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Andrea Faithful - The IndieLondon interview

Andrea Faithful

Interview by Rob Carnevale

HOTLY tipped newcomer Andrea Faithful talks exclusively to IndieLondon about new single Booby Trap (on October 18, 2010), being provocative and what to expect from her forthcoming album, Right In The Middle.

She also talks about an embarrassing night out where she fell down the stairs, while wearing no knickers, in front of Sean Penn and Liv Tyler and explains why people should be themselves and not be afraid of making mistakes.

Q. Hi Andrea, we’re loving the new single, Booby Trap… so what inspired it?
Andrea Faithful: It’s about me and my different personalities, I sometimes feel slightly schizophrenic. Sometimes, I can be quite shy and insecure, then at other times I can be really over the top and feel like I can achieve anything. At other times I have a feminine, sexual side then at other times I feel like I’m one of the boys, so the track is all about mixing up those different sides of me. I see this as a bit like a trap which people fall into and I’m just here, waiting for the explosion!

Q. And how much fun was the video to record? You must be pleased with the Internet buzz surrounding it?
Andrea Faithful: Yeah, I’m really pleased with and it was great few days of filming. I co-directed the video with Ivan Bellaroba and I think we got a great result. However, I did puke a few times spinning round on a rope from the ceiling! Something tells me I will never be joining the circus…!

Q. What can we expect from the forthcoming album, Right in the Middle, thematically and stylistically?
Andrea Faithful: The album takes elements of hip hop, rock, dance, electro – I’m extremely interested in mixing up different musical styles but ultimately, I make pop music. The public can box me but I’m not going to do that to myself. I don’t think pop is what it once was and I hate it when people see pop as a bad word – I think there are some great commercial artists out there.

Q. You enjoy mixing musical genres – from dub-step through electronic hip hop to pop rock – so do you think that’s what the music industry needs more of? Do you view the mainstream as pretty static?
Andrea Faithful: I think it’s great to mix things up in terms of musical styles. I don’t view the mainstream as static, however, I think some of the British acts we have, which shall remain nameless, feel to me a bit dated in comparison to what’s coming through internationally.

Q. How do comparisons to artists such as Lady Gaga and Katy Perry (in terms of having your own identity and a non-conformity) please you?
Andrea Faithful: I have a vagina and write commercial music. That’s where the similarities end.

Q. Which artists inspire and/or excite you – past and present?
Andrea Faithful: I’m loving Plan B at the moment and Tinie Temper. Eminem is also a favourite of mine and I would love to do a track with him. I saw Dizzee Rascal play a few weeks ago and I gotta admit I became a fan.

Q. I’ve read that your unconventional childhood has helped drive you forward… in what way was it unconventional?
Andrea Faithful: I think I was unconventional. I had a bad eating disorder which I think made me a bit of a loner, and I was also diagnosed with OCD when I was younger. I spent hours lining toys up in my bedroom and cleaning. I used to pray for around 2 hours a day as I thought my mum was gonna die if I didn’t! I think when I went to dance and music classes it helped as it kind of brought me out my shell. I never felt shy when I was performing, it was almost like I was someone else.

Q. What’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given along the way?
Andrea Faithful: There is always 10 different ways to crack an egg.

Q. You create your own fashions, too, so where do you get the inspirations for those?
Andrea Faithful: I like looking at styles from the ’50s and ’80s and putting my own twist on them. I also love some of the imagery from the 1970s Playboy Mags! There’s something so innocent about them! Sometimes I just have an idea that comes into my head and then six months later I see it in a mag. Maybe I have a guardian angel with a fashion house in the sky.

Q. Do you think there is too much of an emphasis placed nowadays on conformity and keeping up with the masses, whether it’s music or fashion? Do you think people need to be a little braver and more self-satisfying in the way they express themselves?
Andrea Faithful: I think there’s a lot of fear in people, which stops them trying out new things. I say just be who you are and believe in that and if you go wrong, so what, move on. The worst thing is regret. I don’t regret anything I have done. In my head it always seemed right at the time and it makes you who you are.

Q. You’re developing a reputation for being outrageous and provocative… do you like that or disagree with that view?
Andrea Faithful: As I said, I feel like I’m a real mixture of things. I don’t like normal – that word scares me! It must be something ingrained from my childhood.

Andrea Faithful

Q. I read about your embarrassing moment in front of Sean Penn and Liv Tyler? What happened exactly and how did they take it?
Andrea Faithful: I was at a party in New York for the premier of one of The Lord of the Rings films. I’d had a little bit to much to drink and was having an argument in the bar. I grabbed my bag to leave in a diva style strop and fell down the stairs in front of them! Shamefully, I was wearing no knickers that evening! I don’t normally go out commando but the dress I was wearing didn’t cater for a knicker line… They took it well! In fact, I reckon Liv quite liked it.

Q. How did it feel to have Anthony Keidis praise your album?
Andrea Faithful: Amazing. I think he’s a great artist and immensely talented, so it was a wonderful compliment.

Q. You spend a lot of time in New York and London… what do you love about those respective cities?
Andrea Faithful: I think it’s the freedom I feel there. You can be whoever you want without judgement – at least not to your face anyway!

Q. And what are some of your favourite live memories?
Andrea Faithful: I played once at the Barfly in Camden and the whole backline blew – that was fun! The warehouse parties in New York were always good to play at. There were some great characters and people who really know how to party.

Q. How is working with Magna Kartah? What does he bring to your creative process?
Andrea Faithful: He is a wonderful writer and producer and I feel lucky that we are able to work together. I think we both share the same vision in terms of music and where we see Chubby Kids Records going.

Q. How is Chubby Kids Records doing? And do you have any other artists on your books you’d like to mention and plug?
Andrea Faithful: We have producers and writers at the moment and it’s going great. They have had hits across Europe and in Japan. We’re thinking of developing new artists next year. I’m looking for a young Jay Z meets Adam Ant!

Q. How useful is the Internet in giving artists a start?
Andrea Faithful: I think it’s a great way for new artists to get their music out to the public for them to make a view instead of the A&R at majors labels deciding whether it’s good or not. My only problem with it is illegal downloading – it really gets me really angry. I wouldn’t walk into a shop and take what I want without paying, so why should people take music? Its like people expect music should be free and it is killing new artists. It’s not pretty.

Q. Your clothing range has been picked up in Bucharest… any plans to release it into stores in the UK? Or if it’s available, where can people go to find it?
Andrea Faithful: Yeah, I hope to over the next few months. I have a few meetings with stores about this this so I will keep you posted!

Q. Is there any song you’d love to cover and why?
Andrea Faithful: I’m not a fan of covering songs and never have been.

Q. Finally, what are the 10 tracks that are never far from your iPod player at the moment?
Andrea Faithful: Tine Temper – Passout
Plan B – She Said
Killers – Indie Rock and Roll
Madonna – Get into the Groove
Missey Elliot – Get Yr Freak On
Katy Perry – I Kissed a Girl
Flock of Seagulls – I Ran
Eminem – Love the Way You Lie
David Bowie – Changes
Dizzie Rascal – Bonkers

View photos of Andrea Faithful