POP BITS. Continuing their running streak of giving us great single after great single, Little Mix have gone released album fan favourite ‘How Ya Doin?’ from their first album DNA. Thankfully the whole song’s a bit of a tune and a half with plenty of 90s beats, half-rapped verses and a killer chorus that’s all about phone conversations with people that turn annoying. Gaga eat your heart out.
Best of all is the guest verse from rapping LEGEND Missy Elliot who’s 30 second bridge is a snapping delight and easily one of the best ‘rappers popping up in a pop song’ moments we’ve heard in the past few years. The ultra-colourful video which is a bit of a successor to the ‘Wings’ video is also nice. Keep up the good work girls! POP BITS OUT.
Watch the video for ‘How Ya Doin?’ below:
2013 will see the release of Lady Gaga’s third album, the capitals-only-please ARTPOP. She’s been tweeting about it, dropping hints for a while, and despite nothing being actually confirmed, we’ve written an article about it. The music, the song titles, the decay of celebrity – here’s five things we think we know about ARTPOP…
This is all but confirmed on Gaga’s side – she’s enlisting the right producers and has been insisting through tweets, interviews and bits and pieces with lucky Little Monsters, that the album will be overall happier than her previous efforts, in terms of sound and lyrics. With Gaga apparently interested in venturing into electro and pure dance music, it sounds like we can expect the next level of upbeat, hi-NRG songs from the woman who knows better than anyone how to make us want to dance.
She’s been hinting as song titles through cryptic tweets and messages for ages. There’s ‘Tea’, presumably an ode to your Mum’s favourite brew, ‘Girl Under You’, a feminism sex ode, the newly revealed ‘Sex Dreams’ and the potentially controversial ‘Burqa’.
Back in the days of yore (i.e. the 90s) if you had a burning desire to get in touch with your favourite pop star, you had to find their address, write them a letter, buy a stamp, find a postbox and hope that their secretary wouldn’t just toss it out with the takeaway menus when it arrived. Tough times dear readers, tough times. We remember many a time sitting, waiting for a sign of affection from A1 or Steps but to no avail… *sigh*
Nowadays, of course, it’s so much easier. All you need to do is log in to twitter and you’ve got the entire celebrity world at your fingertips. But is your chart topper of choice likely to get back to you, or will you end up like us back in the 90s, still waiting for that postcard from Geri Halliwell? The lovely people at clickitticket.com have created a guide to the top tweeters in pop. Here’s what we learned when we took a peek…
- Everyone’s favourite guitar-wielding electro chanteuse Ellie Goulding is on the verge of releasing sophomore album Halcyon (which means “calm, tranquil or peaceful”, for those looking to improve their vocabulary), all the while in the midst of a very uncalm period of world tours and global chart-topping success.
- The new single, ‘Anything Could Happen’, takes Ellie’s brand of electropop and gives it a uplifting, trippy and slightly gritty twist. Whilst not as instant as ‘Starry Eyed’, it’s a grower that sounds quite inspirational (not ‘The Edge of Glory’ levels of inspirational, but let’s face it, what is?).
- Ellie, who has long been dating dubstep wunderkind Skrillex, describes Halcyon as a breakup record. As she promises “tribal and anthemic” tunes on an album that’s said to be “more pop”, we’re eager to hear the poptastic treats she has in store.
- Miss Goulding also says the album is a progression from dark to light as she moves from said breakup into something new. Aww. (We reckon Radio 1′s Greg James may be former beau who inspired the album!)
- The video for ‘Anything Could Happen’ is suitably weird and epic in equal measures. Our Ellie is involved in a car crash, wears some nice flowing robes, does sad, has a nosebleed and becomes a mythical creature. Can’t help but feel she’s been taking notes from Gaga’s ‘You and I’ video (in a good way – mermaids are gonna big next year, we promise).
Let’s take a look at the vid!
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).
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.
Perez Hilton has a lot of celebrity friends, and in this four-part series, he’ll be followed by a camera as he spends time with some of them. This week, he’ll be catching up with Lady Gaga in Hollywood and Sydney. Missed it the first time? Check it out on ITV2 at 10pm, Tuesday 6th March. We’ve added it to our Pop Diary so you won’t forget. Hit like below if you’ll be watching.
Our mates over at Muzu.TV, the massive music video website, recently employed our incomparable research skills in order to come up with the definitive guide to the best dance routines in pop music videos – and below is the original article, ready for you to get swotting up on. What are you waiting for?
All right, all right, settle down everyone. You at the back, spit out your gum. Textbooks out and turn to page 167 please. Today’s lesson is the official Maximum Pop! Guide to the Best Dance Routines in Music Videos.
Dance routines have been an integral part of pop music videos ever since Beyoncé’s mother watched her twerking inside the womb during an ultrasound, and over the years we’ve seen our fair share of mind-blowing choreography. Remember to make notes on the following examples, because you will be expected to reference them in your exam.
Up until the release of this video, a dance routine usually meant waving your arms around in time to the music and praying it looked okay. But Beyoncé changed the way we thought about moving our bodies with this simple, yet impressive video. Rumour has it that it only 5 people in the entire world can actually do it properly and if one of those people dies, Beyoncé personally teaches someone else to make sure the legacy keeps going. Note: notice the way she points to her hand when she sings the line “If you like it, then you shoulda put a ring on it” – so clever! (more…)
Adele, Rihanna, Katy Perry, Nicki Minaj, Bruno Mars, Chris Brown – Grammy Awards 2012 performances: the good, the bad and the Roman
The Grammy Awards – an influential event designed to celebrate and showcase some of America’s finest musical artists, or an excuse for everyone to try and outdo each other with outrageous costumes, wacky props and controversial performances (or in Gaga’s case, some serious attention seeking)? We’ll let you lot be the judge of that.
Couldn’t bring yourself to stay awake into the early hours of the morning yesterday to watch the entire show? As usual, we’ve done all the hard work for you. Keep reading to see performances from the likes of Adele, Katy Perry, Bruno Mars, Nicki Minaj, Rihanna and Coldplay at this year’s Grammy Awards – the good, the bad… And the Roman!
From signed canvases, to glow in the dark wristbands, via flashing Katy Perry head bands – the range of items that pop stars are desperate to stick their names on is greater than ever. For many MP!ers, owning pop star merchandise is almost as important as downloading the music, seeing the live show and planting a big wet one on Siva’s cheek. But are the scary men at the record labels exploiting your desire to be a band’s biggest and most dedicated fan by ripping you off?
Here at MP! we decided it was time to investigate – what are the best deals, how can you get the best bargains and is pop merchandise really overpriced? The answers to all these questions and more are below…