Popjustice » Interviews & Features http://www.popjustice.com Fri, 19 Dec 2014 08:19:59 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.0 2014 in review: July, with Jake from Rixton http://www.popjustice.com/interviewsandfeatures/2014-in-review-july-with-jake-from-rixton/131608/ http://www.popjustice.com/interviewsandfeatures/2014-in-review-july-with-jake-from-rixton/131608/#comments Thu, 18 Dec 2014 10:00:36 +0000 http://www.popjustice.com/?p=131608 Rixton

July 2014 was a month in which various things happened in ‘the world at large’. But how did these things impact Jake from instrument-playing boyband Rixton? Let’s find out shall we.

In July popular beat combo Rixton ‘scored’ a UK Number One with their debut single which was released a couple of months after it came out in the US.

Why did you start it all ‘across the pond’ though?
It was mainly because radio’s a huge thing in America and if you get a big song on the radio over there you can kind of just watch it climb and climb, whereas over here you can release a song a within a week it can be Number One. Over there you need as much time as possible. We wanted to get it all geared up.

How did you celebrate the Number One in the UK?
We were backstage in Liverpool and we just had a few bottles of champagne. But it went terribly wrong because Louis popped the cork too quick before the Number One was announced. So they were like ‘this week’s Number One is…’ and it just went ‘pop’ and we didn’t hear them say it was us. Embarrassing.

Does Louis suffer from that problem a lot?
Oh all the time, yeah. No actually he doesn’t. I think his girlfriend would say something different.

Rob Thomas must have been happy with the sales figures too of course.
Yeah I bet he is. He’s probably really happy about it sitting on his yacht. (Laughs) No we spoke to Rob when the song first came around and he’s very close with Benny [Blanco], our producer, so we just got the okay from him. He’s probably loving life right now.

Also in the month of July, a man who’d dropped his mobile phone into a grain pit at his farm in Oklahoma was reunited with it nine months later. It had turned up in Japan.

Mental! That is crazy. Is that true though?

Yes of course. Have you ever turned up somewhere you shouldn’t have been?
I have actually. We did the Capital Ball and I walked down the wrong corridor and it was Pharrell’s corridor and I was like ‘oh all these people here for us’ and they just said ‘you can’t walk this way’ I ended up getting trapped in the corner.

So basically he had his own corridor?
Dude, he has his own corridor and army of people. Insane.

Madonna, the pop singer, was let off jury duty in July because her fame was too distracting.

When was the last time you were distracted by someone more famous than yourself?
Oh we were at a party in America around Scooter {Braun]’s house and it was just us and Tom Hanks, which was strange. We played this murder mystery game and you had to convince people you weren’t the town murderer or whatever, and I just had Tom Hanks all evening convincing me he wasn’t a murderer. The whole time in my head I’m thinking ‘I reckon it’s him but because it’s Tom Hanks I don’t want to put him on the spot’.

Have you ever been recognised in Tesco?
In Tesco? No, but my mum has. Someone went up to my mum and my mum was like ‘oh here we go again’ and they said ‘are you Jake from Rixton’s mum?’. That was in Tesco in Manchester.

Two reporters from a Brighton newspaper were taken to hospital after they each had a bite of the XXX Hot Chilli Burger, which contains a sauce made in India reportedly using about 5,000 kilos of piri piri chilis concentrated into one kilo.

How hot do you have your Nando’s though?
Hot. I have hot. Sometimes I go for medium, but if I’m feeling adventurous I just whack it up to hot.

What’s the standard Jake from Rixton Nando’s order?
(Immediately) Double chicken breast fillet wrap. Peri chips. Coleslaw. Haloumi. And then a drink, obviously.

That’s a lot.
That is a lot. I don’t know why I’ve just admitted that.

Also in July, long-forgotten vials of smallpox that had been left in a cardboard box were discovered by a government scientist near Washington DC.

What’s the worst thing you’ve ever found in a box?
(Laughs) Oh my God, I don’t know! Actually at my friend’s old place he caught a mouse in a box and I didn’t know and when I went to move the box there was just this mouse at the bottom. Still alive. I’d just come round and I was in the kitchen and thought I’d look in the box and there it was, trying to jump out.

Do you want to hear a disgusting story about a rat?
Yes.

A friend of Popjustice had a rat in their kitchen and so the man came round and put that sticky stuff down, but basically the rat got stuck on it and they tried to sort of yank the rat off it and two of its legs came off! Then they let it free!
There is a rat roaming London right now with two legs! Just on its two back legs, wandering around. That’s mental.

The body of a great white shark washed up on an Australian beach in July, having apparently choked on a sea lion.

When was the last time you got something stuck in your throat?
Hey cheeky! Erm, it’s always popcorn. You know when you go to the cinema and there’s a tiny bit that gets lodged at the back of your throat and you’re not exactly choking but it feels like you are.

An inventor in Vermont started selling a machine that prints selfies on toast in July. A slice of toast with your face on costs £44!

If you could have a selfie printed on anything, what would it be?
Someone else’s face. My face on their face.

Whose face would you like to be on?
I’d like to print myself on Bradley Cooper. He’s too good looking, tone it down a bit mate.

And your face would make that happen.
Oh what are you trying to say? Yeah just whack my face on his face.

Fabien Cousteau and his two crew members resurfaced after 31 days living underwater and collecting scientific data, also in July.

Like Busted, do you believe that in the year 3000 the world will be living underwater?
They’re McBusted now aren’t they? Wow. But no. That would be cool to think about but I won’t be here. Also we’d all just drown though and we couldn’t live underwater so I don’t know what they’re on about.

If Rixton could form a supergroup with another… Hang on, are you a boyband?
More of a band, but yeah.

So if you were to form a supergroup with another boyband, who would you choose?
I don’t know. Probably like One Republic or Maroon 5.

RixOne!
(Silence)

In soccer news, Germany defeated Brazil 7 points to 1 to go through to the final of the World Cup.

Have you ever underperformed on a big stage before?
(Cheeky laugh) All the time. Sometimes you get so hyped up for a show and then you kind of just over-think everything you’re doing and then you walk off stage thinking ‘if I hadn’t have thought about all that I could have done it so much better’. I think that’s just natural.

A Florida court awarded $23.6 billion in damages against R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company in a case of a longtime smoker who died in 1996.

Have you ever ‘vaped’?
I’ve tried it. There’s an advert for it that got banned because it was really sexy. It was on TV and it was just like ‘you want to suck it’ and then everyone was just going ‘what is going on?’ And then it turns out it’s a vapouriser advert. It would make me buy one. My friends do it, but I’ve never really gone for it. Just stop smoking.

Finally in July, a fire broke out on Eastbourne Pier, destroying the arcade. Sad news.

But have you ever managed to get a cuddly toy out of those machines with the claw thing?
I have, yeah. In Florida actually and I may as well have just brought a teddy because I spent so much money trying to get it. I had no one to give it to either. It’s a bit of a fix I think. The claw isn’t strong enough.

Thank you Jake from Rixton for that fascinating insight into your thoughts on the month of July 2014. We hope you had a satisfactory year and wish you all the very best for 2015.

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2014 in review: June, with Nicole Scherzinger http://www.popjustice.com/interviewsandfeatures/2014-in-review-june-with-nicole-scherzinger/131606/ http://www.popjustice.com/interviewsandfeatures/2014-in-review-june-with-nicole-scherzinger/131606/#comments Wed, 30 Nov -0001 00:00:00 +0000 http://www.popjustice.com/?p=131606 Nicole-Scherzinger

June 2014 was a month in which various things happened in ‘the world at large’. But how did these things impact lexicon abuser Nicole Scherzinger? Let’s find out shall we.

In June the amazing ‘Your Love’ by Nicole Scherzinger charted in the UK at Number 6.

How cool. And June is the month of my birthday.

Indeed. In the grand scheme of things how happy on a scale of 1 – 10 does a UK Top Ten single make you?
Yeah I’m really happy. On a scale of 1-10? I don’t know. For me, I felt like the song was a Number One. (Laughs) I worked that hard for it to be a Number One. I was hoping for it to be a Top 5 but I’m grateful that the fans supported me and I know they got behind me even if the record wasn’t being played.

You milked a goat to promote it.
I did everything to promote it. My fans are the ones that got it to Number 6 so for my fans’ support, I’d say a 10.

Does it lessen how you view a single if it’s not had chart success?
I still love it regardless, I just think everybody else is crazy.

Also in the month of June, a massive sandstorm helped along by record high winds hit Tehran causing power blackouts in the Iranian capital.

But where do you keep the candles in your house?
I’ve got candles all over my house.

Are they scented?
(Excitedly) Yes! Some are scented, some are not.

What’s your favourite candle scent?
I love redcurrant. If you get the Votevo candles, I think it’s the Bailes, the black one, it’s lovely. Either that or vanilla.

Now that you’ve mentioned them in an interview hopefully we’ll all get sent loads of them.
(Laughs) I’m sorry, hang on…[speaks to a lady called Grace] will you look this up? It’s Bailes…Grace, will you look it up? Bailes I think it is. Is that the one I like? From Diptyque.

Anyway, also in June Vodafone revealed that the governments of six countries have a permanent link to monitor communications throughout Vodafone’s networks.

What would we learn about you if we had access to your last three text messages though?
Oh wow. Erm. What would you learn about me if you had access to my last three text messages? (Thinks for ages) Just that I’m very spiritual and I keep in touch with my family and my loved ones. That’s a hard question. Let’s move on to the next one.

Also in June, Scientists in Minnesota discovered that rats can feel regret, mainly about missed opportunities when it comes to their food.

When was the last time you regretted not having a dessert at a restaurant?
Rap? Like rap music?

Rats!
Oh what is it again?

Rats can feel regret about food or something. When was the last time you regretted not having a dessert at a restaurant?
I can’t remember because when I want something I eat it. I’ve got a very sweet tooth. If anything I would regret if I ate too much. The last thing I had today was a Picnic bar.

Okay. How was that?
Wonderful.

Last time we spoke you mentioned you’d once eaten blowfish semen. How much money would we have to give you for you to try that delicacy again?
Oh no amount of money in the world… Or maybe just £5m.

The word ‘adorkable’ was added to the Collins English Dictionary in June after a vote of Twitter users.

Are you disappointed that shamazing was never added to the dictionary?
Oh yeah I think shamazing is way better than adorkable. Shamazing just rolls off the tongue. Adorkable is cute but definitely shamazing should be added.

Are there any new hybrid words you’ve been working on?
We were saying ‘smazing’ which is a shortened version of ‘it’s amazing’. ‘Smazing’.

Okay.
I’m always coming up with silly things that don’t really make any sense.

In June, Tortoiseshell cat Poppy – who was recognised by the Guinness Book of Records as the longest-lived of her species – died at the age of 24.

Do you think cats have it easy and should they be made to work?
Erm… That’s a weird question. I mean, I don’t know what kind of stuff they would do.

They are very lazy.
They’re quite arrogant I think.

Are you more of a cat or a dog person?
I’m a dog person. But then I don’t know, it sounds so mean, putting a cat to work. What would they do? It’s like putting a dog to work.

But dogs do work! They collect dead animals for hunters and work on farms. They herd sheep.
Yeah it would be cool to see cats being able to do that.

June also brought faeces news: analysis of the oldest reported trace of poo added weight to the view that Neanderthals ate vegetables and not just meat.

Could you ever be vegetarian though?
Yeah, definitely. I’ve been vegetarian a couple of times in my life. I actually only eat white meat. I could be vegetarian but a vegan is another thing. I’ve been to vegan restaurants and I mean if you read what’s on the menu that they’re giving you it does not sound appetising, however when you eat it it tastes a lot better. They make magic happen with just nothing. With just air, beans, nuts and seeds.

What are your views on dairy?
I love dairy.

Handwritten lyrics of Like a Rolling Stone by Bob Dylan sold at auction in June for a record $2m.

What’s your favourite Nicole Scherzinger lyric?
‘Big Fat Lie’’s got a couple of cool lyrics; “California days they say it never rains so why does my makeup seem like it’s never dry”.

Isn’t it true that California are in the middle of a massive drought?
I have no idea because I’m in London all the time where it does rain.

Finally, also in June, three men who escaped from a jail near Quebec City via helicopter were recaptured in Montreal.

Have you, Nicole Scherzinger, ever been in a helicopter?
Yes of course.

How was it? It looks dangerous.
It’s magical, it’s cool. You get a proper bird’s eye view of wherever you’re going. I find it fascinating.

Have you ever been in a hot air balloon?
I have not but that would be awesome.

Maybe you could get that as promo time, get some journalists in a hot air balloon.
Big Fat Hot Air Balloon.

Like when Rihanna took everyone on a plane, you could take everyone on a hot air balloon.
(Unconvincingly) Yeah.

Thank you Nicole Scherzinger for that fascinating insight into your thoughts on the month of June 2014. We hope you had a satisfactory year and wish you all the very best for 2015.

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2014 in review: May, with Foxes http://www.popjustice.com/interviewsandfeatures/2014-in-review-may-with-foxes/131604/ http://www.popjustice.com/interviewsandfeatures/2014-in-review-may-with-foxes/131604/#comments Tue, 16 Dec 2014 10:00:57 +0000 http://www.popjustice.com/?p=131604 Foxes

May 2014 was a month in which various things happened in ‘the world at large’. But how did these things impact Debenhams soundtrack artiste Foxes? Let’s find out shall we.

In May it was announced that the singer Foxes would appear in an episode of long-running children’s programme Doctor Who.

Where in time and space would you like to visit?
Can I go to the future? Oh shit, but I always think that if you go to the future and you’re not in it then it’s really depressing. So maybe not in the future.

But you could go as you are now into the future?
And meet me? Maybe I’ll go to past me and meet me.

You don’t have to meet you.
You don’t think I should meet me? Awkward.

You’ve seen Back To The Future right? Where he kisses his own mum.
It gets weird. I don’t want to kiss my mum.

Okay so where would you like to go?
I would like to go to the 1960s. Solid. Just for the vibes.

Your album also came out in May. How did it feel to finally have it out?
I felt like it was never going to come out and then it was out. It was definitely a ‘yes, finally’ moment. I felt like I’d worked on it for a really long time and it went Top 5 which was amazing.

Also in May, Egypt opened a 3D-printed, full sized exact replica of King Tutankhamnun’s KV62 tomb in the Valley of the Kings.

How would you like to be buried?
Oh my God that is so dark. How would I like to be buried? Do I have to be buried?

Not necessarily.
I like it when you’re put on a little raft and floated down a river. I’d quite like that, but I don’t want everyone to put up with the smell because they burn you don’t they.

You could have a tomb with ‘here lies the ‘Clarity’ hitmaker Foxes’ on it?
That could be fun.

In shocking news, it was announced that France was no longer the biggest national market for wine. Rather, it was the US, with Americans consuming 2.9 billion litres of the trumped-up fruit juice.

What’s the most embarrassing thing you’ve done while drunk?
There’s a lot of things I’ve done that I can tell you about.

What was the most recent embarrassing drunken moment?
I do a lot of embarrassing things. I once walked onstage and headbutted the microphone after doing a shot of vodka.

Do you embarrass easily?
I thought that was actually a beautiful moment. You know the person things always happen to, that’s me. I’m so accident prone.

Have you embarrassed yourself in front of Pharrell?
Yes. Towards the end of the tour we all got really friendly and it felt normal. But basically I was turning more and more into a lad and one day I was walking past Pharrell and I verbally vomited in his direction. I think I said ‘alright, bruv’ and then fist-bumped him. I was pissed. He thinks I’m a nutter.

