We've been working with a new producer called Rell The Soundbender who has been taking the electronic dance music (EDM) world by storm. Do look out for our collaborations with DJs and producers such as Quintino, 3Ball MTY, Riff Raff and more. 


Far East Movement - 'Like A G6' ft. The Cataracs, DEV

The band’s music is all about having a good time and partying. But what happens when you’re not feeling too good that day and you have a show to put on?

Even on the worst days, it's easy to remember what it was like being a kid and dreaming of being an artiste and touring. Those thoughts alone will brighten any dreamer's day.

Has anything changed since you signed with Cherrytree Records?

We’ve definitely been inspired by so many more genres of music that we hadn’t been exposed to before, just from all the artistes at Cherrytree. Not to mention, just being able to travel to different cities and learn about so many cultures. We take all that and jam it into everything we do.  

Far East Movement
Far East Movement. Photo: Transparent Agency

Tried any food in Singapore last time? What was your favourite?

We tried this incredible buffet that was stocked neck deep in Singaporean and Malaysian food while we were here last year. Every dish was amazing and if we had to choose, it’s chicken rice, for the win.

Who takes the longest to get ready?

It has to be J-Splif. It’s his damn hair. 

The ‘International Secret Agents’ (ISA) concert series was a project you started with independent filmmakers Wong Fu Productions. Will you guys take it to Asia?

We certainly hope so. We are spending this year building the online media side with around 10 new originally programmed shows transforming ISA into an online network along with live events. So if there’s a city the concert cannot reach, there is still a chance to connect with the brand online. 

What do you guys do when you’re not playing sold-out shows?

We keep on recording and producing in the studio even in season break. Music is our life and the studio is the reason why we've been given this opportunity to do what we do.

Food is a big part of studio life so we make sure we eat well. We’re big food critics but terrible cooks (laughs).

Far East Movement at 1 World Music Festival | Date: 21 September 2013 | Time: 6pm till late | Venue: Marina Barrage | Tickets: $118 (one-day entry), $188 (two-day entry) via www.ticketbooth.com.sg and https://redtix.airasia.com; $150 (one-day entry), $250 (two-day entry) sold only at the door