When everyone from Beyoncé to Pete Tong loves your record, you know you’ve stumbled upon music’s Holy Grail: the credible club crossover cut. This elusive accolade escapes most careers but the mysterious 99 Souls – arguably the hottest newcomers to the house world – struck gold with their very first release. The duo catapulted onto the scene and took their 100% self-promoted debut “The Girl Is Mine” featuring Destiny’s Child & Brandy to number 1 on the BBC.
Radio 1 Dance Chart and number 1 on Shazam in towns and cities across the UK. “It started off as a promotional track to get our name out there,” explains Jo. “We wanted to switch the samples up; flip the lyric to ‘Girl’ and combine two songs to create a whole new narrative,” adds Soul. Racking up well in excess of a million sales and being awarded platinum plaques in the UK, Australia and Ireland as well as receiving a coveted MTV VMA nomination for “Best Dance Video” sounds like a fairy tale for a debut record but the ambitious Soul and Jo describe it merely as a taster of what’s to come.
In between gigging, working on their follow up and recording with Brandy, Craig David and Sigma amongst others, the duo has found time to churn out a plethora of well received remixes, including Snakehips featuring Tinashe and Chance the Rapper “All My Friends”, clocking in at over 30 million streams, Clean Bandit “Tears” and Blonde’s “All Cried Out”. With their first records simultaneously racking up airplay from Annie Mac, Pete Tong and Danny Howard as well as some of the biggest DJ/producers on the planet including Afrojack, Martin Solveig, Oliver Heldens and Laidback Luke, there seems to be no telling what will happen next.
With heavy live commitments that have seen the pair play some of the biggest festivals in the world including Tomorrowland, EDC and Creamfields, as well as Ibiza residencies, it’s easy to wonder how they’ll find the time to complete an entire project. However the determined pair has set their sight on creating a classic album which touches on topics seldom explored in club music. Citing Bob Marley, Bob Dylan and Kanye West as some of their biggest song-writing inspirations – “we both love acoustic music – and we want to connect with people” – 99 Souls plan to combine live instrumentation and unforgettable guest vocalists with introspective lyrics and social commentary. “I grew up on hip hop and got into house when I was a bit older. From my mid-teens I went to d ‘n’ b nights and later on house and dubstep” says Soul. “Who’s our ultimate dance music act? I don’t know if we have one: we’re trying to do something that hasn’t been done before. We’re making an epic soul meets gospel meets 2018 house album where every song means something. We just want to make a classic, timeless album.”
Coalition Talent act as exclusive DJ booking agent for 99 Souls.