Fedya, a 2m-long circus crocodile, was injured after she was crushed by a falling accountant during a minor bus accident in Russia.

(Laughs) What? Say it again. Why was a crocodile next to a bus?

No idea. Do you believe that tax doesn’t have to be taxing?
Did you take some form of LSD? You know what this feels like? It’s like being in a K-hole.

Not that you’d know.
Not that I’d know.

Do you do your own tax?
I have an accountant obviously, but I like to think I’m heavily involved in it all…

Also in May, Skype confirmed it had removed some emoji symbols which have the potential to offend.

What emoji best sums up your life at the moment and why?
The happy poo.

Oh.
I’m kidding. I quite like the angry clay man. Can I have a look at my phone? (Gets phone out) I like the woman pushing her hair up, she is me basically. I feel a connection to her. I quite like the chick coming out of the egg, I feel like she’s positive. New life.

A man’s 50-page legal challenge was rejected in US courts after he demanded the right to marry his laptop as he argued that the love he has for the “porn-filled” Apple computer was no different to that between gay couples.

If you took your laptop to the ‘Genius Bar’, what material would you want to keep private?
My photobooth.

Okay.
Doesn’t everyone want to keep that private? I lost my laptop the other day actually but luckily it was locked. No, I don’t really have that much to hide.

Would you marry your laptop?
No.

May also saw a worldwide celebration as the term ‘lol’ turned 25 years old.

No it didn’t! That’s a lie.

It is not. As you’re also 25, do you feel that with age comes greater responsibility?
Erm, I feel that with age you just get to know yourself more.

Are you more or less responsible than you were five years ago?
Less I think. I’ve learnt that nothing really matters that much. Everything matters, but not that much. It is difficult on tour because you get food made for you, someone gives you a diary of what you’re doing so it’s kind of like becoming a bit dumbed down. You become a bit of a child again. It’s a very weird job. Then you come back off tour and you go to shop and you just look round looking for your tour manager.

In Europe an article was added to the European Data Protection Regulation, known as the “right to be forgotten”, that meant that users could determine what personal information could be displayed on search engine results.

What were the last three things you Googled?
I bet it’s something boring, hang on let me check (gets phone out again). Mine was ‘raw food delivery’. What am I a rabbit? I think I wanted to have a healthy week.

Finally, May also saw Apple purchase overpriced headphone maker Beats for the appropriately non-small sum of $3bn.

How important is sound quality to you?
Very very important. Beats are very good.

Any other brands you’d like to mention?
Sennheiser are also good.

How long did you keep the Apple own brand ones before you chucked them?
I was very happy with the iPhone ones for a really long time, but I borrowed my friend’s Beats ones… This is such a boring story I’m not even going to carry on with it. Sorry.

Thank you Foxes for that fascinating insight into your thoughts on the month of May 2014. We hope you had a satisfactory year and wish you all the very best for 2015.

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2014 in review: April, with Kiesza http://www.popjustice.com/interviewsandfeatures/2014-in-review-april-with-kiesza/131598/ http://www.popjustice.com/interviewsandfeatures/2014-in-review-april-with-kiesza/131598/#comments Mon, 15 Dec 2014 10:00:56 +0000 http://www.popjustice.com/?p=131598 Kiesza

April 2014 was a month in which various things happened in ‘the world at large’. But how did these things impact perpetual dancer Kiesza? Let’s find out shall we.

In April, golf man Tiger Woods announced that he’d undergone back surgery for a pinched nerve, and went on to miss come big golf tournament thing.

But what gets on your nerves?
Well, I actually crushed a nerve in my elbow recently and I’ve been recovering ever since. It crushed it so it cut off the signal that that nerve was giving to the muscle so my entire forearm, my pinky finger and my ring finger on my left hand went completely numb and the muscle started deteriorating.

Blimey. Is there anything generally that gets on your nerves?
Okay, you know what gets on my nerves but shouldn’t? I’m a really fast walker so when there’s a whole bunch of people walking down the sidewalk and I can’t get through them, that gets on my nerves. I don’t hold it against them though.

A court stenographer in New York was discovered to have written utter nonsense instead of actual court transcripts, potentially jeopardising thirty court cases.

What’s your worst lyric?
My worst lyric? Gosh, I don’t even know. Let me think. I can’t answer that question.

Are you saying all your lyrics are amazing?
No. There are songs that I write that I know aren’t lyrical masterpieces, but nor should they be. They’re not that type of song. It’s not meant to have too much depth.

Your friend and ours Stuart Parkin was awarded the Millennium Technology Prize for breakthroughs in magnetic storage capacity or something.

But how big is your wardrobe?
Wow. Oh my wardrobe is deep but it’s not exceptionally large. I travel a lot so I’m living out of a bag really. It’s all quite limited. I get a lot of stylists bringing me clothes that I wear once or twice and then return.

A total lunar eclipse occurred in April, which was exciting.

Have you ever howled at the moon?
That was cool. And yes I’ve howled at the moon a lot.

Really, why?
Have you ever howled at the moon?

No.
It feels really good. It’s like a release. You should do it next time. When you howl everyone around you wants to howl too and then you understand why wolves howl too.

Also in April, scientists announced the creation of cloned human stem cells derived from adult cells.

If you could clone a famous person who would you chose?
That’s a tough one. Definitely I’d like to clone Michael Jackson and Einstein. In fact I’d like to splice them into one person.

That’s one clever popstar.
It would be interesting I think.

The government announced that Cornish people would be granted minority status under new Council of Europe rules.

Do you think Jessica Cornish should go and live in America?
Er. I don’t know. Not if she wants to live in the UK. She should live wherever her heart is at home.

Basically she intimated this year that she was thinking of moving to America because she feels more appreciated there.
Oh then yes she should live where she feels she will be accepted. I think she should live in America.

Whereabouts?
She should live in New York, it’s a great city.

Copies of ET and some Atari games buried in 1983 were discovered in a New Mexican desert in April.

What would you bury in a time capsule to represent 2014?
Let me think about that for a minute…I would put a pair of my Reebok sneakers in there. My authentic, designer Reekbok sneakers that came out this year. A pair that I actually wore.

You could put ‘Hideaway’ in there and that would represent 2014 quite well.
Can we put singles in? It has to be a physical copy right? I did put it out on vinyl actually.

Scientists announced the discovery of Kryptodrakon, the oldest “winged lizard” ever found.

But do you see the appeal of owning a lizard?
Definitely.

But you can’t hug them.
You can hug a lizard! Of course you can.

But you can’t stroke it and play with it?
You can. Playing is something that requires imagination so you just have to use your imagination. You can play with anything really. You can have a conversation with a lizard. Plus a lizard is the closest thing we have to dragons, which makes them really cool pets.

What would you call your pet lizard?
(Thinks for ages) I’d call him Sphincter.

Also in April, a meteorite shower was recorded in Russia.

Baths or showers?
I have more showers but I prefer baths. I love having a bath. I love soaking up the water. I feel like I’m in the womb again, I just relax.

Finally in April, in pollution news, an official study released by the Chinese government revealed that around one-fifth of China’s soil is contaminated.

When did you last soil yourself?
When did I last soil myself?! As in poo my pants?

Yes.
I can’t even remember. It must have been before my memory. I haven’t actually soiled myself in recent memory, which is probably a good thing. We’ve all soiled ourselves though. It’s better out than in.

Thank you Kiesza for that fascinating insight into your thoughts on the month of April 2014. We hope you had a satisfactory year and wish you all the very best for 2015.

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2014 in review: March, with Ella Henderson http://www.popjustice.com/interviewsandfeatures/2014-in-review-march-with-ella-henderson/131596/ http://www.popjustice.com/interviewsandfeatures/2014-in-review-march-with-ella-henderson/131596/#comments Sun, 14 Dec 2014 10:00:39 +0000 http://www.popjustice.com/?p=131596 ella-march

March 2014 was a month in which various things happened in ‘the world at large’. But how did these things impact singing lady Ella Henderson? Let’s find out shall we.

