Pop-Culture | Posted by Julie Z on 06/30/2013
Support Women Artists Sunday: Shingai Shoniwa
Shingai Elizabeth Maria Shoniwa (born on 1 September 1981) is an English singer of Zimbabwean descent and best known as the vocalist and bassist for the UK indie rock band Noisettes. Her first name, Shingai, means ‘persevere’ in the Shona language.
Shoniwa grew up in a South London public-housing estate; her father died when she was 11, leaving her to a single mother who had emigrated from Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe). The experience, Shoniwa says, absolutely informs her music. “Wanting to escape from reality can inspire the greatest and most trivial creative natures in people,” and “I think escapism is something that connects all of us. Everybody has their own little soundtrack, and I guess I’m trying to make my own soundtrack to my escape plan. I want people to realize …
Pop-Culture | Posted by Julie Z on 06/23/2013
Support Women Artists Sunday: Elliphant
Sounding like the twisted illegitimate offspring of MIA and Diplo – as deliciously fierce as the former but as intelligently playful as the latter – Elliphant pulls the balls of this dancehall slayer through its own throat and ties them in a cherry knot the other side.
Ellinor Olovsdotter slowly morphed into Elliphant through the course of a long (and lost) summer travelling in the UK with only a dubstep soundsystem for company. After falling in love with the urban music sounds of London she returned home to Stockholm, on Sweden’s East Coast, boasting sizzling MC skills and some serious lyrical prowess.
Now, having already won over the likes of Dazed & Confused ["all abstract lyrcisms and cheap dirty beats"], NME “[amazing'"], Pitchfork “[Elliphant sound like nothing but the future"] …
Pop-Culture | Posted by Julie Z on 06/9/2013
Support Women Artists Sunday: Niki & The Dove
Niki & The Dove is a band from Stockholm, Sweden with two members, Malin Dahlström and Gustaf Karlöf. Getting together in February 2010, Malin and Gustaf have spent the time since writing together, figuring out just how pop music works and then discovering new ways to break it.Niki & The Dove’s songs are full of magic and light but with an unsettling darkness hidden beneath the surface. It’s pop music but a world away from the production line aesthetics of much modern chart music.Not just a great studio act though, Malin and Gustaf’s background working with theater and dance productions means that playing live is integral to the band. Drawing upon their wide circle of talented friends and collaborators, no two Niki & The Dove shows are the same, but …
Pop-Culture | Posted by Julie Z on 06/2/2013
Support Women Artists Sunday: Lianne La Havas
La Havas was born in London, England to a Greek father and Jamaican mother. She was raised in Tooting and Streatham, spending the majority of her time with her grandparents following her parents’ separation as a child. La Havas began singing at seven and cites her parents’ diverse musical tastes as having the biggest influence on her music. Her mother played with Jill Scott and Mary J. Blige, and her father, an accomplished multi-instrumentalist, taught her the basics of guitar and piano. Lianne wrote her first song at the age of 11, but did not learn to play the guitar until she was 18 years old. Lianne attended Norbury Manor Business and Enterprise College for Girls in Croydon, where she studied art A-level, and planned to take an art foundation …
Pop-Culture | Posted by Julie Z on 04/28/2013
Support Women Artists Sunday: Nadine Shah
Of Norwegian and Pakistani ancestry, British born Nadine Shah is an uncompromising vocalist/composer hailing from a small coastal village in the North East of England called Whitburn. Her dark tales of love, loss and lust are fast earning her favourable comparisons such as ‘the female Nick Cave’. Sonically, she counts her inspirations as artists such as Scott Waker, PJ Harvey and Dirty Projectors, though lyrically her tales are better informed by love, tragedy, the sea and more abstractly the works of Philip Larkin and Frida Kahlo. ?Nadine is currently working on her debut album with producer Ben Hillier.
Nadine Shah on iTunes:
Pop-Culture | Posted by Julie Z on 04/21/2013
Support Women Artists Sunday: AlunaGeorge
AlunaGeorge, featuring chanteuse Aluna Francis, is quickly becoming one of the breakout bands of 2013. Consisting of Francis and producer George Reid, the electronica group combines intimate vocals with synthesized pop, house, R&B, and dub-step. Though already pretty big in the UK—the duo nabbed second in BBC’s Sound of 2013 contest—Francis’ voice will likely get way more air time in the US in the coming year.
Francis, who is half Indian and half Jamaican, worked as a reflexologist and previously sang for the band My Toys Like Me. She first met Reid when he remixed one of My Toys’ songs, and they paired up and released their first commercial single (“Your Drums, Your Love,” above) late last year. Though minimalist and futuristic, AlunaGeorge’s songs are made human by Francis’ …
Pop-Culture | Posted by Julie Z on 04/14/2013
Support Women Artists Sunday: Lake Street Drive
Hailing from such disparate locales as Tennessee (Price), Iowa (Kearney), Minneapolis (Olson), and Philadelphia (Calabrese), Lake Street Dive first gathered in a room together when they were students at Boston’s New England Conservatory. “Mr. McDuck assembled the four of us, said we were now Lake Street Dive, and we were a ‘free country’ band,” Bridget Kearney remembers. “He wrote this on a chalkboard in the ensemble room that we had our first rehearsal in. We intended to play country music in an improvised, avant-garde style – like Loretta Lynn meets Ornette Coleman. It sounded terrible! But the combination of people and personalities actually made a lot of sense and we had a great time being around each other and making music together.”
Lake Street Dive makes the most of pop …
Creative | Posted by Julie Z on 02/24/2013
Support Women Artists Sunday: Rebecca Ferguson
People used to tell Rebecca Ferguson her life was ruined. A teenage mother of two children, dreams of becoming a famous singer seemed far-fetched. Motivated to fulfill her lifelong wish, Rebecca signed up for the tenth season of the UK’s X Factor, and pushed through emotional breakdowns to perform almost every week. Adored quickly by harsh critic and judge Simon Cowell, Rebecca wound up being the show’s runner-up and began crafting songs for her debut album, Heaven, soon after. Coming from a struggling single-parent household, there wasn’t enough money for Rebecca to follow her passion for singing, so at 14 she got a job in a clothes shop to pay for singing lessons. Performing Arts college followed, despite her mother’s attempts to keep her from anything but Christian music. “I …