Archive for the ‘In Conversation’ Category

Popping Up: Ayah Marar

ayah marar idolator interview thinking about you calvin harris
She's Keeping It 'Real'
Popping Up is our recurring look at new artists making noise on the music landscape. Because, hey — Madonna and Britney were once unknown, too.

You’ve heard her voice on several Calvin Harris tracks, including current single “Thinking About You,” and maybe you even caught her lovely acoustic performance of that particular song here on Idolator this week. Now it’s time to learn all about Ayah Marar.

During her visit to our studio last week, the London-based singer talked about her latest successful collaboration with with longtime friend Calvin: “We met at a record shop I used to work at, Uptown Records, in Soho, London,” she explained. “We co-wrote the new single together, ‘Thinking About You’, and that was marking the tenth anniversary of our meeting. It’s a bit of a special one for us.”

Ayah also discussed recording her debut album The Real, and gave us a walk-through the ornate artwork found on the CD sleeve. Watch the interview above. More »

Popping Up: K. Rose

k rose sink or swim idolator interview
Learn All About This Dashing Young Diva
Popping Up is our recurring look at new artists making noise on the music landscape. Because, hey — Madonna and Britney were once unknown, too.

K. Rose isn’t exactly a stranger around Idolator. You may recall that we premiered her video for hypnotic club jam “A Voi E A Me (You And I)” back in January. So when this young singer/songwriter/dancer from the Sunshine State traveled up North, we were eager to put her in our Popping Up hot seat and find out what drives her, creatively.

And so, with blonde braids in, harem pants on and a striking arm tattoo — one that’s dedicated to her brother, Richard, as well as her love of music — on full display, K. Rose gave us the lowdown on her current single “Booji Girl,” her upcoming collaboration with Rick Ross and new EP Sink Or Swim. Watch her interview above, and find out more about this dynamic dance-pop diva below. More »

Zendaya Plays Instant “Replay”: Drake, ‘Martin’ & Other Things She Can’t Get Enough Of

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More Ice Cream? Yes, Please!
When multi-talented Shake It Up star Zendaya stopped by recently to talk about her career — both on the small screen and in the world of pop music — we also took a few minutes to grill her own some of her personal favorite things in life. After all, the 16-year-old singer’s first offering from her upcoming album is called “Replay,” so why not ask what movies, albums and TV shows she often finds herself hitting the repeat button for?

Zendaya didn’t just stick to pop culture, however, because we also zeroed in on her crazy nail game she had going on. “I think I literally have a problem,” she lamented, while discussing the fact that she can never stick to one color. More »

Richard X Discusses Annie’s ‘A&R EP’, Working With MKS, Rachel Stevens & More: Idolator Interview

Richard X & Annie, Still Making Beautiful Music Together
It’s been a hot minute since we last heard from Norwegian indie-pop icon Annie — nearly four years of hot minutes, in fact. Lucky for us, this summer the “Chewing Gum” ingenue is back in action. After first tempting the pop-loving masses this past spring with the aerobicized anthem “Tube Stops And Lonely Hearts,” Ms. A has reunited with beloved comrade and frequent collaborator Richard X for The A&R EP, a supremely enjoyable mini-collection of upbeat pop that will have you sweating away the waning weeks of summer on the dancefloor.

Even luckier for us, Richard X has taken time out of his production schedule (he’s currently working with A*M*E and MKS, among others) to chat about the EP, his work with Annie and just what kind of trouble two friends can get up to with an online translator. More »

Popping Up: Zendaya

zendaya replay idolator interview popping up
The Pop Scene: She's About To Shake It Up
Popping Up is our recurring look at new artists making noise on the music landscape. Because, hey — Madonna and Britney were once unknown, too.

Hilary. Miley. Demi. Selena. All of these names ring an instant bell as being sassy and classy ladies who, over the past decade, successfully transitioned from Disney starlet to full-on pop princess. And dancing Shake It Up diva Zendaya is aiming to make the same musical leap. She’s barely of driving age (more on that in our video interview above!), but already this multi-talented California teen has become one of the Disney Channel’s most recognizable faces, written a book, competed on Dancing With The Stars and, most recently, released “Replay,” the smooth, R&B-leaning lead single off her upcoming debut album.

Everything about Zendaya — from the mixtape-themed lyric video for “Replay” to her love of Shakespeare — indicates that there’s an old soul underneath her cool and super-cute exterior. So we were more than thrilled to have the budding songstress sit down with us for the latest segment of Popping Up! Watch above. More »

CSS Dish On ‘Planta’, Dave Sitek, Stealing Beats From Rappers & Dating In America: Idolator Interview

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Foxxxy Ladies!
It’s not every day you get to pal around with irreverent Brazilian electro-rockers CSS, but last week we found ourselves in close quarters with the dynamic quartet! Lovefoxxx, Luiza Sa, Ana Rezende and Carolina Parra strolled into the Idolator studio and proceeded to crack myself and the entire crew up with their tales of, er, lamb chops, misadventures in dating (“People in America — they never assume that they’re going on a date. They say, hey, do you want to hang out?” laments Lovefoxxx) and beginning a new era with producer Dave Sitek.

