How Drax Project incited one mislaid wallet into 57m streams

Drax ProjectImage copyright
Jory Lee Cordy

Image caption

Drax Project (L-R): Sam Thomson, Shaan Singh, Ben O’Leary and Matt Beachen

If Shaan Singh hadn’t lost his wallet, he competence never have played with Ed Sheeran.

Two years ago, a thespian left a late-night operation with his band, The Drax Project, intending to locate a final train home.

But when he got to a stop, he realised he’d left all his income during his bandmate Ben O’Leary’s house. Sheepishly, he returned to ask if he could pile-up for a night.

“I remember Ben was unequivocally indignant with me,” he says.

“It was Saturday night during 12 o’clock!” O’Leary exclaims. “I’m not generally that indignant yet we wanted to go to bed!”

Instead of going to sleep, though, a twin started mucking around on a guitar. Twenty mins later, they’d created a hymn and carol of a new strain – Woke Up Late – a fizzy, frolicsome cocktail anthem where Shaan rolls out of bed after a large night out, released from his wallet, yet sitting subsequent to “a lady that we had frequency met”.

A sleeper hit, it’s been streamed some-more than 57 million times given a recover in 2017, winning singular of a year during a 2018 New Zealand Music Awards, and eventually attack a US charts this Jan after singer Hailee Steinfeld jumped on a remix.

The song’s success also warranted a rope support slots with Lorde, Camila Cabello and, yes, Ed Sheeran.

“Ed was such a poetic guy,” says O’Leary. “He took us out for cooking after a show, and spent 30 mins articulate to us, giving us some of his wisdom.

“He’s a large inspiration. Refining a essay to get to his turn is unequivocally a goal.”

The rope have positively finished outrageous strides given they started out busking cover versions on a streets of Wellington. As they recover their new single, All This Time, a rope explain how it all happened… and given it cost Shaan his career as a “speed-cuber”.

Skip Youtube post by Drax Project

End of Youtube post by Drax Project


Youtube post by Drax Project: Drax Project - Woke Up Late ft. Hailee Steinfeld (Official Music Video) Starring Liza KoshyImage Copyright Drax Project

Woke Up Late has been out for dual years now, and people are still picking adult on it. How do we explain it’s longevity?

Shaan Singh [vocals / saxophone]: It’s unequivocally tough to pinpoint [but] we theory it’s only a song? Maybe it’s only a story that’s super-relatable?

Ben O’Leary [guitar]: There’s no tricks to a song. It’s a elementary melody, elementary lyrics and a unequivocally easy-to-follow story. There’s no large metaphors or anything. It’s unequivocally literal.

Shaan: It came together quicker than any other strain we’ve written.

Ben: Up until that point, we had utterly an direct routine of essay – yet we consider a speed during that we wrote Woke Up Late finished adult giving a strain that healthy feeling. So it unequivocally helped us as writers.

Have we had to lay on your hands while a strain takes off?

Ben: We do have a lot of song that we’ve created given afterwards that we’re watchful to release, eagerly.

Shaan: We’re still finishing some of a songs, yet we’re vehement to recover an manuscript this year.

Tell me how we started off… You were song students, is that right?

Matt Beachem [drums]: Yeah, we were study jazz together. Sam, Shaan and myself, and Ben was down a highway during another song school.

A opposition song school?

Matt: Fights on a streets! Nah, it’s all assent and love. But about 5 years ago, we motionless to go busking in a celebration streets of Wellington. So it was Shaan and we on drums and sax, that becomes “Drax” and we were personification covers: Cry Me A River by Justin Timberlake, classical Stevie Wonder, Thrift Shop by Macklemore. Anything to get people’s attention.

What finished we a many money?

Matt: Thrift Shop – given it had that overwhelming sax riff. There’s a YouTube video that went, we don’t know if we could call it viral, yet it got like 12,000 views.

Ben: That’s New Zealand viral.

Skip Youtube post by Michael Taly

End of Youtube post by Michael Taly


Youtube post by Michael Taly: Drax Project - Thrift Shop | Wellington BuskersImage Copyright Michael Taly

What was a transition from busking to being an tangible band?

Shaan: Bar managers would travel past us and say, “Hey, come and play during my bar tonight”. So we got that going, did that for roughly a year. During that time we combined Sam and Ben on a drum and guitar and started essay a possess songs.

Since then, you’ve toured with lots of large names. Who’s been a biggest inspiration?

Shaan: Camila Cabello showed us how to work hard. She does three-hour accommodate and greets before each show.

Sam: Ed Sheeran hired all his childhood friends to be his organisation and we suspicion that was amazing.

Shaan: Our group is indeed unequivocally close. We’ve been with a manager given we were busking. He gave us 20 bucks, and we’ve been with him ever since.

Has he seen a good lapse on that investment?

Shaan: we consider he’s still watchful – yet give it time!

Skip Youtube post 2 by Drax Project

End of Youtube post 2 by Drax Project


Youtube post by Drax Project: Drax Project - All This Time (Lyric Video)Image Copyright Drax Project

Shaan, we have an implausible falsetto on a new single. Do we have any special techniques for attack a high notes?

Shaan: Haha, a vocals do go a small high in that song! Maybe personification a saxophone helps.

How did we come adult with a saxophone drop? It sounds like zero I’ve ever heard.

Shaan: We came adult with a saxophone dump together, actually. we remember us meditative during a time, ‘Is this a small too ridiculous?’ and we all concluded it was. But we like it that way.

Image copyright
Getty Images

Image caption

The classically-trained rope brew elements of jazz, funk, RB and pop

Shaan, is it loyal we can solve a Rubik’s Cube in underneath a minute?

Shaan: Yeah, we can – yet we haven’t finished it for a integrate of years.

Sam: Last time we did it, it took 37 seconds we remember.

Shaan: we need to rehearse more. I’m nowhere nearby that now.

Sam: What’s your fastest time?

Shaan: My fastest is like 20, 22 seconds.

What’s a universe record?

Shaan: It’s like 4 seconds. An Australian guy, Feliks [Zemdegs]. we met him, he’s a man.

Was that your large passion before music? Did we go to conventions?

Shaan: we did go to a New Zealand championship when we was 16.

Ben: What a hell? we didn’t know that!

Shaan: It was unequivocally fun yet those days are behind me.

Sam: You’re unequivocally good during honing in on specific things and focusing all your appetite on them.

Ben: You’re also unequivocally bad during losing, so it’s substantially for a best we gave up.

Follow us on Facebook, on Twitter @BBCNewsEnts, or on Instagram during bbcnewsents. If we have a story idea email