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» uk

Marina and the Diamonds interview

Posted on by Mikey Moscow in Articles, Blog, Interviews, Music | Leave a comment

Marina and the Diamonds was on the top of my interview bucket list for a while now. Actually, ever since I discovered her charmingly bizarre ‘Mowgli’s Road’ song and read her pretty sharp-tongued blog back in 2008. I almost talked to Marina in New York in 2011: “almost” as I didn’t recognized her (she just went blond at the time) and managed to party right next to this Primadonna for the whole night without acknowledging her. I finally got my chance when I was asked to interview her for Interview Russia earlier this spring in time for the release of her ‘Froot’ album.

Read the Russian version here and the original chat below.

 

You always take you album campaigns quite seriously. So what’s the concept behind ‘Froot’?

With ‘Froot’ I wanted the strategy to be distinctive. So I came up with a plan called ‘Froot of the month’, which meant that when you pre-order the album I’d send you a brand new song from the album every month until the album release. So each song has its own visual world, video, all that kind of thing.

So this is the 1st album you recorded on your own?

Yes.

Was it harder or more liberating?

Oh, definitely more liberating! I would say songwriting was easier in a way, because I had this artistic clarity versus writing with other people and trying to come up with the songs that would ‘work’ commercially. I didn’t want to do another electropop album. The production was very different two: just me co-producing everything with one person for three month. It’s actually not my favorite thing at what I do. But I enjoyed it nevertheless, as much as I could.

You do quite a lot of misspelling: froot, teen idle, shampaigne… What’s the idea behind it?

I love words! And I love messing with them. I think with ‘Froot’ spelling it in a way with how it sounded made it look more playful. That’s what I’m interested in as a musician – with my sound blending with natural human sounds and electronic sound. It’s also visually what I do: I really like blending themes of nature with modern life.

Your favorite fruit? Song and an actual fruit.

The fruit-fruit is probably mango and I like lychee as well. And my favorite song off the album changes a lot. I really ‘Savages’ and ‘Better Than That’.

Should we expect you to dress up as a fruit like Katy Perry does?

Ha, no!

You did perform in Moscow. What do you remember from that gig?

It was very positive. I’ve some time in Russia and Ukraine when I was younger, so I was very pleased to go back and to see that I have a fanbase there. I remember I played the same festival as Courtney Love did and I really loved her.

Do people really mistake you for Catherine Zeta-Jones (as you mentioned in your ‘Hollywood’ song)?

No, haha! No we do look quite similar, it’s that Celtic welsh blood.

I remember when you and I do were partying in a small bar in New York back in 2011. And I didn’t recognize you because you just went blonde.

Oh, no, really?! Haha! That’s so funny!

Do you plan any more dramatic changes to your appearance in the future?

I don’t think so, no. These days I look quite similar to how I looked during my first album. ‘Electra Heart’ look was built for that character. And now it’s kind of a relief to not have to dress up, if I’m honest.

What did you learn from being Electra Heart persona?

Most of things I’ve learned was about what I didn’t want to be as an artist and what I didn’t really like about being in this industry. There are parts of the industry which I love but I think if you’re pretending to be a popstar, then you have to go through the popstar system and they talk to you as if you’re quite dumb and as if you don’t write your own music. I didn’t really appreciate that. But I did like being an electropop artist. I’m happy where I am now with ‘Froot’.

Let’s get one thing clear: Primadonna was a sarcastic statement, right? Was there a lot of people who thought you were being dead serious?

I don’t know… I think most of the people knew it was this theatrical sarcastic song. But who knows?

What gets you excited in the current pop landscape?

I really like BANKS, Broods, Childish Gambino, Lykke Li, Clean Bandit.

The blog you ran back in 2008 was very sassy. Will you ever blog again?

Oh, no, you remember! Haha. I am interested in keeping a very genuine direct communication with fans. So I’m doing these FAQs now.

The thing we do here at the Interview magazine is making one celebrity interview other celebrity. So if you were to interview one famous person, who would you choose?

I would choose the photographer Cindy Sherman, musician Daniel Johnston and Marilyn Monroe.

Okay, I’ll see if when can hook you up with those. And if you were to start an ultimate girlband who would you invite?

Oh, wow. I would choose Bjork, my friend Lizzy from MS MR, Brody Dalle from The Distillers and Debbie Harry from Blondie.

I would definitely check out this record!

Well, thank you very much, I’ve got one fan!

A lot of your new songs are rather dramatic and pensive. Does it mean the days of ‘Primadonna’ and ‘Mowgli’s Road’ are over?

Each album is a chapter of your life, some have different colors and moods to the other ones. ‘Electra Heart’ was a very high energy album. I feel more flexible in terms of what I can do creatively now, so who know what’s gonna come up.

Is acting something you’d ever consider trying?

Yes, I would.

Do you still live in the state of dreaming?

It’s good to dream and to think about what you want.

Get ‘Froot’ on iTunes

Indiana interview

Posted on by Mikey Moscow in Articles, Blog, Interviews, Music | Leave a comment

When an artist borrows her stage name from Indiana Jones movies and cites ‘Drive’ as her biggest inspiration, you know the music has to be quite an adventure. And British newcomer Indiana’s debut LP ‘No Romeo’ did not disappoint at all. My favorites were ‘Solo Dancing’, ‘No Romeo’ and ‘New Heart’, all three a pleasant blend of trip hop and pop, accentuated by Indiana’s distant delivery. I have to agree with The Guardian review – this record deserves much more attention that it received. And I’m glad I got to interview Indiana for Cosmopolitan Russia: the Russian version is here and the full interview is below.

