Vanessa Laker Meets Ruby Goe: The Interview (MTV)

You may recognise the name Ruby Goe; the quirky singer has been making a name for herself on the underground scene, gaining a legion of fans. Her alternative style and experimental electro sounds have many comparing the rising star to fellow Brit singer M.I.A. With her new single ‘Badman’ out on July 16, MTV’s The Wrap Up’s Vanessa Laker caught up with Miss Goe to talk new music, the lack of creativity in today’s industry, standing out from her competition and much more…

Vanessa: Hi Ruby! Your new single ‘Badman’ is out next month. Can you tell us a bit about it?

Ruby Goe: Hey! The song is about a past relationship of mine – which I am now out of. It’s just an honest account about the breakdown of a relationship and that final moment when you decide to give up. You know when you get to the final straw and stop fighting for him and chasing him; you just give up and realise it is never going to work.

Vanessa: There’s a lot of thought and creativity in your music videos. Do you feel that these days some artists lack creativity?

Ruby Goe: Yep, I definitely do! [Laughs] but I think different artists are different artists. I mean, some people choose to use clay to create what they want, some people choose to use melodies and some people choose to just use music. I choose to use lyrics, melodies, music and visuals to express myself.

Vanessa: Do you think some artists get caught up in image and visuals instead of focusing more on the actual music itself? 

Ruby Goe: Yes, totally! I think a lot of pop girls just focus on looking hot and what they’re wearing, which is an area of pop that’s in demand. People are out there buying The Saturdays’ music – not that I don’t like The Saturdays, they’re great. Every artist is different, but I think it’s good to find a balance.

You’ve got artists like Tyler, The Creator, Kanye West and Jay-Z, who are all incredibly creative, yet the focus is still primarily on their music. Then there are many artists who focus on their looks, instead of their vocals. For me personally, I like to focus on vocals, melodies and lyrics. But then again I also love visuals. Every time I write a song, I always get excited visualising creating the video. As an artist I like to focus on the whole aspect.

Vanessa: Your music is a mash up of so many different sounds. How would you describe your musical sound?

Ruby Goe: Errmm… Pop! [Laughs] I love pop music and I’m not ashamed of it. I listen to many different types of music and I think lots of artists that are coming through now are products of diversity. I listened to jazz when I first got into music, but then I got into drum and bass and hip-hop. I also like funk and early nineties’ dance as well. My musical taste is a complete mash up, you know?

TWU: We have so many new female artists coming out of the UK at the minute. How do you stand out and differ from your peers?

Ruby Goe: Well, they are all signed! [Laughs] Basically they’ve got cash in the bank. Lianne La Havas is brilliant. I know her – she’s a really lovely girl. I think my stuff is slightly more eclectic than hers and much more aggressive, but I love what she’s doing and her career is definitely on the up. Rita Ora is very pop; she’s in the kind of situation where I’m sure she’d want to have more control over her music. I think that control is something I’d never give up myself. Being independent, I support myself – which isn’t always easy – but it gives me creative freedom and full control over my music. However, we’re all different and there’s room for all of us. I hate the assumption that just because you’re a female, there’s only room for one. Personally, I think all of us, united, should hate that assumption instead of each other.

Vanessa: You’ve been compared to the likes of M.I.A and Santigold  two incredible artists. What’s your take on those comparisons? 

Ruby Goe: I love M.I.A and I love Santigold. They’re both amazing artists and I really do respect what they stand for. I think because I am a female who has dark skin and I’m doing something different, comparisons are made, which is really sad. They’re both brilliant! They’re amazing writers, they’re unique, they stand out and they are really strong women. So I love that comparison, it’s a huge compliment.

Vanessa: Growing up, which musicians inspired you?

Ruby Goe: Prince. He’s such an amazing performer and the fact he’s written so many amazing songs is incredible. I love Nina Simone and Whitney Houston too. Of course, I love MJ and Salt and Pepper too. The list could go on and on…

Vanessa: I hear you’re a jewellery designer as well?

