God-Des & She are one of Madison's great musical success stories. The duo got their start here in 1999, when God-Des' solo hip-hop act snagged soulful singer She from a rock band. When their career began to take off, the ladies realized their tunes resonated beyond the Midwestern Pride Fest circuit. They packed their bags and moved to New York City in 2004, landing their cheeky single "Lick It" on The L Word's season finale in 2006. This April, the pair debuted their latest single, "Love Machine," a track from their 2009 album, Three, on MTV's PopLab.
I spoke with the pair about the album-making process, big-city culture shock, and their special relationship with Austin, Texas. Catch their act at the High Noon Saloon on Friday, June 24.
What was your biggest challenge in moving from Madison to New York?
She: Everything was difficult at first. The culture is really different, but you have to do things that scare you in life. It made me a really independent person, and I think I can handle any situation now.
How did your process for making Three differ from your approach to creating your previous albums?
God-Des: We've always written our own parts, but we used to do it separately. This time, we went to Albuquerque and wrote for two weeks straight, literally all day. We also used a lot of live instrumentation and worked with Brian Hardgroove from Public Enemy, who helped us fine-tune our ideas.
What's this I hear about Austin adopting you guys?
God-Des: We were selected to play for the mayor and city council on Nov. 3. They decided to make it God-Des & She Day.
How did they find out about you?
God-Des: We played South by Southwest this year, so we started getting a lot of press in Austin. We're also shooting a TV show at one of the venues.
What's next on your docket?
God-Des: We're working on our fourth record now. It doesn't have a name yet, but we've got a song called "You Know My Name." It's got a funky feel that I think people are gonna love.