Dirty but nice

Swedish YouTube stars Dirty Loops.

SINGAPORE - For a band as big as Dirty Loops, it's kind of weird that they're kind of...shy.

It takes a bit of effort for the musicians to warm up to this reporter - maybe because well, I am being a pest, getting into their way while they do soundchecks at Marina Bay Sands.

The first blast of fame for the three musicians - bassist Henrik Linder, Jonah Nilsson on vocals and keys and drummer Aaron Mellergardh - came when they uploaded their take of the Lady Gaga hit Just Dance to YouTube in November 2010.

Since then, they've become sensations, each subsequent video gaining millions of views.

It's been the big time since. They've just flown in from Japan - where their single Hit Me is currently number five on the Tokio Top 100 list, on J-wave, Japan's biggest radio station .

And they are off to Jakarta directly after this brief stop.

Like many bands, each member has a particular trait. Nilsson is the shy, brooding, pretty one, Linder with his shock of jet black hair is the more outspoken one, and like many drummers before him, Mellergardh is something of a joker. (The sticksman playfully ran off when asked to pose for his picture).

But it's hard trying to get anything out of the band, no sordid secrets spilled about fans or even music tips. One doubts they will leave many, if any, hotel rooms in a state of destruction.

In fact, during the sound check - under a particularly hot Singapore sun - they kept an almost cliched Scandinavian cool even when things went wrong.

When Nilsson received a sharp blast of feedback through his headphones, he just quietly threw the wailing device to one side.

Even their performing style is more about the energy that comes from the music than the energy they exert on stage.

The stage offered a grand view of the Marina Bay skyline complete with its imposing skyscrapers, and this impressed Linder.

He said: "The architecture of the city is crazy, I mean our hotel is like a boat on top of three skyscrapers. I've never seen anything like it."

"It's a huge honour for us to fly so far away from home to perform in Singapore again and at such a huge festival," said Nilsson.

This is only the second time here, and Singapore has yet to embrace the band fully. There were a number of empty seats during their set.

There are other perks to the gig. The band were second on the bill, just before Natalie Cole, daughter of legendary Nat King Cole.

"I'm actually looking forward to watch her perform because I think she's a great singer," Linder said enthusiastically.

maazman@sph.com.sg

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