Ruby Goe: Knuckle dusters, yeah! My jewellery line is called ‘By Rogue’ – which is an anagram of my stage name.  I just started off designing pieces for myself and friends and then someone suggested I take it to the next level. Now ‘By Rogue’ is stocked in Selfridges and a number of other outlets; we’re about to re-launch our website, so it’s all pretty exciting.

Vanessa: And what does the rest of 2012 hold for Ruby Goe?

Ruby Goe: Many more songs. The second single from my EP will be out in August or September; so expect lots more music. The new EP should be out in September.

Keep up to date with Ruby by following her on Twitter.

Words: Vanessa Laker (@VanessaLaker)

 

Mac Miller – Live At The HMV Forum, London: Review!

Defying Tradition.

If there’s ever an artist to defy the traditional route of making it to the top of the charts, then Mac Miller’s your man – proving you don’t need a big label in order to reach the dizzy heights of success. While the twenty-year-old Pittsburgh native may be considered a newbie in the rap world, having only one official album under his belt, Malcolm McCormick gained legions of fans worldwide, after releasing seven mixtapes over the last five years. And the hard graft paid off, because the young wordsmith’s debut LP ‘Blue Slide Park’ became the first independently released record to top the Billboard charts in over fifteen years. So when the rising hip hop star brings his ‘Blue Slide Park’ tour to the UK, it’s no surprise Miller’s Brit fans turn up in their droves for the occasion.

It’s one of the hottest days in the year and just one glance at the audience outside the HMV Forum and you can feel the jubilance and excitement in the young crowd. Once inside the insanely hot North West London venue, the atmosphere is electric – even before the main man’s hit the stage. So when Miller arrives, there’s no surprise pandemonium erupts as ecstatic fans fist pump and go crazy for their idol.

Dressed in a white “I LOVE LDN” T-shirt, jeans and hat, Miller keeps it simple, with no gimmicks. Taking rap back to its essence, the US star is simply joined on stage by his DJ and hype man – the show is purely about the music. “Yo London, make more muthf*ckin’ noise,” he confidently declares, before spitting verses from his debut LP and numerous mixtapes – showcasing an impressive catalogue of material for such a young artist (Miller released his first mixtape at the tender age of fifteen).

Songs such as ‘Loud’, ‘Party On Fifth Av’ and ‘My Team’ has sweat-drenched revellers energetically shape-throwing, whilst rapping along to every word. Miller’s live delivery is precisely sharp and stage presence incredibly strong. Current radio smash ‘Frick Park Market’ raises the temperature, but it’s tracks from the K.I.D.S. mixtape that are the highlight of the night, with the likes of ‘Knock Knock’ and ‘Nikes On My Feet’ causing frenzied applause.

Feeding off the crowd’s infectious energy, Miller even provides some dance moves – showcasing his humorous side. The hour long set also includes tributes to Michael Jackson and the late Beastie Boy, MCA. And saving the best for last, Miller closes the impressive hyperactive show with his smash and fan favourite ‘Donald Trump’.

The name Mac Miller may still be unfamiliar to many, but it’s only a matter of time before this young contender starts to really rival some of hip hops heavy players.

Jay-Z & Kanye West – Watch The Throne, 02 Arena, London, Live Review!

Six months after completing the US leg, rap royalty Jay-Z and Kanye West finally bring their highly anticipated Watch The Throne Tour to UK soil. And it’s undoubtedly worth the wait.

It’s not hard to see why Yeezy and HOV refer to themselves as “The Throne”, as cocky as it may be. Jay-Z, an emerging billionaire, has more US number one albums than Elvis Presley, with a successful career spanning over fifteen years. And his protégée Kanye West is close on his heels. While at times it’s easy to dislike Mr West, the flamboyant rapper’s musical genius often overrides his ego-fuelled gaffes. So it’s no surprise the rap juggernauts joint show is the hottest ticket in town, with celebrities such as Gwyneth Paltrow and Jessie J in attendance.

