Monday, November 09, 2009

My Date With @m8er!

A few weeks ago I met @m8er in the glamorous surrounds of the Stonewall hotel on Oxford Street. The emerging pop sensation had just unveiled her debut single "Kill That Bitch" (which lists the celebrities she'd like to murder) and was in the middle of a public relations shit storm. The usually amiable Auspop described the song as "desperately contrived" and "enough to leave you totally appalled", while Jessica from Defamer went a step further declaring "any radio station who playlists it should be sent directly into the fiery pits of hell". Personally, I think "Kill That Bitch" is hilarious. It's a good, old fashioned piss take and I couldn't wait to meet the woman responsible for classy lyrics like "Paris Hilton rhymes with Stilton". Given @m8er's outrageous image and flair for controversy, I was also slightly nervous but she turned out to be a total sweetheart with no homicidal tendencies - that I noticed.

I was curious to get to the bottom of the "Kill That Bitch" backlash and started by asking - What is it about those particular bitches? "They are the poster girls for laziness and young wealth gone mad. I spent a lot of time last year crashing on sofas, watching reality TV and found those same girls on every show and in every magazine. I don't actually want them dead, I don't even know them, it's a figure of speech, an everyday expression about how annoying they are but it's not meant to be taken literally." So, how did Delta 'I'll advertise anything for money' Goodrem and Cassie Davis miss the cut? I'd take them out myself! "Well, I'm very patriotic and I draw the line at trashing Aussies, it's not gonna happen."

The elephant in the room was the overwhelming negative response to "Kill That Bitch" but I didn't really know to bring it up without being too offensive. So I just asked how it felt being labelled a talentless publicity whore. @m8er admitted to hearing some of the criticism but seemed quite taken back by the extent of it. "I knew it would upset some people but I am a little surprised by the extent of the vitriol. I don't flash my knickers or stumble out of clubs. I work extremely hard and I'm completely fearless. I write all of my songs and make shit happen. I've just been working my arse off for the past 9 years trying to create my opportunity. My songs are topical. I enjoy telling a story. I love to laugh. I just don't take life that seriously. It is becoming clearer to me just how conservative us Aussies really are." I wonder if she might have got a better reaction in the UK but @m8er was adamant about cracking Australia first. "I was actually offered a record deal in England but I turned it down. I just wanted to start my career here. I've been away for so long. And local pop music is average at best. I really want to make some noise here first. I'm determined to win everyone over but I'm not going to change who I am."

Next on the agenda was the spelling of @m8er's name (it's pronounced Amber). "People are reading far too much into it. I wanted my name to look like an expletive. I wanted something fun. It's really not that deep. 8 is also my lucky number. It's no big deal." I also couldn't resist asking about the "Kill That Bitch" video, which has received almost as much criticism as the song. "I wanted the video to be something completely left of centre. I am not interested in doing a paint by numbers pop video. I had the opportunity to work with the 'Street Monsters' in London who are these mad little animated characters put in real life settings. I had my own characters created and we shot it in Cambridgeshire. It was one of the best days of my life and one that I am very proud of."

So what's next for @m8er? "My second single is called "The 10 Date Commandments" featuring Lil' Kim." My jaw must have dropped when she mentioned Lil' Kim because she goes on to explain how the collaboration came about. "My manager in New York sent it to her and she went ape shit over the song. She recorded her vocals on it and appears in the video clip, which was shot in LA. We've become really good friends. She is real cool. The track was recorded in London's Rollover Studios and produced by Ollie J (Madonna, Leftfield, The Prodigy). It's completely different to "Kill That Bitch". Overseeing the whole album is super producer Dallas Austin. I ask how she hooked up Madonna's ex-right hand man. "I met Dallas after a show in New York. He liked my music and we got talking. I've been working on this album for a long time. I'm no overnight success story but its cool if people make all these assumptions about me. All will be revealed in the end."

I ask her to tell me more about the album. "It's called "Strawberries & Kittens". There's no filler. I believe every song could be a single. I hate it when there are only a few good songs on an album and the rest are pure shit. People don't know me yet or my voice. I have my own production company so no one hands me anything. I work hard and I'm in full creative control of everything I do. I don't have a stylist telling me how to dress. I am not four after all. I make my own t-shirts with my lyrics printed on them. I have no one telling me how to speak or what to say. I like to have fun and push people's buttons. What you see is what you get. So which pop stars do you look up to? "Madonna. I love the cougar video for "Celebration". I'm also a huge fan of Cyndi Lauper and Missy Elliot."

I get the feeling @m8er is completely misunderstood. I can understand why some people think Australia's answer to Lily Allen (Universal's claim - not mine!) is a super-arrogant bogan desperate for fame but I think she's just incredibly focused and driven. If nothing else "Kill That Bitch" has raised her profile and I suspect it was more of a toe in the water than a first single. Hopefully, @m8er's collaboration with Lil' Kim will put some of the haters in check and show off a different side of her personality. I wish her luck.

