Tuesday, September 23, 2008
another week, another interview. this time i got the pleasure of sitting down with miss victoria little boots as she as in town for the nocturnal festival alongside so me, a1 bassline and craze. we bypassed the usual 'how did you get your name' and got into the good stuff, but here's the basics on her if you don't already know:
name origin: from an old movie, caligula (which is latin for 'little boots')
bigtime producers: her first single 'stuck on repeat' was produced by joe goddard of hot chip
musical heroes: kylie minogue, alexander robotnick
label: she turned down releasing 'stuck on repeat' on kitsuné to retain control over her song
previous music: band called dead disco
favorite footwear: stilettos
sponsored by: tenori-on
fake blood: remixed 'stuck on repeat' but she won't say his real identity
so out of all the places in the world why did you decide to come to los angeles the last time to write?
it wasn't like "oh i want to come to somewhere. i think i'll go to la because it has palm trees and it's warm." this is my fifth trip out here because greg kurstin does my production and he's based from here. he's in the bird and the bee and produces loads of british stuff like kylie, lily allen and peaches.
how did being out here affect what you wrote about?
i originally came out here with my old band. the third time we came they had to leave early so i was here nearly a month abandoned by myself in a strange city. i was kindof left here and told to keep writing. it was a bit of a head-fuck. i stayed to write and it kindof freaked me out. i had an apartment and a car and didn't know anyone. i ended up having an amazing time, met loads of people and had loads of fun. it's always hit or miss. normally when i come, i'm here to write and record which places so much pressure on the trip. you've got two weeks to write a hit track and it's emotionally exhausting. a lot of nights i stay in my hotel, write and not go out. at first i didn't think it affected my songs but a lot of them are about being in a new place or feeling like an outsider. i think quite a lot of that has come from here being thrown into a pressurized situation. but now i've got loads of friends and know what i'm doing.
so how did you come up with your whole initial marketing strategy? i remember when you first dropped your new song to the blogs and it was all 'secretive'. no one really knew anything about you and you didn't have any photos up on your myspace.
ya it's real silly because i've never thought of it as a marketing strategy. definitely nothing that planned. everything comes from my silly imagination. it's horrible that people think it's a strategy.
fake blood is another person who uses that tactic. it drove bloggers crazy for so long.
have you seen that blog 'who is fake blood'? it's silly when people go around saying "i'm a secret". a lot of people do because they're old and not cool, which i can understand a little bit more. but if they do it to get attention, it's silly.
more people are taking that approach recently so have you ever considered that maybe you'd started a trend?
yeah, quite a few people have taken that approach. even all the stupid youtube stuff i do is just me having fun in my pyjamas in my bedroom. but i'd hate for people to think that it's some sort of calculated thing. i didn't keep it a secret on purpose, but i just didn't put any pictures up. that just shows how much relevance visual reference is. even when i had bloody pictures up people thought it was someone else with a vocalist. no one would ever consider that i wrote and helped produce it. initially i had no idea how the song would do so it was partly to get pure reactions to the song without prejudice or people thinking "oh it's her from so and so." i also just didn't want my band to find out. i never said 'this is a secret thing' which i notice that some people are doing now.
it's like they say "i'm a secret and i'm not going to tell you who i am." it's so stupid. like "hello, i'm a secret". obviously not genuine. but everyone was telling me that i was getting on loads of blogs. at the time i didn't even know much was a blog was, i just knew that they existed. i didn't think anyone would notice that i had a myspace. the visual side is very important to me. i have a creative team and we try to make it like a whole little fantasy world filled with crystals, unicorns, lazers and kittens.
i think it makes you more personable/relatable. the videos let the world see the real you hanging out in your bedroom making music. everyone else focuses on proper performance videos.
i started my youtube videos as a joke. anything you start getting reactions on means you've made some sort of connection. i think if it was contrived, it wouldn't work. some pr company wanted to turn it into a show with guests, but that's not what it's about. it's about me sitting in my bedroom in my pyjamas, not about cashing in on it. there's a lot of different things that i do and each one is an extension of my personality. i have the blog, the music, myspace, mixtapes, djing, live shows. it's my own little world.
how did you learn how to dj?
i moved to london in february of this year and was scared as hell. someone told me to dj at a little pub down the road with like two cds. eventually i got a residency and then got on a dj tour with some bands. i've literally had to learn from doing it on the job. i think it's weird that people book you because they like your track, not based on your dj skills because six months ago i couldn't mix and still got loads of bookings. i think it's all about what you play and not how you make it blend together so much. i do loads of dj'ing now. i mean someone flew me all the way to los angeles to play this big festival. i have mixtapes now and decks at home to practice on. it's made me learn a lot more about dance music and the relevance of a remix. i never really understood remixes before and i always thought that remixes were boring. but now i understand and it's given me insight into how to make my music.
well someone knew what they were doing when they enlisted fake blood and toddla t to remix your first single.
yes, when you play them out it's just massive. if i had heard that song, i would've thought that it was cool, but wouldnt really get it. if i was in a club i would probably dance to it loads and be like "what's this song?". but if i had just downloaded it at home, i probably wouldn't play it in my bedroom. now my perspective has changed and i can appreciate a remix a bit more.