The 20,000-strong crowd patiently waits as the reigning monarchs of hip-hop are fashionably late to hit the stage at London’s O2 (as part of five consecutive shows at the Greenwich venue). But fans are unfazed by the 45 minute wait, as the anticipation only fuels excitement. Suddenly, the music dips and the venue erupts into frenzied applause, as the superstar rappers emerge. Sticking to their “all black everything” motto, both are decked out in black clothing from head to toe – with West donning what appears to be a skirt over his leather trousers. And in an intriguingly unique entrance, West, 34, and 42-year-old Jigga enter the stage on boxes from opposite sides of the venue, spitting back and forth with one another, opening the historic night with ‘H.A.M’.

Both stages slowly rise, with images of barking dogs and wildlife projecting from each, as the duo performs tracks from their smash hit joint album. As the intro to Otis Redding’s ‘Try A Little Tenderness’ plays, Jay sprints to the main stage to join his collaborator, and the pair break into the LP’s leading single ‘Otis’. Accompanied with a giant American flag draped at the back, it’s at this point the show really gets underway.

The tour may be called Watch The Throne, but both MCs – to the delight of fans – play numerous tracks from their impressive back catalogue of hits. Jay-Z’s ‘Jigga What, Jigga Who’ and ‘Big Pimpin’’ takes older fans back to the Roc-A-Fella heyday, while West’s ‘Can’t Tell Me Nothing’ and ‘All Falls Down’ garners rapturous screams and excited shape-throwing gestures.

Showcasing their natural stage chemistry, Yeezy assists Jay during a rendition of ‘99 Problems’, while HOV returns the favour on West’s ‘Gold Digger’. A personal highlight comes when the pair takes it down a notch, grabbing a seat, whilst casually conversing, reminiscing about earlier days –which proves a great intro to Jigga’s breakthrough 1997 single ‘Hard Knock Life’.

Despite its wide success, some critics have questioned the ‘Watch The Throne’ album, claiming the record’s over-the-top boasting of wealth, designer garments and private jet lifestyle, in a time where most are feeling the pinch of the credit crunch, suggests the rap icons are slowly losing touch with their original hip hop fanbase. And while elements of that cannot be disputed, the albums triumph (both commercially and within the hip hop scene) proves rap fans (and pop fans alike) are very much so onboard with the duo’s “luxury rap”. And The O2 gig is a testament to that.

The US stars close their breathtaking two-hour set with an extended version of ‘N****s In Paris’ – which is reloaded an astonishing FOUR times, providing a perfect encore to what is quite frankly an EPIC show. Jay and Kanye are well and truly sitting on top of the hip hop throne, with no contenders remotely insight of knocking them off anytime soon.

Words by Vanessa Laker

BAFTAS 2012: Winners List!

French silent movie The Artist(which I still haven’t seen yet and probably wont anytime anytime soon) was the King of The BAFTAs, taking home six awards, including best actor and the coverted best picture gong. The British equivalent to the Oscars was a celeb packed affair, with the likes of Hollywood royalty Brad Brit (swoon), George Clooney, Meryl Streep and Martin Scorsese all in attendance.

While Hollywood hunks Pitt and Clooney went home empty handed, Brit actor Adam Deacon took the Orange Rising Star award (CONGRATS). The Hackney born actor has been doing his thiing for many years now, so it was great to see him be recognised on such a huge level.

Anyway, here’s the full list of all the winners.

