FIND OUT: WHO IS TINY DANCER?

Posted on July 15, 2013

Tiny Dancer – real name not known – is the latest female singer to be tipped for superstardom. If you’ve seen Tiny’s video for her song Who Am I? you’ll know who we’re talking about when we say; flame-red Little Mermaid locks and Kate Bush-esque performance style.

Still only 18, this pocket-sized troubadour has already worked with uber producer Wayne Wilkins and earned herself comparisons to Gwen Stefani and Marina and the Diamonds. We spoke to Tiny about how she got where she is and some of her musical influences AND we’re giving you the chance to download her EP here. No need to thank us, we’re only doing our job.

How did growing up in Sheffield inspire your music?

Not so much Sheffield but my house – music was everywhere at home. My Dad is very musical and was always playing the guitar and listening to music from bands like The Beatles, Phil Collins, The Monkees and Genesis and that exposed me to a lot of great music very early and I grew up with a natural instinct to perform and write songs.

How was working with Wayne Wilkins who has worked with the likes of  Beyoncé and Cheryl Cole?

Wayne is a genuine person and obviously very accomplished. He also has a massively infectious laugh! So to be able to learn and gain experience from someone who has been so successful, but is also a really great guy, made our collaboration very fun. He’s taught me a huge amount already.

Where did the name Tiny Dancer come from?

When I was about 6 years old I used to dance on my tip-toes and my Dad gave me the name, and it stuck. Everyone just calls me Tiny.

Which artists do you look to for inspiration?

I take inspiration from such a wide range of artists for many different reasons; Dinah Washington and Amy Winehouse for their fantastically emotional and gifted vocal. Grace Jones for just being herself, the ultimate Grace Jones. Undeniably Bowie, for everything, but that goes without saying. It’s really anyone who gets to do what they love, as it can only come across as genuine.

Which artist would you most like to collaborate with and why?

Azealia Banks is pretty wow!

What’s been your favourite album of the last year?

The Phoenix, Bankrupt. I totally love this synth heavy record!

How would you describe your style and what are your wardrobe must-haves?

I’d like to live in an eternal summer – I love wearing lots of two pieces, currently I’m very into my high-waisted disco shorts. Accessories also play a big part for me as they transform any outfit – I love wearing my watch as an anklet at the moment.

What do you hope to achieve as Tiny Dancer?

World domination?! No really, I’d just like to feel I’d inspired other people in some way.

Follow Tiny Dancer on Twitter for more updates @tinydancermusic

WE GOT PURE LOVE FOR PURITY RING

Posted on July 8, 2013

Heading to London’s Lovebox? Or Germany’s Melt!? Well, do us a favour and make sure not to miss the Canadian duo you probably won’t have heard of but you definitely should have, Purity Ring. In the last month they’ve killed it at Bonnaroo festival, wowed viewers with a Boiler Room session and kept New York’s sodden festival-goers smiling at the Downtown festival. If that wasn’t all, they’ve just nominated for the 2013 Polaris Music Prize, the not-for-profit organization that rewards creativity in the music biz. Behind the buzz and the hype are Toronto-born and bred Megan James and Corin Roddick. The sound itself is dark and mysterious but kept the right side of pop with Megan’s haunting yet catchy vocals. There’s a little auto-tune, some home-made instruments and a whole lot of head swaying to be done. We spoke to the good looking twosome about making their own clothes and their best gig.

How did Purity Ring come to be?

We are teenagehood friends.  We met mutually through playing music in our true hometown city of Edmonton. Corin was a member of a band that is now called Born Gold and began producing his own compositions during a 5 month long tour of the states with them. We lived in different cities at the time and still do, so our band is and always was a long distance endeavour. Aside from recording and touring.

Tell us about your unique instrument- choice can you tell us a little bit about this?

We started out with a strong initiative to make our live show something intriguing, as we couldn’t very well play the way we wrote, separately. We began with building a midi instrument of sorts that Corin could hit with drumsticks, his previous instrumental vocation.  We set up a backdrop stand and a standalone drum that Megan would hit for emphasis in a few select songs.  Corin has now developed the midi instrument into an array of crystal lamps that light up and sound when he hits them, the drum still stands, and we play beneath a sea of these hanging lights that react with different behaviours throughout the set, bringing a mood about that feels interactive with an audience.  All of it is about letting people in and making our set seem like a welcome sphere of quizzical and familiar imagery.

Megan, can you tell us about the clothes you make for the band?

My previous vocation was among other things; sewing.  I’ve been making clothing for a long time so naturally I would continue to do so.  At one point I nearly succeeded in having my entire wardrobe homemade.  It takes way too much time to keep that up but I happily continue to sew and wear and in the future hopefully share with more than just Corin and close friends.  I mostly make fairly casual clothes for others, and a lot of dresses for me.  As our live show progresses I’ll have a lot more to say about the way my clothing will also be a part of our visual atmosphere in a show, for now it’s just a comfort.

What’s the best gig you’ve ever played?

