One year on… How CamelPhat’s ‘Cola’ changed dance music forever
Meaning: not affected by the passage of time or changes in fashion.
Synonyms: classic, ageless, permanent, everlasting, immutable.
Perhaps the most poignant of all the official dictionary definitions of ‘Timeless’ is the final word on the above list… Immutable. There is, after all, no finer way to describe CamelPhat‘s 2017 anthem, which rests firmly at the summit of the ‘Timeless’ category. Celebrating exactly 1 year since release, the track still sounds as irresistible as that first listen in June of last year. But how did a record, which intended to act as nothing more than a deep underground groover, fizz, sparkle, and pop all the way to a GRAMMY nomination?
THIS, is how ‘Cola’ changed the dance music world forever…
Rewind to 2015 and the world was a simpler time. World Cup matches didn’t rely on VAR decisions, Europe was blissfully living in a pre-Brexit fairytale, and the idea of Donald Trump in the White House seemed like nothing short of a fallacy. But in the dance music world, two British producers were already making waves with notable gems like Axtone‘s ‘Paradigm‘, and the melodic daydream of Spinnin’ Deep‘s Balearic sunset classic, ‘Constellations.’ CamelPhat (Dave Whelan and Mike Di Scala) were on the rise, but nobody could have predicted what was to occur when iconic UK label DEFECTED picked up the deliciously sweet rhythmic rumbler in late spring of 2017.
“How it crossed over I’ll never know,” added Dave.
“Most dance records that cross over have a sample that people connect themselves to, but “Cola” is all entirely original. When we made it we didn’t really think that much of it, it took 4 months to get signed but once it did it sky rocketed.”
From the brooding opening chords of ‘Cola’, it was clear that this sticky treat was a sugary flurry of addictive club-floor refreshment. Adding Elderbrook‘s vocals after a studio meeting in February 2017, the Liverpudlian duo’s soon-to-be-classic was premiered by Danny Howard (interview above) with the BBC Radio 1 dance music S.A.S of Annie Mac and Pete Tong also swooping in to drop the bass-backed bomb on their respective shows.
With the track soon filling clubs all round Ibiza, the record was instantly catapulted into the primetime, cementing its status as the soundtrack to the 2017 season, as the likes of Robin Schulz, Franky Rizardo, ZHU and Teamworx all spinning their own remixes of the original. Amassing over 80 million Spotify streams, the fizzy anthem soon racked up a whopping 48 million YouTube hits, with CamelPhat now – unexpectedly – a household name.
Bursting into every playlist worldwide, ‘Cola’ was now platinum, with CamelPhat earning a GRAMMY nomination in the process – an unheard feat for an underground dance track. Blurring the lines between more club-ready tones, and commercially successful records, the UK duo became innovative pioneers for the social acceptance of deeper house tracks emerging onto primetime radio airwaves. In the same way acts like Avicii catapulted EDM into the public eye, CamelPhat were now responsible for bringing their own brooding tones into everyday pop culture.
One year on, and Cola still sounds as infectious as ever. Paving the way for other acts in the electronic scene, the track represents a movement, and shift in stance on how dance music is viewed in a wider, and more global, context. You can relive the CamelPhat‘s ‘Cola below, a track which is, truly…