Archive for the ‘In Conversation’ Category

Colbie Caillat On Babyface, Ryan Tedder And Her Upcoming Album: Idolator Interview

Despite the fact that her last proper studio album was released nearly three years ago, Colbie Caillat‘s output has been remained prolific — and successfully so. The California singer’s 2012 holiday LP, Christmas In The Sand, was followed up by “We Both Know,” a duet with Gavin DeGraw from the Safe Haven soundtrack — the kind of sweet pair-up they just don’t make anymore, unless you’re, say, Pink and Nate Ruess. The track wound up earning Caillat her fifth Grammy nomination in December, this time for Best Song Written For Visual Media.

“Relativity Media asked me two summers ago if I would write a song for the Safe Haven film and I was on tour with Gavin that summer, so I asked him. We had already been trying to get together to write songs, so that one was the one we did. Gavin started playing piano at my house so beautifully and we just went from there. His voice is so gorgeous,” Caillat tells Idolator of “We Both Know.”

The duet lost out to Adele‘s multi-award-winning “Skyfall” at the Grammys last month, but Colbie has already moved on to her yet-to-be-titled fifth album, which she’s hoping sees a spring release. That said, the up-tempo record that will come out is a vastly different one than Caillat originally began recording last summer with producer John Shanks, thanks to a late-in-the-game session with Ryan Tedder. More »

Naughty Boy On The Story Behind “La La La” & Working With Sam Smith: Idolator Interview

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Watch And Learn
Earlier this year, Naughty Boy‘s addictive “La La La,” featuring vocalist Sam Smith, racked up impressive chart positions around the globe, hitting #1 in various parts of Europe — including the producer’s home of the UK — and placing in the Top 10 in others. Now it’s finally time for America to wrap its collective ear around the catchy dance-pop track.

“La La La” will be available on US iTunes next week (December 3), and ahead of that, Naughty Boy sat down with Idolator to explain the stories behind both the song and its cinematic music video.

“Initially, I was gonna write ['La La La'] with Emeli [Sande],” he tells us. “But because she was on tour, I did the session with Sam [Smith]… It just had to be Sam because where it went from there is perfect.” More »

Naughty Boy Discusses William Orbit, Madonna And (Not Working With) Britney Spears: Watch

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The Talented Producer Loves 'Ray Of Light'
Super songwriter/producer Naughty Boy (Emeli Sande‘s Our Version Of Events) came this close to having a hand in Britney Spears‘ upcoming LP, Britney Jean, but a funny thing happened, which prevented him from taking part: His own single “La La La” became a global smash, topping the charts in various parts of Europe — including Naughty Boy’s home of the UK — and placing in the Top 10 in others.

“I was working on some stuff with William Orbit, who was working on the Britney stuff,” Naughty Boy, whose real name is Shahid Khan, explained during a stop by Idolator’s studio this week. “I haven’t done anything for [Britney Jean]. It was more a thing where I wasn’t able to come to L.A. at the time…because I was promoting ‘La La La’ around the world.” More »

Diane Birch Discusses Her New Album, Her Love For ’80s Music & Stalking Nile Rodgers: Interview

The Singer Speaks With Us (A Little Louder)
Nile Rodgers and Giorgio Moroder, if you’re out there, Diane Birch would love to work with you (and, yes — she’s wanted to do so since before the whole Daft Punk foofaraw). That said, given the mix of bittersweet tracks and impeccable production found on the singer-songwriter’s new album Speak A Little Louder (out now), it’s clear Diane is doing just fine at the moment without those two particular disco legends in her corner.

It’s been four years since Birch made a name for herself with her retro-sounding LP Bible Belt. This time around, she collaborated with songwriter Eg White, producer Homer Steinweiss, Questlove of The Roots and R&B queen Betty Wright, among others, on an album that marks quite a change in direction from her debut.