In March, Ella Henderson announced ‘Ghost’ as her debut single.

But have you, Ella Henderson, ever seen the movie Ghost?
Yes, I have.

Also in March an entry on the documentary film Fuck caused offence after the Wikipedia website featured it prominently on its home page.

What was the first swear word that you used and did it cause offence?
I don’t know if it’s classed as a swear word, especially nowadays, but I can remember the first time I said “Bloody hell” to my mum and I got sent to my room. She’d never heard me pop out and say it when I was younger, and I just used it in a normal sentence before dinner as well. It wasn’t really necessary but I just threw it in there because I thought it was cool.

An 1,800-year-old Egyptian papyrus discovered a century ago, whose inscription is nearly illegible to the naked eye, was made more readable using infrared sensors, revealing the message to be a soldier’s letter to his family.

Say in 1,800 years they discovered something you had made what would you like them to find and who would it be for?
Ooh. I’d like them to find a little note or a message in the same way. It’d probably be for my family that’s, you know, passed down in the generations. I would want them to know who I was and to just remind them that if it weren’t for me they wouldn’t be alive. (Laughs)

So like an autobiography but in a note?
Just in a note for my great, great, great, great grandchildren.

At the Academy Awards, Ellen Degeneres took a selfie that was liked by millions of people.

Do you think we’ve become too obsessed with ourselves?
(Laughs) You do see people taking photos of themselves nowadays and then they have to delete it straightaway, and then they go again and delete and go again. It depends, no one likes a bad photo of themselves. And you won’t go uploading it on to Instagram or Twitter until it’s the perfect one that you like. I don’t know, I’ve learnt to try and not care that much anymore, especially about selfies. I don’t really know the answer to that.

Who would you have in your dream selfie?
I’d have me, Adele, Beyoncé, Peter Kay, he makes me laugh, and probably Jamie Oliver so he could cook us something.

Also in March, a total of 10 Gentoo penguins took up residence in an aquarium in Hull. In the £750,000 exhibit visitors were given views of the penguins across three floors and it featured a swimming pool, diving pool, beach area and nesting area.

Penguins are obviously important to Hull, but do you think £750,000 is too much money to spend on a penguin sanctuary?
No, I think they deserve that. We don’t want animals becoming endangered or anything like that, do we. So looking after penguins is good.

47-year-old Amanda Rodgers appeared on This Morning to say that she had married her dog, Sheba.

If you were to marry an animal what type would you marry and why?
It’s just wrong. I’m not going to marry an animal. Isn’t it illegal?

She did it overseas.
I was going to say, apparently it’s legal to marry your dog in India.

But say marriage to animals was legal and it wasn’t taboo and you wanted to spend the rest of your life with one, what animal would you pick Ella?
But you wouldn’t be able to have a conversation, ever.

But what animal would you pick?
I’d probably marry a dolphin because they could take me swimming. I could hang onto its fin and just glide through the water.

Dolphins can sort of communicate, too.
Sort of. I could sing my high notes and they could reply.

Pharrell was Number one with his album ‘G I R L’.

Would you ever consider adopting a signature hat like the noted feminist?
I don’t know it hats suit me. I’ve tried different types of hats. I like the big hats; I don’t know what you call the one that I like. I like a good summer hat as well, a big straw one for the beach, but I probably wouldn’t adopt one and wear it constantly. I’d probably wear it, take it off again and bring it out another year.

March also saw Cheryl Cole announce her return to The X Factor.

Do you think they should have brought back Tulisa?
Ooh. I love how the show changes it up every year. I don’t think it matters that much. It’s got to change every year to have something fresh to it to make the viewers want to watch it again. If it was the same every year then people would start to get bored. I think it’s great how it is now.

A Girl Scout in Oklahoma City sold 18,107 boxes of cookies, breaking the previous record of 18,000.

What is your favourite type of biscuit for dunking in a cup of tea?
Plain digestive or a malted milk.

Malted Milk? That’s quite a weak biscuit for a cup of tea, isn’t it?
No, I love it. You don’t even have to do a five second dunk, it’s just plop and it melts in your mouth.

What do you do when a bit of the biscuit breaks off into the cup of tea?
I immediately get a tea spoon and try and get it out. If it doesn’t look too bad then I will go to eat it. Most of the time I have to get it out and put it on my side plate. I hate it when it becomes a floater in your tea and you’ve got biscuit all around the rim.

When it goes like a biscuit smoothie.
Yeah, it’s not nice.

And finally, popular but unfunny sitcom How I Met Your Mother aired its final episode in March.

Have you ever taken someone home to meet your mother and how did it go?
Hmmm… No, I’ve never taken anyone home to meet my mum. I’ve never experienced that. I wouldn’t be worried to take anyone home because, as long as the person treated me right, she’d accept it.

Thank you Ella Henderson for that fascinating insight into your thoughts on the month of March 2014. We hope you had a satisfactory year and wish you all the very best for 2015.

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2014 in review: February, with Nile Rodgers http://www.popjustice.com/interviewsandfeatures/2014-in-review-february-with-nile-rodgers/131593/ http://www.popjustice.com/interviewsandfeatures/2014-in-review-february-with-nile-rodgers/131593/#comments Sat, 13 Dec 2014 10:00:29 +0000 http://www.popjustice.com/?p=131593 nile-february

February 2014 was a month in which various things happened in ‘the world at large’. But how did these things impact actual living legend Nile Rodgers? Let’s find out shall we.

In February, Nile Rodgers performed at the Brits with Pharrell a month after performing at the Grammys with him, Daft Punk and Actual Stevie Wonder.

Do you still have ‘pinch me’ moments?
I have pinch me moments about my career and life every single day. February happened to be a really great month, but so was March and so was January. I get to do what I alway dreamed of doing. When I was a child I dreamed of being a composer and a musician. To think that Stevie Wonder is my friend and Pharrell Williams is my writing partner, it’s totally cool.

2014’s been quite a year for you, but obviously it followed a pretty dark time. Do you think ahead? Can you when things change so quickly?
I was stricken with cancer a little over three and a half years ago, so because of the health issues I don’t think ahead. I really think much more in the present because I’ve learned that these moments are so fleeting. A little while ago my close friend, my guitar handler of many many years, passed away literally minutes before we went on stage. He was ill and I knew he was in a very dire situation but to be told minutes before you go onstage that he’s passed away, I would never have expected that in a thousand years. So I do try and stay in the moment, but I’m a producer so it’s my job to plan.

You’ve recently collaborated with most of the pop world. What do you look for in the people you collaborate with?
People that I admire, respect and people that I believe that I’m going to learn from. I always go into a situation feeling highly confident I am going to teach them something and it really doesn’t matter whether its Placido Domingo or Avicii, I believe that if I don’t have something to offer you, why do you use me? If I can’t give you something new then why do you need me? I always believe in working with somebody who is going to teach me something.

Would you like to work with Madonna again?
Oh yeah, I’d love to work with Madonna but it is what it is. (Laughs)

Seamlessly back to February… Around the Super Bowl, Coca-Cola released a multilingual advert featuring the song ‘America The Beautiful’.

How many languages can you speak?
Personally I speak two: English and music.

Amazing. Chic should play the Super Bowl halftime show, surely? Rope in Madonna, Bowie, Daft Punk etc.
Yeah well you know. (Laughs) You know what man, let me just say something to you. This is the truth about Chic. Our whole life has been a battle of swimming upstream against the tide. I guess I’ve grown to accept that and maybe even like it. I wish it were easier. If you go back and look at the film of Daft Punk, Pharrell and myself sitting in the audience at the Grammys, I had told them we were going to lose and that they shouldn’t be upset. And they said ‘why?’ and I said ‘well you know I’ve never won a Grammy’ and they all looked back at me and went ‘what?! You didn’t win a Grammy for ‘Let’s Dance’, ‘We Are Family’, ‘Like A Virgin’, ‘Upside Down’ etc’. And I said ‘no, nothing’. They thought that it was old hat to me. I’ve had a life of huge success but it’s been really really difficult and maybe I like it that way. I don’t go into a project assuming that it’s going to be a hit. I go into a project assuming it’s going to be a failure and then do everything in my power to try and help people hear the music.

