For the first time since Canadian outfit Azari & III disbanded, former members SYF (previously Starving Yet Full) and Fritz Helder have reunited to cover Ace of Base’s ‘All That She Wants’ with Australian duo, Yolanda Be Cool.
Having not seen each other since their last gig as the four-piece, SYF and Fritz caught up to talk current projects, collaborations and moving to London. Be sure to check out Fritz’s exclusive mix for Hunger TV, which he describes as “a mixed bag of “Gay” emotions”.
FRITZ HELDER: Hi Cedric… How have you been? I feel like we haven’t seen each other for a while… since our last Azari&III gig at Warehouse project in Manchester…What’s new? Where are you currently?
SYF: Hey Fritz, I have been good and yes it’s been a while. I’m currently in London working on an EP and finishing up a few collaborations…
FRITZ HELDER: Cool! So you’ve been working on some solo “Starving Yet Full” tracks. Can you tell me a little more about that? Who have you been working with?
SYF: Indeed I have been working on some solo stuff, it’s a bit overwhelming at the moment but I am quite excited about it. I’ve been working with Alixander III, these two Danish producers I randomly met while out on the town at FABRIC in London, Peter Pixzel and August Jakobsen… and, as you already know… our friend David Mussio from Toronto. You also have been working on a solo project, any exciting producers I should know about?
FRITZ HELDER: Yeah, I’ve been chipping away at “something” for the past couple of months. I’m hesitant to give it a name yet because I’m still not sure what it is. It’s been an interesting process so far. Like you, I’m excited about what’s to come… I feel a flood of creativity coming from all of us this year! Now that we are wrapped with Azari & III, what are your plans for the future? I know I def need some time to “get lost” and find new sources of inspiration…
SYF: I definitely need time to figure out what is going to happen in my next endeavours, set up and live show and all the drama that goes with it, you know
FRITZ HELDER: Girl… it doesn’t have to be dramatic! Ha Ha, but I know what you mean. There’s so many moving parts involved with making a live show happen… not to mention taking it on the road… Hey if you ever need a back-up dancer.. you know who to call!
SYF: …I got your number Fritz! I know you are taking off to London very soon, what made you decide to move over to Europe for a little while? Anything you wanna share?
Fritz Helder: I need a man! There I said it ! I’m holding auditions all throughout Europe! I’m kidding, well kind of… I’m actually going to be in London/Europe doing some “creative research”, let’s call it, for my new project. It felt like the right time to reach out and reconnect with all the creative and inspiring people I’ve met overseas touring over the past ten years.
SYF: Indeed! I would rather talk husband material, London is full of good looking guys, it’s actually annoying. Now I know how lacking Toronto is unfortunately. Although I am looking forward to World Pride in Toronto this year!
FRITZ HELDER: Speaking of pride, my mix for Hunger TV is pretty camp! It’s a mixed bag of “Gay” emotions flanked by our recent collab ‘All That She Wants’.
FRITZ HELDER: Andrew and Matt (Yolanda Be Cool) kept using that word when describing what the video should look like. It’s stuck ever since. I’m bringing “Camp” back. OK, so let’s talk Yolanda Be Cool. It’s crazy how this track has evolved. What was your first reaction when they asked us to do the cover?
SYF: I was quite unsure of how one tries to cover such a big hit. I mean all the memories came rushing back in the moment and it was a sweet feeling, so I said yes. Did you think it was a good idea for anyone to cover the song? Did you have any doubts?
FRITZ HELDER: Honestly the track had been so far off my radar since junior high school, so when the collab opportunity came to us, the idea of it felt so fresh and new, but so nostalgic. I can’t wait to hear it played loud this summer! Oh yeah and then we got carte blanche from the guys to make our own video! I’m quite happy with what we were able to pull off. We were so lucky to have the help from our friends here in Toronto… I think it’s safe to say that Toronto has a huge talent pool of amazing artist… what are your favourite things about Toronto?
SYF: I love Toronto, no lies there, although we’ve been trapped in some sort of vortex this winter, it’s quite entertaining in the summer; a lot of great food, a nude beach and a couple of cool festivals. I missed Afrofest this year, I would like to go and check it out next year. Tell me something, have you ever been to Afrofest or Caribbana? What was it like for you?
FRITZ HELDER: Why do you ask? Because I’m Black? Anyways, apart from all that she wants, name three Ace of Base tracks you think need a revival
SYF: I think we need to hear “The sign”, maybe a slow version of “Don’t turn around” and definitely “Happy Nation”.
FRITZ HELDER: I loved “Don’t Turn Around”. It was already pretty groovy, but yeah, a slower, doped-up version could really work. Ok, one more question…when will I see you again boo boo? Miami? WMC?
SYF: Haha, well hopefully I will get to see you in the sun. It would be great indeed to go over and play All That She Wants with the boys. Who knows, it just might happen.
Click here to download Yolanda Be Cool ft. SYF & Fritz Helder ‘All That She Wants’ (Dim Mak Records).