Following in the footsteps of N.E.R.D. and Miike Snow, New York duo Powers (a.k.a. Mike Del Rio and Crista Ru), are the latest powerhouse songwriting team to step out from behind the scenes and launch a career as artists in their own right.
Del Rio, who has penned tracks for the likes of Cheryl Cole (“Under the Sun”), Kylie Minogue (“Into the Blue”) and Christina Aguilera (“Make the World Move”), first began working with Ru in 2013. After Selena Gomez picked up one of their first collaborations (“Birthday”), the pair decided to join forces on a more permanent basis.
Powers, who initially planned to record anonymously as a cartoon band a la The Archies/Gorillaz before the rapturous response to a live showcase changed their mind, subsequently signed to Republic Records, and soundtracked a Mastercard commercial with the buoyant indie-pop of “Gimme Some.”
Since then, the pair have released the shouty Icona Pop-esque electro of “Touch the World,” toured with Joe Jonas’ outfit DNCE and fellow New Yorkers The Knocks, and teamed up with the latter on the impossibly addictive disco-funk of “Classic.”
Aiming to “push and help evolve the taste of pop culture” with their sound, Powers’ first E.P., Legendary, arrived last October, and although its four tracks didn’t quite merit such a superlative title, it still justified the duo’s decision to take some of the limelight for themselves.
Indeed, the giddy falsetto-led synth-pop of “Beat of My Drum” and the slightly woozy party anthem “Hot” are just as infectious as any of the hits they have written for other artists. Likewise, the slinky Chic-inspired title track and “Loved by You,” a dreamy mid-tempo which could have easily slotted onto Taylor Swift’s recent opus.
With a debut album scheduled for later this year, expect to hear plenty more of Powers’ golden touch in 2016.