Let’s Go to War But Not Telling Anyone Who We Are Fighting For

I meant to post these weeks ago, but I got a little lazy. Not exactly news now, but these are the links I collected on the story as it unfolded:

An instrumental track from a song “burning up the Hollywood gossip pages” that is rumored to be written about Britney Spears’ ex boyfriend Adnan Ghalib has Halifax roots.

After carefully studying a 30 second sample on iTunes of “Mmm Papi” from Britney’s latest release entitled Circus, I cannot say I see any formal connection or even influence with the work of either Sloan, North of America, Matt Mays, the Johnny Favourite Swing Orchestra, April Wine or Ann Murray.

The truth is, however, an upstart Toronto band called Let’s Go To War (an “aggressive, dance electric, folky rock, hip hop” outfit) consists of a couple displaced Haligonians: African Nova Scotian Music Award winning saxophone player Adrien Gough and engineer, producer and programmer Henry Walter. Here’s what the CBC had to say on this story:

Members of a Canadian band penned the music for one of the songs on Britney Spears’s new CD, Circus, being released Tuesday.

Adrien Gough and Henry Walter, both of Halifax, wrote the music for the song Mmm Papi with Peter-John Kerr of Montreal.

They composed the music under their band name, Let’s Go to War, and received production credits on the album.

The lyrics were written by Spears and Nicole Morier, one of the pop star’s producers.

“It’s got a ’60s go-go vibe,” Walter said in an interview with the Halifax Chronicle-Herald. “It’s a fun track and is not trying to be anything it’s not.”

The trio, now based in Toronto, submitted several tunes to Kobalt Music in Los Angeles, and one of their submissions was picked up by Morier.

They had no contact with Spears herself.

Radio 3 chimed in:

Last year, Let’s Go To War signed to Last Gang Records, and label owner Chris Taylor reportedly encouraged the band to submit some music to Spears’ management company.

The trio submitted four or five songs, and found out a couple of months later that one of the instrumental tracks would become “Mmm Papi”. It doesn’t sound much like the original, says Gough, but the band worked closely with Britney’s management, the publisher and the songwriters. For the young group, the whole process has been amazing.

“This has re-ignited that we are doing the right thing. Anything is possible as long as we’re determined. It shows we can do whatever we want and it shows others that anything is possible,” said Gough. “You just need drive, ambition and talent.”

They are signed to Last Gang Records (Crystal Castles, Metric, Death From Above 1979) which is owned by lawyer Chris Taylor (Nelly Furtado, Sum 41 and Avril Lavigne).

The band has opened for M.I.A., Santogold and Chromeo to mixed reviews, including this one from Blog To reported:

Next I decided to check out the future of Toronto label Last Gang Records. That gang is never afraid to take on new genres and their showcase at Wrongbar proved that. New signings Let’s Go To War (Toronto) and Terry Lynn (Kingston, Jamaica) seem to be on opposite points of the current electro hype spectrum though. While Let’s Go To War’s mediocre live electro/rap show didn’t impress those around me, Terry Lynn’s intense electro/reggae set seemed cutting edge and worthy of the attention she will soon get. Terry sang and spit socio-political lyrics over contemporary electro-house and dancehall beats.

It also looks like these guys will be playing South By Southwest alongside these local yocals:

  • Jill Barber
  • Jenn Grant
  • Rebekah Higgs
  • Catherine MacLellan
  • Joel Plaskett
  • Meaghan Smith
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