Having trouble planning your week in pop? Look no further!
Here are some of the best events happening this week, as listed in our Pop Diary!
- Scouting For Girls (Putney)
- Lady Gaga (Twickenham) will be performing live in the UK this week.
- Ed Sheeran will be playing the iTunes Festival
- Olly Murs will be playing the iTunes Festival
- Plan B will be playing the iTunes Festival
- Emeli Sandé will be playing the iTunes Festival
- JLS will be playing the iTunes Festival
- Conor Maynard will be playing the iTunes Festival
- The Vaccines will be signing copies of their new album ‘Come of Age’ at HMV Manchester.
- Scouting For Girls release their album ‘The Light Between Us’
- The Vaccines release their album ‘Come of Age’
- The Script ft. Will.i.am – ‘Hall of Fame’
- Smiler ft. Tawiah & Professor Green – ‘Top of the World’
- Pink – ‘Blow Me (One Last Kiss)’
- Ne-Yo – ‘Let Me Love You (Until You Learn To Love Yourself)’
- Cheryl – ‘Under The Sun’
TV / RADIO
- One Direction, Taylor Swift, Rihanna and Pink will perform at The MTV Video Awards 2012 will be broadcast live, with performances from (1am, MTV, Friday 7th September).
- Little Mix will be appearing on Daybreak (6am, ITV1, Monday 3rd September)
- Joe McElderry & Stacey Solomon will be chatting to the Loose Women (12.30pm, ITV1, Wednesday 5th September).
- The Vaccines will be taking over BBC Radio 1 Live Lounge (10am, BBC Radio 1, Monday 3rd September).
3 Words, 4 winners, one swan dive. Congratulations Geri Harrison, Emily Jones, Kazmir Easson and Stephanie Roland who bag themselves tickets to see Cheryl Cole be brilliant live. Everyone else, more competitions here.
3 Words for you: MASSIVE GIVE AWAY. Next month Queen Chezzah hits the road for her first ever headline nationwide arena tour – the ‘A Million Lights’ tour – and if you haven’t bagged yourself tickets yet, read on. We’ve got 4 pairs of tickets to see the *that* swan dive… live, at the city of your choice. To enter today’s Comp of the Day simply:
THIS COMPETITION IS NOW CLOSED
A boiling hot afternoon in some rather posh record company offices. Diet Coke for Mr McElderry, strong cup of tea for Maximum Pop! No sugar, please. Let’s talk…
Personal – I did a lot of songwriting and it’s the first album I’ve had writing input.
Growth – with what I’ve learnt since Popstar To Operastar and touring, my vocals are a lot stronger now and they’re showcased quite a lot on the album.
Emotional – the lyrics are strong and I think people might cry a little bit!
Do you have a favourite track?
‘What Have I Done’ is about when you’ve ended a relationship with somebody and before you can move on you need the answers. It can be a girlfriend, boyfriend, best friend, family member. There are some lyrics in there that wouldn’t relate to a family member - “lying by your side”…
That would be a very different type of song, Joe.
Haha! When you’ve had a row with somebody and the contact goes, sometimes the most difficult thing is that you just don’t talk to them anymore and it’s ended horribly.
Do your lyrics come from your own experiences?
Sometimes you don’t want to write all about you. With ‘Here’s What I Believe’, the song, so many of my friends had been cheated on and I’d heard so many stories: “he was seeing another girl for six months”, you know. I’ve experienced that as well, it’s horrible when you get cheated on. So that was more taking in information from other people.
Well now they know you’re listening for gossip, they might not tell you everything! In the writing process, is it lyrics or melodies first?
I did a writing camp and a lot of that was melody first, then lyrics. I prefer to write lyrics first because you’re not as limited. If you have some lyrics down you can’t say “well that doesn’t fit to that tune”; you make the music fit to the lyrics.
As your writing develops are you looking to include less cover versions on future albums?
I think so, but with the covers on this album we’ve been really clever and not picked obvious ones that people would expect me to do.
‘Skyscraper’ by Demi Lovato will be known by obsessive pop fans but it might be a new song to most listeners.
That song had slipped under the radar in the UK and it’s so powerful that it deserves to be well known. I hope people enjoy it! Also, I said that if we’re going to do covers on this album, they have to be completely different to the originals. I’ve done the carbon copies now. With these ones I wanted to totally change them.
Well, it’s difficult with opera or Christmas songs to stray too far from the versions people know…
Yeah, those two albums were kind of concept albums so you had to fit to the concept. With the Christmas one you couldn’t start doing a disco version of ‘Mary’s Boy Child’!
The album reminds us of your time on X Factor in that it’s quite a “mature pop” sound.
