Popjustice » Interviews & Features http://www.popjustice.com 100% Solid Pop Music Mon, 23 Feb 2015 09:20:34 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.0 Giorgio Moroder interview: “I hated the moustache” http://www.popjustice.com/interviewsandfeatures/giorgio-moroder-interview-i-hated-the-moustache/133991/ http://www.popjustice.com/interviewsandfeatures/giorgio-moroder-interview-i-hated-the-moustache/133991/#comments Mon, 26 Jan 2015 09:56:07 +0000 http://www.popjustice.com/?p=133991 So the new music is very good. I’ve heard five new songs so far – the tune you had out last year was very much a dance track, but these new ones are pop songs.
Yes! Well that’s what I wanted to do. I’m shocked actually – with the Kylie song, after three days we’re Number 61 in Italy, in the radio charts. On iTunes we’re in the charts in several countries, and yesterday Radio 2 played it. But do you know what, I’m not going to read comments online any more. You can have ten brilliant reviews, and it’s the one bad one you remember. I read one – I know I shouldn’t have done – but it was this guy from Italy. His first word? “Shit.” 

When I spoke to Pharrell last year he said he wasn’t really intending to make a comeback until it all kicked off with ‘Get Lucky’, at which point Sony called him in and said ‘how’s about an album then’. Did you decide to make this album following your own appearance on the Daft Punk album, or was the idea already there?
Well Pharrell was still in business, right?

He was off the radar though – he hadn’t had a huge hit for a few years.
Well I hadn’t had a hit for THIRTY years! (Laughs) But I’d been doing some some DJing, and I’d got management, and management said: “To do better at DJing, you need an album.” And suddenly I had three offers for an album. Quite good offers, too – because to do an album with big acts can be costly. So the offers were quite big. If you think, I’m 74 and there are thousands of kids who are 18 or 20, they’re talented, they’re eager to work. So I must say I was surprised to get not just one offer but three.

How did you approach making the album? A lot of your older fans probably want something that sounds like your early work, whereas as a producer you probably want to prove you can compete with current producers. And maybe there’s a third angle too: you also want to make something completely different and new.
Yes. At the very beginning, people suggested that I should do something in the old style. ‘Get Lucky’ had been so big – they thought I should do a disco dance song. But I just didn’t want to do it, because I did it so often in the past, and I know I can do other stuff. Plus I’m the co-inventor of electronic music so I have the right to use that too! (Laughs) So I decided to do an album with modern sounds – EDM sounds and electronica – but blend it with a bit of retro. Like strings, and guitars. I think the combination is quite good. It’s not EDM in the bad sense of EDM, but the tracks are quite modern.

So there’s the Sia song, ‘Deja Vu’, which is probably the best of the lot, and sounds like a classic disco song. Whereas the Mikky Ekko one has more EDM influence.
Yes, and I think it works quite well.

And you’ve recorded a cover of [SONG TITLE WITHHELD AT GIORGIO'S VERY POLITE REQUEST] with Britney, right?
HOW DID YOU KNOW? She wanted that song. (Looking troubled) Where did you hear it‽ I mean as long as I didn’t tell you, it’ll be fine. I don’t want to get in trouble! (Laughs) But yes. She didn’t call me, but she called my management and said, “do you think Giorgio’s interested in doing that song?” I mean it’s a great song. I came up with the chords, I added some stuff that’s not on the original – a bridge, for instance. It’s more than just a remake. Then she called me and wanted me to go to the studio to record it, but I was on a plane to Europe so I didn’t record those vocals [in person]. But she’s coming back, hopefully in the next few days, to record that bridge that I did.

So it’s a cover but it’s also a new song?
I added quite a lot of stuff actually – one melody in the chorus, which repeats, and one bridge. It’s old, but I consider it a new song.

And Britney’s happy with it?
Oh I’m sure if she wasn’t, I’d know! On the first mix I sent her she had some comments, which I agreed. That was a song which a lot of musicians worked independently on – I had my version, which I did with Patrick [Jordan-Patrikios] my co-producer, but I was not happy with myself. So I gave it to a group of guys in Germany, then I wasn’t sure, so I gave it to another musician I liked, and then finally I got everything together and put it together. It’s like a worldwide connected internet song! But I’m going to see her soon, and I hope she finds time to do it! If she can’t sing that bridge, I’ll have to take it out.

Could you add another featured artist to it, singing the bridge?
Now THAT’S an idea… To have a known singer, just to do the bridge. Hm. I’ll have to call my guys now. But who could it be?

How about Lady Gaga?
I was supposed to be in the studio with her a week ago, but I got a cold. I’ll see her when I’m back. I have about five or six tracks, just basic ideas. Drums, keyboard, bass. I’m going to be surprised, I think – I don’t have a clue about the way she’s recording. Will she play the piano? Will I?

So did she call you and say, “I want something that sounds like…”
No. I met her about two years ago. She loved me – the usual! (Laughs) And I did a remix for her last year – I did two versions and she took the more traditional of the two. 

Are these sessions for her album, or yours?
This is for her new album – that’s the intention. I was hoping that maybe I can convince her to have one of the songs for my album. If I could convince her, well that would be incredible.

From what I’ve seen of her she can be quite spontaneous – if the mood takes her to do something fun, she’ll do it.
Maybe! Maybe. If I have a good track that could fit my album but not necessarily hers, that could be ideal.


What’s the best BPM?
Right now, 128. I love it.

You mentioned earlier that you hadn’t done much for thirty years. But before that, you had a run where you were huge.
Yes, it was about ’76 to ’86 – about a decade.

And a decade’s still a long time, considering most producers fall out of favour in half that time when scenes and sounds move on.
Yeah, but I could have done much better.

Well, for instance, in ’82, I was on top of the world – but I decided I wanted to do art, so I moved to New York and did big neon art. If I’d wanted I could have worked so much more [on music], and probably better. Even before I retired, I was half-retired already: I had enough money, I had enough hits. But I’m sure I could have continued until now. Musically I know what I can do. When disco went out, I didn’t die! I mean Nile Rodgers is still sad that disco went out, because it was his life, but I went on to score movies, I did music for the Olympics, I did the World Cup…

The Animals Of Farthing Wood!
Yes! I even did a religious song! Just a few years ago I was at a wedding in a church in Italy and people were singing it – I thought, “I know this song”. It was one of mine!

And you mentioned retirement. Did you formally retire? Some producers find that one day they notice that the phone’s not ringing as much as it used to. And then one day…
…it doesn’t ring at all. I mean with me, being between Los Angeles and Italy, going backwards and forwards, you lose contact. And with movie soundtracks, people don’t run after you if you’re not there. Unless you’re John Williams. So I was in and out and that was one of the problems. But even in ’82 I never really wanted to. If Jerry Bruckheimer hadn’t begged me to do the music for Flashdance I’d probably still be in New York. I was kind of getting tired. And that’s when I faded out – but I was happy.

Speaking of fades, of the five upcoming songs I’ve heard from your new album, four of them fade at the end.
You don’t like that?

Obviously you’re the expert here but I do prefer songs that end with a bang.
Well I can remix them for you. But I couldn’t touch the Sia song – I can’t make a different ending for that. She would kill me. She’s in charge and that’s it. And the Kylie song’s done. Er…

How about the Charli XCX one, ‘Diamonds’?
Yeah. I could do a different ending. Okay, I’ll do it for you. I’ll give you two actually – the Charli XCX song and there’s a great one with a girl called Marlene. Okay. I’ll rearrange two songs. And maybe the Britney Spears one too…

‘Britney featuring Lady Gaga’, don’t forget.
Do you really think I can ask her?

Well she’s hinted on Twitter that she still wants to work with Britney.
Can you imagine that she would just do an eight bar part? Hm…

You did some occasional mixes here and there before the Daft Punk album put you back into the spotlight. Were there any points where you tried to get back into music properly, and found it harder than expected?
Not really. I think, by becoming a DJ before the Daft Punk album, I could probably have got some interest from some record companies anyway. In fact before Daft Punk I got an offer for an album, but it was an offer from Spain and I just didn’t want to do it. It came from a guy I didn’t like. So I said no! Obviously after Daft Punk I got those three major offers to make an album, and I decided to go with Sony.

When you were doing promo around the Daft Punk album you didn’t have a moustache. But now it’s back! Is this your way of getting back into character?
That’s my wife! I hated that moustache. I had the moustache in the 80s, and I hated it even then but I couldn’t get rid of it. But then one day, I remember, I was in New York with a girlfriend, and she said to me, “why don’t you just cut it off?” And in a second, I did it. I’d been thinking of doing it for years, and suddenly it was gone. But my wife is the biggest fan of that moustache. She’s 22 years younger than me and in the 80s she was dancing to the sounds I made with a moustache. When I started again, she said, “Giorgio, you have to get your moustache back.” I said, “I don’t want to!” But she convinced me.

People do want the moustache. Your wife’s right about this.
I’ll tell you for sure, once I do finally retire, the moustache is going for good.

There’s a great story about when you first sent ‘Love To Love You Baby’ to Donna Summer’s record label. The head of the label played it continuously at a party he was hosting, and I think it’s fair to suggest that he and his guests were fairly ‘refreshed’ at this party. He subsequently asked you to make the song longer. When you sent him back a version that was 17 minutes long, were you taking the piss?
(Laughs) I LOVED the idea. Just the concept of having something new like that – nobody had one whole side of an album with one song. Secondly, it was relatively easy. And the fact that it was 17 minutes was the reason for its success. It was played in discotheques and especially in the gay community they LOVED it. I loved the whole thing.

Do you think the Daft Punk album might have been better if there were more songs you could dance to?
It couldn’t have been much better because it was so good. But yeah, you’re right.

glade-pluginFinally, are you familiar with the Glade Plugins – those things you plug into the wall, which squirt air freshener into your room?

Do you think it would be good if you could buy those, but rather than air freshener they were filled with poppers? And if when you walked past, they blasted out poppers and played the ‘I Feel Love’ riff? Instead of it being a room odoriser you could market it as a Room Morodorizer.
(Laughs) Is it dangerous? You’re talking about the one that gets your heart moving? I’ve used poppers once, maybe two or three times, in my life. It’s too much! H
ow would this work? You would have it at home?

Yes. Every time you walk past, no matter what time of the day or night, it bangs out a load of poppers and the ‘I Feel Love’ riff at full volume.

The problem is, surely you wouldn’t even notice it? You have to inhale the poppers, but they would come out near your feet.

Maybe the idea needs some refinement.
Give me your phone number and let’s talk sometime. This could be the end of civilisation! 

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Years & Years interview http://www.popjustice.com/interviewsandfeatures/years-years-interview/133648/ http://www.popjustice.com/interviewsandfeatures/years-years-interview/133648/#comments Fri, 09 Jan 2015 07:21:29 +0000 http://www.popjustice.com/?p=133648 Years & Years interview: “It could have really gone tits up”


Years & Years are a very good band. This is a solid pop fact that you can take to the bank. And it’s a fact that as of THIS MORNING can be supported by the findings of the BBC Sound Of 2015 panel, who voted for Olly, Emre and Mikey to win this year’s poll.

We had a chat with the band on the phone yesterday. Olly has quite a distinctive voice so his quotes are pretty spot on but anything credited to Mikey and Emre is anyone’s guess really. We’ve taken a decent stab at it but you know how it is.


Congrats etc on your win. How does winning the BBC Sound Of 2015 poll compare with being shortlisted for last year’s Popjustice Twenty Quid Music Prize?
Olly: It pales in comparison, really. We don’t win any money from the Sound Poll. I mean we didn’t win any from the Twenty Quid Music Prize either, because we didn’t win. Which was a shame – twenty pounds is two cocktails in east London.

How did you celebrate the joyous news, bearing in mind that Liam from The Prodigy once claimed that he celebrated going to Number One in America by having a wank?
Emre: That’s bang on the money actually.
Olly: We had a circle wank!
Emre: Olly nearly cried, which was hilarious.
Olly: I did cry a bit.
Emre: Also, we went to a Mexican restaurant and had tacos.
Olly: We had strawberry daiquiri too. It was pretty glitzy.

What were you doing in LA?
Mikey: We were shooting a music video – for ‘King’.

Which is a good song!
Olly: Thanks!

Which in turn is a relief, because imagine if everyone had voted for you to win the BBC Sound Of poll and you’d gone on to release a single that was a load of old shit.
Olly: I know, it could have really gone tits up.
Emre: There’s still time for that!
Olly: Yes, we’ve got some really bad ones.

This is the thing though isn’t it – Sam Smith got himself into the Sound Of poll by doing interesting music. Next thing you know: boring.
Olly: (Laughs) We’re going to try really hard not to be boring. ‘Not boring’ – we’re going to get it tattooed on ourselves. It will be the word boring with a line through it. FUCK YOU BORING.

What did the Brits panel have against you?
Emre: A band has never won the Critics’ Choice award, have they? But no, I don’t know what they were thinking.
Olly: What were they thinking‽

Have you seen a breakdown of all the voting in the BBC poll?
Mikey: No. I think it’s about 150 or 200 people who vote, I haven’t seen the numbers though.

When you think about how many different people are likely to be voting for different acts, you probably only need about five votes to get on the longlist. 

Is this ruining your special day?
Mikey: You’ve really pissed on this now.

Obviously you’d need more than five votes to win it. 
Olly: Thanks. Ten perhaps?

At what point did your record label tell you that they were going for a Years & Years Sound Of poll placing?
Mikey: I don’t think they even told us until after we were shortlisted.
Olly: They were sneaky!

The whole campaign last year was extraordinarily well-timed. It must have been planned.
Olly: Yeah, it must have been.

But they didn’t tell you?
Mikey: We found out when we were on the list and that was that. I suppose they didn’t want to scare us.
Olly: Or disappoint us.

Who are you fans right now?
Emre: According to our Facebook, they’re 18-to-24-year-old females, and they’re all from Poland. So you do the math.

You might have won the PBC Sound Of 2015 poll as well, have you checked?
Emre: You never know. Although, joking aside, whenever people ask us about our favourite gig from the last twelve months we tend to say our gig in Poland where we were playing this massive stage in a massive tent, and ten minutes before we went on there was nobody in the room. Then when we stepped out, the room was full. I looked over at Ollie and he was genuinely shocked.
Olly: Thank you, Poland!

Do you think James Bay would have won the BBC poll if he wasn’t wearing that stupid hat?
Mikey: The other way of asking that question is: would we have won the Brit if we’d all worn hats?
Emre: I had a beret. I’m going to bring it back for the Brits next year.

Do you think we might have hit on something here – could the Brits panel be more hat-skewed than the BBC panel?
Olly: I mean Adele doesn’t wear hats. I don’t want to accuse them of being hat biased.
Emre: I don’t think there’s a milliner conspiracy here.
Olly: Ooh, good word – ‘milliner’.

This is the first time anyone has used the word ‘milliner’ in a Popjustice interview. Well done!
Olly: Emre’s very smart.

Is the album finished?
Mikey: It’s almost finished.

Do you want to think about maybe getting on with it?
Mikey: I know, right?
Emre: We just keep writing new stuff. You could go on forever, really. We’re going to stop soon.

Is there a type of song that’s missing?
Mikey: Jazz fusion.
Emre: The songs are written, we just need to get on with recording it. It’s all this ‘winning awards’ business – it’s slowing us down.

Who would you most like to work with?
Mikey: Prince would be good. I’d like to go to Paisley Park.
Olly: Timbaland.

The thing with Timbaland is that he’s quite hit and miss. What if it didn’t work out. Imagine Timbaland’s little face when you told him his song didn’t make the album.
Emre: It would make it though, wouldn’t it? As long as he was interested in doing it, it would make the album.

Are you going to re-release ‘Take Shelter’ to make it the hit it deserves to be?
Olly: Do you think we should?
Mikey: And do you think we should change it at all?

Get Avicii in ‘for radio’. Job done.
Olly: I don’t think we will re-release it.

Olly: Sorry! I mean it’s out there. You can still buy it.
Emre: Come on people!
Olly: It’s our most successful YouTube video.

You seem to know quite a lot about your online audience.
Mikey: Olly’s very good at social media.
Emre: We shy away from it. We’re not as charming.
Olly: All I do is use emojis more.

What’s the best emoji?
Emre: The little poo.
Olly: But that’s controversial isn’t it. Because what about the girl with her hand up?

And the worst one? Because you know that live updating emoji use chart? The luggage is always at the bottom. And you think, surely, people are bored, waiting for their suitcases to come off the carousel. Surely these people will want to text or tweet a picture of a suitcase. But no.
Olly: I don’t like the buildings.
Emre: And they don’t have all the flags, so if you’re waiting for your luggage you can’t tweet about where you’re going.

What’s the most you’d consider spending on a baked potato?
Emre: £2.50 max.
Olly: I’d expect to pay £3.50.
Mikey: £3.10 is my final answer.

Who’s going to win next year’s BBC Sound poll?
Olly: Someone so new they haven’t even been born yet.
Mikey: Or, at the very least, a toddler.
Olly: Actually, we’re going to win again. We’re all going to come back with hats.

Anyway well done on winning the BBC thing. It’s always better when someone decent wins. If you’re going to have someone rammed down your throat for twelve months it might as well be someone good.
Olly: Thank you very much! I LOVE POPJUSTICE!

‘King’ is out on March 1; you can pre-order it here

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The 2014 Popjustice Readers’ Poll: THE RESULTS! http://www.popjustice.com/interviewsandfeatures/the-2014-popjustice-readers-poll-the-results/133442/ http://www.popjustice.com/interviewsandfeatures/the-2014-popjustice-readers-poll-the-results/133442/#comments Wed, 31 Dec 2014 09:30:08 +0000 http://www.popjustice.com/?p=133442 SHIT-READERS-POLL-HEADER

JESUS CHRIST. Look at the state of the image we’ve put at the top of this page. What a shambles! We thought it was going to look quite nice but by the time we realised it was a lost cause we were too far in to look back. Fiasco.

Anyway, here are the results of the 2014 Popjustice Readers’ Poll. Once again there were thousands of votes, which was nice in a way but it would have been easier if there had been precisely 100 because that would have helped in terms of calculating percentages and figuring out the top tens. If you’re thinking of voting next year, please ask around and check that no more than 99 other people have already completed the form.

And without further ‘ado':

Best single

1. Sia – ‘Chandelier’
2. Charli XCX – ‘Boom Clap’
3. Taylor Swift – ‘Shake It Off’
4. Ariana Grande feat Iggy Azalea – ‘Problem’
5. Katy B – ‘Crying For No Reason’
6. Ella Henderson – ‘Ghost’
7. Kiesza – ‘Hideaway’
8. Mark Ronson feat Bruno Mars – ‘Uptown Funk’
9. Rita Ora – ‘I Will Never Let You Down’
10. Marina & The Diamonds – ‘Froot’

Notes: One person voted for Molly’s Eurovision entry ‘Children Of The Universe’.

Worst single

1. Magic! – ‘Rude’
2. Meghan Trainor – ‘All About That Bass’
3. Band Aid 30 – ‘Do They Know It’s Christmas?’
4. Sam Smith – ‘Money On My Mind’
5. Cheryl – ‘Crazy Stupid Love’
6. Union J – ‘You Got It All’
7. Jennifer Lopez feat Iggy Azalea – ‘Booty’
8. Cheryl – ‘I Don’t Care’
9. will.i.am feat Cody Wise – ‘It’s My Birthday’
10. Nicki Minaj – ‘Anaconda’

Notes: Good to see some love here for Sam Smith’s bore-off artistry anthem ‘Money On My Mind’ – the only song in 2014 to include the line “when I go home, I tend to close the door”.

Best album

1. Taylor Swift – ‘1989′
2. Sia – ‘1000 Forms Of Fear’
3. Ariana Grande – ‘My Everything’
4. Tove Lo – ‘Queen Of The Clouds’
5. Lana Del Rey – ‘Ultraviolence’
6. La Roux – ‘Trouble In Paradise’
7. Lily Allen – ‘Sheezus’
8. Kylie Minogue – ‘Kiss Me Once’
9. FKA Twigs – ‘LP1′
10. Azealia Banks – ‘Broke With Expensive Taste’

Notes: Bad news for U2 in this category but fear not, the iTunes-invading pop funsters make further appearancea later in the poll.

Worst album

1. Jessie J – ‘Sweet Talker’
2. U2 – ‘Songs Of Innocence’
3. Cheryl – ‘Only Human’
4. Iggy Azalea – ‘The New Classic’
5. Sam Smith – ‘In The Lonely Hour’
6. Nicole Scherziner – ‘Big Fat Lie’
7. Calvin Harris – ‘Motion’
8. Ed Sheeran – ‘X’
9. Jennifer Lopez – ‘AKA’
10. Neon Jungle – ‘Welcome To The Jungle’

Notes: In a way it’s unfair to say Jessie J’s album is the very worst of the year. On the other hand, how easy would it be to find someone who’d stand in front of a room full of people and claim that ‘Sweet Talker’ was in any way the best? Not that easy, that’s how easy.

Most absurd use of major label cash

1. Rita Ora
2. Union J
3. Jessie J
4. Cheryl
5. U2
6. Taylor Swift
7. Sam Smith
8. One Direction
9. Lady Gaga
10. Bang Bang specifically

Notes: It’s a shame, really, that there was no big ‘Rihanna 777’ blowout this year. (Not sure if we’ve mentioned it on the site over the last few months but Rihanna didn’t actually put an album out in 2014. She might release on in 2015, she might not; we’re not too fussed either way really.)

Major artist with disappointing music most at odds with ability to achieve better

1. Cheryl
2. Calvin Harris
3. Lady Gaga
4. Katy Perry
5. Jessie J
6. Nicole Scherzinger
7. Shakira
8. The Saturdays
9. Lily Allen
10. One Direction

Notes: :(

Best comeback

1. Ed Sheeran
2. Taylor Swift
3. Kate Bush
4. La Roux
5. Azealia Banks
6. McBusted
7. The Veronicas
8. Jessie Ware
9. Marina & The Diamonds
10. Ariana Grande

Notes: It was cheering to see Ed Sheeran do well this year. What lessons can be learned from Ed’s success? Just one lesson, really, but it’s a big one: if you stop making shit music, people will stop saying you make shit music. THE END.

Worst attempt at a solo career

Cheryl 2
1. Cheryl
2. Fergie
3. Lea Michele
4. Nicole Scherzinger
5. Nick Jonas
6. Kian Egan
7. Amelle
8. Jason Orange
9. Michelle Williams
10. Ashley Roberts

Notes: Poor old Lea Michele. It was only a year ago that it seemed like she might do quite well in 2014. Still, at least she didn’t have to grab hold of her cock in the hope that a few chaps might get hot under the collar. Mainly because she doesn’t have a cock, but also because she’s not Nick Jonas.

Best new act to properly get going in 2014

1. Tove Lo
2. Sam Smith
3. Ariana Grande
4. Charli XCX
5. Ella Henderson
6. Kiesza
7. Tinashe
8. Clean Bandit
9. 5 Seconds Of Summer
10. Years & Years

Notes: Some confusion here over what ‘get going’ means but eight of these ten artists are amazing and the other two are technically decent, so not a bad selection.

Most ridiculous recording artist

1. Iggy Azalea
2. Pitbull
3. Jessie J
4. Lady Gaga
5. Nicki Minaj
6. Meghan Trainor
7. Rita Ora
8. will.i.am
9. Ariana Grande
10. U2

Notes: Some of these artists are amazing partly because of their towering ridiculosity. Others… Not so much.

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2014 in review: December, with George from Union J http://www.popjustice.com/interviewsandfeatures/2014-in-review-december-with-george-from-union-j/133218/ http://www.popjustice.com/interviewsandfeatures/2014-in-review-december-with-george-from-union-j/133218/#comments Wed, 30 Nov -0001 00:00:00 +0000 http://www.popjustice.com/?p=133218 Union-J

December 2014 was a month in which various things happened in ‘the world at large’. But how did these things impact the impeccably fringed George Shelley from Union J? Well let’s find out shall we.

In December, beautifully coiffured boyband Union J’s ‘You Got It All’ entered at Number 2 on the official chart but would have been Number One if it weren’t for pesky streaming stats.

How do you feel about all this, George? Were you robbed?
No we’re very proud and humbled to have got into the Top 3 even. When we heard about the streaming stats thing it kind of… Obviously we were gutted it didn’t get to Number One but we got to Number 2 and that’s more than we could have ever dreamed of in our lives. We did say ‘well done boys, it did get to Number One on sales alone’. The single wasn’t available to stream, so we’ll always have that thing of maybe if it was streaming it would have been Number One, but we’re really proud of each other for getting a Number 2 and I wouldn’t change it for the world.

You said there that the dream is Number 2 but surely the dream is always a nice Number One?
Yeah of course the dream is Number One, but we’ve got plenty more songs to come.

A city in Spain called Vitoria spunked £35,000 trying to make the world’s biggest tortilla only to find out that there was a bigger one in Japan.

What’s the most money you’ve ever spent in a restaurant though?
Probably only like £230 or £250, that sort of thing.

That’s still quite a lot.
It was on sushi for my whole family. I didn’t realise how much it was going to be until I saw the bill and I was like ‘oh’. (Laughs)

Where would you take a young lady on a first date?
It depends on what they like. Steak maybe, or a bit of Italian. Italian feels like the safe option, steak can be quite hard to eat.

A University in Texas’ science department had 100 brains stolen from their collection in December.

If you could swap brains with someone for a day, whose would you choose and why?
What a great question. Brian Cox. I think he’s got an incredible brain. If I wasn’t doing the Union J stuff I’d definitely study astrology.

You do know that he used to be in a pop band?
Yes he did, didn’t he! I could follow in his footsteps.

Were you a fan of D:Ream despite probably not actually being alive when they were around?
I have no idea who they are, no. What song did they have?

It was called ‘Things Can Only Get Better’.
How does it go? [Popjustice sings said song to George from Union J] (Silence) I’ll have to research it.

Anyway, also in December, India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi appointed a minister responsible for yoga.

Have you ever tried the pigeon pose or the downward dog?

Have you ever done yoga?
A little bit.

So you might have accidentally done the downward dog.
What’s that? Is that just like doggie style?

Sort of, yes. How do you relax?
I love a good steam room or a sauna. A nice chill out. Take some oils in there.

How long have you got off for Christmas?
We’ve got until mid-January off, which will be incredible. We’ve not had a day off since the summer.

Belgium tried to get the UN’s cultural body Unesco to recognise that chips are actually Belgian and that “French fries” is a bit of a misnomer. This also happened in December.

Which of these variants of the chip do you prefer; skinny fries, fish n chips chips, skin-on fries, curly fries, cheesy chips, waffle fries, sweet potato fries?
(Immediately) Sweet potato fried. Straight in there. Those or curly fries or waffle fries. My least favourite is probably fish n chip chips. Too greasy.

YouTube person Zoella’s novel Girl Online sold 78,000 copies in its first week to become the fastest-selling book by a new novelist ever. Then everyone got in a flap because they found out she had a ghostwriter.

Does it matter to you if someone hasn’t written something they’ve got their name attached to?
No definitely not. I think pretty much everyone uses a ghostwriter. We definitely did for our book. With a ghostwriter you tend to be able to get deeper into what you’re actually thinking and what you want to put across, rather than worry about structuring sentences. If English isn’t your strongest subject then structuring sentences and punctuation can sometimes cloud the point you’re trying to make. The fact she had a ghostwriter meant that the fans are seeing more of her.

Do you think people worry too much about authenticity these days?
As long as no one’s claiming they’re doing it themselves or claiming they’re songwriters or authors and then people are finding out. She’s got a book out, she’s promoting it in the way she would with her brand then that’s fine.

Do you vlog?
I love a bit of vlogging, yeah.

Psy’s Gangnam Style passed 2,147,483,647 views on YouTube in December, thus breaking their view count thing or something.

Can you remember how his follow-up single ‘Gentleman’ went?
As in the song? Yeah I do remember the song only because I was so obsessed with the fact he was massive. [Sings a bit of it] I also remember it because it was out at the same time as ‘Beautiful Life’, one of our singles, so it was competition for us.

Do you know how many views Union J have had on YouTube?
I think it’s about 55m. It was on the X Factor stats when we performed.

According to your official Vevo account thing it’s 40,540,177.
Oh. That’s awesome.

Nepal launched a reality TV show called Integrity Idol in December, the aim being to find the most honest civil servants. Sounds riveting.

Do you think it’s best to sometimes lie to someone to spare their feelings or do you think honesty is always the best policy?
I think honesty is the best policy, definitely.

What if someone else from Union J came to you and said ‘do you like my hair?’ and it looked shit, would you just tell them?
There are ways you can get around stuff like that. You could say ‘it’s great, but maybe you need to get it done again’, that sort of thing.

You’d start with something nice and then hit them with the honesty?
Yeah. ‘Your bum looks massive, but I like big bums so it’s fine’.

Bigger bums are very on trend in 2014.

Gondoliers in Venice were told in December that they’d need to have number plates after a number of crashes. There were also calls for them to have random drug tests and be fitted with GPS tracking.

What would your personalised number plate of choice be?
My personalised number plate? I find them a bit weird to be honest. They’re a bit naff. If someone famous were to get them, why would you want your name on your car? It makes you a target.

And you’re probably already driving something quite impressive.
Well, I’m not.

What car have you got?
I’ve just got a Mercedes A-class. I don’t know, I’m not very car orientated.

That’s still quite impressive. It’s not exactly a Ford Focus.
(Laughs) Mercedes are good to us.

You got given them?
(Sound bashful) Kind of.

So you wouldn’t have a personalised number plate?

But ‘UN10N J’ would work quite well.
I don’t know. Without saying the word, it’s just a bit, like, you know…

Shit? You can swear if you like.
Can I? It’s a bit wanky.

Also in December, 19 people were injured following a chlorine leak at a hotel hosting the 2014 Midwest FurFest, which as you well know is a place where people dress up like animals and celebrate art featuring anthropomorphic animals.

If you had to dress up and behave like an animal for a week which animal would you chose?
Oh I don’t know. A koala? No, can I dress up as a stick insect?

For the purposes of this it would need to have fur.
They have to have fur? Oh dammit.

Why would you want to be a stick insect?
Because they dance in a really funny way.

Type into YouTube ‘stick insect dancing’.

But are they actually dancing?
Probably not. I think they’re just moving to the beat. Do they even have ears?

Maybe the music is laid over the top of the video afterwards?
You’ve ruined it for me now. But if it had to have fur it would be a sloth actually.

Finally, do you have a Christmas message for the Popjustice readers?
Have a different Christmas. Don’t make it a normal Christmas – do something weird. Do something a bit out of the ordinary and start a new tradition you could do every year.

So they could climb up onto the table and have a shit in the middle of dinner?
Yeah, just like that. Or get stick insects.

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

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2014 in review: November, with Matt from McBusted http://www.popjustice.com/interviewsandfeatures/2014-in-review-november-with-matt-from-mcbusted/132957/ http://www.popjustice.com/interviewsandfeatures/2014-in-review-november-with-matt-from-mcbusted/132957/#comments Mon, 22 Dec 2014 10:00:24 +0000 http://www.popjustice.com/?p=132957 Matt-Willis

November 2014 was a month in which various things happened in ‘the world at large’. But how did these things impact the sweariest man in all of pop, Matt Willis from McBusted? Well let’s find out shall we.

Twelve-legged noise merchants McBusted released their ‘debut’ single ‘Air Guitar’ in November.

But what happened to the Beyoncé ‘interpolation’, Matt Willis?
(Laughs) Good question. You don’t miss anything do you. Right okay. Basically what happened was we used that part of her song, “oh oh, oh oh, oh oh, oh no no”, which was a straight rip off of her song. We were about nine days away from release and suddenly someone said ‘you do realise you’re going to have to fucking pay her for that?’. We were like, ‘what?’. They were saying there’d probably be some sort of fucking court injunction or something. Not necessarily from her but from the publishers and shit. We were like ‘fuck, we’d not even thought about that’. We just thought it was like a homage and it would be fun. So we had a panic and went to our publishers and asked them what the score was and they said there were four writers on the song so we’d need to get permission from all four writers and potentially then give them a percentage of the song. We were cool with that because we love the song. They then said that unfortunately it wouldn’t be a quick process and one of them could just say no and it was looking likely we’d have to put the single back by three to four weeks. We were just like ‘fuck, that is so much more intense than we thought it would be’. We had to get the single out to allow the album to come before Christmas and all that shit. It was just timing issues.

So Beyoncé didn’t get to hear it?
No. I think she would have probably liked it. I thought it was a fucking sick line and we weren’t taking the piss, we love that fucking song. It’s an incredible fucking song. We just didn’t get time to get permission, but we really should have thought about that much earlier on. But as with everything in McBusted, it was all a bit last minute.

Also in November, the title of the new Star Wars film was announced, that title being The Force Awakens.

When was the last time your force was awoken?
Do you know what, I bought this protein powder off the internet and it was a new powder I hadn’t used before and I made a shake after going for a workout and literally straight after that the force was definitely awoken. I had the worst gas I’ve ever had in my life. We had to travel from London to Birmingham in the car and everyone was like ‘fucking hell’. I’m in the gassiest band of all time but it’s never me and funnily enough it’s never James, it’s just McFly. McFly are really stinky boys. It was gross.

The G20 summit of world leaders took place in Brisbane during November. As you can imagine, security was high, with reptiles and surf skis (!) on the list of things banned from the city centre.

If you could ban anything from city centres what would it be?
I ban those fucking charity people. I know that sounds really horrible but I fucking hate it. I hate like (does impression) ‘’ello mate’ or ‘nice jacket’ and I’m like ‘oh thanks’ and then I realise they’re just enticing me into a fucking conversation where you can make me feel like a horrible person for not giving money to charity. And also my mate used to work for those charities that stop you on the street and it’s all a fucking con. It’s about them meeting quotas so they can get paid.

Do you give to charity in other ways?
Yeah totally. Emma and I are quite into that kind of shit. That’s different though, that’s about feeling a personal relationship to a charity or you want to do something where it means something to you, or you just want to help out a great cause, by all means do that but those wacky guys in the street just piss me off. Fuck off!

They tend to be out of work actors.
It could have been me!

In November, the Rosetta spacecraft landed its Philae probe on a comet. AN ACTUAL COMET. It then ran out of batteries.

When was the last time you changed the batteries in your TV remote?
Do you know what, funnily enough, literally just before I left the house I changed some batteries in a monkey’s bum. My son’s got this game where you have to throw these hoops on this monkey’s tail that swings from side to side and it had run out of batteries. So I was screwdriving open a monkey’s bum earlier.

Do you keep batteries in a specific drawer in the house?
I do. Unfortunately I may have put some used ones in with some loose new ones. It’s a shit drawer.

You may have missed this because nobody seemed to have much of an opinion on it, but Taylor Swift removed her back catalogue from Spotify in November, saying she didn’t want to take a risk on a “grand experiment”.

If you could cat-sit just one of Taylor’s cats would it be Meredith Grey or Olivia Benson?
I’m going to come across as such a miserable bastard in this interview, but I really hate cats.

You hate charity and cats.
Exactly. Tom sometimes shows me videos of cats and he’s like ‘dude, you’re dead inside’. I just don’t give a shit.

Earlier we saw a gif of a cat doing sign language for its deaf owner.
No! I mean that’s pretty awesome. Monkeys have been doing that for fucking years though. Cats are fucking shit. My mum had this dog when I was growing up called Max and it just got fucking fur all over my school blazer. It was the most annoying fucking thing in the world. I’ve been an animal hater ever since then, although me and Emma talked about getting one of those micro pigs.

Miley Cyrus has got one of those.
Well there we go, that says it all. I definitely need one of those in my life.

Astronaut Chris Hadfield’s version of ‘Space Oddity’, which was recorded on board the International Space Station, was allowed back onto YouTube in November after after having its copyright renewed or something.

If you were floating around in space, what song would you cover?
Oh God that’s a really good question. I don’t know.

Is there a song you sing in the shower?
Well I’m obsessed with Taylor Swift at the moment. Like absolutely fucking obsessed. I was singing ‘Welcome To New York’ in the shower this morning.

That’s the worst song on the album!
I know! (Laughs) Actually I do like that song. I love that album. ‘Style’ is fucking incredible! And ‘Blank Space’!

Maybe do a Taylor Swift medley in space?
I’d do it dressed as her in her ballet class. With her two dead cats.

Also in November, a supermarket in the Netherlands started selling edible insects for some reason.

You ate your fair share of insects while in the jungle, which one would you recommend to a friend?
I don’t know but one of my friends has cricket protein powder. That’s a thing now. He has that and protein bars with crickets in them because apparently they have a really good protein balance.

A Turkish company accidentally used a photo of imprisoned al-Qaeda figure Khalid Sheikh Mohammed in an advert for hair removal because they didn’t realise who he was.

Do you think men should have to shave their armpits?
This is a very on point question. No I don’t think you should shave but I do think you should trim down. As a sex we are exceptionally hairy, me more so yearly, so I try to keep things in check. The one thing I was leaving was my armpit hair and fucking hell man my armpits were insane. Everything else was neat and trim and they were wild, so I did that and the other boys found it fucking weird.

If you’re going to trim other areas then why not your armpits?
Exactly. Also more hair would mean you’d smell more and no one wants to smell. I think all over manscaping is a plus. The balls are a touchy subject. It’s an ongoing problem area for me. Too much information?

Let’s move on. Quite successful author JK Rowling revealed in November that the Harry Potter character she hates the most is Dolores Umbridge. 

But do you think you would have been any good at Quidditch?
I think I’d be fucking great… Oh no actually I wouldn’t be. I’d like to think I would but realistically I’m pretty shit at all sports. I was always picked last at school. I was the fucking shit chubby kid with asthma.

Quidditch is all about balance.
It is about balance and I wasn’t very good at that either.

You could have done Quidditch perhaps as a hobby in your later years?
Yeah, now I’d be good at it. People fucking play Quidditch, it’s a real thing. I saw it once on The One Show I think. They strap a broom underneath their groin and they run around and chuck balls at each other. It’s a real thing at Universities.

How are any of them ever supposed to have sex?
(Laughs) Exactly! It’s just a load of really sexually frustrated people with brooms up their bums.

Like MPs.

Finally in November, French academics came up with a mathematical formula to explain why ‘hipsters’ all dress the same. It was all quite boring to be honest.

Do you think the word ‘hipster’ is just used by old people who don’t understand youth culture or are they genuinely a bunch of pricks with awful facial hair?
I think it’s one of those things where a line has been crossed. If you think of the original hipster wanker from Shoreditch with a fucking single gear bike and a fucking moustache and cycling cap, that’s one thing, but once upon a time that was fucking cool. Emo hair – as I sported for many a year – was once cool. Everything gets overdone doesn’t it? The thing I don’t get is the stupid fucking moustaches. Beards are cool and the dress sense is alright, some of it’s fine. I mean, some of it’s stupid but you’re always going to get wankers in life aren’t you. But the moustaches when they fucking wax the ends and they point up. I can’t get onboard with that.

It’s ruining it for 80-year-old men who have had those moustaches for sixty years and then they get called hipsters.
(Laughs) Yeah exactly, they live in Yorkshire and drink a specific type of bitter. They’ve never been to Shoreditch.

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

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2014 in review: October, with Tulisa http://www.popjustice.com/interviewsandfeatures/2014-in-review-october-with-tulisa/133182/ http://www.popjustice.com/interviewsandfeatures/2014-in-review-october-with-tulisa/133182/#comments Sun, 21 Dec 2014 10:00:52 +0000 http://www.popjustice.com/?p=133182 Tulisa

October 2014 was a month in which various things happened in ‘the world at large’. But how did these things impact The Female Boss, Tulisa? Well let’s find out shall we.

‘Living Without You’ by perfumier and returning popstar Tulisa arrived online in October.

What did you miss most about being a popstar when you had to stop doing it for a bit?
The fact that I was just known as a celebrity. People forgot what I do, they were like ‘what does Tulisa do nowadays?’. I never wanted to necessarily be famous. I wanted to be a musician and be successful and obviously fame is something that comes with it which I’m okay with, but as long as I’m famous for the music. So having that taken away from me, I sort of became just a celebrity. I didn’t like that very much.

Your press release said that you were back but that we, the audience, always knew you would be. Was there a point where you thought you might not bother coming back though?
I never thought I wouldn’t bother, I just thought I might not be able to. (Laughs) I feel like I always tried to see the light at the end of the tunnel. The second it happened I was ready to retire and then I thought ‘no, I’m not finished yet, I’m going to do it all again’. I’ve spent the whole year hungry to come back.

Which is good to hear because there are some popstars you sense maybe aren’t that hungry for it. 
People get drained when they do it for such a long time. When it happened I’d been doing it for eight years in a row. People forget that with N-Dubz we were famous on the underground scene so we still did all our hard graft then. I think we did 280 shows in one year and I hadn’t stopped really because when we split up I went straight onto X Factor. It was constant. In this industry it’s all about giving your energy and entertaining people and I basically just became drained. Sometimes people just need a break, but not only did I get a break I got a long long break and had it all taken away from me, so I guess that helped bring the hunger back. In that respect I’m glad that it happened.

In other less Tulisa-focused news, in October backpacker Daniela Liverani found an actual three inch leech living up her actual nostril. It had been there for a month without her realising!

How did she not notice? Surely she couldn’t breath? That’s so weird.

When was the last time you found something unexpected in a small crevice?
(Thinks for a bit) I woke up one day a few months ago and you know earwigs, they look like centipedes but with fangs and shit, one of them was crawling along my eyelid. That was pretty horrific. I also had a wasp nest outside my bedroom window and I left my window open one night and I woke up covered in wasps. It was an ongoing battle and I literally went to war with a wasp in my room and my tools consisted of hairspray and a tennis racket.

Hairspray’s a pretty good call actually.
It sort of sticks them to the wall. I don’t like killing bugs but with wasps I’m like ‘hey, you want to sting me, I’m coming for you’. It was self-defence!

Bob The Builder was given a CGI makeover in October, as well as brand new voice.

How good are you at DIY?
I’m actually really good you know. No one’s ever asked me this before.

Can you put up a shelf?
Can I put up a shelf? I built my whole wardrobe room! I’m actually really good with DIY. It’s a bit of an in-joke between me and Gareth [her PA] because we live together and I’m the female in the house but I’m the one who’s really good at DIY. If there’s something that needs building I’ll get my toolbox out and just start building away. I have a proper full set of tools. I can build a wardrobe, a bed, shelves, the lot.

Middling comedian Al Murray objected to some praise he received from Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg during some sort of political conference thing in October.

When was the last time you praised someone and didn’t mean it?
Praised someone and didn’t mean it?

Last Saturday perhaps?
(Laughs) No no no. Come on, that was the final, they all deserved to be there.

Are you quite an honest person?
I’m trying to think. I don’t tend to be nice for the sake of it. That’s my downfall. I struggle with fake conversations.

Have you ever said ‘I love you’ and not meant it?
When I get that I give the awkward ‘you too’.

A theatre production based on a play by your friend and ours Franz Kafka opened in Japan. One of the main actors was a robot.

If they could invent a robot to replace you and do all the boring stuff popstars have to do, what would you get up to instead?
I would spend all my spare time learning to do the things that I always wanted to do but just don’t have time to. So I’d learn to play the piano and the guitar, I’d learn Greek and I’d become a black belt in karate.

A professional gambler lost a High Court battle in October against a London casino over a disputed £7.7m in winnings, which he claimed he was owed.

When was the last time you went to the bingo?
I’ve actually never been to the bingo. It’s not for any particular reason, I’ve got loads of friends that go and they’re always saying how much fun it is, but I’ve never got round to going. I want to try it.

You could have your own Tulisa dauber or whatever it is?
I could. I plan to do it. It’s on my list of things to do before I die. (Laughs)

Maybe we could organise a sort of fan event where we all just go to the bingo?
Brilliant. There you go.

In his new book, released in October, former Sunderland manager Roy Keane said he realised the team were in trouble when one of the coaches played ABBA’s ‘Dancing Queen’ before kick-off and no one complained.

What song would you use to get a football team excited about a match etc?
I would pick Kasabian’s… Oh what is the song called? [Sings it for a bit]. It’s one of my favourite songs so I have it on my iPod…

You have a separate iPod?
I have an iPod, yeah. I carry one round with me because I don’t want the songs on my phone. I feel a bit old-school with it. It’s an iPod Classic as well.

They’ve stopped making them now.
Have they? I’ve got an antique. But anyway, the song’s called ‘Club Foot’.

Okay, so you’d play that to get them all roused or whatever it is they need to be before a game.
Yes. Or Prodigy’s ‘Smack My Bitch Up’.

What’s your favourite ABBA song?
It has to be ‘Dancing Queen’.

Would you say it’s a good song to play to footballers before they play football?
No I don’t think so. You need to work them up.

Loads of Pacific walruses who were unable to find sea ice on which to rest in Arctic waters started coming ashore in record numbers in north-west Alaska in October.

But do you have your whiskey on the rocks or without ice?
I have it without ice. I don’t really like the taste of alcohol, I just drink for the feeling, so I find that if I want to feel a bit tipsy the easiest thing for me to do is go for something I have to drink less of to get drunk, so I don’t want it watered down. So no ice for me.

If someone was to buy you a drink in a bar what should they get?
I am a Red Bull and vodka drinker and a wino. Rosé please.

In October a French bank called Groupe BPCE launched a service that allows its customers to use Twitter to send each other money.

If you could tweet a tenner to anyone right now who would it be?
The honest answer has to be somewhere charitable. I guess I’d look at where is in need right now and tweet it there.

If it could only be to a celebrity or musician friend, who would it be?
Niall, just to take the piss. He doesn’t need a tenner. ‘What do you get the boy who has everything?’ I’d tweet him a tenner and tell him to get himself a pint.

Finally in October, North Korea released American Jeffrey Edward Fowle six months after detaining him for leaving a Bible in a hotel.

What’s the worst thing you’ve ever left in a hotel room?
Oh God. How honest can I be? [The line goes dead just as she's saying something probably scandalous] Oh, actually, I’ll tell you what, many many years ago an ex-boyfriend bought me a diamond ring and I left it in the hotel room by mistake. He was pretty furious. And it wasn’t insured. Then another boyfriend later brought me another diamond ring and it was a bit big and I wore it out one night and basically it dropped off and I lost it. So I have this thing that if I’m not meant to be with a man I will lose my diamond ring.

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

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The Top 45 Singles Of 2014 http://www.popjustice.com/interviewsandfeatures/the-top-45-singles-of-2014/133243/ http://www.popjustice.com/interviewsandfeatures/the-top-45-singles-of-2014/133243/#comments Sun, 21 Dec 2014 09:45:12 +0000 http://www.popjustice.com/?p=133243 2014SINGLES2

Guess what: 2014’s been a really, really brilliant year for singles. There’s been audacity, stupidity, excitement, drama, booming and clapping. There have been surprise hits and predictable bangers. There have been songs about crying, dancing, light fittings, having a big arse, riverbanks, getting off your tits and – finally – funk of the uptown variety.

It’s all been rather splendid.

Don’t believe us? Just watch…

45 Tiesto feat Matthew Koma – ‘Wasted’

“I like us better when we’re wasted, It makes it easier to fake it. The only time we really talk is when our clothes are coming off.” Poetry. Poetry is what that is. Some radio stations played a version in which ‘wasted’ was ‘naked’. That worked too.

44 Tiaan – ‘Devil’s Touch’

Tiaan released a number of songs in 2014 and this was the best by some distance. Don’t be fooled by the modest production – this tune is a total beast.

43 Rixton – ‘Me & My Broken Heart’

A song that felt instantly familiar; a song so expertly crafted that it felt like we’d known it for years. As it turned out, we had – Rob Thomas released it in 2005 – but ‘Me & My Broken Heart’ was still an extremely banging debut single.

42 Rashelle – ‘Nod Ya Head’

Imagine if Cheryl had whacked out something like this – instead of the trumpety mess that was ‘Crazy Stupid Love’ – as her 2014 comeback single.

41 Mapei – ‘Don’t Wait’

It was a bit “get The Blogs on red alert, there’s a Quality Artist coming through”, but ‘Don’t Wait’ is as distinctive and as beautiful at the end of 2014 as it was nearer the start.

40 Beyoncé – ‘Drunk In Love’

We woke up on December 16 2013 wondering ‘how the hell did this shit happen'; ‘Pretty Hurts’ seemed like an early choice for best song on the album but ‘Drunk In Love’ was a popgeist-defining jam for the duration of 2014, so here it is in the Top 45 list.

39 Kiesza – ‘No Enemiesz’

Basically, it’s ‘Hideaway’ PLUS a massive hands-in-the-air pop bit. (If you are going to click play on the video above, please face away from your screen while the song is playing because this has to be one of the very worst videos of the entire year.)

38 Katy Perry feat Juicy J – ‘Dark Horse’

We’ve said it before, we’ll say it again many times before the Grim Reaper finally comes for us, we’re about to say it right now: if this had a proper chorus rather than just an amazing pre-chorus, the song would be unstoppable. As it is, it stops at Number 38. Which seems relatively low for a song as excellent as this, but what you need to remember here ladies and gents is that the standard has been extremely high this year. We didn’t even realise how high the standard had been until we started knocking this list together.

37 Ariana Grande feat Iggy Azalea – ‘Problem’

Would have been in our Top 10 without the annoying whispery bit.

36 Tkay Maidza – ‘U-Huh’

It felt like a world-demolishing superstar had arrived when this appeared in July. Tkay released some other bits this year, none of which were anywhere near as good as ‘U-Huh’, so she needs to get her act together in 2015 because there’s something potentially brilliant happening here.

35 Meghan Trainor – ‘All About That Bass’

This would have been about twelve places higher had the song not been ruined forever by the double whammy of a laughably basic follow-up single and a disastrous performance on the X Factor final. Still, Meghan was one of the writers on Fifth Harmony’s mighty ‘Sledgehammer’, so she may still prove useful. (‘Sledgehammer’ is not eligible for this list as it was not released as a proper UK single. Do not get us started on that one.)

34 Calvin Harris – ‘Summer’

“If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” That’s something people say a lot when it comes to pop. Actually, a more pertinent phrase is this: “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it immediately, but definitely do consider fixing it or at least taking it in for a service before the wheels all fall off and everyone dies.” We think Calvin Harris’ pop vehicle would probably fail its MOT at this stage but it still goes like the clappers when he’s got his foot down and [ATTENTION PLEASE: THIS ENTRY HAS BEEN CLOSED BY THE METAPHOR POLICE, PLEASE STEP AWAY FROM THE CRIME SCENE]

33 5 Seconds Of Summer – ‘Don’t Stop’

This is just brilliant from beginning to end. If you have sensitive eyes please do not watch the opening sequence of this video because you can clearly, quite deliberately see the outline of one of their dicks and that’s just not on.

32 Future Islands – ‘Seasons (Waiting For You)’

Quite enough has been written about this song during 2014 and almost every word we’ve read has somehow managed to drain a little bit of excitement and magic from this extraordinary tune, so we’ll just say this: imagine Swifto on vocals.

31 Tinashe – ‘2 On’

Strange, isn’t it, how something that seems so uneventful can in fact be so amazing.

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2014 in review: September, with Mollie from The Saturdays http://www.popjustice.com/interviewsandfeatures/2014-in-review-september-with-mollie-from-the-saturdays/131616/ http://www.popjustice.com/interviewsandfeatures/2014-in-review-september-with-mollie-from-the-saturdays/131616/#comments Sat, 20 Dec 2014 10:00:08 +0000 http://www.popjustice.com/?p=131616 Mollie

September 2014 was a month in which various things happened in ‘the world at large’. But how did these things impact the nicest person in pop, Mollie King from The Saturdays? Well let’s find out shall we.

Enduring girlband The Saturdays finished their farewell tour in September.

How was it saying goodbye to all the fans?
(Silence) Oh gosh, we weren’t saying goodbye.

No definitely not. (Laughs) Oh my gosh, we had such a good time. It was just amazing seeing fans their every night. I know it sounds silly but every night we came out of the floor – that was our entrance to the stage – and I was always so shocked that people had come to see us, not just our friends and family. It was like ‘oh – real people’.

Did you ever imagine you’d get to release a Greatest Hits? Not many pop acts get to do that.
It makes me feel really old. I think it’s something you always dream of but to have a Greatest Hits is absolutely surreal. It’s got loads of tracks on it and I can’t believe we’ve had so many singles out, it’s madness.

What’s your favourite Saturdays single?
A tough question! Probably ‘Notorious’. Closely followed by ‘Higher’.

Not that you were asking but ours is ‘All Fired Up’.
Ah I love that one too.

Also in September, a photo of a house for sale in Ipswich was withdrawn by estate agents because it featured a picture of a pig in the living room.

Oh my gosh. Well was the pig alive or dead?

Alive. It was the family pet.
Oh wow, that’s madness. Sorry, so what is the question?

How clean is your house?
Well, I’ll be honest, it’s very clean but not very tidy. I live in an apartment [SHE MEANS FLAT] so I have a room which is like a walk in wardrobe and that’s where everything gets stored and then I shut the door when I have guests over and I pretend that room doesn’t exist.

A US flight was diverted in September after a row broke out between two passengers when one of them reclined her seat in order to give her more room to knit.

If you were to knit each Saturday a little something, what would it be?
(Laughs) I’d probably knit Una and Rochelle’s girls little dresses or something to be honest, because that would take a lot less time than an adult’s sweatshirt. Then I’d probably knit Frankie a little boy’s scarf for her son and then Vanessa, oh God knows. Maybe a nice warm pair of knickers (!). I don’t want to be knitting for days.

According to some spurious research from Cornell University watching action films is likely to make you fat.

What sweets do you have when you go to the cinema?
Oh my God, I’m a salted popcorn addict. Whenever someone says ‘oh let’s share’ I’m like, ‘no I don’t want to share’. You know if you go on a date to the cinema and they try and be romantic and say ‘oh do you want to share a popcorn?’ and I’m like ‘no no, this is going no further’.

Also never trust a guy if he asks you to put your hand in his bucket of popcorn at the cinema.
(Laughs) Exactly. We all know what he’s thinking.

Everyone was chucking water over each other in September, and in an Essex Waitrose the Police got involved after a man stole a bottle of water, a bag of ice and a bucket in to do the ice bucket challenge.

Did you partake?
I did. I actually put a bucket of water over my head and then my friend thought it would be funny to lob her bucket over me so I actually got two buckets covering me. I was positively a drowned rat, which wasn’t a great look.

Is there anyone you’d like to pour boiling water over?
Ooh…Well not that I’m going to tell you about to be honest.

Also in September, inspectors found the body of a lion in a UK restaurant’s freezer, with the owner claiming he was given it by a local zoo to feed his dogs.

What was the last meal you made that people refused to eat?
I’m not really much of a cook. When people come over to mine it’s mostly Marmite on toast to be honest. I’m like ‘come over for dinner, I’ll cook’ and then when they arrive I’m like ‘takeaway?’.

Also if someone’s cooking for you you don’t get to see them much because they’re in the kitchen cooking etc.
This is true. Also you can’t beat a good popadom can you.

U2 gave away their new album, ‘Songs of Innocence’, to all iTunes users in September. Cheers guys!

Have you ever given an unwanted gift?
Yes. It was secret Santa and I totally forgot about it and so I gave Rochelle an egg cup, because I didn’t want it to be honest. I’m not going to be boiling eggs. She looked at me with such disgust. She was like ‘are you actually giving me that?’.

Was it one you brought or were you just given it?
Well, to tell you the truth I actually found it in my mum’s house, but it was one of her best ones. Not a grotty one. I did go to effort of wrapping it in some kitchen roll but she worked out that I’d forgotten about it.

September was the driest since records began in 1910, which is interesting in a way.

Do you think this is proof that global warming is a myth?
Is a myth? (Sighs) I’m going to leave that up to the experts I guess. I’m enjoying the heat while it’s there. I’ll leave that to them.

Also in September, Fulham FC’s departed coach Felix Magath told defender Brede Hangeland to treat his injured knee with cheese soaked in alcohol.

What’s your favourite old wives’ tale?
Oh I don’t know any. I’m really bad with things like that. Give me some examples.

The only one I can remember is ‘Masturbation will make you blind and have hairy palms’.
(Laughs) Oh.

There’s the one about your ears burning when someone’s talking about you.
Oh that’s a good one. I hate that when your ears are actually burning and people say someone’s talking about you and you say ‘no, my ears are actually burning, they’re really warm’.

A service of evensong at Bath Abbey was abandoned in September because the choir was drowned out by a busker outside playing ‘Bridge Over Troubled Water’.

What’s Una’s acoustic cover of choice when she’s practising her guitar?
Erm, do you know what she’s always wanted to cover? That Christmas one. The Pogues. I know it’s a bit of a random one, but you have no idea of how long she’s been banging on about covering that.

Finally in September, lots of nude pictures of famous people leaked after someone hacked into iCloud.

Whatever happened to just keeping some polaroids under your bed?
(Laughs) That’s a very good question.

It’s too risky otherwise.
You know sometimes when they’re really hot pics then I do think ‘come on, you’re definitely not minding that being out’.

The worst is when you show someone a picture on your phone and then they suddenly start scrolling through.
Oh my God, I know. That is why I can never do that because you know when you hand your phone over and say ‘these are my pictures from holiday’ and you worry about them scrolling too far. That is why you should never do a sexy pic. I don’t want to put people off their dinner either.

Thank you Mollie King from The Saturdays for that fascinating insight into your thoughts on the month of September 2014. We hope you had a satisfactory year and wish you all the very best for 2015.

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The 2014 Popjustice Quiz Of The Year http://www.popjustice.com/interviewsandfeatures/2014-quiz/133041/ http://www.popjustice.com/interviewsandfeatures/2014-quiz/133041/#comments Fri, 19 Dec 2014 12:00:07 +0000 http://www.popjustice.com/?p=133041
  • Fifty questions!

    150 possible answers only fifty of which are correct!!

    Win the chance to share the link to this quiz over social media!!!

    Offer must end soon!!!!

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2014 in review: August, with Sia http://www.popjustice.com/interviewsandfeatures/2014-in-review-august-with-sia/131614/ http://www.popjustice.com/interviewsandfeatures/2014-in-review-august-with-sia/131614/#comments Fri, 19 Dec 2014 10:00:56 +0000 http://www.popjustice.com/?p=131614 Sia

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

(These lengthy answers were communicated via the medium of email, just as an ‘FYI’).

In August, Sia’s incredible, globe-straddling single ‘Chandelier’ sold its millionth copy in America.

Did you assume the song’s amazingness would be matched by chart success in the way it has been?
Kind of.

Elsewhere in August, Police officers in California pursued a tortoise in a low-speed chase after it escaped.

Would you, like the average tortoise, like to live for 150 years though?

Passengers on a flight from Brussels to Stockholm weren’t allowed to collect their luggage because the bags had been infested with maggots after someone packed mouldy food.

But why do you think Sweden produces so many amazing popstars and songwriters?
I don’t know why. I’ve never contemplated much on it. I’m too busy thinking about me. Me Me ME!

Also in August, Police raided a village pub in Herefordshire – which is in the UK – searching for a stolen Holy Grail relic only to find it was actually a salad bowl.

Do you think salad is just a bit of a waste of everyone’s time though?
Not according to the Real Housewives. Oh. So yes.

In dodgy research news, Scientists ranked the songs that make people feel most powerful, with 50 Cent’s birthday anthem ‘In Da Club’ finishing in the Top Three.

What song gives you strength?
‘The Macarena’.

In more science news, inventors created sweat-powered batteries that could be used to power heart monitors, digital watches and eventually smartphones.

When was the last time you worked up a proper sweat?
Dance party Monday, my house, every Monday at 10:30am. One invitee. Sia Furler.

You won’t believe this, but the long-held idea that Christopher Columbus and the Europeans brought tuberculosis to the Americas was thrown into doubt in August, with scientists now blaming seals.

What’s your favourite Seal song though?
For reals whose isn’t ‘Kiss From A Rose’? Kissed by a rose? Kiss from the rose? Fuck. The kiss rose song.

Also in August, fans of Dutch football club PSV Eindhoven protested against the introduction of wi-fi at their home ground.

Do you think people are too distracted by the internet these days?
Yes. But I have no judgement around it. I am mad guilty of it.

The 2014 Summer Youth Olympics started in the Chinese city of Nanjing in August.

What were you good at in your school sports day?
Three legged race.

And finally, a man was rescued from the River Thames in London after he’d fallen asleep on a bridge and then fallen in.

When was the last time you woke up somewhere you shouldn’t be?
Story of my early twenties. And mid twenties. And late twenties. And early thirties. Fuck. Sobriety feels so good.

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

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