Magic! don't plan on being a one-hit wonder

Magic!

Magic!

Jane Stevenson, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 2:13 PM ET

“Why you gotta be so rude?” will go down as one of summer 2014’s song lyrics that got stuck in your head.

And, for that, you can blame (or credit) Toronto bred-L.A.-based pop-reggae fusion band, Magic!, and their breakthrough song, Rude, which has gone to No. 1 in the U.S. and the U.K., after being released as the first single from their 2014 debut, Don’t Kill the Magic.

In fact, Rude has proven so popular down south that the foursome – frontman Nasri Atweh (who just goes by his first name), guitarist Mark Pelli, drummer Alex Tanas, and bassist Ben Spivak – find themselves playing the Teen Choice Awards on Sunday night before they hit Canada for a trio of late August dates in Toronto, Edmonton and Calgary.

“What we’re striving for, in all honesty.... we want to be in stadiums,” said the uber-confident Atweh, seated in an multi-floor penthouse suite with its own glass elevator at Toronto's Soho Met the day after the band played the MMVAs.

“And it’s all about great songs and a great relationship with my bandmates, and a great relationship with everybody who supports us... And we’re really lucky that we’re all grownups and we’re able to see the clarity of the music business. That I have experience and my creativity now gets taken seriously and after all these years my voice gets heard on the radio. My soul feels better.”

To backtrack, after an R&B solo career failed to materialize beyond some singles in Canada, Atweh eventually ended up as a songwriter for hire in L.A. who’s since won a Grammy as part of the songwriting-producing duo the Messengers with another Torontonian in L.A. – Adam Messinger.

Their partnership stretches 16 years with an impressive list of credits including Pitbull’s Feel This Moment, Justin Bieber’s All Around the World and Never Say Never, and Chris Brown’s Next 2 You.

“(Adam’s) always there to push me a little more,” said Atweh, who was inspired to write Rude after an unpleasant encounter with an drunken ex-girlfriend.

“It’s just a great team. We’re very new to everybody right now. So everybody’s just seeing this song (Rude) and everything. But I promise if everybody sticks around, they’re going to see what you probably saw 30-40 years ago with artists. Like the ones we look up to. You’re going to see The Beatles and The Rolling Stones and Queen and all these guys. It’s about the music. It’s not about us. We really actually do write songs every day. We’re not going out every night to TMZ (hot spots). We’re just musicians.”

Sounds a little like Magic!?

“(The band name) just came from (the title track from Don’t Kill the Magic),” said Atweh, decked out in a California combo of t-shirt, shorts and dress shoes.

“I just said it (starts singing), ‘Don’t kill the magic.’ I was in the studio and (everyone) was like, ‘What does that mean?’ (I said) ‘I don’t know.’ And that was it. Just Magic, Magic, Magic.”

And the exclamation point?

“That was Adam (Messinger), our producer. Adam’s always trying to spice us up.”

Twitter: @JaneCStevenson

jane.stevenson@sunmedia.ca


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