This is the album that I always should have made. It’s poppy but it’s not overly produced. I suppose it’s what I am! If you come along to my live show I’m very much about not trying to dress things up too much, just belting some tunes out and I wanted to do that. The inspiration for lots of this album was Lady Antebellum and Carrie Underwood and those country and western, hooky melodies with clever lyrics.
On X Factor you were more of a George Michael, Will Young type artist, all about the vocals, etc. Then the Wide Awake album came out and it was very…
…overproduced! It was quite Europoppy with some American pop ballads. I’m really proud of that album, I love it and there’s some great songs on there. At the time we fit to a brief because we’d found ‘Ambitions’ and we were going for it as the single. Had that song not been found the album probably would have been totally different. That happens sometimes. You get a song you think is going to be a hit and make everything fit to it. If I was to do it again I wouldn’t have had the vocals produced as much.
Yes, on ‘Someone Wake Me Up’ there was a really ludicrous Auto-Tune moment before the final chorus that felt rather unnecessary.
Yeah. I think we just tried to test things out a bit. It’s a great pop album but it shocked a lot of people. They were like, “where’s his voice?”
You did a video shoot the other day for ‘Here’s What I Believe’. How important is the visual side of your music? 1 being “I suppose we’d better do a video if we want the song to be played on TV”, 10 being Lady Gaga’s attention to image.
I’m very precise with my image but I’m quite a laid-back, reserved person so you’d never see us like Lady Gaga because I’m not that type of artist and I sometimes feel it does distract. There’s times I watch Lady Gaga, who is incredible, and I just wish she’d wear a plain dress. She’s got such a good voice that she doesn’t need to do “all of that”. Image is important and I got creatively involved in this video. I suppose I’m a 10 but in a different way. I’m very “on” with what I want to look like but it’s not as full-on as Lady Gaga!
You’ve won X Factor and Popstar To Operstar. What do you think about talent shows in general?
People will disagree with this and say “X Factor ruins the industry” but it’s hard to come from the North East and get into the music industry. It’s not as plain sailing as “I’m going to put a band together” so talent competitions are a way in for a lot of normal people who have a bit of talent. I don’t know how that’s become frowned upon. It’s quite shallow to slag it off because every popstar started off as a normal person with a dream.
I don’t want to say “you used the show” but they used that show as a platform to get where they are and it’s quite nasty and spiteful to then go, “well actually I don’t want to be associated with it anymore”. I also think it’s pretty stupid because your fanbase voted for you on that show, so are you calling your fans stupid? I think it’s silly.
Having moved on from Syco, was there ever a point where you felt let down by the X Factor?
No. Simon Cowell never was responsible for my career. I’m responsible for that. He was a business partner in my first album, like any label is! They invest money and put time in and if it works it works, if it doesn’t it doesn’t. I didn’t feel let down, I just thought, “thanks for the opportunity. I’ll see you around!” I still feel like that now. If I see Simon there’s no hard feelings between us.
Did it annoy you seeing the trailer for the new series with Alexandra and Olly and you hadn’t been invited to be in it?
Errrmm, you know, I’m signed to Universal and everybody that’s part of that trailer is part of Syco.
Well for now, for however long… Would I promote somebody that wasn’t signed to my label and could be seen as competition? Probably not. I’m not really that bothered. I take all these things with a pinch of salt and if there’s any underlying reasons why I’m not in there you’d have to ask Simon! I’m proud of X Factor and I have no issues with it.
Do you think the significance of being the winning contestant has changed?
Yes. The runners up can get on with what they want to do without much judgement. It’s becoming much more of a pressure for the winner. I work well under pressure so that was never a problem for me! But for some I think that’s where the problem lies.
Who do you predict will do well from last year’s lot?
I hope Little Mix will do well! I like Amelia Lily as well. She has a good song.
How have you changed since X Factor?
I’m stronger, gutsier and I enjoy myself more than I used to instead of stressing. At the end of the day, we’re not saving lives! We’re singing songs. I love what I do but I enjoy it, I don’t take myself too seriously.
Are there any aspects of fame that you dislike?
When people are negative. It used to be hurtful but now it’s annoying. Why would you bother? When people base their opinions on untrue facts it’s the most annoying thing EVER. People say I haven’t sold any records but it’s like hang on a minute, I’ve worked my backside off for two years and I’ve sold quite a lot of albums. But people base their opinion on the story that I left Syco nearly two years ago. It’s like, get over it! We’ve moved on from there, so when people keep dwelling on negative things from the past, I sometimes think, yawn! It’s really boring.
How is Hugo the rabbit getting on?
Hugo is really good! I feel guilty because I’m away all the time and he’s been staying with family friends who own his brother rabbit, but he comes home all the time. They’re very cute!
The deluxe edition of the new album includes a Joe McElderry tea towel. Please explain this.
That’s like a merchandise thing, a souvenir that people can have, and wave them around at the concert.
Has your mum got one yet?
She hasn’t. I would find it a little weird having a Joe McElderry tea towel in my house. It would be a little self-indulgent!
But it’s self-indulgent having that tea towel from primary school where everyone draws their portrait.
That’s true, haha!
Let’s talk Newcastle icons. Why is Cheryl Cole amazing?
She is a down-to-earth girl, she represents the North East, she’s a dignified lady and an amazing performer.
Newcastle Brown Ale?
I’ve never tasted it but apparently it’s an acquired taste. I’ve been all over the world and I’ve seen it on the top of a mountain in Colorado when skiing and in a beach bar in Florida. It’s great to have something that’s world famous!
Oh, I love Byker Grove. I used to live over the road from somebody from Byker Grove and I was obsessed with that fact. The one who fell out the window and ended up in a wheelchair.
Somebody seemed to die every series. It was quite traumatic.
It was very traumatic for children. I wish they would bring it back. I’d like a cameo!
Do you have a message for Maximum Pop! readers?
I hope they enjoy the new album and thanks for the support!
Thank you very much, Joe!
Here’s What I Believe (the album) is out on 10 September. ‘Here’s What I Believe’ (the song) is out now! Joe performs in Newcastle and London in September.
Two very good pop songs have had their official music videos unveiled over the last 48 hours – but which one deserves to win our Vid-Off?!
First we have Cheryl Cole‘s ‘Under The Sun’ clip. It’s the second single from her latest album A Million Lights and follows the huge success of ‘Call My Name’, which remains the fastest-selling single of 2K12 so far. On the plus side, we like the fact that the whole ‘Cheryl walks seductively’ thing is not taken as seriously as it was when she grinded up against a grotty tunnel in ‘CMN’ – this time she drapes herself over a car and then the driver shoos her off it. Amazing. We also like the second bridge and chorus, and the hilarious old ladies. But regardless of what people say about Chez as a vocalist, she never fails to pull out all the stops when it comes to TV performances and music videos, and ‘Under The Sun’ does, for some reason, feel like it just misses the same high standard that we’ve come to expect. Maybe it’s just that it’s a little disjointed with all its different ‘sections’, all of which pretty much plod along at the same pace; or maybe it’s just that it’s not as heavily choreographed as ‘Fight For This Love’, ‘Promise This’ et al. In short, it’s a 6/10 video for an 8/10 pop song.
The other week we said our only concern with Little Mix‘s ‘Wings’ was that it would be ruined by an average video. And when Jade said during a radio interview that it was filmed in a warehouse, we didn’t know whether to expect a repeat of Hear’Say’s ‘Pure & Simple’ or just shots of them running around in a massive B&Q. We needn’t have worried. The vid is fast-moving, well-choreographed, colourful in all the right places, and shows a confident girlband who look like they’re having the time of their lives. Obviously if you’re against Little Mix as a general ‘thing’ then you’ll despise it, but if you’re a subjective pop fan who was previously on the fence about the song, this should sway you in the right direction.
So who wins the vid-off? We’ll have to hand this one to the “LIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIITTLE muffins”! Watch Cheryl’s clip here.
MP!er Luke H contacted the all-new MP! Pop Post Bag to ask for details of the debut album from Rita Ora. He said “Hi can you tell me some details on Rita Ora’s album O.R.A”. Well hello Luke – after some hotel door banging, pop star stalking, and other things you’re too young to hear about – our investigation is complete. Here’s what we know in bullet points. Handy.
- UPDATED: Rita’s debut album is called ORA and will be released in the UK on 28 August, 2012.
- UPDATED: The album’s cover is featured at the bottom of this article.
- Ms Ora’s album will include the number one smashes ‘R.I.P’ and ‘Hot Right Now’ as well as brand new single ‘How We Do (Party)’ which we think is pretty awesome in a ‘TGIF-meets-Cover Drive’ sort of way.
- She’s nabbed herself a load of pretty cool producers from Ester Dean (who’s the genius behind most of Rihanna’s recent smashes) to global beat-twiddler Will.i.am, to rapper Drake, slick production duo Stargate and even hip-hop megastar Kanye West, so we’re expecting plenty of R&B-infused pop gems from the Roc Nation darling.
- Judging by her pretty ace performances at the recent Radio 1 Hackney Weekend we can probably expect to see songs such as ‘Facelift’, ‘Shine Ya Light’ and ‘Roc the Life’ on the album, although potential tracks such as ‘Been Lying’, ‘Unfair’ and ‘Love At War’ might not make the cut. Potential sadface/’Turn Myself In’ alert.
- If we had to guess the overall feel of the debut, we’d go with two parts Rihanna, one dash Cover Drive/Shontelle, and another dash of the excellent R&B-dance tunes Cheryl recently produced on her latest album. Therefore: amazing.
