Interview: Queen of Hearts
Queen of Hearts is a new electro-pop artist on the scene who, with just a handful of tracks and a very strong look has been exciting bloggers and drawing the attentions of some very hip, very good producers; this monarch’s seriously turning heads. Ahead of her EP launch show at the Lexington in London this Wednesday 24 August we thought we’d get some details on this fresh enigma, letting her tell us what she’s all about in her own words.
SSG: So tell us, who is Queen of Hearts?
Queen of Hearts: Queen of Hearts symbolizes the strength and power, yet vunerability of a woman. I don’t write lyrics about ‘DJs on the dance floor’. I write about love, loss, betrayal, and inner strength. The Queen represents the ultimate position of power for a woman, and I think there’s nothing sexier than a strong, powerful woman.
You were described earlier this year by Guardian Music as ‘Annie, Goldfrapp and Kylie rolled into one’ – how far do you think that’s a fair description? Is there anyone else you’d roll in?
Naturally when you make electro-pop, you’re going to be compared to other female artists in that genre and it doesn’t get much better than Annie, Alison or Kylie, so of course, I was thrilled. I’m inspired by left-of-centre pop; I like my music to come with a side of darkness, and my tone is quite breathy, much like those three, so I can see the similarity. I’m also a huge Robyn and Siobhan Donaghy fan. They both write such beautiful songs, and their voices give me goosebumps. I would give away one of my limbs to write a ‘Dancing on my own’ or ‘Don’t give up.’
And which pop stars at the moment do you rate?
Icona Pop, Ronika, Emeli Sande, Hurts, The Sound Of Arrows, Vanbot, Monarchy, Cocknbullkid, Frankmusik, Robyn, Gaga. Marina and the Diamonds’ ‘Fear and Loathing’ is my vice right now; I could listen to it all day long.
[pullquote_right]I’m electro-pop through and through and I want to see more of that in our top ten.[/pullquote_right]How do you feel about where pop is at currently? It seems to be very much the domain of women at the minute – what’re your thoughts on that?
I’m very pro women in pop; there’s room for all of us, and we all bring something different to the table. I love looking at what other artists are wearing too. I don’t own jeans and I think women’s fashion is so exciting. I love artists that push the boundaries such as Florence, Marina, Gaga. I’m excited to see what 2012 brings us music-wise; I’m over this whole ‘urban’ scene we have dominating the charts at the moment. I’m electro-pop through and through and I want to see more of that in our top ten.
You’ve been produced by the likes of Monarchy and name-dropped by Bright Light Bright Light, amongst others, but who remains out there that you would love to work with?
I’ve been very lucky so far to have worked with some amazing producers, as you mentioned, and I’m so proud of the tracks we created together. I’ve recently added The Sound Of Arrows and Stuart Price to my producer pal list, so I’m looking forward to putting those tracks out there for judgement. I think in an ideal world I’d love to work with Daft Punk or Justice. I love their left-of-centre, crazy beats. I’d also love to collab with Richard X, Hurts or Frankmusik, and dream scenario, a ‘Telephone’, Beyonce/Gaga-style hook up with Robyn. I’ve put it on my Christmas list; we’ll see if I’ve been a good girl this year.
We caught your performance at the recent ‘Spill’ Launch in the Silver Bullet in Silver Park and loved the ram skulls! Can you describe the aesthetic and atmosphere you aim for in live performances?
I take my creatures everywhere with me. I love how they are incredibly spooky and yet somehow sexy and mysterious. For me a show is a SHOW, I don’t sit with a guitar and sing with my eyes closed, I have flamboyant outfits, animal dancers and sometimes even a light show. My music is upbeat yet dark, and I like to carry that theme through the performance visually. I love what I do, and if people make the effort to come and see me, I want to give them their money’s worth.
Any more performances coming up?
Yes, I have my ‘Arrival’ EP Launch at the Lexington on Wednesday, where I will play exclusive tracks from the EP with guest DJs Chasing Pluto. Hopefully I’m going to be doing a few bits and pieces during fashion week and I’m also planning my way around Europe, starting in Barcelona in October.
And what about some music – when will you be releasing something?
My EP is out on 25 September, and I featured on a Johan Agebjorn & Ercola track earlier in June, called ‘The Last Day of Summer.’
Can you describe for us a ‘Perfect Mistake’, or give us an example?
A perfect mistake is something that feels really good that you know is really bad – in a nutshell, eating a whole tub of Ben and Jerry’s in one sitting.
You recently participated in the clean up following the riots in London – tell us about that experience. What are your lasting impressions of that episode?
I was horrified by what I saw on the news and couldn’t switch the TV off. I saw what #Riotcleanup were doing on Twitter and desperatly wanted to be involved. I live close to Clapham, so rounded up some friends and head down with brooms. There were hundreds of people there, including Kate Nash and BB from ‘Dirty Sexy Things’ and it didn’t matter who you were, everyone just got stuck in and helped. It was incredibly moving to watch people club together and fight for their community, I’m so glad I went.
And finally, tell us a joke…?
I don’t do jokes. Sarcasm may be the lowest form of wit, but it’s my preference.
Queen of Hearts’ show at The Lexington on 24th August is guestlist only but you can apply for spaces via iamthequeenofhearts@gmail.
Find out more about Queen of Hearts on her official website, and follow her on Twitter @iamqueenofheart