The place is Tourino, Italy. Itís the early Ď90s. At the Bliss Corporation Ė the esteemed home of numerous successful dance music producers, acts, and labels, founded by producer Massimo Gabutti Ė three young men are brought into the creative talent pool. In this nurturing environment, they individually turn out several top ten European dance floor hits. Now, eight years later, Jeffrey Jey, Maurizio Lobina, and Gabry Ponte (still only 20-somethings), together as Eiffel 65, have tapped a global pulse of club-goers with the international dance/pop phenomenon "Blue (Da Ba Dee)" off their debut U.S. release, Europop, from Republic/ Universal.
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Instantly topping the charts in England, Germany, France, Canada, Australia, Spain, Switzerland, Austria, Denmark, Sweden, Finland, Norway, Greece, Belgium, Holland, and Ireland, "Blue (Da Ba Dee)" is more than a dance/pop track. Once itís heard, itís never forgotten, as its lasting hook, uplifting verses, and body-rocking rhythm are pure energy shot straight to the heart. Its inception began with Maurizioís piano riff before Jeffrey wrote the lyrics. "Maurizio said ĎCome up with strange lyrics,í" explains Jeffrey. "I started thinking about the way people are and about lifestyles Ė the way you buy your house, pick your girlfriend, your job, or the neighborhood in which you live. Then I came up with a color, a color that describes someoneís lifestyle."
Although Jeffrey, Maurizio and Gabry all share a passion for dance and electronic music, they each bring to the group different skills and backgrounds. Jeffrey, spending most of his life in Brooklyn, NY before returning to Italy with his parents, grew up on Rod Stewart and Duran Duran, while in Italy Maurizio studied classical piano, and Gabry gained an intimate connection with the dance scene through his DJ experience.
"Itís important that people get a positive message," says Jeffrey about Eiffel 65ís music. "We donít throw something down and criticize. We want to think and use our minds to fix things. Things should be built rather than be taken apart. There should be something to be happy about." "Blue (Da Ba Dee)" is a mix of dance and English pop, a song with a disco beat. "Weíre more like an old-fashioned Depeche Mode, a solid structure, but more futuristic," he says. "We are electronic, but we look for new sounds like The Chemical Brothers. Itís easy to sing to and to dance to."
Europop as a whole is a contagious hybrid of techno, pop, dance, trip-hop, and hip-hop, marked by spirited lyrics that ride over innovative beats. The group like the word "crossover" as one the few singular adjectives that fit the Eiffel 65 sound because it erases the notion that the music is just one style. Proving that "Blue (Da Ba Dee) is not for the nightlife only, dozens of major American radio stations jumped on the track weeks before its scheduled add date. Then the beautiful tempered melodies of cuts like "Now Is Forever" and "Your Clown" shift course as something perfect to simply lay back and listen to. "Livin In A Bubble" throws another curve with an orchestrated underscoring and a hip-hop vibe, as the lyrics about success were inspired by the tight-knit teamwork philosophy by which the Bliss Corporation operates.
Jeffrey describes the BlissCo experience as being part of a family. "We have an opportunity to grow. We all try to make it together. It makes you want to write the type of music you want to give other people." When BlissCo started in 1992, it had two people and one recording studio. Now it has a crew of 22, six recording studios, six dance music labels, a video branch, and publishing arm. Their mission is to unite young, promising DJs and musicians, giving respect to individual creativity whether the artist comes from the hippest discos or the most underground environment.
The name Eiffel 65 itself was borne out of a creative and spontaneous method, typical of its members. The group didnít want place too much emphasis on their moniker, yet they had to come up with one. Fitting with their love of technology, they let a computer choose the name through a special program which randomly came up with the word "eiffel." When they got back their label copy, it read "Eiffel 65" as a mistake. The "65" was part of a phone number that was inadvertently scribbled next to the name "Eiffel" when the text was submitted for printing. They kept it in, feeling that perhaps it was meant to be.
The incredible success of "Blue (Da Ba Dee)" was also meant to be, as the waves theyíve stirred in Europe are reaching these shores. Jeffrey, Maurizio and Gabry have been wowing audiences worldwide: in small clubs, huge arenas, over radio airwaves, through their debut video (filled with blue people), and with the highly-anticipated release of Europopís original 13 tracks.
"Our main goal is to keep on this wave," says Jeffrey. "I get the biggest emotions from writing the music, but then being in peopleís faces as youíre performing and watching them enjoying what youíre doing is really great." Eiffel 65 is already one of the most successful Italian dance/pop acts of the decade, now "Blue (Da Ba Dee)" colors the start of the next millennium.
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