- She’ll probably keep the gorgeous blonde hair. Less an insider tip, more a hopeful request – as she looks ace with it and only Rihanna, Katy and Gaga can pull off the ‘changing hair really often’ thing.
- Here’s the album’s cover:
That’s all the info we have at the moment, dear readers, but don’t fear – we’ll keep you updated with the latest news about O.R.A. more often than Rihanna whips out an offensive if slightly LOL-worthy tee shirt.
Awfully named pop trio, leap-frog experts and all-round nice blokes GMD3 are through to the Boot Camp stage on X Factor 2012! Dan, Micky and Gregg, who are managed by The Wanted mastermind Jayne Collins, auditioned for the show last month and got 4 BIG YESs from the panel. One Direction 2013? We hope so.
After topping the charts with new single ‘Call My Name’ and almost topping the charts with third album A Million Lights, Our Chezza has announced the name of her new single. The Alex Da Kid-produced tuuuuuuuune ‘Under The Sun’ will be officially released on September 10th – over 3 months away. Come on Cheryl, get a move on. See an exclusive pic from the video here.
Who likes queueing? The oragnisers of Katy Perry’s: Part of Me 3D European film premiere have revealed that the first 100 people to arrive at 5.30pm on the day will win some Katy Perry goodies. We’re not exactly sure what they are, but are hoping for squirty cream and candy floss. The premiere will take place Tuesday 3rd July in London’s Leicester Square. Added bonus? You’ll get to see Katy, a bunch of famous faces and team MP! walking the red carpet, from behind the barriers. Oh, the glamour.
Pop ritiree and big fibber Lily Allen has announced she is back in the recording studio throwing shit at the wall. Forget throwing shit Lily, we want SONGS. *Ahem* Terrible jokes aside, we’re not going to say anything apart from yehaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa. More insightful commentary from MP! if you check back every day.
Beliebers out-ran the Soldiers in this week’s album chart, with Justin Bieber’s Believe flogging just 3,181 copies more than Cheryl Cole’s A Million Lights. Justin sold 38,115 to Cheryl’s 34,934, but neither of them sold as many units as we were expecting. So far this year, Number 1 albums from Keane, Nicki Minaj, Madonna, Gary Barlow and the Commonwealth Band, Jack White, Bruce Springsteen, the Military Wives, Emeli Sande and Lana Del Rey all sold far more, with the latter two both passing 110,000 in their first week. Still, it could be worse – poor Alexandra Burke’s Heartbreak On Hold is already down to No.94 on its third week, having sold just 10,000 copies since it was released. That number is just under 5% of what her first record Overcome managed in three weeks back in 2009 (223,407).
With Cheryl Cole and Justin Bieber neck-and-neck in this week’s album charts, we’re giving away 5 copies of either A Million Lights OR Believe to a handful of lucky MP!ers. But which one will it be?
Will we allow a handful of lucky Soldiers to chant along to ‘Screw You’ and claim they’re ‘Sexy Den A Mutha’? Or will it be a quintet of Beliebers who tell the tale of ‘Beauty And A Beat’ whilst trying their hand at ‘Catching Feelings’? It’s up to you.
You can vote for which prize is given away AND enter the prize draw in one fell swoop – or rather, in one fell tweet (whatever a “fell tweet” is).
THIS COMPETITION IS NOW CLOSED
Justin Bieber’s album chart battle with Cheryl Cole was predicted to go in favour of the Girls Aloud hitmaker last week, when it was revealed that her new album A Million Lights was outperforming the Biebster’s Believe LP by a margin of 2:1 on pre-orders. But the Canadian teen idol’s fans have rushed out in their droves to pick up their copy, and in the latest midweek sales flashes he is actually in front of Chezza, and on course to bag his first ever UK Number 1. It’s not a comfortable lead, however – in fact, with Cheryl only 3000 copies behind as of yesterday, it’s still far too close to call. Oh, and a special shout-out should probably go to Carrie Underwood – the country-poppin’ American Idol graduate is set to scrape into the UK Top 10 for the first time in her ridiculously successful career with Blown Away.
Cole is off on her first ever solo headline tour later this year, and a new trailer promises a wealth of hits from her two (soon to be three) chart-topping albums. The Newcastle gig sold out in a couple of hours on Friday, but Geordies fear note – a second date has now been added. Yesterday ‘Call My Name’ ploughed Flo Rida and Gary Barlow out of its way to debut at Number One on sales of 152,001. That may be slightly lower than the 157,000 managed by ‘Promise This’ in its first week, but it is still the highest 7-day tally for any song so far this year. When you consider that she no longer as The X Factor as a giant launch-pad, that’s not too shabby at all.