Posted at 7:50 PM, 14 May 2010 -
» TeenToday: video interview part 1 | part 2
» The Chemistry Is Dead: One Touch review
"They have a fantastic posey, pouty video and an outstanding song sung by a cool duo that stand out from the blandness of The Saturdays and Girls Can’t Catch (...). “Hips, lips, fashion, status”, the middle eight, “AW” and the vocodered “takes me over” ad lib near the end are amongst the best bits of an addictive song that will go down in our books as 2010’s lost No.1"
» Totally Dublin: One Touch review
"Pop’s not going to solve any of the world’s problems. And no-one expects pop music to last, it is an art-form that doesn’t strive for longevity; it’s supposed to be transient, of the moment, fleeting and inconsequential - and yet great pop is what tends to get remembered. Mini Viva’s last single tanked at a lowly 73 in the charts, but even if One Touch follows suit and bombs, hearing it in the distant future will doubtless cause a Proustian rush in me that takes me back to the summer of 2010."
» Music-News.com: One Touch review 5/5
"This track is real Girls Aloud material; boppy, catchy, a slightly edgy sound and more than a smattering of 80’s synths. It does take a couple of listens to get into the groove of the track, but persevere and you will be rewarded with an absolute gem of a track. 'One Touch’ really is a pop master piece, and will hopefully see Mini Viva chart once more."
» Spark*: Mini Viva interview by Laurence Green
«Laurence Green chats to pop sensations Mini Viva and gets the low-down on their London gig
The venue is London’s hallowed Hammersmith Apollo and I’ve come to see the dynamic pop duo that is Mini Viva. Launched onto the music scene in 2009 with the irresistible Left My Heart In Tokyo, as the opening bars of that very track are met with a chorus of whoops and cheers from the audience, Mini Viva’s Frankee Connolly and Britt Love kick off their four track support slot for Britain’s Got Talent winners Diversity in style.
Dressed in black, the two girls exude effortless chic, blasting through the song with an impressive energy. The choreography is slick and immaculately rehearsed; the perfect accompaniment to the crème-de-la-creme of pop music. Next we’re treated to the shimmering, melancholy vibes and dreamy synths of I Wish and the epic balladry of Emotions of Love, a standout track from the girls’ forthcoming debut studio album. Even within such a short set-list, Mini Viva pack in versatility, showcasing that they’re just as skilled at down-tempo numbers as the dancey singles which have led them to chart success.
The highlight of the night comes in the form of new single One Touch. With a delightful refrain of ‘Do you wanna candy, hey baby’, it’s quite simply one of the best pop tracks to come out of the UK this year. Feisty to the max and packed full of attitude and catchy hooks, all wrapped up in the girls’ sultry vocal delivery, it’s mindblowingly good stuff.
Before the gig I sat down with the girls for a chat and they filled me in on what it means to be Mini Viva. The duo currently broadcast a weekly webchat on social networking site Twitter, giving fans a unique insight into their lifestyle.
“To us, all our fans are really important and to have an interaction with them is even better,” say the girls. It’s through mediums like this that fans really see the band grow and Frankee outlines Mini Viva’s own beginnings.
“We had to work so hard, and we’re still working now. When we weren’t even signed we would go gigging in these really grungy places in London. It was good for us, it got us that experience.”
“We’ve performed for all different types of audiences now; we’ve learnt to be strong,” adds Britt. “When we performed for Clubland people would be throwing glowsticks and being crazy and I think it’s made us realise we’re going to come across people who’ll either love us or hate us.”
And what’s the best thing for them performing live?
“It’s the vibe, feeding off people. When you see people singing the words, enjoying themselves and dancing it just gives you that extra oomph! Sometimes it’s hard for us because we don’t normally mime so when we do stuff for TV we have to do pre-records and it feels weird because we prefer singing live and with a band.”
Mini Viva are renowned for working with production house Xenomania, the team behind some of the finest pop records around. Led by chief writers Brian Higgins and Miranda Cooper, from their recording studios in the heart of Kent they lead their assault on the British charts, having penned hits for the likes of Girls Aloud, Kylie and the Sugababes.
“When you’re in the studios it’s a totally different experience to on stage,” say the girls. “Xenomania are amazing and we go there to write music - we never feel tense though, it’s really relaxing. Brian and Miranda have taught us so much. With I Left My Heart In Tokyo, even though it was their song, we put our vocal influences on it. And especially with One Touch, we co-wrote that with them and it feels like ours. It’s like our baby.”
I then quizzed the girls on their musical influences and how they felt they slotted into the current music scene:
“TLC, Destiny’s Child, All Saints, En Vogue – all those greats from back in the day, they were so strong. There hasn’t been a girlband like that for a long time. We just take influence from all their little things. We wouldn’t want to copy anyone else so we look at other bands from the past, take out what’s good about them and try and add that into our own style. There’s so many amazing, strong female artists out there at the moment too like La Roux, Lady Gaga, Beyonce... That’s what we want to be like.”
And can the girls envision what route their lives might have taken if they hadn’t become singers?
“Before I was doing this I was just at college studying to be a make-up artist but now I’ve got my music career, I don’t think I could have ever done that. I can’t imagine anything else, It’s really strange!” explains Frankee.
Fate, it seems, has worked out just right. Going back to the girls’ new single One Touch and its confectionary-based lyrics, the question had to be asked, what was the girls’ favourite sweet?
“Mine has to be jelly babies!” says Britt.
“I love those long red things with all the sugar on them. Strawberry laces!” enthuses Frankee.
And if the girls had to describe One Touch in just three words...
“Feisty. Cheeky. Sugary! It’s definitely feisty, but it’s got that sweetness to it too.”
The girls go on to explain about their eye-catching music videos, including their work with Norwegian director Ray Kay, who was also the brains behind Cheryl Cole’s Fight For This Love video.
“He likes to do really iconic stuff like that and he definitely brought that to Left My Heart In Tokyo too. There’s like two million views or something of it on YouTube. It’s incredible! In the One Touch video we’ve got bright make-up on, but we didn’t want it to be too much, like really kiddy. We like to keep a kind of Japanese inspired style to us too.”
The girls also revealed what it was like getting accustomed to the high-energy lifestyle that comes with performing live and dancing in music videos and on stage.
“I remember when we supported The Saturdays on tour - it was only about a year ago but it feels like a million miles away now and it was a shock to our system as it was the first tour we ever did,” says Britt. “Now that we do more dance moves we’re more used to it and it feels more comfortable, so yes, we do have to train hard.”
“When we first started out it was hard trying to sing and dance at the same time, we were like getting out of breath, thinking how do people do that! But now it just comes naturally,” adds Frankee.
At some point in every artists’ career, there’s always the opportunity for a spot of collaboration and the girls are eager to chat about the subject,
“We’d love to do something with Jay-Z, maybe Will.I.Am... definitely some American artist. We’ll be going over there soon so hopefully something might happen - we’re on the same record label as Will.I.Am and the Black Eyed Peas. The R&B/Hip-Hop thing is really in at the moment – people like N-Dubz... Tinie Tempah... He actually asked us ages ago if we could collaborate. But first we just want to get our album out there though, so people know who we are, and then we can think about starting to collaborate.”»
Labels: Mini Viva