POP BITS. Looks like 3 Top 10s including a Number 1 single, giving Kelly Clarkson a run for her money as support, and great duck feeding skills aren’t enough to keep you signed these days. It’s with a heavy heart, a handful of tissues and ‘Twilight’ on repeat we announce that Cover Drive have left their UK record label. Does this mean the end of their Caripop sounds in the pop charts? The campaign to save Cover Drive starts right here, right now… POP BITS OUT.
Dappy joins Cover Drive for the radio edit of their tune ‘Explode’, the video for which has premièred today. To be honest, we were a little surprised to hear that the song had been chosen as the fourth single from Bajan Style, given that ‘Wrongside’, ‘That Girl’ and ‘Headphones’ might have been more obvious choices. But that’s not to say we aren’t fans of it – and, obviously, of Cover Drive in general – so fingers crossed that it gives the quartet their fourth Top 10 over the next few weeks.
Cover Drive may have disappointed us by not travelling to T4 On The Beach by boat (they flew in by superhero power, apparently… borrrrring) but they were able to enlighten our behatted interviewer Luke Franks with the skill of Bajan Style dancing. Is he a natural? Errrrrrrrrrm….
What: Key 103 Live
When: 19:30, 22nd July, 2012
Where: Manchester Arena
Who: One Direction, Little Mix, Alexandra Burke, Tulisa, Cover Drive, Rizzle Kicks, Pro Green, Labrinth, DJ Fresh
Tickets: Buy tickets
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.
*ringgggg!!* ooh that’s the MP! phone – and the lovely Will Best is on the line…
Hello, Will! Are you looking forward to T4 On The Beach on Sunday?
I’m nervous but getting more excited every day. We had a big meeting about it this morning to go through ideas and the games we’re going to be playing. I think it’s gonna be bloody hilarious!
What can we expect to see?
T4 is about popstars, music and playing ridiculous games. Every week we play a game with a really tenuously punned title, to get either us or the popstar to look stupid! That’s going to be a big part of T4 On The Beach so we’ll have popstars firing things into the crowd from giant catapults and popping balloons between each other’s chests. I may be dressed up as a dog.
What kind of dog?
Oh, just a general dog costume! Pudsey and Ashleigh are going to be there. When I was little I used to do dog agility courses so I may be competing against a real dog while dressed as a dog myself.
So is this T4′s Got Talent?
Exactly! Pudsey’s Got Talent and then T4 Has Zero Talent.
Will Pretends To Have Talent?
Yeah, exactly. Matt might be dressed in S&M gear…
Wow. Moving on, which of the acts are you looking forward to seeing?
Labrinth because he’s amazing live, he runs around playing five instruments at the same time! I’m a big fan of Rita Ora. She’s a lovely girl, very nice to talk to and to look at(!) and I think she’ll do an amazing performance.
Rita is signed with Jay-Z’s label in America. Do you reckon Jay and Beyoncé might turn up?
They’ll probably be backstage. I’ve invited them and they’re certainly gonna try and pop down, sure. We get on pretty well!
Perhaps Beyoncé will serve ice creams.
Yeah, well she’s gonna bring the baby and they’ll just be hanging out. Most of those sorts of big names will be hanging out backstage but they just won’t want to be on the stage. It’s about letting the Brits shine on the stage but backstage of course Kanye will be there with Kim Kardashian, Jay-Z and Beyoncé. Just our mates, basically, you know?
The line-up is pleasingly British: Rizzle Kicks, Stooshe, Conor Maynard, Tulisa, Little Mix… what does this say about UK pop in 2012?
We don’t need American acts because British pop is just so strong. Look at The Wanted going off and absolutely smashing it in America!
Cover Drive promised MP! they would bring the Barbadian sunshine to the beach.
Well they’ve been told that if they don’t then they can’t play! That’s a condition for them.
That’s in their contract?
Edward Jedward famously broke his leg on the T4 On The Beach stage. Which popstar is most likely to end up with an injury this year?
Jamelia did herself an injury one year and chipped her tooth backstage with Olly Murs, and Peter Andre injured himself on stage as well, so it literally could be anyone!
We hear that yesterday you were talking balls with Adam Lambert. Care to explain?
Yeah, we were talking about fanclubs. Adam’s fanclub are called the Glamberts. I have a fanclub called the Besticles, but there’s only two of them and you know, they’re always hanging around. It was that kind of “hilarious” testicle-based banter.
Well as long as the Besticles keep you warm at night, Will.
I keep them warm! It’s a hands-on job.
Haha! So what else are you up to?
I’m very busy! It’s a bit surreal. The Crush is a monthly show on 4Music that I guest-present with a different popstar each time. The Love Shaft is a dating show for E4 that is set in a lift. That’s going really well. I get loads of tweets saying things like, “Will, this is the worst thing I’ve ever seen but I bloody love it.”