That’s an extremely difficult question to answer, there are more than 100 amazing shows to choose from, but I must say, whenever it is asked one of the many memories that race through my head is Madame JoJo’s in London.  It was our first show in the city and it filled out and felt like a wonder of experience for everyone who came. After I learned a bit about the history of the venue, and there was glitter everywhere from the night before I thought ‘oh this will place is a little bit magic,’  It came through as such.  A lot of the time shows become a blur after touring for so long, but that one sticks out.

Download a track from Purity Ring here. Purity Ring will be playing at Lovebox music festival alongside Azelia Banks, Goldfrapp and D’Angelo. Get your last minute tickets here and keep up to date, here.

 

THEY’RE A REALLY, REALLY BIG DEAL

Posted on July 1, 2013

We like nothing better than stumbling upon a new boy-girl musical team on a lacklustre Monday morning so were overjoyed when our ears pricked up the luscious sounds of dashing duo, Big Deal. Anglo-US indie pairing, Alice Costelloe and Kacey Underwood, may sound like a gambling company but are in fact a twosome that have been slowly but surely getting the music biz excited. They both do vocals and both play guitar to languorous perfection and there’s nothing missing even without a rhythm section. It’s our favourite brand of fuzzy dream-pop with a lot of moody guitar riffs that we can see ourselves sunning ourselves to. As for the lyrics, they’re awash with romance and young love and there’s even adorable references to homework and days at school, “can’t do my homework, I can’t concentrate … it’s ruining my grades.” This month they play London’s hip Madame Jo Jo’s and one of Topshop HQ’s top British music festival, Lovebox.We spoke to the boy half, Kacey, about making music and if music were food, what edible goods Big Deal would be.

What came before Big Deal?

We were all in different bands with less nice people. Alice was in a band called Pull in Emergency and I was in a bunch of different ones but most recently Little Death.

What’s your “making music” process like? 

One of us has an idea which we then bounce back and forth for as long or as little as possible til it resembles a song. It’s a lot like tennis, which we actually love as well.

Is it completely joint effort or does one of you lead the way? 

If I am serving, I tend to win. If Alice is serving, I also tend to win.  But it is always a very… ehem joint effort.

How would you describe your music to someone who’s never heard it?

We do our best not to ever try to describe our music. But since you asked: like unicorns arguing.

If your music was a food what would it be?

Ice cream.

What are your touring must-haves?

Fingernail clippers, Baraka and lots of good music to fill the drives with.

How would you describe your style?

Comfortable, mostly hardly washed, second hand germ-infested rags.

Who would be your dream collaborator?

David Byrne and Joanna Newsom

Watch Big Deal’s latest music video below and listen to their new single Dream Machines, here.

TOM ODELL: THE ROAD TO ITUNES FESTIVAL

Posted on June 25, 2013

Many young hearts have been broken thanks to the musical presence of hot new thing Tom Odell. Most recently, the singer-songwriter has caused such a stir that he’s been chosen to take the Roundhouse stage at the iTunes Festival with none other than Elton John.

The 22 year old has been penning original material since the age of 13 and now has a huge fan base who are smitten with his moving vocals and impressive piano skills. His newest single “Grow Old With Me” pulled at our heart strings from the moment we heard it and since then, we’ve wanted to find out where all his material came from. We managed to grab some time with Tom earlier on in the year to talk inspiration, dreams and Chinese herbal medicine. Needless to say, we’re more in love with his voice than ever!

(Don’t forget, you can win tickets to any of the iTunes Festival shows all month over on Twitter!)

What’s your “making music” process like? 

It’s kind of always changing and I never really stick to one method. I think the thing I’ve learnt from making an album is, you can’t force inspiration, but it’s important to be prepared for when it does come. So I always keep a notebook and dictaphone with me.

How would you describe your music to someone who’s never heard it? 

Piano. Lots and lots of piano. Also some singing. And some drums. And some bass.

What are your touring must-haves? 

There’s this special type of Chinese herbal medicine that I can’t pronounce the name of that really helps my voice. When I’ve had 4 hours sleep, been singing all day and need to do a gig, it really sorts me out. And next time I tour, I need to stock up because I ran out half way through the last tour and it’s impossible to find!

How would you describe your style? 

I wear Chelsea boots and black skinny jeans pretty much the whole time. And at the moment I’m wearing a lot of varsity jackets.

What was the inspiration or main message behind the new album? 

‘Write your troubles in the sand’, you know that quote? I guess the same applies to songwriting. Once I put my troubles in a song, they seem to disappear a little.

Who would be your dream collaborator? 

I’m a big film fan and I’ve always had this dream of working on a score or a soundtrack. The way music and film fit together, it fascinates me. I was lucky enough to work with this amazing director Jamie Thraves on a short film for Another Love. I really enjoyed that.

Tell us a little bit about Another Love.

It’s called “Another Love” and it’s the first song I ever showed to the world back in September of last year. Christopher Bailey decided to use it in his Burberry Fashion show and it’s kind of risen naturally since then. It’s nice to finally hear it on the radio.

If you’d like to win tickets to the iTunes Festival with a line-up that includes Katy Perry, Lady Gaga and Justin Timberlake follow our competition over on Twitter.

