Wrap Up And Watch Out: The Fives
Introducing The Fives, a quartet named after the number of their studio based in Dulwich, south London. Consisting of three brothers, Carl, Greg and Rafael, and secondary school friend Charlie, each member holds their own musical skills and talent, bringing their own sparkle to the production group...
The Wrap Up’s Makeda ‘QoS’ Wilson met up with Carl and Raf to dig deeper and find out more about the group.
The Wrap Up: What are the instruments played by the members of The Fives and whom are they played by?
Carl: I play keyboard and bass guitar, Raf (also known as ‘Super Kid’) plays drums, Greg plays guitar and bass guitar, and Charlie is another keyboard player.
TWU: How long have you guys been making music as a collective?
Carl: We’ve only been officially a group as ‘The Fives’ for nearly 2 years now. Prior to that, we we’re session musicians playing for many different people, record companies, functions and more.
TWU: Individually, how long have you been playing your respective instruments?
Carl: I’ve been playing the piano for about 15 years.
Raf: I’ve been playing the drums for about 6 years.
Carl: Greg has been playing for about 15 years and Charlie has been longer, probably about 18 years now!
TWU: So, are you all able to just hear music and know the correct notes to be able to play it?
Carl: Yeah, we all can! Coming from when we get hired to play for an act, they don’t give you any music; they just give you the song and want you to play it. We used to be in house bands and have to play for open mic sessions and things like that and you’re expected to be able to play it in whatever key is required.
TWU: That would mean you’re not stuck to any specific genre and are able to cover the whole spectrum of music…
Raf: Not at all.
Carl: As far as musicians, we’ve played in jazz bands, we we’re in an electro rock band, as well as playing electronic stuff and playing for pop artists. We can basically play from electronic to pop and everything in between.
TWU: Moving on to your own productions, you’ve blasted on to the funky scene and grabbed the attention of many. How receptive do you feel the scene has been to you on a whole?
Carl: It’s been very good, which is a bit strange because it just came to us. We put out ‘It’s What You Do’ because we thought it was a catchy tune and weren’t expecting much. Just hoped that people would listen to it, like it, hoped to do a few PAs here and there or some remixes. But the response was far greater than expected. People picked up on it early on blogs, people like Marcus Nasty and Pioneer were playing it and DJ Target on BBC 1Xtra really supported it. Swerve also picked it up to play on his show and featured it as his ‘Track Of The Week’.
Raf: And it wasn’t even a funky house show! So it was something new for him to do as well and we were just really shocked.
Carl: Yeah, we had to sit back and take it in because we really weren’t expecting any of it.
TWU: Other than music, you also make advert music, don’t you?
Ralph: We do. We’ve made adverts for Galaxy Chocolate, the Mercedes E-Class and the I Am campaign.
Carl: We did a Tempo campaign in Germany and also an Ikea one, which was out last autumn with cats.
TWU: Going back to your tracks, are there any plans in the pipeline to release an album?
Raf: We’ve got a few things in the pipeline…
Carl: We have an EP that would’ve been out already, but we’ve put it on hold. Since putting out the first funky house track, we’ve had so much work with other artists come through that we’ve put ourselves on the back burner, but the EP is coming. Realistically, you can expect it around July.
Raf: We have another track coming out very soon, which has literally just been finished. Look out for that in the meantime.
TWU: You mentioned before that you work with a few other artists. Do you source artists or do they usually find you?
Raf: They find us mostly.
Carl: When people started to get to know about ‘It’s What You Do’, our inboxes started filling up with messages from labels asking us to come in and wanting to find out what else we can do. When we would tell them, they would then start showing us different acts, asking if we minded writing for them. Then word got around that we write different styles of music and since then, it’s been very busy.
TWU: Can you name-drop any of the artists you’ve worked with?
Carl: We did a track called ‘Morning After’, which was supposed to be the third single from Roll Deep’s album, but they went with the Alesha Dixon one instead. We’ve also just signed a publishing deal with a songwriter called Wayne Hector, who has written for the likes of JLS, Pussycat Dolls and Westlife, to name but a few, and we wrote a track with him for Kelly Clarkson. We’ve done some songwriting for Jessie J, but we’re awaiting confirmation from management and labels to know what’s happening with that.
TWU: Other than that, are there any other projects coming up that we need to know about?
Carl: A rapper by the name of Yungen will be coming out real soon...
Ralph: Sickest rapper. He’s amazing!
Carl: He’s an 18-year-old guy, he's got good looks and he’s very talented. We’ve been looking at him for a while and because we’ve just sorted this publishing deal and got this whole production company set up now, we really want to get him out as our first act. It’s something completely different as it’s hip-hop and not funky house, but still look out for it.
TWU: So, between now and July, where does everybody go to keep up to date with you?
Carl: We have a new blog that features all of the artists that we’re involved with, which includes a video directory and exclusive stuff.
Raf: There’s also going to be some random stuff to show what we get up to, like playing together in the studio, showing people how we actually are together. Chilling and telling everyone about the equipment we use…
Carl: Yeah, it’s basically just breaking everything down. We’ll make tracks there and then on the spot, so if people want to know what we used and how we came up with sounds, they can tweet us and we’ll do a video to show how we came up with hooks. You can also find our advert work on there.
Words: Makeda Wilson (@MakedaQoS)
Online editing: Joseph 'JP' Patterson (@Jpizzledizzle)