who did the most recent remix of 'stuck on repeat'? i don't think it has any vocals on it yet...
oh, it's probably the alexander robotnick remix. he's one of my alltime heroes because he's the godfather of italo. he has given the remix to me as a gift because he'd loved the song so much. how amazing is that? he sent me messages saying "you're a true musician in this world of bullshit." i was blown away. he's like 60 odd years old and can still make something really fresh. it's going to be on the uk vinyl release.
i know you grew up in kind of a 'white trash' area in blackpool. how is it going back there now? is it still the same people stuck where you left them?
it's supposed to be the vegas of england, but it's not. really small and really really shit. people just go out to fight and be naked and take drugs and be horrible. it's really working class. it's a weird place to grow up. you grow up really cynical and don't take things at face value. no one even knows what a blog or hype machine is, so it's a great reality check when i go back. i don't want to make music that's cool right now and for the intention of people posting them on blogs. i want to make music that people in the local shop will buy. it's so different from london.
how did you end up where you are musically when you came from such a working class background which i'm sure was filled with nothing but cheesy pop/dance music?
it's definitely very mainstream and bad dance music on the radio. it sounds ten years old and hasn't progressed at all. i just think that london can get in this bubble of thought and be super concerned about being in vice magazine and getting on blogs and talking about industry people at your gigs. i don't give a shit about being cool like that. that whole scene scares me. i've just been on such a musical journey my entire life. i've been in so many bands and done so many different things. i never settle on one sound and i'm constantly changing. i didn't really fit in when i was younger because i was always geeky and playing piano at home. that made me a bit of an outsidery person. then i went to high school and got into punk rock because i felt like an outsider and it felt like a rebellion. when i went to university i was in an indie band. and when i was 18 i bought my first synth and have been collecting them ever since. it opened up a whole new world of music possibilities. it's all a natural progression and everything feeds into each other. i still like some of the cheesy stuff they still like in blackpool. the minute you think you're better than everyone and have better taste. londoners think that they're the tastemakers and can't imagine that anyone else is capable of selecting and listening to good music, but they can.
so everyone is asking about 'the boy is mine' cover? is it going to materialize?
really? i mentioned it in one thing and then loads of people started asking. it was my idea and i wanted to do it with my friend anita from thecocknbullkid. the producer of 'wiley – wearing my rolex' got in contact with me to do a track and i thought that we should do this one with him, but my friend went off the idea. maybe i can get someone else to do it.
i was looking at your blog and you were at an airport when you realized that you had left your passport at home. you said that it wasn't a problem because you were registered on twat.com. i looked it up because i thought perhaps it was some sort of security bank you could register with, but it was nothing but porn. care to indulge?
hahaha. i meant it like "i'm such a twat". you know like 'dickhead.com' cause i do such stupid things all the time. i have to stop it cause i always say things in my blog that i say all the time that no one else will understand. stupid abbreviations like 'spaz.com' i forget that anyone reads it. there's loads of pictures of me drunk on there. i think no one reads it and that i'm just writing it in my bedroom. people comment like 'so i saw you were at so and so last weekend' and i wonder how they know. and they tell me 'um, it was posted on your blog, you know.'
how was playing creamfields? were you super nervous?
it's like a chavs festival. like loads of tacky people on ecstasy. everyone was wasted and i was playing embarrassing songs, but it was really fun. glastonbury was possibly even more massive than creamfields. it's an amazing feeling to have 2,000 people dancing to what you're playing. i was on the annie mac stage which was great cause im going on her tour a little bit.
so what are you going to play at nocturnal?
it's weird with dj'ing because i always end up playing stuff that i don't like. you want to make people dance and you want to make a good time. i like pop and disco, but you just can't dance to it and play it at huge parties. you can at fashion-y parties, but not big gigs. i've got really into 'nightcrawlers - push the feeling on'. i'm probably out of date. i probably need to go on some blogs and get some new stuff.
its funny because there's something about the uk because they seem to get everything press-wise sent to them before the rest of the world. so you just have to find the right connections and you won't have to rely on music from blogs.
is it too late? as soon as it's on a blog is it too late?
haha, no! i'm just saying that there's more exclusive resources out there for you.
ya, i'm on a dj promo list and we do get stuff before the blogs. i just always degenerate to four months ago when i downloaded everything. it's quite weird playing in america and figuring out what works. some songs that are really big back at home just don't go over well here. la djs kind of have attention deficit disorder. they literally play only the chorus and you don't have enough time to get into the song. i'm so used to playing 8 minute songs. i can't even comprehend playing a song shorter than that because you miss all the buildups. i'll try to play a good mix of uk stuff that people haven't heard. it probably won't go down very well, but oh well.
well, her set at nocturnal went over perfectly. she played surprisingly hard stuff and held her own with the big boys. it's definitely a boys game, but some girls know the rules.
don't forget to pick up her new ep 'arecibo' which features 'stuck on repeat' with the fake blood remix, as well as 'meddle' on the b side. iam sound has it all ready and waiting for you!
Posted by Miss Toats at 5:52 PM