And don’t forget to get ‘No Romeo’ on iTunes, too.

First of all, thanks for a great record: I can’t get ‘No Romeo’ and ‘Solo Dancing’ out of my head for a week! And now that the album is out, do you feel relieved?

It’s a great feeling having it out there, I’m finding new people are discovering it every day.

In one interview you said that you didn’t plan to become a musician, but the music eventually found you. Can you elaborate on this? What’s your story?

I didn’t set out with a plan to release an album and become a recording artist. I was just using music as a creative outlet and because I loved it. Soon I discovered that I had so much within my reach and I became very determined and now I set myself so many new goals and aspirations.

You’re not just a passionate musician, you’re also a mother of two. How did being in the spotlight change your family routine?

It’s not at all really, I’ve always been a working mum. My jobs just a bit more interesting and rewarding now.

You also said that there are a lot of hidden meanings in your lyrics. What’s the funniest way someone has misinterpreted your lyrics so far?

Maybe that people actually think ‘Solo Dancing’ is just one big innuendo! It’s funny but also a little frustrating, it’s meant to be a song of empowerment… Maybe masturbation is empowering?

Do you actually enjoy solo dancing?

I love doing a lot of stuff alone, maybe it comes with having children but I find so much comfort in my solitude.

What’s the perfect settings to listen to you music?

Driving or in the studio.

There are a lot of nuances and undertones in your sound. How do you come up with all of this and where do you find inspiration?

Anything and everything, I see myself as a storyteller. My songs draw on personal experiences but they aren’t biographical. It’s more challenging when writing and interesting when listening, I think.

You play with food a lot in ‘Solo Dancing’ video. Is it something you always liked doing? And are you a good cook?
I like to think I can bake… My children will tell you different. I enjoy food so much, too much I think. If I’m not eating I’m thinking about eating.

How many takes did it take to get that shot of you laying on a bed with the milk spilling on the table right?
Just one, which was lucky ’cause we only had one carton.

When will we see you in Russia? And are you familiar with anything Russian?

Whenever you fancy, I’ve never been. I’m sure my band would love to sample some proper vodka… And of course I will join them!

I like your sense of style a lot: it’s very chic without trying too hard. What are the inspirations?

My biggest inspiration was always Debbie Harry back in the day: she’s boyish in a girly way.

Any fashion tips for the spring?

Little boxy tees with a mini skirt.

Five fun facts about Indiana are…

I’ve been driving since I was 17 but only got my license when I was 21.

I have a guilty obsession with Kim Kardashian.

My favourite film is Drive.

I would love to write a song with Prince

Sometimes I don’t change my socks everyday.

Photo by Tim Mattia

10 songs for the perfect Saturdays

Posted on by Mikey Moscow in Blog, Music | Leave a comment

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The Saturdays are quite an interesting band. They’ve been around for 6 years – eternity in a female pop world – yet they hardly ever crossed any boundaries: no scandals, no dramas, no big experiments – just a lot of marriages, polite smiles and lazy dancing. But even though they played it rather safe for most of their career, they still managed to release an impressive collection of enjoyable bangers. With their first (and let’s hope not last) greatest hits compilation out, it’s time to re-visit their poptastic catalogue and pick the 10 best tunes. Here’s my ultimate The Saturdays collection.

Up

The Saturdays first single (‘If This Is Love’) was easy to miss, but they have properly arrived with this hell of a pop banger that served as their second single. Beware of the album version though: radio edit is what you want. That chorus!

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Finale Aloud: Ten The Hits Tour 2013

Posted on by Mikey Moscow in Music, Travel, Без рубрики | Leave a comment

Girls Aloud O2 2013

From drum’n’bass-inspired debut single to Ibiza-friendly 20th one, it was a long journey of crossing all the pop boundaries while consistently having fun for Girls Aloud. Their ‘Ten’ tour is now over (as well as their times together) and I bring you my own report from the 3 tour dates I’ve attended.

Hit more for tons of photos, videos and my report.

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Girls Aloud for Harper’s Bazaar Russia

Posted on by Mikey Moscow in Interviews, Music | Leave a comment

Back in the summer 2011 I literally bumped into a stunning Irish gal named Nadine Coyle – 1/5 of the world’s best girlband Girls Aloud – at the On Top party in New York. We ended up partying all night long and doing a big interview later on. A small part of it ended up in the February issue of Harper’s Bazaar Russia – just in time for the band’s ‘Ten’ tour in the UK (which I’m obviously attending as a hardcore fan). Take a look at the magazine piece for now. The whole interview will be published soon.

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I even got into ‘Authors of the month’ section, which is always a nice bonus.

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Mercedes interview for Shut Your Pretty Mouth (UK)

Posted on by Mikey Moscow in Articles, Interviews, Music | Leave a comment

Shut Your Pretty Mouth is my kind of magazine through and through: it’s British, run by Maya von Doll and her friends, devoted to the hottest ladies of pop (both indie and mainstream) and just beyond cool. So I couldn’t pass up an opportunity to interview up-and-coming singer/rapper Mercedes for the latest 5th issue of the free publication. Check out my interview below or download the whole magazine at its website.

Mercedes by Mikey Moscow Mercedes by Mikey Moscow

More on Mercedes at her Facebook page