By Hattie MacAndrews
She’s not one to ignore, forget, or underestimate. If you don’t already know about Noush Skaugen, listen up! The buzz has been building. Skaugen’s music is rock’n’roll’n’fabulous. Her lyrics are poignant and personal but not candy-coated girl power: “I stand here, out on my own/I don’t need your love to make me believe.” Personal favorites from her last album? “Lost and Found,” “Adeline,” and “Let You Go.”
Skaugen’s online presence has wowed critics around the globe. She can claim the title of First Online Musical Phenom—she’s broadcast her music on sites such as YouTube to gain recognition. Justin Bieber adopted this approach, and it’s worked for him! Skaugen’s YouTube posts, “Couch Sessions,” let fans make requests, and while they only consist of Skaugen, her guitar, and a little camera, her talent still shines huge. We’re loving her cover of MGMT’s “Time to Pretend.”
And we love her down-to-earth attitude. Tweet her and she’ll tweet you back. Despite 1,233,999 Twitter followers—and yes, that is more than Khloe and Kourtney Kardashian—Noush is humble: “I’m very flattered and thankful for my fans, and one day I’ll take them all out for a drink and party!”
We caught up with Noush to chat about new music projects, style inspirations, and what she would do with Lady Gaga and a bottle of Jack Daniels . . .
Hattie MacAndrews: Can you explain your Twitter Run for a Million campaign?
Noush Skaugen: Run for a Million was a punk spur-of-the-moment idea, as I saw I was approaching 1 million followers on Twitter and wanted to give back to the fans as a celebration of hitting that mark. I was one of the early adopters of Twitter, and it grew organically from there, as I tweeted about what I was up to, my music, and my thoughts, and interacted with people.
HM: How long have you been doing Couch Sessions?
NS: I did Couch Sessions last year, and they were great but over for now, as I am focusing on my daily video blogs, following my journey as an indie artist in the studio, to promoting, to touring, to breaking out. As a thank-you to the fans, I mixed The Soho Sessions, a collection of cover songs.
HM: Do you prefer unusual requests for songs?
NS: It depends, but yes, usually an obscure track will translate better as a cover, but then again, a well-known song if completely taken the other way can be great.
HM: If you weren’t singing, what would you do?
NS: I’d have a chocolate shop in the mountains.
HM: How would you define having “made it”?
NS: I think we’ve all “made it” if we’re doing what we love in life.
HM: Can you describe your fashion style?
NS: The love child of Chrissie Hynde and Billy Idol, raised by Pat Benatar.
HM: If you came across Lady Gaga in a dark alley, how would you react?
NS: I’d take her down an even darker alley for a couple of pints and a bottle of J.D.
By Hattie MacAndrews
Rachel Furner is so cute, she should be edible. At just 17 years old, Rachel’s another young artist taking the music industry by storm. However, she’s not just ‘another’ young artist, she’s got a certain je ne sais quoi about her, a pizzazz. You have to listen to her music to appreciate the fuss about her; it’s fun, catchy, and surprisingly profound. She’s currently working on her debut album—words cannot express how excited we are, but we promise not to break out in song!
Here Rachel dishes about her style, favorite designer, and plans for the future.
Hattie MacAndrews: Tell us 5 things about yourself.
1. I’m 5’2”.
2. I collect bracelets, the brighter the better!
3. I wish on eyelashes.
4. I live with my amazing sister in London, we are inseparable.
5. Every night before I go to sleep, I have to listen to Bach, “Air on the G String.”
HM: When did you start singing and songwriting?
RF: I come from a very musical family, so as I was growing up, music was a very prominent part of my life. I started playing piano when I was 6 years old and sang to Britney relentlessly. At 11, I started to write songs. “Sticks and Stones,” which is on the album, I wrote when I was 14.
HM: Who have you performed with?
RF: Pixie Lott and Justin Bieber and Paolo Nutini, they were all such amazing gigs!
HM: What are your plans for the future?
RF: My plans for the future will all revolve around music, but in which way I don’t know. You never know where you will end up.
HM: Who is your favorite designer?
RF: I love Stella McCartney as a designer, but I also love High Street brands a lot.
HM: Have you ever though about designing your own clothing line?
RF: Of course, as a petite person I would love to design outfits that really focus and flatter the petite frame, as sometimes I find it hard to really find well-fitting clothes for my figure. I would also love to have a range of my own stripy tights as well.
HM: Describe your fashion sense in 3 words?
RF: Stripy, puffy, flamboyant.
HM: What’s your favorite magazine?
RF: It really depends what mood I’m in! If I’m tired or embarking on a long journey, I admit I go for my guilty pleasure, gossip magazines, I’ll pick up the one with the most shocking title.
HM: Famous last words?
RF: You only live once. Do what you want.
By Hattie MacAndrews
This intimate London-based group has created a mountain from a molehill. Playing small gigs in London, Leeds, and Bristol since 2007, Patch William is creating brilliant music today. The group was nominated this year for an Ivor Novello Award (a songwriting award as coveted as a Grammy) against the likes of Lily Allen. Can you say “British Invasion, the Second Wave”? Burberry Creative Director Christopher Bailey is already a fan, and the band is featured on the Burberry Acoustic Compilation. Check out the video!
Patch William played some of the UK’s biggest music festivals this summer, including Glastonbury and Bestival. They’ve recently completed their new single “Skinny White Boy,” and next year plan on locking themselves away to record, before hitting the festivals in summer 2011!
Hattie MacAndrews: How do you all know each other?
Will Adlard: Ed and I are brothers. George [Eddy] originally played in a band with Ed, and is the god-sibling of Ali [Digby] . . . all rather incestuous!
HM: When and why did you start writing and making music?
WA: Literally in the womb. I came out whistling a tune. That was our first hit single.
HM: Who would you most like to perform with?
WA: The Flaming Lips. We saw them at Glastonbury. We could all use Wayne Coyne’s “Space Ball,” in which he walks over the crowd; it looks phenomenal.
HM: If you only had 1 song on your iPod for the next 10 years, what would it be?
WA: “Ramble On,” by Zeppelin, or “Don’t Think Twice, It’s All Right.”
HM: What are you listening to at the moment?
WA: Devendra Banhart, The Black Keys, Grizzly Bear, Josephine Foster, Edward Sharpe and The Magnetic Zeros, Laura Marling, and the Dirty Projectors.
HM: What’s your favorite song to listen to in the gym?
WA: We generally stay well away from the gym, although Ed likes to pull some weights on occasion. George is a closet sucker for the Beastie Boys when he’s gettin’ his sweat on.
HM: What’s your signature look?
WA: Ed has been known to wear a Teletubbies costume, or nothing at all. Our road manager wears a beard. That’s a good look . . .