Naturally, we also spoke about CSS’ fantastic, summery new album Planta (purchase here), which the ladies recorded while crashing at Sitek’s house for a couple months in the sunny locale of Los Angeles. The record is packed with dreamy synth-pop jams like “Into The Sun,” a track we premiered here in late May, lead single “Hangover” and the quirky “Frankie Goes To North Hollywood.” More »

Frankmusik: 5 Things You Need To Know About ‘Between’

frankmusik idolator between interview
Vincent Discusses His New Album
Recently Vincent Frank — better known as electro-pop dynamo Frankmusik — stopped by Idolator’s studio to discuss the new music that makes up his recently-released third album Between (buy here). At times during our conversation, Frank delved into painful subject matter, such as the despair he felt while being part of a major label, and the personal journey he had to go on once he departed that situation.

When talking about his new self-produced songs such as “Map,” “Chasing Shadows” and “Stronger,” however, Vincent was very eager to describe how each one fit into the album as a whole, and gave him the creative outlet for all the anguish he was feeling inside. More »

Frankmusik Talks About His Personal Journey To New Album ‘Between’: Idolator Interview

frankmusik idolator interview between chasing shadows map
Frank-ly Speaking: Vincent Opens Up
I had the pleasure of catching Frankmusik‘s New York stop on his current Between States tour the other week, and afterward I invited him over to the Idolator studio for a chat the following Monday. But what I anticipated would be a simple conversation about Vincent Frank‘s self-produced, poppy-yet-introspective new album Between (out now — buy here) turned out to be something quite different.

The singer’s move from London to Los Angeles over three years ago to launch a stateside career through Interscope imprint Cherrytree, and then his subsequent departure from the label, is no secret. However, it was the personal despair that followed — the loss of religious faith, the ending of a romantic relationship — that led to Frank’s return to the UK, and the making of what would become Between.

“Sometimes you have to just go away. Let’s just see what I am on my own,” Vincent said during our very candid talk. “And that’s what I did.” He later added, “Last time I came to New York, I had a nervous breakdown…I was in [a] hotel room the size of a shoebox just crying.” More »

Pet Shop Boys Discuss ‘Electric’, Their Euphoric Summer Album: Idolator Interview

Neil & Chris, Never Being Boring
Neil Tennant and Chris Lowe are in the mood to dance. As Pet Shop Boys, the two have been pairing commentary on the ups and downs of love, nightlife, politics and history with lush pop compositions for nearly 30 years. The quantity and quality of their output is staggering — LPs, compilations, film scores, plays, a ballet, books, one-off singles and production work for other artists fill their vast catalog — and the UK duo’s 12th studio album Electric (out July 16 – pre-order here) stands among their best. (Believe me: “Axis” and “Vocal” are only the tip of the iceberg.) If you’ve been on the market for music to punctuate your upcoming summer nights, Neil and Chris have delivered in spades with this nine-track set.

That the beat-filled album was produced by fellow Brit Stuart Price (Madonna‘s Confessions On A Dancefloor, The KillersDay & Age, etc.) shouldn’t come as a surprise. The Boys have been circling around him for years. Their remix of Madonna’s Confessions single “Sorry” preceded the Price-produced medley they performed at the 2009 BRIT Awards, and Stuart’s reworking of last year’s “Memory Of The Future.”

What is noteworthy is that the upbeat Electric will arrive less than a year after their previous LP, last fall’s pensive Elysium. It’s also the first Pet Shop Boys album to be released on their own label, x2 (pronounced “times two”),  through Kobalt Label Services, after ending their longtime association with EMI/Parlophone .

I had a lengthy talk with Neil and Chris about Electric in May, in which they explained, at times hilariously so, the making of the album and the inspirations for many of their rhythm-driven new songs. Dive into the interview below. More »

Vicci Martinez: 5 Things You Need To Know About The ‘Voice’ Singer

vicci martinez idolator interview come along
Vicci Voices Up
With Season 3 of The Voice winding down and headlines flying about the lined-up coaches for the following season, we decided to temporarily tune out all that noise and check in with Vicci Martinez, a favorite from Team Cee Lo Green during the very first round of the TV talent competition. Since placing third on the program in 2011, the 28-year-old vocal powerhouse released her major label debut Vicci, an album filled with irresistible Swede-pop productions, like the Titiyo cover “Come Along,” and our favorite track, “Run Run Run,” both of which Martinez discusses above.

She also been touring around the world, and still checks out The Voice when she has a spare moment. (Her favorite contestant from the current season: the sadly-axed Judith Hill.) More »