Do Rixton look familiar? Well that just might be because the U.K. band so convincingly parodied some of the best in the biz in their breakthrough clip for "Make Out."
Having amassed over a million views since releasing it last October, the video is the foursome's homage to the likes of Katy Perry, Robin Thicke and Miley Cyrus. And the group (who are one of MTV's Artists To Watch this year) think they know why everyone is buzzing about the kitschy clip.
"I think a lot of people were kind of like, 'Who are these four floppy-haired British boys dressing as women?' And I think it made people pay attention," lead singer Jake Roche told MTV News, sharing it was manager Scooter Braun who dreamed up the idea.
"We were doing a show in L.A. with Ariana Grande and we were speaking to Scooter about what we can do to get people's attentions and stuff. And then Scooter burst into the dressing room and was like 'You're dressing as women'," he recalled. "I think it was mainly a team effort, but Scooter kind of had the original idea."
Their original idea — to just kiss lots of girls on the beach — was shelved, and bassist/keyboardist Danny Wilkin admitted it was "an excuse for us to go and make out with girls."
Among the videos that the guys paid homage to was Rihanna's "Stay," for which Wilkin found a unique way to shed tears. "I've never been more embarrassed in my life," he recalled. "It was the tiniest bathroom in the world and there was just so many cameras and people, men. I just sat in a bath of onions."
The guys also reimagined Thicke's "Blurred Lines," which Roche admits wasn't a very tough gig. He said, "They closed the set and the girls undressed and stuff. Yeah that was fun."
Like Danny, guitarist Charley Bagnall had to emulate a female pop star recreating "Applause," while drummer Lewi Morgan played Katy Perry in "Roar." "That was beyond my comfort zone at the time," he said. "A lot of people said I looked like my sister, which is weird."
Roche, meanwhile, had to strip down to recreate Miley's "Wrecking Ball" visual. "I kept getting my leg caught in the chain and it was really hurting," he said. "But, no, it was good fun; apart from the woman who had to hold me up got a load of bum in her face, which was lovely."
The group has heard from the likes of Thicke, whose compliment of their reenactment was "really humbling," as well as Justin Bieber. They parodied his video for "Beauty And A Beat." Roche played Bieber, who later offered him some advice.
"He tweeted me after and he's like 'That dude needs a six pack'," he said. "And I still ain't got one."