Archive for the ‘In Conversation’ Category

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’

rudimental idolator interview home feel the love
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

rudimental beyonce idolator interview home feel the love
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

rudimental ed sheeran idolator interview ellie goulding game collaborating
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

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

Zendaya idolator interview replay 2013
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 »