Childhood friends David Macklovitch and Patrick Gemayel, aka Dave1 and P-Thugg, have been making music as the electro funk duo Chromeo since 2002. But with the release of their fourth album, "White Women," which features the likes of Solange, Ezra Koenig of Vampire Weekend and Toro y Moi, they finally feel like they've hit the mainstream.
Chromeo were recently at the Mondrian Hotel in SoHo to help launch the Samsung SHAPE Wireless Audio System, where they played new tracks and discussed their influences. Between hanging out with socialites and sharing playlists, Macklovitch took some time to talk funk and fashion.
Did growing up in Montreal inspire your music?
We grew up in a very cosmopolitan area. P-Thugg is Lebanese and I'm Jewish and Moroccan and we both speak French. We started out shopping around all these record stores and loved music from the '70s and '80s. I was intrigued by the cultural juxtaposition. So we mixed some music and became the first ones making this kind of music in Montreal.
Who's your biggest inspiration?
We love to revisit the pop music from the '80s -- Prince, Hall and Oates and Robert Palmer blended with electronica.
Who plays what instruments?
We both play the guitar. I'm more of the guitar player, P plays keyboards and bass. When we met in a high school in Montreal, P got kicked out of our band, and got demoted to bass. P hated me for a week, then we became best friends.
When did you know you had made it?
We still don't know. We don't take it for granted, and it's been a slow and steady build for us. There have been some tremendous moments like Coachella, and playing on [Jimmy] Kimmel's and Jimmy Fallon's shows, and being played on pop music stations.
Who's your favorite artist?
Kayne West is the greatest artist of our generation. We now live under the tutelage of Kayne West. Of all time -- Prince or Daryl Hall.
If you could perform anywhere, where would it be?
First Avenue in Minneapolis where Prince performed, and I'm excited about Central Park on Sept. 12.
Montreal or New York?
I've been here for 11 years. For me New York is home.
Where do you like to hang out?
I was just at the Whitney for the Jeff Koons exhibit, and I spent Saturday at the art galleries in Chelsea. I live in Williamsburg, so I'm usually walking around Greenpoint.
What's your favorite restaurant?
River Styx is gorgeous and right by the water. Bill Murray's son owns it.
What else do you love about New York?
I love the New York City Ballet at the David H. Koch Theater. "DGV: Danse à Grande Vitesse" inspired me to reconceptualize the lighting of our live show.
What do you think of fashion?
I like the idea of a uniform. I love personal style and the L train looks like a catwalk. It's so stimulating. I feel like you are part of a movement, and even neighborhoods are developing so fast and are relentlessly dynamic. We've worked with Dior Homme and did a collection for Frank & Oak.
What's your personal style?
I always wear a variation of the same outfit. A sign of a successful band is when people can dress up like you on Halloween. I wear very tight jeans, Chelsea boots, Ray-Bans and a leather jacket or a YSL tuxedo jacket.
Find one simple idea that holds true to what you believe in. All you need is one sentence and stick to it. [People] respect consistency. We had a weird idea and style. It took four albums to get into the mainstream.