- 21 Jun 22
After topping the charts with their hit single ‘Make Me Feel Good’ earlier this year, Belters Only are bringing their hometown pride to Marlay Park next week, for a Saturday slot at Longitude. Bissett and RobbieG discuss blazing a trail for other Irish artists, and their new single, ‘I Will Survive’.
Just over four months ago, Belters Only became one of Irish music’s most remarkable success stories in years – crashing onto the charts on both sides of the Irish Sea with their debut single, ‘Make Me Feel Good’. As well as reaching No.4 in the UK, the Dublin collective spent two consecutive weeks at No.1 on the Official Irish Singles Chart – the first homegrown dance act to top the chart in over two decades.
The success of the track, which has garnered over 45.2 million streams on Spotify, plus a few million more on its remixes, signalled the arrival of a phenomenal new force – ready to shake up the established scene on these shores and beyond.
“We’re still celebrating – everyday!” RobbieG, one half of the collective’s central DJ duo, says of their chart success. “But we didn’t go mad. We just went straight to the studio and had a chat – and basically evaluated the whole moment.
"But as soon as we came around, we were out on the gargle!" he laughs.
“And then we were back in the studio the next day!” adds Bissett, the other mastermind behind the collective.
An emphasis on community remains a central aspect of Belters Only’s mission – from enlisting their friend, fellow Dubliner Jazzy, to sing on both ‘Make Me Feel Good’ and the follow-up track ‘Don’t Stop Just Yet’, to carving out a path in the industry for other local artists to follow.
“It was euphoric,” Bissett says of their breakout success. “It was a big step for the community – and for the industry in Dublin and Ireland. I’d say it gave a lot of people a big boost to start making more music. We came from nothing and we worked our way up.”
“It gave the younger generation hope, looking at what we did,” Robbie nods. “We literally started in our bedrooms, like a lot of other producers. We built ourselves from the ground up. We didn’t stop believing. The belief, the determination and the work rate is what got us where we are now.”
There’s been plenty of highlights since topping the charts, including recently making their Ibiza debut. But we can expect even bigger things to come, they tell me, including the release of their new single, 'I Will Survive' – a powerful reimagining of Gloria Gaynor’s classic 1978 track.
“We think, fingers crossed, it’s going to be a big one,” says Robbie. “The anticipation has been brewing really nicely – even more so than the previous releases. We didn’t even set out to make a version of ‘I Will Survive’. We were in the studio just enjoying making melodies, and trying to find one that clicked with us. And we made this piano melody.”
“Then we came across that acapella,” Bissett adds. “It’s a different version of ‘I Will Survive’, but the minute we heard it, we knew it was a winner.”
“We actually have footage of the moment when we found the vocal that fit with the piano melody,” Robbie laughs. “It’s just pure ecstasy.”
Belters Only’s Saturday slot at Longitude is shaping up to be one of the festival’s must-see sets – as the duo fly the flag for Dublin on a line-up that features some of the biggest names in international music.
Their reaction to getting the call for the festival featured “a lot of shouting, and a lot of dancing around the room,” Bissett tells me.
“It’s always encouraging to see Irish artists being put on the main line-ups,” Robbie says of the festival. “Going forward with Belters Only, we also want to give up-and-comers a platform to strut their stuff.
“For a very long time, the scene here didn’t know what way to go, or who to support. But now, we’re being put on a world stage by a lot of different artists, and the scene is really thriving. Sticking together, and supporting each other, is how we all grow together as one.”
‘I Will Survive’ is out now, via Polydor. Belters Only play Longitude on Saturday, July 2.
Belters Only's Longitude Recommendation:
"We’re looking forward to seeing Jax Jones. He’s playing on the same stage as us. We’ve played with Jax a couple of times. He brought us over to the Ministry of Sound in London only a few weeks ago, to play a show, and we brought him over to Opium for our first headline show. It’s always a good buzz with him!"
Read the full Longitude special feature in the current issue of Hot Press: