Popping Up is our recurring look at new artists making noise on the music landscape. Because, hey—Madonna and Britney were once unknown, too.
Guinevere is not your typical electro-pop diva. For starters, the 20-year-old Canadian is named after King Arthur’s two-timing wife and was discovered while she was fronting a rock band. She’s also a self-proclaimed gaming geek and out-and-proud Trekkie. This quirky streak is reflected in the Call of Duty aficionado’s attitude-drenched dance anthems, which pair her gutsy rock vocals with heavy beats courtesy of super-producers like Cirkut and Ari Levine of The Smeezingtons.
Her debut single “Crazy Crazy” has generated attention with its Lady Gaga-meets-Ke$ha approach to pop and sexy subject matter. “It’s about everything a person might be thinking in the back of their head, but are too afraid to say,” says the poster girl for gamers. “I tend to lose all my inhibitions on-stage. What do you say — a lady in the street, but a freak in bed?” Guinevere’s other tunes include “Beautiful”, a dance anthem about losing interest in your date when the lights go on in the club, and a cover of Bon Jovi’s “Livin’ On A Prayer”.
Jump below to discover why Guinevere is on our Popping Up radar, and why we think she’s one to watch in 2012.
HOW SHE CAME TO BE NAMED AFTER KING ARTHUR’S OLD LADY: It turns out the electro-pop diva’s family has an authentic King Arthur coin lying around the house. “An old man approached my father on the street years ago and told him to take it for good luck,” Guinevere tells us. “It sounds crazy but it has brought luck to our family and we all hold onto it when we have something important that we need it for.”
HER SUPER-PRODUCER FRIENDS: The 20-year-old Canadian has already worked with two of pop music’s hottest producers – Cirkut (Rihanna, Ke$ha and Taio Cruz) and Ari Levine of The Smeezingtons (Bruno Mars, Cee Lo Green and B.o.B). “[I] met Cirkut right before his career really took off in a small Toronto studio,” she recounts. “The first time I went there I thought it was some kind of underground S&M club or something. Thankfully it wasn’t. As for Ari Levine, my management actually called Ari’s people and they responded right away.”
ON BEING AN INDEPENDENT ARTIST: “It definitely is a risk because being independent, it limits you to connections that labels have built for years. The upside is having all the creative control – with big risks can come big rewards.”
HOW HER DEBUT SINGLE “CRAZY CRAZY” FUSES ROCK AND ELECTRO: “I am a true rocker at heart and once I really started getting into grimy, dirty beats; I thought it would be cool to lay down my rock-esque voice to it,” she explains. “The lyrics are very aggressive and speak the truth of different scenarios we have all experienced. Nothing is candy-coated and if you listen closely you’ll catch the sarcasm.” Check out Guinevere’s first video below.
JIMI HENDRIX AND PEE WEE HERMAN ARE INSPIRATIONS: “I absolutely love Jimi Hendrix,” Guinevere professes. “I’ve connected with everything he has ever written or played. From the moment I heard ‘Little Wing’ live from Woodstock, I was in love. Also, Pee Wee Herman’s rendition of ‘Tequila’ really inspired me in ways I didn’t know were possible.”
SHE’S REALLY HANDY WITH A GUN: “Let’s just say if a zombie apocalypse broke out…you’ll be safe at my place.”
HER GAMING OBSESSION: The kooky songstress is so enamored with the computer game Call Of Duty that she named her record label after it. She also enjoys sparring against fans online. “I’ve actually played with a bunch of fans. I have yet to set up a date for the new game MW3. I haven’t had much time to play and I don’t want to get schooled by some 9-year-old kid in Korea. I must train before I set foot in battle.”
TREKKIE TALK: Apart from shooting people online, Guinevere also spends a lot of time watching Star Trek. When asked if she would prefer to get romantic with Spock or Captain Kirk, the mega-fan muses: “It totally depends on what generation. If you are talking about first generation Star Trek with William Shatner, I would choose him, but only in his prime, not the Denny Crane version. But if you are talking about the new Star Trek that just came out, I would have to say Spock. His ears are so pointy. Hmmm.”
AN ALBUM IS COMING: “There is no set date but you can expect another single and video to come out shortly. Maybe I’ll put guns, Star Trek, talking insects, and more PVC into it. Or a real gorilla wearing a gorilla suit. Wrap that around your head.”
While we wait for that opus, watch an exclusive video interview of the future hitmaker about her music and unusual past-times below.