Best Film

Winner – The Artist (dir. Michel Hazanavicius)

Nominees

The Help (dir. Tate Taylor)

Drive (dir. Nicolas Winding Refn)

The Descendants (dir. Alexander Payne)

Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy (dir. Tomas Alfredson)

Alexander Korda Award For Outstanding British Film Of The Year

Winner  – Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy (dir. Tomas Alfredson)

Nominees

My Week With Marilyn (Simon Curtis)

Shame (Steve McQueen)

We Need To Talk About Kevin (dir. Lynne Ramsey)

Senna (Asif Kapadia)

Best Actor

Winner  – Jean Dujardin (The Artist)

Nominees

George Clooney (The Descendants)

Michael Fassbender (Shame)

Gary Oldman (Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy)

Brad Pitt (Moneyball)

Best Actress

Winner  – Meryl Streep (The Iron Lady)

Nominees

Bérénice Bejo (The Artist)

Viola Davis (The Help)

Michelle Williams (My Week With Marilyn)

Tilda Swinton (We Need To Talk About Kevin)

Best Supporting Actor

Winner  – Christopher Plummer (Beginners)

Nominees

Kenneth Branagh (My Week With Marilyn)

Jim Broadbent (The Iron Lady)

Jonah Hill (Moneyball)

Philip Seymour Hoffman (The Ides Of March)

Best Supporting Actress

Winner – Octavia Spencer (The Help)

Nominees  

Judi Dench (My Week With Marilyn)

Jessica Chastain (The Help)

Melissa McCarthy (Bridesmaids)

Carey Mulligan (Drive)

David Lean Award For Achievement In Direction

Winner – Michel Hazanavicius (The Artist)

Nominees

Tomas Alfredson (Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy)

Lynne Ramsey (We Need To Talk About Kevin)

Martin Scorsese (Hugo)

Nicolas Wining Refn (Drive)

Best Screenplay (Original)

Winner – Michel Hazanavicius (The Artist)

Nominees

Woody Allen (Midnight In Paris)

Annie Mumolo, Kristen Wiig (Bridesmaids)

John Michael McDonagh (The Guard)

Abi Morgan (The Iron Lady)

Best Screenplay (Adapted)

Winner – Bridget O’Connor, Peter Straughan (Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy)

Nominees

Tate Taylor (The Help)

Alexander Payne, Nat Faxon, Jim Rash (The Descendants)

George Clooney, Grant Heslov, Beau Willimon (The Ides Of March)

Steven Zaillian, Aaron Sorkin (Moneyball)

Anthony Asquith Award For Film Music

Winner – Ludovic Bource (The Artist)

Nominees

Trent Reznor, Atticus Ross (The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo)

Howard Shore (Hugo)

John Williams (War Horse)

Alberto Iglesias (Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy)

Best Cinematography

Winner – Guillaume Schiffman (The Artist)

Nominees

Jeff Cronenweth (The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo)

Robert Richardson (Hugo)

Janusz Kaminski (War Horse)

Hoyte Van Hoytema (Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy)

Best Animated Feature Film

Winner – Rango (dir. Gore Verbinski)

Nominees

Arthur Christmas (dir. Sarah Smith, Barry Cook)

The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret Of The Unicorn (dir. Steven Spielberg)

Best Film Not In The English Language

Winner – The Skin I Live In (dir. Pedro Almodóvar)

Nominees

Incendies (dir. Deni Villeneuve)

Pina (Wim Wenders)

Potiche (Francois Ozon)

A Separation (Asqhar Farhadi)

UK Riots: Police Release CCTV Footage of Rioters As Arrests Continue!

After four days of carnage, craziness and rioters running wild in England,  calmness has finally resumed in the UK.  And with all the drama under control, police are currently in full swing with their arrest operation. So far over a thousand people have been arrested – with a over two  hundred charged.

As the arrests continue, the Met have released a number of CCTV pictures to the public. In Manchester a mother saw her 15-year-old son on the news and handed him in to authorities. Click here to read that story.

 

Snacks: A youngster on his bike carries in a basket groceries suspected of coming from a looted Tesco
Hands full: A teenager clambers through the smashed window of a fashion store in Peckham
 A looter holds a haul of check shirts to match the one he's already wearing
Riots seen erupting in Peckham South East London as looters smash windows
A rioter throws ab object in front of a burning car
Quick escape: A looter stands in the window of a clothing store in Peckham last night
Two youths in the riots
Is anybody watching? Youths look out from a looted newsagents
A suspected rioter is detained by police