High praise indeed.
It’s the sort of show that’s made by the contestants. Some incredible people have taken part! We had a girl on there who didn’t know what a sandwich was. She didn’t understand the concept of a sandwich!
Are you still doing any modelling?
When you say “still”, er, I’ve not really done modelling! I worked in the Abercrombie & Fitch shop for a brief period. I have, bizarrely, been signed to Premier Models, in their ‘Special Division’, which is for people who could in no way actually be models but because they’re on telly somebody might want to take a picture of them.
So if the weather’s nice on Sunday will you be whipping your top off on the T4 stage?
I really hope not.
What about letting the Besticles get some sunshine?
Haha! I will be wearing a mankini but it’ll be a very small one so there’ll be one Besticle each side of the main thong.
Might we even see the love shaft?
Hahaha! If you’re very, very lucky. Only people right at the front would be able to see the love shaft, unfortunately.
If you were going to show the love shaft to any popstar on the T4OTB bill, who would it be?
Most of them have already seen the love shaft. Maybe I’d show it to Dappy and say, “what do you think? How do I measure up?” I’ve spent hours on photoshop trying to recreate the Dappy photo on myself. It’s actually harder than it looks…
Maybe try the stretch effect. It’s great to see newcomers on the T4 On The Beach bill, like Josh Osho, Lawson and Lonsdale Boys Club.
We’re here to help at T4. We start careers… and then end careers with serious injuries!
Edward Jedward is still psychologically recovering.
In that case we’ll get Jedward back and injure them again. We’ve done a lot of polls on the T4 website but I couldn’t find “which popstar would you like to seriously injure?” for some reason.
Probably for the best! Any other goss?
Not really, we’ve talked about my balls and my general crotch area. I think that’s pretty much everything we had to cover, right?
Right! Thank you very much, Will. We had the Best time talking to you!
T4 On The Beach takes place this Sunday 1st July in Weston-super-Mare. Tickets are on sale now. Visit www.channel4.com/t4.
In the midst of the very busy and loud Tinchy Stryder party, we spotted the very gorgeous Cover Drive, so grabbed Amanda and the boys for a gossip in the one quiet spot we could find, which happened to be blocking the entrance to the ladies’ loos… needs must.
Hello Cover Drive!
How have you enjoyed the Tinchy Stryder headphones launch this evening?
Amanda: Oh my gosh it was so much fun! We’re just glad to come out and support Tinchy and to see everybody, it was really good.
You’re big fans of Tinchy; would you like to collaborate with him?
Amanda: Oh yeah we were just talking about that in the hallway, there – we’ll see if something happens!
Is this a Maximum Pop exclusive?
Amanda: Um, well it’s nothing, er, it’s not FACT, so it’s just, you know, we’re just talking. Could be a rumour!
How was it performing at the Capital Summertime Ball?
Amanda: Oh my gosh, that was probably one of our most memorable moments… 80,000 people, that was crazy.
T-Ray: biggest crowd we’ve ever played!
Where are Cover Drive going to be by the end of the year?
Amanda: taking over the world! We have a single with Far East Movement called ‘Turn Up The Love’. We shot the video for that a couple of weeks back and it’s coming out soon so we’re really excited for that. It’s a dance track; we’ve never done dance before so it was good to do it with Far East Movement cos that’s their style and kinda bring our style with it!
Barry: we’ve got a lot of dates this summer, T4 On The Beach, T In The Park, V Festival and we’re going on tour with Kelly Clarkson, JLS and Olly Murs.
It’s been known to rain at T4 On The Beach.
All: Awww, no!!!
Are Cover Drive going to be bringing the Barbadian sunshine?
All: of course!
Amanda: We always bring it. Always. If the UK wants to receive it.
Yes, always! You’re familiar with the London weather. Amelle from the Sugababes is here this evening, have you had a chance to say hello?
Amanda: No, we were on our way to speak to her but then you grabbed us!
[MP! blushes] Whoops, we’re so rude.
Amanda: No, it’s fine!
Angel is here too; did you see him?
T-Ray: We didn’t arrive in time, but we’ve met him before on the Dappy tour!
And what do you think of N-Dubz?
Jamar: The first concert we went to in the UK was for N-Dubz. We love them!
Amanda: They’re really cool.
Do Cover Drive have a favourite member of Little Mix?
Amanda: To be honest, I don’t know the name of the members of Little Mix!
Jamar: I don’t either but I do have a favourite, she has green eyes, and wears… help me out, here, guys!
Is it the one with lion hair? That’s Jesy.
Barry: Lion hair, lion hair, lion hair…
T-Ray: Yeh, Jesy.
Jamar: Jesy! She’s sexy.
