Reigniting the full-throttle thrills of big beat for the TikTok generation, Cheap Cuts took a giant first step with their debut single ‘Check Your Phone’. Twisted into an art-pop social commentary with anxious spoken word from Fall Out Boy’s Pete Wentz, the track received attention from Dork, Notion, NME and Rock Sound plus early support from US alternative radio. Its universal theme then went global, with subsequent French and Korean language versions.
The shape-shifting conceptual duo – Johnny Harris and Jack Leonard – now heighten the fun factor of their irrepressible productions with their second single ‘You Make Me Wanna Dance’. Like big beat’s crowd-pleasing heyday, the song’s funk-fueled bass, unrestrained piano and infectious handclaps provide an animated elation, while Dan Caplen provides the chic R&B/pop vocal that helped him make the Rudimental / Macklemore / Jess Glynne hit ‘These Days’ a worldwide smash. Listen HERE.
We had the awesome opportunity and immense pleasure of chatting with the guys! Check out our exclusive interview below:
Hey guys! Thanks for chatting with us today! We would love to know the meaning of the name ‘Cheap Cuts’ and how you decided on it?
-Thanks for having us! We started a songwriting duo a couple years back where we’d work and produce with up and coming pop singers. There were all these super flashy names with ‘cuts in the title’ (cut father, super cuts, captain cuts’ etc – who are all incredibly successful.
– We thought it’d funny that when all those cuts were busy, the labels could send their artists to Cheap Cuts to fill up the diary. And so we were born!
What was the first track that put you on the map in the music scene and what has your journey been like since then?
Check Your Phone ft Pete Wentz. That was a pretty nuts first release and he was awesome and super supportive. He introduced to a lot of great people and backed us, so we owe a lot to Pete.
Tell us about your latest project ‘You Make Me Wanna Dance.’ What was the creative process like throughout? We absolutely love the music video!! What was it like working with Ben Crocker & Alexis Tymon on the creative?
The initial track was written in about 20 mins. But the refinement of the song, the adding of the horns and other elements took over a year. We just kept coming back to it, adding bits here, changing lyrics etc until we were happy with it. It’s a huge collaborative effort from all of our people that we work with so we’re super happy with the finished product.
And yes! The video is amazing. The only credit we can take is we asked to be in the funeral scene. Everything else was Ben and Alexa and they totally nailed it.
Watch ‘You Make Me Wanna Dance‘ on YouTube
Download / Stream >HERE<
Name that one thing that fans still don’t know about you guys?
There’s still a fair bit that’s a mystery I think which is what we like. There are hidden clues about both of us in the lyrics of our new track you make me wanna dance – go on, listen… stream… dig deep.
What single night out has been most memorable for you as artists and do you guys spend much time together behind the scenes when you are not being ‘Cheap Cuts’?
We’re genuinely great friends and hang out quite a lot, which is great. I’d say when we’re making records or are on an intense stint we give each other a little bit of space – but mostly we hang. As for the most memorable night out… hmmm. The best ones are usually the ones you can’t remember. If you get me…
Give us the name of one song that never gets old for you no master how many times you hear it!
There are the obvious classics but I’ve got Stop Making this hurt by bleachers which never seems to get old. Love that band. There’s a track by Jon Brion on the eternal sunshine of a spotless mind soundtrack called ‘bookstore’ which is 42 seconds long. I have probably listened to that a thousand times and find something new in it every time I listen to it.
What and with who would you say your dream collaboration would be and why?
We’re talking to a few rappers at the moment and that feels super exciting. Anyone who brings a fresh energy and has something interesting to say. Sometimes somebody completely new is more exciting than a more established artist, because you’re sharing their talent with the world.
If you guys had the opportunity and could perform at any festival or live event today, what would it be and why?
Its cliche but Glastonbury is always on everyone’s wish list. That and the international super yacht meet at Monaco, that would be cool.
How do you get a song started? tell us about your production and creative process that’s involved.
It can literally come from anywhere. Sometimes I’ll hear a sound and I want to replicate that, some times it will be a concept that I want to explore, other times it’s just a silly lyric or a loop that needs expanding. it’s really hard to explain how songs made but all I would say is that you’re antenna always needs to be up as inspiration could strike at any moment. so keep a lookout!
Latest project? What are you guys currently working on and do your fans have anything to look forward to for the rest of 2021 coming from ‘Cheap Cuts’?
We’ve got a really exciting collaboration with a Nashville artist that we love called Lucie Silva which is coming out in the next few weeks, and then a couple of other surprises which will be revealed shortly!
The relationship between artist and the audience is crucial when on stage, and yet is seems to be a fragile one – how do you see the balance between giving a crowd or audience what they want and treating them to something new?
I think there’s a bit of a contract between band and audience. If you’re an established artist you have to play the classics because that’s what everybody’s turned up to see, but also the audience need to understand that the artist has to play new material in order to progress/evolve. if you don’t strike that balance both parties are left unsatisfied in my opinion.
Thanks a ton for chatting with us! Follow Cheap Cuts on the social media platform links below and never miss another release or update!
Cheap Cuts – ‘You Make Me Wanna Dance’ is Out Now! Download / Stream >HERE<
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