In species news, also in February, a possible new species of giant jellyfish was discovered, washed up on a beach in Australia.

Obviously the way to help heal a jellyfish sting is to wee on it…
I know that because it works very well. I’ve been stung many times.

And someone had to wee on you?
Only once. The very first time it happened.

How painful is it?
The being weed on? (Laughs) No but the sting is unbelievably painful. In fact a few years ago I got stung by a giant sea nettle and the welt lasted on my hand for four or five years. Now what were you saying about jellyfish?

Could you ever urinate on someone who had been stung by a jellyfish?
Quite easily and I couldn’t wait to do it.

Good news for people with hangovers: McDonald’s opened their first restaurant within Vietnam, in Ho Chi Minh City, in February.

What’s your favoured McDonald’s order?
Wow. Favourite? I would say I always the same thing – a double cheeseburger.

With a milkshake?
I’m not big on the milkshake thing because I have diabetes. I order the double cheeseburger but I don’t eat the bun.

A number of concerts took place in America in February to celebrate the 50th anniversary of The Beatles and the ‘British Invasion’.

Do you think they’re a bit overrated though?
(Silence) The Beatles? You’ve got to be out of your mind. I was one of the people on the stage at that event in fact. The first song I ever learned to play was a Beatles song called ‘A Day In The Life’. That changed the whole course of my entire career.

Have you met Paul or Ringo?
Of course. My girlfriend used to babysit for Julian Lennon which made me Julian Lennon’s babysitter by default. He and I laugh about this all the time. We were together recently in Monaco.

Also in February, Shia LeBeouf walked out of the Berlin premiere of cinematic bonkfest Nymphomaniac with a paper bag over his head after becoming involved in a plagiarism controversy.

Have you ever sported a disguise?
No. I’m not famous, I don’t need to.

Really? Do people not recognise you?
They recognised me a bit more after ‘Get Lucky’ because you don’t know what Daft Punk look like, you know what Pharrell looks like and they sort of know what I look like. I’ve had a huge amount of hit records well before ‘Get Lucky’ and people don’t really notice me. Chic was always planned to be an anonymous. We based our careers on Kiss because we saw that they were able to put on this great show and then melt into the crowd and be anonymous. We didn’t look like stars or act like stars. When a star walks into a room you can feel it, but when Nile walks into the room it’s like ‘hey Nile, how you doing?’. (Laughs)

In more February news from the animal kingdom, a giraffe called Marius was killed and fed to the lions causing worldwide protests from environmental activists.

Would you rather be a giraffe or a lion?
I’d rather be a lion.

Why?
Even though I think giraffes are amazing, I think lions are magnificent and beautiful and fast and very endangered, so if I were a lion I would like to be the smart one that could out think hunters. I think that killing animals for sport, for me, is a very horrible thing and I think that if I were a lion I’d have a better chance of escaping even though I know I’d be a bigger target. When I was a kid people used to pick on me, I was always bullied, but I could always out-run everybody.

A fucking SINKHOLE opened underneath the National Corvette Museum in America, swallowing eight vintage Corvettes.

Does this make you sad?
Of course. I’m a car fanatic. I’m a petrol-head.

When was the last time you fell in a hole?
The last time I fell in a hole? I’m not sure I’ve ever fallen into a hole except a metaphorical hole, like when I’ve put out a record and it was a flop. I’ve done that a couple of times.

Also in February, ballroom dancers and people doing aerobics started performing in the midst of an anti-China protest in Vietnam, apparently as a ploy by the government to break up the protest.

What dance move would you pull to end a fight?
I would do a lot of the dances we did in the 70s that involved touching, like the hustle or the bump. People used to do ballroom dancing where they’d touch but after Chubby Checker did ‘The Twist’, they started dancing apart. When the disco era started, we got back to touching each other. Look at Saturday Night Fever. So I would do the hustle or any of those cool 70s dances where we’re touching each other. I’d dance The Freak! That was the sexiest dance ever.

And finally, the Kepler telescope discovered 715 new planets in February!

What was the last thing you discovered about yourself?
The last thing I discovered about myself, so the last thing I learned about me… I’m always learning. I learned that Alitalia doesn’t have fast-track at Heathrow after I paid for a VIP ticket. (Laughs) I guess what I learned about myself is that I always want fast-track. I was standing in a line for TWO HOURS. Unbelievable. I was like ‘are you kidding me?’ So yes, I always want fast-track.

Thank you Nile Rodgers for that fascinating insight into your thoughts on the month of February 2014. We hope you had a satisfactory year and wish you all the very best for 2015.

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2014 in review: January, with MNEK http://www.popjustice.com/interviewsandfeatures/2014-in-review-january-with-mnek/131591/ http://www.popjustice.com/interviewsandfeatures/2014-in-review-january-with-mnek/131591/#comments Fri, 12 Dec 2014 09:00:36 +0000 http://www.popjustice.com/?p=131591 mnek-jan-in-review

January 2014 was a month in which various things happened in ‘the world at large’. But how did these things impact prolific tunesmith MNEK? Let’s find out shall we.

In January of 2014, MNEK was on the longlist for the BBC Sound Of 2014 poll. 

How do you feel about lists like that?
I don’t know. It was cool, it was really nice to be on the list and acknowledged in that sense and to know that people in the industry were anticipating what I was doing. I’m not necessarily sure if it’s a thing of like people going ‘oh he was on this list though, and this has happened.’ With that thing it’s actually about capitalising on the list and I didn’t really plan to be on it, it just sort of happened. I didn’t want to milk it. I wasn’t in the Top 5, so…

Also in January, recreational marijuana stores opened in Colorado, selling – among other things – chocolate truffles laced with weed.

What’s your favourite chocolate delicacy though?
When you say ‘delicacy’, do you mean like posh shit?

Just a chocolate bar really.
Alright, I’m a fan of Snickers or Reese’s Pieces.

Isn’t your song ‘In Your Clouds’ about weed?
‘In Your Clouds’ is definitely about weed, but for political reasons I say it’s about escaping. (Laughs) Getting out of the world.

Michael van Gerwen won the 2014 PDC World Darts Championship in January, by defeating Peter Wright.

Do you acknowledge darts as a real sport?
I acknowledge any form of movement as a sport. I think if you’re sat on your arse all day then obviously that’s not a sport.

Have you ever played darts?
No. I lack all co-ordination.

In January, OutKast announced they were reuniting to perform at Coachella and loads of other festivals.

Have you ever done anything purely for the money?
Next question.

It happens a lot these days doesn’t it?
You know what, a lot of the stuff I’ve done, in fact about 99.9% of the stuff I’ve done, has been simply because I love it. I won’t do anything I’m not into. But I guess there are certain situations you land in that are quite lucrative but it’s not necessarily your first choice.

You’ve got to eat.
This is it.

Facepaint-advocating hip-hop morons Insane Clown Posse sued the FBI in January for classifying their fans, the Juggalos, as a gang.

How would you classify your fans?
I don’t know. I don’t think I have a fan clique you know. You know how people name their fans, I don’t think I have that yet.

What would you call them?
I don’t think I’d give them a name. I think that’s pretty lame actually. It works for some people.

The EmNecks?
The EmNecks! The Necks!

Dramatically, Google allowed Google Plus users to communicate with each other in January – even if they weren’t friends.

How many true fans do you have?
I have a lot of true friends. In this industry I guess you know everyone but that doesn’t mean they’re your friends, but a lot of my friends are in the industry and I know we’ll be friends for a really long time.

Do you think it helps being friends with people in the industry because you can all sort of relate to what’s happening?
Yeah. I feel like sometimes being young but then being so sure of what I wanted to do for so long, there’s a disconnect between other people my age. So when you’re friends with people your age in the industry, like a Becky Hill, like a Karma Kid, like a K Stewart, it all makes sense.

Right, get this: also in January, x-ray astronomers found evidence of a black hole gobbling up a star at the centre of a dwarf galaxy.

Have you ever stared into the night sky and felt over-awed by how insignificant we are in the grand scheme of things?
No. I’ve just been like ‘that’s nice’. Next!

In the 11th or 12th Century some American thieves stole some sculptures from temples in India. These were returned in January of this year.

Have you ever stolen anything and then returned it?
(Thinks) Well then if you steal something and then return it it’s not stealing anymore. It’s like ‘whoops’.

Have you ever stolen anything and then felt guilty?
A few times. I think everyone’s stolen something and with me it was when I was really young. It was me not knowing right from wrong.

Was it a Snickers?
It wasn’t a Snickers bar… Actually to be fair it probably was a Snickers bar. I was a super fat kid.

During the Australian Open tennis tournament, temperatures in Melbourne reached 43.9 degrees celsius, which is literally quite hot.

What temperature are you most comfortable at?
Erm, I actually like the cold. Obviously when it’s really cold it’s like okay, can you fuck off please, but I sleep better when it’s freezing outside. I love a winter sleep.

You wear shorts a lot though. Are you quite a hot person?
I like wearing shorts. My parents are always asking me why I’m wearing shorts and I just like them. The older I get I’d like to just wear fewer clothes.

What’s next? Topless?
I’m going to the gym three times a week so you never know.

The full Usher?
Not Usher. Who do I want a body like? A mix between what I’ve got now and Flo Rida, where it’s not abs and shit but it’s a nice build. You can take off your shirt and be like ‘yeah!’.

Finally, also in January, a British photographer designed and built a drone as a low cost way of shooting nature documentaries.

If you could spy on anyone who would it be?
Beyoncé and Jay Z. I’m so intrigued to see what they’re like behind closed doors.

Thank you MNEK for that fascinating insight into your thoughts on the month of January 2014. We hope you had a satisfactory year and wish you all the very best for 2015.

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Ten bits of information about The Veronicas’ new album, as relayed by The Veronicas themselves http://www.popjustice.com/interviewsandfeatures/ten-bits-of-information-about-the-veronicas-new-album-as-relayed-by-the-veronicas-themselves/132123/ http://www.popjustice.com/interviewsandfeatures/ten-bits-of-information-about-the-veronicas-new-album-as-relayed-by-the-veronicas-themselves/132123/#comments Tue, 11 Nov 2014 17:29:48 +0000 http://www.popjustice.com/?p=132123 The Veronicas

Actual twins Lisa and Jessica Origliasso, aka The Veronicas, have been a bit quiet of late. In fact, their last album was released seven whole years ago, which is put into sharper contrast when you realise that at that point Lady Gaga was still banging about on a piano doing jazz covers in (YOU’RE FIRED – ED)

Anyway, the creators of ‘4Ever’ – surely one of the Top 100 greatest songs of all time – are back back back with their deliciously gloomy new single ‘You Ruin Me’ (listen to it above if you like) and will release their self-titled third album in February next year (it’s out in Australia later this month, obviously).

With that in mind, we thought it might be a good idea to have a chat with Jessica Veronica about what’s taken them so long, the ‘general vibe’ of the album, who they’ve worked with and so on.

Here all that is in the form of an easy to digest ten-point overview thing.

THIS ALBUM’S TAKEN AGES TO COME OUT DUE TO LABEL WOES

“We were in a legal battle with our old record company, basically. They weren’t releasing our music and so it took a few years to get off there. So we weren’t able to release music in that time which is why it took so bloody long, but the good news is that we got to do lots and lots of writing in the studio in that time and we got to live life and be inspired by a lot of things we were going through. So we’ve been able to make this really special record we’re really proud of.”

THEY HAVEN’T COMPLETELY SCRAPPED THE ALBUM THAT WAS DUE IN 2012

“There are songs on this record that have been taken from that time and then there are new songs we’ve written as well. But it’s basically 14 songs and half of them come from that period and half are from now.”

THIS NEW ALBUM IS BETTER THAN THE OLD ONE THOUGH, DON’T YOU WORRY

“Of course this new version is better! The songs that we still loved have come with us. We didn’t let them go or anything. Every song we create is special to us, and it’s an eclectic record, but we also wanted to create a record that was cohesive. ‘Lolita’ isn’t on the album because it represents a very specific moment in time, that song. It’s almost too far removed from what we’ve created on this album. To be honest, it was never intended to be part of an album, it was released to tide Australia over because it was taking too long.”

DESPITE FEATURING SOME “ROCK N ROLL”, IT’S STILL A POP ALBUM AT HEART

“It’s definitely a pop album. There are big pop songs on there, but it’s more of a conceptual album in terms of it being a true sonic representation of the journey we’ve been on for the last few years. There are songs that are rock n roll and blues and swamp (!) and crazy trip hop and acoustic-pop-country and soul. There are a lot of different sonic elements and styles on there but that’s because we’re so influenced by our environment and making songs in Nashville, LA and Sweden, those environments influenced us. Some turned out a lot more pop, some were more rock and passionate and then there are very vulnerable songs like ‘You Ruin Me’, and then some are upbeat, happy pop songs. The great thing about all of it was that it was all really authentic – we didn’t sit in the studio and decide on what sort of songs we wanted to make. It was about how we were feeling at that particular moment.”

THE ALBUM’S SELF-TITLED BECAUSE IT’S SORT OF LIKE THEIR DEBUT ALBUM

“It almost feels like our debut album just in the sense that it’s a rebirth for our band. That’s why. It’s the only time we would get to do a self-titled record. It felt right. We’ve read multiple sources quoting these absolutely ridiculous titles for the album that were apparently in the running, but they’re all completely laughable. We have no idea where people got them from. The only other title that was a possibility was ‘Life On Mars’ back in 2012, but because this has moved on from that incarnation it felt like we wanted to drop all labels and anything attached to that and go with ‘The Veronicas’.”

THE LIST OF COLLABORATORS ON THE ALBUM IS A BIT OF A MIXED BAG TO BE HONEST

“We worked with Toby Gad, who we did ‘Untouched’ and ‘Hook Me Up’ with. And we worked with a songwriting couple, Leah Haywood and Dan Pringle, as well as Nellee Hooper and Emeli Sandé. She’s got a song on the record called ‘Always’, which is an unbelievable song. And Billy Corgan from The Smashing Pumpkins.”

IN SOME WAYS ‘YOU RUIN ME’ IS REPRESENTATIVE OF THE ALBUM AND IN OTHER WAYS NOT SO MUCH

“The honesty of ‘You Ruin Me’ is very indicative of the approach we’ve taken with that vulnerability and rawness of the record. Sonically it’s more along the lines of ‘Line Of Fire’ though. We released ‘You Ruin Me’ first because we wanted to show a different side to us as far as the general public goes because they probably only know our other singles. We didn’t want to come out and do what people were expecting. We wanted to see if people knew it was us and some people didn’t actually.”

THE FIRST TIME YOU LISTEN TO IT YOU SHOULD GET SOME CANDLES AND WINE IN

“If we got to pick when you first heard it we’d want you to listen to it on headphones, lying on the floor with a glass of wine, a bunch of candles lit and with incense burning. Then when you’re onto the third glass of wine we’d want you to listen again from top to bottom. That sounds a bit like a fire hazard, but we’re okay with that.”

BUT ACTUALLY THE ALBUM WORKS IN ALL DIFFERENT SOCIAL SITUATIONS

“We’d say a song called ‘Did You Miss Me?’ or ‘Teenage Millionaire’ could work in a night club. ‘Cruel’ and another song called ‘If You Love Someone’ would be best listened to in the car and we’d say ‘Mad Love’ for the supermarket. It just makes us feel like we want to grab cans of Campbell’s soup and throw them down aisles or something.”