18 comments:

Moogaboo said...

And here all this time I thought it was pronounced "atomator"! Oops.

I understand her intentions, but "Kill That Bitch" just didn't work. It's not really funny, her targets are kind of dated now, and one always has to be a bit self-deprecating to get away with such things, which she isn't at all. In any case, it's still kitsch so can I enjoy it on that level. (A non-listening, non-watching level!)

Good interview, though, with lots of tactful but relevant questions.

John said...

It seems like she's following the Katy Perry playbook, releasing a track that gets a lot of buzz and controversy that will never get played on the radio, and then following it with a second song that also has controversy, but can get played. Is single #3 going to be her "Hot & Cold"?

Robyn aka misscheekycat said...

Tall Poppy Syndrome isnt it always the way. Whenever a fellow Aussie becomes successful or is a success in the making it seems to me that fellow Australians would rather bag them instead of supporting them. I as an Australian (born and bred here) am very proud of @m8er for having the guts to make shit happen in order to make her dreams a reality. She has worked very hard so why not give her a chance to see how far she can go. Maybe your negativity should be pointed towards the thousands of people who choose to live off welfare and have no desire to change that. Atleast @m8er is working,unlike many other people who have the attitude of "why should i". Think about it..............

undisco_me said...

It's just not very good is it?

I'm intrigued to hear/see the Lil' Kim collaboration of course.

This just wouldn't make any waves in the UK, so that surprises me that she was being fished for here - has this really been a big deal in Australia then?

Anonymous said...

Lame. Mike, tell this bitch to change her name. There is already another Amber, who, coincidentally, happens to be another major beatch! Really, mega lame.

Petro said...

I couldn't get through 30 seconds of the music video - utterly DREADFUL. Someone kill THIS bitch.

undisco_me said...

Dutch Amber is a bitch? Oh do tell, I love her and always thought she was slightly mad in a nice way...

Anonymous said...

I'm with Robyn, as soon as an aussie gets a small bit of negative press, everyone jumps on it and bags them out. I'm pretty sure you cannot just walk into a record company's office and ask for a recording contract and they just give it to you. You have to earn it somehow, to stand out from the rest and to show them you will make them money. This singer has worked with Lil Kim and she is featuring in her video and next single. Artists like that cannot be bought with $$$, they have to want to work with eachother. If an artist like Lil Kim has that confidence, why doesnt Ambers own home town folk? Obviously there is much much more to see of @m8er and I wouldnt write her off just yet. She is going to freaking shit over you all and prove her worth. Just wait.

Anonymous said...

No one is saying the Lil Kim thing isn't impressive, some of us are simnply saying her song is fucking shit, which it is. And she looks like she had a baby 3 years ago but never got round to losing the weight so dresses up in colours to distract from the fact she looks like a care assistant.

Aussie's resentful of Aussie success stories - I don't think so, it's not like Dannii gets stoned everytime she gets off a plane.....

The Prophet said...

Somebody who spells their name @m8er has no right to diss Pamela Anderson.

Pam is amazing. She's an icon and has basically devoted her life to charity work. Don't judge a book by it's cover @m8er!

I heard about your collabo with the Queen Bee months ago from the Lil' Kim fansite but I prayed it wasn't true... I hope your song is good enoughfor Lil' Kim aka the queen bee aka honey girl aka THAT BITCH hardcore 96 Notorious K.I.M. the head of la bella mafia.

tommie said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
tommie said...

I still don't get why people are getting so worked up - I still think it's a funny song and very tongue-in-cheek. It pretty much sums up all forums I visit! Voice of a generation, etc.

That said - the spelling of Amber is fucking annoying. Sort it out gurrl!

(my verification was "nomisses" - I guess Pop Trash Addicts doesn't like Single Ladies...)

discodevil said...

Drop the name girl, you Gingerphobe! lol.

Anonymous said...

i have seen this video before. i love it and think it is fun and different. she looks like fun. go girl!

Scarlett said...

I think you did a great job with this interview! Good questions, and she gave interesting answers. I don't get an arrogant vibe from her; I agree that it's more of a focused, driven attitude.

I'd heard about @m8er but hadn't listened to anything she's done. Got to admit, I'm not liking "Kill That Bitch," but I'll still give whatever else she releases at least a listen. :)

yf89 said...

Anyone who has a swipe at anal addict DULLta is alright by me.

Miss Halliwell said...

This bitch rocks. And so does @m8er! LOL

You are such a celeb pal now! Do remember Ms Kiani is now living in Sydney so you should pop round and offer to sample her brown loaf and truffles!

Great chat and fabulously bitchy song!

Anonymous said...

this bitch is a freak.