The Cali-boys of Cheat Codes include Matt Russell, Kevin Ford and Trevor Dahl. They gained a ton of notoriety with their 2016 hit “Sex” that samples the chorus from “Let’s Talk About Sex” by Salt-N-Pepa but they are much more than your average DJ trio.
“We go out there and we’re singing, dj-ing, hyping and rapping; probably everything you shouldn’t be doing in one show. But it works for us,” member Matt Russell says of the trio’s unconventional performances.
Based in Los Angeles, Cheat Codes have been making music together since 2014 and most recently released a single “No Promises” featuring pop-sensation Demi Lovato. “We performed with Demi in Sao Paola, Brazil last year. At the time it was the biggest show we ever played,” Russell says. “After the show, the Brazilian fans were quick to hit up our social media and suggest a collaboration.” Fast-forward to 2017 and Cheat Codes spent a few short hours in the studio with the powerhouse that is Lovato to lay down the vocals on “No Promises.”
“We knew her voice would be so perfect for the song and since our fans suggested the collab, we have to thank them,” Russell adds.
As far as fans are concerned, member Kevin Ford reminisces on one of their greatest shows for both the fan and the trio. “At Hangout Fest in Gulf Shores, the crowd was super hype,” Ford describes. “It started pouring rain as soon as the lyric ‘I just want to dive in the water with you’ in “No Promises” played. It was the most perfect production,” he says.
A Cheat Codes performance is famously “lit,” as the guys would say. “From jumping to singing, sometimes it’s easy to lose track of the importance of performing. We want to show people that you can do literally anything you want. You can break all the rules and make it up as you go. That’s what we do,” Russell confirms.
Russell fumbles around trying to find the words to express the quote “You have to fall before you can fly” and eventually puts it all together. “It sounds cliché but it’s true,” he adds. “When you jump off the cliff, you’re falling first before you’re actually flying.”
It surprises me how profound these laid-back California guys can be. They continue to explain how grateful they are to be given any opportunity to perform and show people that you can follow your dreams and succeed.
They are most definitely following their dreams. With a busy schedule ahead of them, Cheat Codes recently released a single called “Stay With You” featuring up-and-coming artist Cade. Find the trio at Lollapalooza in Illinois and on tour throughout Europe this summer.