This Friday (11th November) London’s 93 Feet East play’s host to one of the best ElectroPop line-ups of the year. Brought to us by Human Error, Friday’s event will see Fear Of Tigers, Visitor, The Sound Of Arrows and Queen Of Hearts share the stage in one amazing night of the best electronic music London has to offer. This week, to build your anticipation, electronic rumors will be talking to each of the four acts involved…
Does Queen Of Hearts really need an introduction? Go type the name into that little search box on the right and you’ll be presented with a document of one of the hardest working women in ElectroPop’s rocket-ride of the last six months. If there’s anybody we feature here on our little corner of the internet that I would put money on being huge, it’s Queen Of Hearts. Working with some of the best acts in the business, from Diamond Cut to The Sound Of Arrows to Monarchy with a voice full of passion and an edge to her lyrics, the Queen is our best hope for thoughtful, authentic (I hate to use the word ‘authentic’, but I really mean it here) ElectroPop to dominate the charts once more. And dominate the charts she will.
The Queen kindly took some time from being all regal and wotnot to let you in on a little of a monarch of SynthPop.
ER: So, Queen Of Hearts, where did it all begin What’s your background with music? How did you get into it, were you in other acts and was it always this style of music?
QOH: I’ve always been into ElectroPop. Growing up I was surrounded by a lot of Wham, The Human League, Howard Jones, Michael Jackson and Prince. I knew exactly the type of music I wanted to make and the kind of artist I wanted to be, so it was about finding the right people to work with and help develop my ideas and sound. I started working with Dreamtrak about a year ago, and Freestyle was the first track I ever wrote for the project. After that, things just grew quite organically, other producers came on board and Queen of Hearts was born.
ER. What influences you and your sound, not just musically?
QOH: I’ve always been influenced by strong women – icons; Grace Jones, Annie Lennox, Madonna, Bjork, Robyn. I think there’s nothing sexier than a woman with power and grace, and that plays a big part in everything I do, from the clothes I choose, to the way I perform and how I want to be portrayed.
Musically, I’m SynthPop through and through. My iPod has unhealthy amounts of Goldfrapp, Hurts, Empire of the Sun, Marina and the Diamonds, Frankmusik, Robyn, Yelle, to name a few.
♫ Queen Of Hearts – Where Are You Now? (Produced By Diamond Cut)
ER: You know when you first came out, with the 30 second video teaser etc…, I questioned your authenticity. But you soon won me over, not just with the music, but seeing you speak about ElectroPop with a real passion turned me around. I think my cynicism about new female ElectroPop artists comes from the fact that so many of them make an awesome first album then shrug off electronic music like they are relieving themselves of a embarrassment. Recently both La Roux and Ellie seem to be walking this road announcing Folk albums in the works. Make me feel like ElectroPop was just a stepping stone. With that in mind, what’s your second album going to be like? 😉
QOH: You’re forgiven. 😉
There’s no major label machine or hype powering what I do – the type of music I do often isn’t the most commercially viable, but I simply write music I would want to buy, play out loud and dance to on a night out. What’s the point otherwise?? If you don’t love what you do, how can you make others fall in love with it? Electro/Synth led music gives me goosebumps.
I don’t plan on radically switching styles at any point – I always think a second album should be about consolidating your sound and making it stronger, rather than reinventing yourself.
ER: Rewinding to the present, you must be so proud of your début EP (you should be!), how did it feel when it was finally released?
QOH: It’s great to finally have something out there. The support I’ve had this year is amazing and knowing that people are buying and more importantly liking it, is just amazing.
I’m really proud of all the songs, and I think each one tells a slightly different story and shows off a snippet of who I am, and what is to come.
♫ Queen Of Hearts – Shoot The Bullet (Produced By The Sound of Arrows)
ER: You’ve worked with some amazing production talent, do you find them or do they find you?
QOH: A bit of both really, some producers have contacted me, and others I’ve had to flutter my eyelashes at or give up a limb to get in their studios. Twitter for me, is the best networking tool. If you want to work with someone, give them a tweet and you never know, they just might say yes. I’ve been very lucky so far.
ER: Do you think we’ll see you trying you hand at the production side of things yourself in future
QOH: Never say never. I really admire producers, they spend hours and hours finding sounds, manipulating vocals, mixing levels. I’m not sure I have the patience for it, but I do find it fascinating.
♫ Queen Of Hearts – Black Star (Produced By Devils Gun)
ER: I’ve always felt the 3m30s Pop song can change your life, or at least define a time. Are there any songs that so totally define a time and place or changes your perspective completely?
QOH: I 100% agree! For some people it might be a smell or a certain place that brings back a memory, but for me, it’s always a song. I have a habit of playing an album on repeat for weeks and weeks, absorbing every lyric, every adlib, before moving onto the next. So, when I hear a track from an album I haven’t heard in years, it takes me right back to the very first time I heard it and I get tingles. It happens everytime.
ER: Any crazy rock ‘n’ roll stories from your adventures from giging as yet?
QOH: Team QOH like to party hard. What happens on tour, stays on tour.
ER: What’s the songwriting process for you, is it sitting at a piano or scribbling on the bus?
QOH: I have lots of bits of paper in my handbag with lyrics scribbled on them. Melodies come quite naturally, but sometimes writers block hits on the lyric front, so when an idea pops in, I grab a pen and run with it. I work with a set of producers who really understand my style and together we create instrumentals for me to build ideas on top of until we have a song, and ideally, a hit song. I’m quite a perfectionist.
♫ Queen Of Hearts – Freestyle (Produced By Dreamtrak)
ER: How does Queen Of hearts live setup work?
QOH: Depending on the size of the stage or the mood I’m in, it can be me just on stage, or with my dancers, or even with a full band, dancers and a kitchen sink thrown in for good measure. I like to mix things up and try and make each performance different from the last. For me, a show should be a show, I like to dress up and have some fun.
ER: How Fridays show going to be? Who else are you most looking forward to seeing?
QOH: I’m really looking forward to it, it’s exciting to be billed alongside bands I really like, and I think the whole night is going to be a lot of fun. I have a new song to premiere and some other bits up my sleeve, so I’m hoping it’ll be a great performance. I’m really looking forward to seeing The Sound of Arrows, as I haven’t had the chance to yet.
ER: Is The Queen a Cereal or a Full English Breakfast kinda’ gal? Would your answer change the day after a show?
QOH: You can’t go wrong with a good bowl of cereal. I’m partial to a Coco-Pop.
Queen Of Hearts will be playing as part of this Fridays phenomenal Human Error line up at 93 Feet East in London. Full details can be found here.
Queen Of Hearts’ ‘The Arrival’ EP is out now.
Buy Queen Of Hearts’ music from: