Friday, September 17, 2010

Zoë Badwi On Freefallin', Sirens & Global Domination

Zoë Badwi is one of the leading ladies of Pop Trash. I've written about her stint as one third of Australia's most tragic best girlband, waxed lyrical about "Release Me" several times, ranted about her being snubbed at the ARIAs and interviewed her in the past. But that was before Zoë's commercial breakthrough. Last week "Freefallin'" debuted at #38 on the ARIA singles chart and should shoot much higher this week if the song's top 20 position on iTunes is any indication. What an amazing achievement for an underground club queen on a niche dance label! The Neon team has been working towards this for two years - honing the diva's sound with a series of club releases, while she built a loyal following by performing in every nightclub in Australia. I'm so excited all the hard work has finally paid off and couldn't wait to catch up with Zoë for another chat.

Hey Zoë! Since the last time we spoke you've gone from being Australia's underground club queen to a veritable chart force. How does it feel to finally see your own name on the ARIA countdown? I know you've been there before as one third of Australia's best girlband.
It's amazing!!! I'm loving it!!!

Speaking of Sirens, "Freefallin'" is a return to the band's pure pop sound after a few years releasing less commercial club tracks. Was it a conscious decision to move back to your roots?
Hahaha you do love Sirens! Those days were fun. No, it wasn't a conscious decision. It kinda just went that way. I don't think "Freefallin'" is as commercial as my Sirens days. It still has quite a dance element to it and it's a little bit nasty with sweeter vocals on it.

"Freefallin'" is so easy to identify with. Is the song's universal theme the main reason for its breakout success?
Yeah, I think it does have that appeal where you can relate it to any aspect of your life. Lord knows there are so many times when you just have to let go of a situation and see what else the world has to offer.

Denzal Park produced the track and I believe Amy Pearson wrote the lyrics. How did that collaboration come together?
The Denzal boys produced the track and sent the bed of music around to a few of us. We all wrote on it but Amy's was the stand out. It's an awesome song. It's the first time Amy has written a song that someone else has sang and it's also the first time I have sung a song I have not written. Amy and I have had writing sessions since with some great outcomes. Plus we get on like a house on fire!!

Sorry but I have to ask - why are you being assaulted by a ruthless band of seedy homosexuals in the video?
Hahahahaha actually only one of the guys is. So the other 2 guys enjoyed grabbing the girls hahaha.

The song was another #1 club hit for you. How do you explain your popularity among drug fucked clubbers?
Haha ummm I dunno if you can say they are all drugged up but I guess it's the big strong beats that get a dance floor moving. I like beats that have a little bit of a dirty edge to them and I think that's what clubbers like too.

Apart from taking over Australia , I hear that you have signed a deal with Atlantic records in America. How did that come about?
Yes I have. They fell in love with "Freefallin'" and signed it on the spot. I have just been over in LA and NYC but it was actually to perform "Release Me" as well as "Freefallin'". I'm feeling very lucky indeed.

Things are also starting to happen for you in the UK with "Release Me" being re-released. No offence but aren't you a little sick of hearing and singing it yet?
HA!! Never!! It's like the gift that keeps on giving! I can image singing that on my death bed hahaha.

Now there's an image! I'm a huge fan of "In The Moment" and think it could have been massive with a bit of a touch up and a video clip. Would you consider re-releasing it instead?
I love "In The Moment" also. I think that's a great feeling song. Sure!! If that has some legs overseas I'll release it for shiz!! The UK really picked "Release Me". It wasn't something we put to them. The owner of the record company went to Ministry of Sound in London and said when they played "Release M"e, it blew the roof off the place. Plus BBC Radio 1 had been playing it for nearly 2 months so there was a demand for it.

In our last chat you talked about the album and said it would have an eclectic mix of sounds. A year has passed since then. Is it pretty much the same collection of songs or have you been constantly playing around with the tracklist?
I have been writing away for my album in between touring. So there is lots more to come. You will have to wait and see my friend. I am looking at releasing it half way through 2011.

Are there going to be any covers on the album? I could offer some suggestions...
No covers are planned yet. Haha are you suggesting a Sirens cover???

Maybe! All of a sudden there are quite a few Australian singers releasing electronic music - Chris Sorbello, Sarah McLeod and the Minogue sisters among others. How do you differentiate yourself from the competition?
I don't really view it as competition. I think it's healthy for there to be a few of us. We all have our own different sound. I think there is room for us all. Plus Aussie domination helps us all!

You've done hundred of gigs around the world. What is your favourite nightclub?
Oohhhh hard one. I'd have to say Paradise Club in Mykonos. It has no roof and it's right next to the beach. Playing there in the middle of summer is something I will never forget!

When are you going to come to Sydney and do some shows? I'm dying to finally hear "Like Fire Like Rain" live!
Hahaha I will be in Sydney on the 30th of October at the Greenwood, then Live. But sadly for you there is no "like fire like rain" in the set list.

Rude! Lastly the question on everyone's lips - will you be reuniting with Sarah Marie for another Bum Dance?
Hahahahaha has everyone really been asking that?? I saw that the other night on the 20 to 1 worst songs - so I think we may leave that one where it is :)


D'luv said...

Some Toy fan you are, ignoring her latest triumph from last week!!

Michelinman said...

Bitch was out and about:

Matt said...

great interview! she sounds lovely and lol @ ur sirens obsession!!