Amanda: if you haven’t noticed already we’re pretty bad with knowing British popstars!
Barry: Some of them are going out with One Direction so that puts me off…
We should just ask you about Bajan singers like Rihanna and Shontelle…
Amanda: Ah yeh then we know for sure! No, we’re getting a lot better with the British pop, obviously we’re making lots of friends here in the UK so that’s good!
Do you have a message for your fans reading Maximum Pop?
Amanda: Yes! Oh my gosh, just thanks for all the support, guys. You know, keep doing it Bajan style, buy the album and keep supporting and we love you guys!
Thanks so much, Cover Drive!
All: Thank you!!
How was it performing high above London with these amazing views?
Wicked, I feel like I was on cloud nine!
Can you see your ends from up here?
I’ve tried but I can’t. It’s hard, there are a lot of tall buildings and in Bow the buildings ain’t high enough to see from here but I can see where I am!
So you have your own headphones – amazing! How are you feeling?
I’m feeling good, music’s my first love so I had to make sure the sound quality was good enough and I got that so I’m lovin’ it.
Who is your favourite member of Little Mix?
[Pause] Would I be rude if I said I didn’t know their names?!
I like Little Mix and what they do.
Oi you impatient lot. Here are the 3 people who’ve won a pair of tickets to this year’s biggest pop gig. Jess Stickley, David Rewes, Stephen Buckingham. We’ve sent you an email with details for claiming your tickets. Everyone else, another Comp of the Day coming up soon…
In just 11 days some of Planet Pop’s biggest names are heading to London’s Wembley Stadium for the pop gig of the year. Coldplay, Conor Maynard, Cover Drive, Example, Ed Sheeran, Flo Rida, Jessie J, Justin Bieber, Katy Perry, Kelly Clarkson, Lawson, Pitbull, Rita Ora, Usher and The Wanted will be performing at London’s SOLD OUT Summertime Ball. And we’ve got 3 pairs of tickets up for grabs. For your chance to win these money-can’t-buy tickets for you and a VERY lucky mate simply.
THIS COMPETITION IS NOW CLOSED.
A number of major pop names are staking their claim for the summer’s first big anthems this week – but which are successful and which should be forgotten? There’s a lot to choose from, but don’t panic – MP! are here to guide you through which singles deserve your hard-earned 99p.
Cover Drive – ‘Sparks’
The Bajan quartet return with the follow-up to their January chart-topper ‘Twilight’, and ‘Sparks’ is a slightly mellower tune with another lovely vocal performance from Amanda. But, truth be told, we’re not big fans of the excessive auto-tune effects, especially on the boys’ lines and, much as we love the band, we can’t help but feel like ‘Sparks’ would be better off as a decent album track rather than a big hit single. DITCH
Tulisa – ‘Young’
The lyrics are repetitive, the production is a bit like Calvin Harris on an off day, and Tulisa even sounds slightly aggressive on the verses… but roll down the windows, turn up the volume, put your hands in the air and you have an instant summer anthem. OK, its chances of winning any awards are about as distant as Matt and Sueleen’s odds of winning The Voice, but sometimes the amazingness of pop is totally inexplicable. DOWNLOAD
Rebecca Ferguson – ‘Glitter & Gold’
R-Fergz’s third single from her album Heaven has a lot more bite to it than you would expect from one of The X Factor’s nicest ever graduates. Written about some of the fame-hungry attention-seekers she encountered on the show back in 2010, it’s got a dark edge to it that isn’t a million miles away from Adele’s ‘Rolling In The Deep’, and though its lack of radio support makes it an unlikely contender for chart glory, it helps cement the Liverpudlian’s status as one of our favourite talent show contestants of recent years. DOWNLOAD
Starboy Nathan – ‘Who Am I’
“I was down like four flat tyres,” sings Starboy Nathan on what we can only assume is his all-important make-or-break single. ‘Who Am I’ follows the disappointing chart performance of Wretch 32 collab ‘Hangover’, and it’s an incredibly honest midtempo R’n'B-flavoured nugget with lyrics about facing up to obstacles and refusing to give up. It’s nothing particularly ground-breaking, but its relevance to Nathan’s difficulty in hitting the big time is kind of what makes it endearing. So for the sake of making sure this isn’t the last we hear of the hard-working singer-songwriter, we strongly suggest that you… DOWNLOAD
Tom Jones – ‘Hit Or Miss’
And the first coach from The Voice to use the exposure as a platform for new music is… Sir Tom! ‘Hit Or Miss’ is taken from the veteran hitmaker’s forthcoming album Spirit In The Room, and as much as we respect the man’s status as an utter musical legend, we can’t see ‘Hit Or Miss’ shooting to the top of our iTunes Most Played list any time soon. Sozza, Tom. DITCH