Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Zoë Badwi - Pop Trash Interview

Zoë Badwi first rocked my world at the beginning of the decade as a member of the trashy trio of pop tarts otherwise known as Sirens. I was slightly obsessed with the group's fabulous brand of pure pop and blogged about them several times over the past few years. When the band parted ways, Zoë became a fixture of the live music scene but sadly dropped off the pop radar. All that changed last year when she re-emerged with a sizzling new dance sound courtesy of TV ROCK and topped the ARIA club charts for 7 consecutive weeks. "Release Me" instantly transformed Zoë into Australia's hottest dance diva and there's been no stopping her since. Our new Queen of Clubs (sorry Dannii) subsequently scored another top 10 club smash with "Don't Wan'cha" and is currently putting the finishing touches to her debut album. The thing I admire most about Zoë - well, apart from her music and killer dance moves - is the fact that she's such a trooper. She's been plugging away at her craft for the best part of a decade and is only now starting to reap the rewards. I was lucky enough to ask Zoë some questions recently about her colourful career path and future plans. Check it out.

Hey Zoë! I thought I'd start by asking how you got into the music business. Who put Sirens together? Wasn't 90s icon Merril Bainbridge involved somehow?
Well I started out with a DJ called Mark John doing house music. Then one of my roomates went out with Angie from Sirens. He said they had been looking for someone for 2 years. So I auditioned! It came down to myself and another girl but I got it! YAY! Merril was one of our managers and she wrote "Like Fire, Like Rain".

I think that song and "Give A Little Love" are forgotten pop gems. What do you make of them today? The foam party video for "Like Fire Like Rain" is pure class!
I had a ball in the film clip "Like Fire, Like Rain" - an 18 hour day in a car wash! Great dancers, great director. That is my fave clip!!

"I'm So Excited" was the group's biggest hit. Was getting 2nd billing to Sara Marie an insult? I hope she at least taught you how to bum dance.
Haha we did have to bum dance. I didn't mind the second billing cos it wasn't something we were looking at doing. After we did the theme song for the first Big Brother series, they approached us. We thought about it long and hard but she was so much fun to work with, we thought why not!

Are you still in touch with any of the other girls? Angie released her own single a couple of years ago but seems to have dropped off the face of the earth.
The other 2 girls are married with babies now. I didn't know Ange brought out a song. I will have to ask her about that one. Good researching by you! We keep each other informed on the big things in our lives. We shared some great moments so we will always have a bond.

What did you do between Sirens and your re-emergence with "Release Me". Did you ever feel like throwing in the towel? Tell us a bit about Black Dogs.
Never ever thought of throwing in the towel! I love it too much! After Sirens I was still working with DJ Mark John and joined a house band called Black Dogs. I am still with them now. I have a blast with the boys. We have another male vocalist Andrew De Sliva, bass, guitar, congas and Mark John driving the beats from the decks.

How did you get involved with TV Rock? They seem to have taken you under their wing.
Grant came and watched my band play one night. After he asked me if I write my own songs. I told him I do. He said he would send me a couple of beats to see what I could come up with. I wrote "Release Me", sang it to them and they loved it! Thank goodness, I say haha. Yes, TV Rock have been good to me. We work well with each other. It is hard to find people who just get you musically and we get one another. I am lucky they found me.

"Release Me" was absolutely huge in the clubs. When you recorded it did you have any idea it would be that massive?
Ha! I had no idea!!! It was just something that was on my mind. I was constantly singing it. I remember the first time I sang it out. People were dancing about but now they sing it back louder than I do! I love it!

Given its club success, were you surprised that it didn't quite cross over? I was sure you'd be giving Pink and Britney a run for their money on Video Hits!
It got a fair bit of radio play. Channel V and MTV played the film clip but I am not sure I could imagine it on Video Hits!? Even though I would have loved it! There is more to come so you never know....

The song has been picked up by a UK label and is already a club hit over there. Do you know when it's being released? Will you be going over to promote it?
It was released 2 weeks ago and it is at number 10 in the UK club charts!!!! I cant believe it!! So exciting. I just got back from London last night. I had some meetings and all is looking good.
I sang in Beijing and Mykonos with great feedback about my tracks - keep ya fingers crossed for me!

Your latest club smash "Don't Wan'cha" is currently riding high in the club charts. Can we officially crown you Australia's new queen of dance?
Yes, it's going well! I am always suprised, I think its number 7 at the moment. I'm very happy with that! Ha! Australia's queen of dance!? I'll take that hahahaha. Oh mum will be proud!

The "Don't Wan'cha" artwork is.... very different. Did you draw it yourself after a big night on the tiles?
Hahahahaha I wish I could draw! I love the artwork because it is different and a bit rough!

Are you working on an album? Will it feature more club anthems or will you mix it up and throw in some more commercial pop tunes?
I am working on an album. I have about 5 or 6 tracks almost finished. And one of them is a bit of a pop tune, still with a club edge but I do wanna mix it up a bit.

I hear you're considering doing a cover version. I think La Toya's "Sexbox" would be fun!
Ha! That is so funny that film clip! Maybe not that song - but keep the suggestions coming!

What have you been up to in Mykonos and Beijing?
Singing! Laughing and tanning. Meeting up with some of the big wigs like David Guetta, Martin Solveig and Axwell. I have been travelling with Grant Smillie from TV Rock. It has been such an amazing experiance singing my songs all over the world!

What's been your biggest diva moment?
I am no diva. BUT one place I play at sends me limos filled with my favourite drinks, fresh lemons and limes. Has 12 red roses waiting for me! A security guard that walks me to the bathroom and waits for me haha - it is just lovely.

I've seen you perform at the Big Gay Out and Arq. Why do you think you connect so well with the gays? I put it down to your killer dance moves.
Haha oh my dancing. I honestly didn't realise I move that much!? Then I see videos back and think to myself "Oh Zoe, put it away"! Haha! I have had great support from the gay communitity, but I couldn't be happier with that. They are the ones who dance like nobody's business and know all the words! They say if you make it in the gay community you can make it anywhere!

Good luck with "Release Me" in the UK. I hope it's huge for you. Thanks so much for your time.
Thanks you for having me! Keep your eyes peeled for my next single. I will give you the scoop...... It's called "In The Moment".

Check out Zoë's Myspace to learn more about this amazing diva. Make sure you watch the glamorous "Release Me" video clip (below) filmed live at this year's Sensation NYE party.


tommie said...

I like Release Me, but it needs a better video if they're serious about trying to get this into the mainstream!

D.P.F. said...

Never heard of her but her Like Fire Like Rain is great! I love these kind of popsongs! Her latest song is cool too as im a big sensation lovaaaah :D Could do very well in the UK! Good luck to her :)

T. said...

that Live song is kinda cool, so when are u gonna interview Toy???
that will be great, I guess u need the money to pay Toy before! lol

Craig said...

I love Release Me! The play it on repeat at the shift LOL!

Zaghawa said...

I absolutely adore the "Don't Wan'cha Neon" artwork! :)

Nasty G said...

Love Don't Wan'cha!

Magical Froggy said...

I really enjoyed Release Me, bit of a bad timing though launching this in the UK with Agnes everywhere. :\ I'll buy Zoe if she gets this out over here!

Mike said...

The funny thing is Zoe and Agnes are on the same label - in Australia at least! The songs are really different so I don't think it matters. I'd love it if they release a physical single in the UK. I'd import it!

Malcolm said...

Well, I do not actually believe it is likely to have success.
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