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Two men performing on stage


Papa Ya Have a Good Time, All the Time

Papa Ya always keep it upbeat. Alex Sacco and Nate Merchant have been posting singles and videos at a steady pace for the last two years, always coming through with a party vibe. But for their recent clip for the song “Tumbleweed,” the LA duo took things to new heights. Literally.

Alex Sacco and Nate Merchant GIF standing outside of a W hotel

The clip features Sacco and Merchant jumping on inflatable balls, pogo sticks and trampolines in time to the beat, proving yet again that these two always know how to keep things moving.


“That was our good boy Sacco with the creative brain,” says Merchant, nodding to his partner. “We were sitting down with the videographer trying to figure out what to do for the video, and I was coming up with some terrible ideas, very not good.  You could read the room like, ‘oh boy, this is not going well.’” And then Sacco just suggested that the pair should jump around for a few minutes. “And it was like everything was there,” Merchant says. “Like, all right, we’re doing hippity hops and pogo sticks.”


But who was better at the pogo sticks? Again, Merchant defers to his friend. “Sacco is. Sacco, actually, he is a man of many hidden talents. He’ll beat you at ping pong. He’ll beat you at tennis.

Papa Ya performing at W Hollywood
Papa Ya hit the decks at Wake Up Call Hollywood

The pair first met when they were students at the University of Oregon.  “Even our freshman year, we were playing acoustic guitars together and stuff like that. So we’ve always kind of like had that energy and that vibe together,” Merchant says. “And then our senior year, Sacco was like, ‘you wanna partner together?’ And then we kept making songs and it evolved into this.”


Sacco was attending school for advertising, though he admits that “I wanted to go to school for music. I’m very fortunate, my parents helped me out with school, but they’re like, ‘Yeah, you’re not going to school for music,’” he says. “Now, they’re supportive, but at the time, they thought it was another faze, because as Nate said, I have hidden talents, where I will get really good at something and, ‘Okay, I did that. Now what’s the next thing?’ And they thought this was gonna be one of those things.”


To Sacco’s parents surprise, the pair stuck with it, earning fans for viral singles such as “Sunny” and “Fine Living,” which earned them opportunities to play their bubbly house-music pop at festivals all across the world; in just  a few hours they’ll bring maximum pool party vibes to Wake Up Call at W Hollywood.


In their videos, Sacco and Merchant give off a best-friends-forever vibe, always on the lookout for a good time; the clip for “Sunny” features so much champagne you might get a buzz just watching. “But let me tell you man,” Sacco clarifies, “I’m going for that five-dollar bottle. We’re bending over at the grocery store to get our bottle.”


The good times don’t appear to be stopping anytime soon. They recently dropped the single “Yesterday,” which Sacco calls “a little more heartfelt.  It’s a slight departure, but still, a feel-good type of song and all that.” The two hope to release a full-length album in the future, but for now, they’re content to take things as they come and enjoy each other’s company.


“Obviously, we’ve got stuff that we each work on, respectively,” Merchant says “but we try to hang out as much as possible because it’s always fun.”