Head below to find out why it took so long to put her second record out and find out about the breakup that fueled the album’s lyrics. More »

Alison Goldfrapp Discusses The Cinematic World She Created For ‘Tales Of Us’: Interview

To say that Goldfrapp‘s brand new album Tales Of Us (purchase here) is a departure from the UK duo’s previous studio set, 2010′s ’80s synth throwback Head First, would be a huge understatement. (“It will sound best as the seasons change, a soundtrack to falling leaves and lit fireplaces,” we noted in our review of the record.) Frontwoman Alison Goldfrapp made it quite clear in the past that she and Will Gregory were under a looming, tight deadline to get Head First completed, and the result — a quite enjoyable pop album when stacked up against those of their contemporaries, to be honest — wasn’t one she was particularly fond of.

And so here we are with Tales Of Us, which is released today. The lush, string-laden LP is a world unto its own, each song (save for one, “Stranger”) bearing the name of the person whose story is told beautifully and melodically by Alison and Will.

Goldfrapp will celebrate the record’s release with a special concert at New York City’s Beacon Theatre this evening. Ahead of that, I had a conversation with Alison — my third in three years for Idolator — who happily discussed the two-year labor of love that is Tales Of Us. More »

Rudimental Explain 5 Things You Need To Know About Their Debut Album ‘Home’

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The Guys Talk About Drumming Up Their Debut LP
After sitting down with UK band Rudimental recently, we know that the UK band have been in the studio with Ed Sheeran, Ellie Goudling and The Game — all at once — and that Beyonce and Lauryn Hill hold a special place in their hearts. Now it’s time to present our full interview with the charming quartet, wherein they discuss the making of their beat-filled debut LP Home, and hooking up with artists like soulful crooner John Newman, who provides vocals on their British chart-topper “Feel The Love.”

The band’s DJ Locksmith also explained the mindset of Rudimental, as far as their sound goes: “I think there’s longevity in being sort of special, and having variety and having house music…”

Kesi Dryden jumped in to point out that these are “all the influences that we grew up with — they sort of shaped our album and the sound we have.” More »

Rudimental Want To Collaborate With Beyonce (For All The Wrong Reasons) & Lauryn Hill: Interview

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Can You Feel The Love, Bey?
British act Rudimental hit up our studio last week and talked about their debut album Home as well as their recent recording session with Ellie Goulding, Ed Sheeran and The Game (that’s right — one session, three artists). But we were also interested in finding out who the drum and bass/dance-pop quartet would love to collaborate with in the future. The first name that popped out of DJ Locksmith‘s mouth: Queen B.

“I would collaborate with Beyonce for so many of the wrong reasons,” Locksmith joked…or at least we think the randy “Feel The Love” hit-maker was joking. The rest of the guys cracked up for several moments, but they eventually noted that Lauryn Hill and D’Angelo are names they wouldn’t mind aligning themselves with. More »

Bridgit Mendler Dicusses Ideas For Her Next Album & Being A Fan Of UK Singer John Newman: Interview

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Ready Or Not, She's Thinking About Her Next Album
Pop multihyphenate Bridgit Mendler is still in the midst of her Summer Tour, and when the “Hurricane” singer breezed into town recently, we took the opportunity to catch up with her. You may recall Bridgit telling us last December that her favorite song of the previous year was Frank Ocean‘s  “Thinkin Bout You.” Well, it’s a new year with new players on the pop scene, including soulful British crooner John Newman, and Mendler was singing his praises while she was here.

Also, good news for fans of the singer waiting for fresh material: she also discussed the fact that she’s in the early stages of jotting down ideas for her follow-up to her debut album Hello My Name Is… More »

Rudimental Discuss Collaborating With Ed Sheeran, Ellie Goulding & Game: Interview

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Feel The Rudimental Love
Two weeks ago, Rudimental made headlines when they tossed a photo on Instagram indicating that they’d just recorded new material with Game and Ed Sheeran. Earlier this week, the hit-making UK drum and bass/dance-pop act played a gig in Central Park with their friend Emeli Sande, and we took the opportunity to lure the lads into our studio and have a chat — and it turns out Game and Ed weren’t the only big names making music with the quartet recently.

“We did a session in L.A., in La La Land, with Ed Sheeran, and The Game turned up as well,” explains Rudimental’s Amir Amor. “[Game] actually phoned [Ed Sheeran] and was like, ‘Hey, man, my girl really loves your music’…and Ed invited him to the studio… Ellie Goulding popped in as well.”

Watch the interview above. More »

Popping Up: Ayah Marar

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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 »