Mark McCabe, of Maniac 2000 fame (need we even clarify that at this stage?), has teamed up with Irish-Scottish duo SIIGHTS for his latest hit Don’t Let Me Go. The track, which was released in April, has received plenty of support from even the most unexpected of listeners.
“We got played by Elton John on his Rocket Man radio show last weekend!” exclaims Mark, still with an air of disbelief, having found out about the air play through being tagged in a tweet while sitting at home.
“What he does, is he gets someone on his team to burn off CD’s for him and he spends a little while every week listening to new music, then he picks his favourites for the show. It was amazing to be chosen!”
Gathering support from Elton, Scott Mills on BBC 1 and plenty of Irish stations, Mark and SIIGHTS have been very happy with how things have gone so far, even concluding that missing the Spotify New Music Friday playlist is not the be all and end all presumed by most.
“It can lead you in to a false sense of economy because that playlist isn’t everything and people tend to listen to it quite passively,” explains Mark. “So those streams don’t necessarily mean people are actually engaging with your music or that they’re fans. They can move on and never listen again.”
Although their first collaboration to date, Mark admits to having been a fan of the SIIGHTS duo, Toni Etherson and Mia Fitz, for quite a while. After creating the composition in Amsterdam almost a year ago, Mark then sent the track over to the girls who put pen to paper.
“When we’re not working on SIIGHTS music we spend a lot of our time writing for other artists so the process of ‘toplining’ comes really naturally for us,” say the girls when asked how they found the collaborative process.
They were fans of Mark’s track from the off, making the process a lot easier for everyone involved.
“We really liked it, straight away we felt the summer vibes and the actual song came together really quickly from there,” they admit. “We wrote and recorded it all in Mia’s studio in one day. It was really a fun one to get into.”
As a producer, Mark knows all too well the issues that can arise with collaborations and projects that just don’t work.
It happens a lot,” he explains. “I’m working on a track at the moment, for probably 15 months now, and the vocal just isn’t working. We’ve tried to tweak it a lot but we’re just going to have to go back to the drawing board and start again.”
With this pairing, both parties recognise how lucky they were that everything gelled together so quickly and seamlessly, resulting in a complete single that everyone was happy with.
“It’s one of those tracks that defies logic in the sense that it doesn’t seem like a likely candidate for the stats it has achieved,” says Mark of Maniac 2000, when asked if he feels any pressure for his newest releases to achieve similar success.
“It’s one of the top 5 most bought tracks here in the company of Candle in the Wind and Riverdance. I don’t think anyone will do that ever again because this day and age just doesn’t allow for it. I knew it would always be impossible to beat. I’ll never do better than Maniac - that’s just accepted.”
They joke that the weather hasn’t exactly lent itself to the summery vibes of Don’t Let Me Go as of yet, but they’re hoping to build the track slowly over the summer as the festival season approaches and the warmer days come.
For now, they’re going their separate ways, each with their own projects and goals to work on for the summer months.
“My focus is outside of Ireland because I’ve done as much as I can really do here,” explains Mark, highlighting his fondness for Amsterdam, Australia and other places.
“I’ve some other tracks ready to go in June and a track in August which is a collab with an Australian act so I’m headed over to do a couple of dates over there because it’s been a while since I’ve been there. And of course - a couple of festival dates lined up here that I can’t announce yet,” he smiles.
SIIGHTS are equally as busy and looking forward to their debut EP release later this year.
“We’re really excited to share,” they beam. “It feels so good to be able to share our first body of work. We are supporting SHY Martin in King Tuts in Glasgow at the end of this month and playing Kaleidoscope festival in Wicklow this summer too.”
A lot more live shows, new music and some exciting collaborations in the pipeline for both groups here so keep your ears and eyes peeled over the summer months.