THEY’RE NOT REALLY THINKING ABOUT CHART SUCCESS OR ANYTHING LIKE THAT (BUT THEY PROBABLY ARE LET’S BE HONEST)

“We don’t have expectations. We don’t like to focus on that stuff because it makes us anxious. We’re so excited for people to hear the album because we’ve worked so hard on pouring our hearts and souls into the music. We’re so excited for that.”

*

‘You Ruin Me’ is out now in the UK. ‘The Veronicas’ is out in Australia on November 21 and in the UK on February 23.

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Marvin Humes interview: “I knew I didn’t want to be a singer any more…” http://www.popjustice.com/interviewsandfeatures/marvin-humes-interview-i-knew-i-didnt-want-to-be-a-singer-any-more/131493/ http://www.popjustice.com/interviewsandfeatures/marvin-humes-interview-i-knew-i-didnt-want-to-be-a-singer-any-more/131493/#comments Wed, 08 Oct 2014 16:31:16 +0000 http://www.popjustice.com/?p=131493 “I knew I didn’t want to be a singer any more.”

marvin-luvbug

One of the saddest things about JLS splitting up was that we thought, for a moment, that we might never again be able to bang a load of questions into Marvin Humes’ face without the police being called.

Fortunately, because he wasn’t quite busy enough being a DJ on Capital FM and a part-time TV presenter, Marvin decided to start a new band called LuvBug, whose first single ‘Resonance’ is out this week.

The other two chaps in LuvBug are the ones whose faces you can half see in the photograph above but we made the very difficult decision that it would be Marvin we spoke to for this interview.

Here is the chat we had.

Hello, Marvin! How are your various careers going?
It’s all going well. It’s going really well, I’m really enjoying it all.

It seems like you’re doing exactly the right thing at the moment, which is not trying to wring too much out of the fact that you used to be in a popular boyband.
You’re right. For me it was always a difficult one, knowing what to do after something that had been so successful. So it was about doing things I was passionate about. I’d been DJing for a long time, since before JLS, and I’ve been a fan of house music for a long time. I knew I wanted to stay in the music industry but also I knew I didn’t want to be a singer any more. So to be able to produce and write a dance album featuring other singers is perfect.

Do you not think it’s a scandal that you’re depriving the world of your beautiful vocal tones?
(Laughs)

But seriously who are you to decide? It’s almost a human rights issue, that people should be able to hear your warbling. But no. You’ve decided to fly in the face of that.
Well you’re very kind but there’s enough of a JLS back catalogue to keep you happy. As for new stuff: I’ll let other people do that.

You know how when you’re doing a shit job you convince yourself that it’s alright, just to stay sane, but as soon as you’ve left it you can finally admit to yourself that it was bloody rubbish? Well, looking back on JLS, what percentage of the music you released was actually good?
You know what, I don’t think we ever put anything out that we weren’t happy with at the time. To start with we weren’t exactly sure which direction to take because of course when we first got together we were a vocal harmony R&B band – during The X Factor we knew, and we made a conscious decision, that we would have to be more commercial. Which worked, given the platform we’d been given. I don’t think I’d change anything we did. I’m proud of what we achieved – I still listen to JLS albums now!

So you sit around at home listening to old JLS albums? That’s kind of romantic in a way but also quite tragic.
Well I wouldn’t sit at home and play them but I’ll go through my iTunes sometimes when I’m on a plane and listen to JLS songs. Among many other songs, obviously.

jls-x-factor

And this LuvBug thing – it started over 18 months ago, right?
Right.

And when did JLS split up?
Er, well, we gave each other a lot of notice, me and the JLS boys. We finished in December 2013 but we’d made the decision a long time before that, and when I knew it was going to end I thought, ‘right, I want to stay in music, what shall I do’. I had a couple of producer friends I’d always wanted to work with, so I spoke to them and got into the studio. It naturally formed.

You know when a friend goes ‘here’s my new boyfriend!’ and says they’ve been going out for eight months, and you say ‘hang on, didn’t you split up with your last boyfriend six months ago?’ and they go ‘er…’?
(Laughs) You’re talking about crossover.

Was there crossover?
Well, yeah! But it wasn’t like I was cheating on JLS!

Wasn’t it though?
We all knew that it was coming to an end so all of us were walking on our own things – Aston on his solo album for instance.

When the LuvBug single was first sent to Popjustice I thought, ‘this is fine but it doesn’t really blow my mind’ so didn’t cover it. Then it turned out that you were involved and I thought, ‘oh, maybe it’s alright’.
That’s nice.

Is it? Obviously pop’s all about context and so on but wouldn’t you prefer the song to be enjoyed on its own merits?
No, it’s very kind of you.

Now, you’ve had a lot of radio support so far for this single.
Yes!

I was looking on the Compare My Radio website to see what sort of support it’s been getting. In the last 30 days it’s had 1,367 plays on various radio stations in the UK.
Wow!

Would you like to guess how many of those 1,367 plays – according to Compare My Radio – are from stations that aren’t owned by the same people as Capital?
(Extended laugh) How many?

ONE.
(Laughs) Really? Which station was that?

Radio One.
Well at least we got one play on Radio One.

Explain this scenario please.
Well it goes without saying, doesn’t it? I’m a DJ on Capital, which is great, and they’re supporting one of their DJs. So that’s great.

And musically the song is bang on trend isn’t it. Is it the most cynical release of all time or a beautiful moment in the history of artistic endeavour?
OH I LOVE YOU. I mean when I DJ, if you were to come and watch me play tomorrow night at BCM in Mallorca, my DJ set consists of deep commercial house – your Gorgon Cities, your Route 94s, that sort of thing. And the sound of LuvBug sits naturally within that. It’s not really a cynical decision to follow a trend – it’s just me producing stuff that I like to play when I DJ.

So basically the trends have actually caught up with you! Finally! You were waiting all along for the world of music to catch up with you, and now here it is.
I prefer ‘the stars have aligned’. (Laughs)

That commercial deep house sound you’ve described is both credible and mainstream at the same time. And in a way Marvin that’s a bit like you. You’ve got your DJing on the radio which is quite cool. Three days later: you’re being Philip Schofield on ITV. You’re a popcultural chameleon.
Do you know what, Rochelle and I have always wanted to host a TV show together. That’s something we’ve always fancied. And This Morning has been an amazing opening. That show is something I grew up watching. And yes, Rochelle and I host some Fridays from time to time and it’s great experience of live TV. Hopefully it’ll one day open the door for us to host something else. We’d love to do that.

(The next bit is only ‘LOL’ if you bear in mind that this interview took place before The Saturdays ended their tour)

Has your good lady wife talked to you about how sad she’ll be when The Saturdays announce their split on the final date of their tour?
(Laughs)

What’s she said about it though?
ENOUGH IS ENOUGH! You know they’re not splitting up. There’s more still to come from them! I’m not bullshitting, there’s more to come!

Well that’s true, there’s the Christmas album they haven’t announced yet.
Everyone loves a Christmas album.

JLS never did one.
I think we should have, to be fair.

Why don’t you and your LuvBug pals do a deep house Christmas album? You could call it ‘Deep Grotto’.
Did you say ‘Deep Grotto’? Perfect!

Seriously though nobody else is going to be doing this, it’s a classic gap in the market. If you want some Radio One plays this is ideal: it’ll get to December, they’ll be wanting to play their deep house stuff but they’ll also be wanting to play Christmas songs. BAM.
What a great idea. I’ll make a note. (Sound of precisely no notes being made)

What do you actually do in LuvBug?
Well a typical day in the studio will be myself, JK and White N3rd, we’ll get together, we’ll open up a session, we’ll start producing some tracks… I don’t want to get too technical…

I’m following so far.
Then we’ll start bringing in various loops and things. We’ll work with other writers as well – we recently did a writing camp with MNEK and Becky Hill. We’ve also worked with the girl that writes a lot for Jess Glynne, one of the girls from All About She… We’ve worked with a lot of good people.

luvbug

So this is an actual proper thing? Because to start off with it seemed like a bit of a vehicle.
Well of course people are going to be cynical about my next move – of course there will be preconceptions. Of course people will raise an eyebrow. But I’m really enjoying doing this and we kept it a secret for a long time because we didn’t want people to know I was involved. I mean most of the people who hear it on the radio still don’t know it’s me, and I’m not that fussed about that because it means the music’s speaking for itself. I’ve had a taste of the limelight with JLS. I’m in a good place.

Are you still in touch with the rest of JLS?
Yes! We’re genuinely friends. I was with Aston two nights ago, JB is about to have a baby and I messaged his wife a few days ago, Oritsé’s just had a baby and I spoke to him on the phone last week – we’re still very close. But ultimately we made a business decision. We knew that we’d been very successful and we never wanted to overstay our welcome. We didn’t want to be ‘that band’ that hung around when nobody wanted them. And we went out at the O2 Arena. For us it was a fitting end to a fantastic six years. And luckily, unlike a lot of bands, we remained friends.

Have you been to JB’s farm?
YES! I was there about a month ago. There’s a photo on Rochelle’s Instagram of me with Alaia-Mai because she’s fascinated by Peppa Pig and JB’s got about fifty pigs. She didn’t like the smell, but she liked the look of them.

Did you explain that pigs are not just there for decoration?
No, not yet. I will do one day.

Are the rest of the songs on the LuvBug album basically the same but with different people singing?
I’d say ‘Resonance’ is more on the chilled out side of the album – the rest has a bit more pace to it, it’s a bit more clubby. The sound will get a bit tougher and harder as we release more singles.

And a chart prediction for the single please?
YOU CAN’T ASK ME THAT! I’m going to be announcing the chart!

That’ll be tough won’t it. Even considering Capital’s Big Top 40 chart is basically made up, it’ll still be tough.
(Laughs) This is a genuine, no bullshit answer: I’ve had five Number One records with JLS and I’ve been very fortunate to be able to celebrate these things, but this is a real passion project for me. If we have a great charting single I’ll be over the moon.

You kept LuvBug quiet for 18 months. What are you keeping quiet at the moment that we’ll find out about a year and a half from now?
I’m doing enough at the minute, thanks very much!

*
‘Resonance’ is out now and here it is on iTunes. 

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Ella Henderson interview: “Energy saving lightbulbs are annoying” http://www.popjustice.com/interviewsandfeatures/ella-henderson-interview-energy-saving-lightbulbs-are-annoying/130417/ http://www.popjustice.com/interviewsandfeatures/ella-henderson-interview-energy-saving-lightbulbs-are-annoying/130417/#comments Wed, 08 Oct 2014 15:24:23 +0000 http://www.popjustice.com/?p=130417 “Energy saving lightbulbs are annoying.”

Ella B&W

The other day we went and had a bit of chinwag with Ella Henderson who just happens to have an album on the verge of coming out.

That song is called ‘Glow’. Remember that name, it will be useful later.

Here’s what happened during the chat.

Hello Ella. How many times a day do people ask you if you’re off down to the river to pray?
(Laughs) Not many people have asked me. But a lot of people have asked me if I have religious views and stuff. I think my answer to that is I do have a sense of spirituality and I do believe that there’s something there, though I never went to church often as a kid. But ‘Ghost’ is very much a metaphorical song. The word “ghost” represents something or someone that has a hold over you. So the metaphoric use of something that is powerful and strong like religion kind of takes you back a bit.

So to be clear on this, you’ve never gone down to the river to pray?
No. But I’ve walked along the Thames and had a think about things.

I think that is a 21st Century way of going to the river to pray.
Maybe it is…

As your album is called ‘Chapter One’ did you see The X Factor as the prologue?
I probably see all my life before this album as the prologue. My career, or its fundamental start, was at a very young age. I’ve always dedicated my life to music. But I guess ‘Chapter One’ is a representation of everything I’ve done for the past 16 years – the sources of getting everything together ready to head into that first chapter of everything.

Is your life an open book?
As a person I’m not an open book, but when it comes to my writing that is very much me letting go and letting my thoughts run wild. I’ll never go too far where I feel like I’m giving myself away completely. But I’ll go to point where it feels good to let it out, like therapy.

Album sales aren’t quite what they once were. With your album did you feel like you had to produce a record that was full of singles or were you able to make a ‘body of work’?
When it came to writing I didn’t ever go through the process of writing so it could be a single and have a video to go with it; I just wrote. Then when it came to picking the songs to go on the album I just went for the strongest ones that are single contenders.

Adam Levine said recently that Maroon 5’s last album was done so that every song could be a massive single. But I love albums when there are songs that could only be album tracks and are meant to be just that. It doesn’t mean they’re shit, they’re just not singles.
You can definitely sense the difference. I think it’s finding the right balance and figuring out what’s right for you. I mean when I think of a Michael Jackson album, every song is a hit record and they’re all on one album. But you can listen to an album and there are the songs that we all know and then there are those hidden treasure songs.

You’re credited with co-writing ‘Ghost’ with Ryan Tedder but if you had to pick between ‘Halo’, ‘Battlefield’, ‘Already Gone’ or ‘Bleeding Love’ which Tedder power ballad is your favourite?
(Makes noise like a screeching car brake) All of his songs are huge. I’d also be scared to say one. You know what it is? The clever thing with Ryan is that when you write with him it’s a song that’s moulded around you.

That sounds interesting, but you still haven’t picked a song…
I love ‘Bleeding Love’ and ‘Halo’. They’re the two big ones for me.

You now also have a non-Ryan Tedder new single, ‘Glow’. What colour is your aura?
What does that mean? Do different colours represent different things?

Yes.
Well ‘Glow’ reminds me of oranges and yellows. Sunset vibes.

That’s handy as in the video for the song it’s building up to sunset. It also looks like your dancers are doing a sun dance thing. Is this true or false?
No! With the video I wanted to bring across something that felt like the people of the night. It’s almost like this illegal cult that you want to be a part of but you can’t be for some strange reason. But by the time you’ve listened to ‘Glow’ you become a part of it and you don’t know how you’ve become part of it but you’re part of it.

So ‘Glow’ is your cult initiation song?
Yeah, it’s about bringing people closer together. The track builds throughout, the drums get heavier, the beat drives on and the electronic production we based it on just gets bigger and bigger – that’s what I wanted it to represent. And when it came to the video… I mean most videos start in the morning and they go into this crazy dance party thing in the night. For me it’s so clichéd. I wanted to do the complete opposite and reverse it around so that the break of dawn is the peak moment.

What is your favourite part of daylight’s glow – the morning haze or the afternoon’s golden hour?
My favourite part of the day is just as it’s getting dark. I love watching the sun go down. If I can be anywhere to see a sunset I’d try and get there.

What’s your opinion on energy saving light bulbs?
At first energy saving lightbulbs are annoying because when you need to look for something you just need a light and you want the brightest light. But I would probably like them in my apartment. Luckily my bedroom has dimmer switches, and I always have it on the lowest point because I don’t really like bright light. I like to roam around, not like a bat or anything but in mood lighting. It sets a nice tone. I think they’re nice actually, and they save the planet so it’s a good thing.

Have you ever worn the perfume Glow by Jennifer Lopez?
I used to wear J-Lo’s Glow all the time when I was younger. Do you know what’s really weird? I’ve named two of my singles after perfume brands – one called ‘Ghost’ and one called ‘Glow’. I never really realised that.

If you could glow in the dark what would you get up to?
I would roam around in the night. I’d go somewhere where there are no streetlights, maybe somewhere in nature and only you were glowing. You’d get to see everything in your own way.

So very much like a bat then. Thanks Ella. Goodbye!
Bye!


‘Glow’ is out now; you can pre-order Ella’s album here on iTunes and keep up with her over on Twitter.

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