THE PROM DRESS YOUR DREAMS ARE MADE OF

Posted on June 21, 2013

This year we played the Prom Fairy Godmother and made two fashion wishes come true for two very lucky students’ special night. We’re talking about the Prom Queen competition we launched in early March, when we encouraged our Pinterest-loving fans to create a board dedicated to their dream prom dress with the chance to win a fabulous frock inspired by the very same mood boards. Months passed, entries flooded in and finally, our prestigious design team sifted through the incredible submissions to find two of the most enticing boards that they were eager to turn from theme to bespoke gown!

Enter Alina Pena, our US winner from La Guardia Performing Arts High School whose ‘70s-style, glitter-tastic and butterfly covered mood board caught the design team’s attention. This wasn’t just any dress-winning-competition either. Alina had initial design sketches sent over to her before being whisked over to Topshop HQ in London for a fitting with our pattern team and time to put the finishing touches on the gorgeous gown. The result has a sumptuous lilac gown with a sheer overall and puff sleeves – a dreamy, romantic silhouettes that all of the staff at Topshop  HQ were swooning over. What more could a girl ask for? Oh, an article on Teen Vogue following the whole experience wouldn’t go a miss either!

We stole some of Alina precious time in London and chatted to her about the competition, prom beauty looks and what she’s expecting for the big night.

What are blogs or magazines are you’re into at the moment?

I’m a big fan of Tavi Gevinson, her blog and Rookie, I’m on there quite a bit. I’m subscribed to Teen Vogue and Marie Claire and whenever we go to airports I get Vogue and more high fashion magazines that I normally wouldn’t get. Also, my friend has a really cool blog called You’re A Tulle, that’s great.

Where is your prom?

it’s on Park Avenue. It’s supposed to be a really nice. I’m hoping it’s going to be just like Virgin Suicides. Nice and sparkly.

What are you thinking for your make-up look?

I think I’m going to keep the nail polish I have on now, it’s a light pastel, periwinkle blue. I’m probably going to get streaks in my hair in like a pink or lavender colour extensions maybe.

Is your dress what you imagined?

We fitted it today and pinned me in and it felt very glamorous! It’s so perfect. I was so highly specific about butterflies and now they’re all over it.

Where did the main inspiration come from?

I was torn between two things. I didn’t know if I wanted to do a strictly Virgin Suicides, ‘70s, flowly thing or more of a rockabilly rebel look with a fitted gingham dress. When I started making the board I went through my fashion and shoes folders and saw that a lot of things I loved were sheer and floral so I pulled all of those things that were similar. It’s a similar vibe to Meadham Kirschoff. I threw all of those images into my Pinterest board and I never thought that this would happen!

What are you listening to at the moment?

There’s this band called The Growlers, their aesthetic is totally not consistent with the dress they’re really dark and sun soaked at the same time. Evil carnival-meets-The Beach Boys that reminds me of chilling with your friends by the pool.

Do you have any fashion people who you look up to?

Tavi again and pretty much every Wes Anderson character like The Royal Tenembaums. I looked for a tennis dress that Margot wears for so long and finding one felt like such a success. Audrey Hepburn is everyone’s right? I’ve got little bangs just like hers.

What have you planned for prom so far?

It’s hectic. There’s pre-prom where I’m hoping to get ready with the girls. Then actual prom, which I hope, will be lots of eating ice cream, plenty of dancing, saying goodbye! And then there’s ‘After Prom’ which is like a big party with pretty much everybody from the school. Hopefully staying out as late as possible.  Falling asleep on the beach, etc.

Do you have a date?

My friend Josh asked me so he’s probably going to be dressed equally as wild, I think everyone will be impressed by him.

What’s planned post-prom?

I’m going to Queen College in September for their Macaulay Honours programme. As for over the summer my best friend and I are probably going to go to Greece, I’m looking forward to that. I might go to Florida with my friend Gabi and all the girls. I’m gonna try and take trains places and cross state lines with my friends.

We asked Alina what she’d like to hear at prom and she very kindly made an awesome playlist just for us Topshop gals.

“It’s a bit of a mix. I knew the whole prom/leaving high school was going to be a pretty wild mix of emotions, so I figured I would let the playlist do the same. The majority is, of course, all that sort of chaotic-self-centered-I-don’t-care-about-anything-but-having-fun type of music that has everything to do with prom night, but there are also songs that are there just ‘cos they’re great to dance to or they contain the kind of sentimental and nostalgic feelings that I’m having at the moment.”

Stay tuned to hear more about our second winner from the UK.

Topshop Tweets

Of course @Alexa_Chung looks good baking! She's rocking our leopard coat for #GBBOComicRelief http://t.co/jRLn5Ap5Ql
about 5 hours ago

New suits and super fancy street style, see what we learnt from #MFW this season: http://t.co/kVNM7paUqX http://t.co/Cvktc6E5Tv
about 8 hours ago

The new track from @yak_band has gone straight to the top of our Wednesday playlist! http://t.co/QVoh3CFboD
about 9 hours ago

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