Oct 27, 2016
BullySongs: Behind Today's Top Hits
Andrew Bullimore, more commonly known as BullySongs, is the singer and songwriter behind many of today’s top dance music hits. He’s worked with everyone from The Chainsmokers to Armin van Buuren, and was recently featured as the vocalist on Benny Benassi’s track “Universe.” He also co-wrote “No Money” with Galantis, the vocals of which actually features his ten-year-old son as the lead vocalist. We proudly present his insight into his songwriting, performing, and making big tracks!
How did you and Benny Benassi get connected to work together on “Universe”? What was your favorite thing about working with Benny?
I already had the song idea for “Universe,” and thought Benny would be the perfect fit for the song, so we sent our idea over and the rest, as they say, is history. Benny is tenacious, he won’t rest until he has the best out of every song, and I think we achieved that with “Universe.”
What was the inspiration for the track? Where did the vocal fit into the production process of the track?
The vocals came first on this song. We had some chords already, but when we sent the vocals over to Benny he really changed up the chord pattern and I think the result is really interesting. That's why I love collaborations on records like this because I would never have thought of those chords Benny did.
What do the lyrics mean to you?
These lyrics mean a lot to me. The title “Universe” literally came from me and my kids saying how much we love each other. It would start with “I love you the size of this room,” then “the size of a football pitch,” etc. And we would always end up at the “I love you as big as the universe!” So really the song is my message to them that no matter where they go, what they do in life, I will love them forever.
What’s it been like performing with Armin van Buuren across the world? Do you have a favorite show performing with him or a favorite moment where he played your music?
Performing with Armin has been insane. It's the biggest show of its kind in the world, still pinching myself I'm involved. One of my favourite moments this year was actually when Armin played the Galantis “No Money” remix (featuring my son’s vocal) and then my song “Freefall” in his Tomorrowland set this year. To have a father and son both appear in a DJ set of this magnitude is a first for sure and a proud moment.
How’d you come to work with Galantis on “No Money”?
Me and one of my favourite collaborators, Digital Farm Animals, cooked up a hook together one afternoon and got my son Reece to lay vocals on it. We sent it over to Galantis who heard the hook and freaked, they worked their magic on the production and voila, “No Money” was born! Still crazy to think how well it's done!
What was the inspiration and creative process like for that track and how did you guys decide to feature your son’s vocal?
It actually happened really quickly, the best ones always do. It's hard to explain where the inspiration came from as when it comes it feels like it's writing itself. What came was a hook about standing up to a bully. We wanted to root for the underdog who finally overcomes fears and stands up for themselves. My son Reece had already recorded vocals for Pierce Fulton’s “Lost Time,” so we knew he would be the best voice to deliver the hook. It's amazing being in the studio with your ten-year-old who smashes a vocal like that, so proud!
What was it like working with Don Diablo, Steve Aoki, and Lush & Simon on “What We Started”? How does having so many artists involved change your workflow?
It definitely didn't affect the workflow. Me and a great writer called Josh Record wrote the song over some chords the guys sent over, and then each of the guys added their magic to create the end result. There's a lot of people involved in the record which can sometimes be an issue, but this one came out incredible.
Throughout the summer those guys would often sing that song themselves on the mic while standing in front of the DJ booth, including at some of the biggest festival stages of the year like Tomorrowland. It was clear that the song meant a lot to all of them. Do you take extra pride knowing that you helped to create a song with that meaning to the artists?
I'm super proud that it means so much to them. It means a lot to me too - the song was created as an anthem for those that dream big and started with nothing. Music can seem a very hard road to choose, but to be able to create something positive for the world every day is a blessing. Everyone has a journey, a story to tell, and this song is for those that took that road and achieved something that means a lot to them.
What does the fall hold for you? Are there any artists in the dance world that you hope to work with in the future?
I'm in the studio every day writing, and when I'm not, I'm travelling with Armin around the world. I have a lot in the pipeline, so keep your ear to the ground for new music. I would love to do something with Martin Garrix - really digging what he's doing right now.
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