Radio INK is one of the most exciting independent pop acts in Australia. The three-piece band has already churned out some killer singles ("Physical" and "Rocket" are stand-outs) but they have taken things to the next level by supporting Danish pop legends Aqua on the extremely successful Australian leg of their tour and by releasing one of the year's catchiest singles with "Who We Are Tonight". I recently spoke with lead singer Miss S about that dreamy pop anthem and their experiences recording their soon-to-be-released debut album in America. Check out what she had to say below.
You've just completed an Australia-wide tour with Aqua. How did that come about and how were you received?
Yes what a whirlwind! We had a blast with the Aqua crew - 11 shows over 15 days I think. The crowds were incredible, so much fun and energy. The first time I've ever performed to someone dressed as a teletubbie!
Were you Aqua fans before the tour or did you have to do your homework?
We were! Hello, "Dr Jones, Dr Jones wake up now". Haha. Aqua know how to put on an entertaining show. Not only did their hits bring the house down but their new album was cool too. Lene is such a strong front person. Rene (aka Dr Jones) did a DJ set in Sydney at a club after the Enmore show, he surprised us all by playing a remix of our last single "Rocket".
Speaking of great singles, your latest "Who You Are Tonight" is another great electro-pop anthem. What was it like working with producer Diamond Cut in New York?
I was in stitches of laughter working with DC. He has a great sense of humour which helps when you're doing long hours in the studio. We pretty much recorded the vocals for our new single in near one take which is always a good sign - we were feeling it and it just happened naturally. We then met up again in Studio City, Hollywood to hear the final master. Performing "Who We Are Tonight" live around Australia was a buzz, the chorus felt BIG and the crowds received it like an anthem, which was very cool.
Do you find it hard to breakthrough as an unabashed pop act in Australia?
I think its tough for any indie artist, and in the pop world you're up against the major international popstars which makes for good competition on the radio airwaves. So it's a huge sense of accomplishment with each of our singles, hearing it on the radio and getting support from around the country. Touring has connected us with so many fans and also allowed us to meet the radio presenters in each state who've been showing us love. And the love is now coming from abroad, we've now got interest from USA after performing there at the start of the year, as well as from Japan and Europe.
Who are you musical inspirations?
Where do I start?! Susannah Hoffs lead singer and guitarist from the super all-girl band The Bangles, Kylie, Dragonette, the Ting Tings, Goldfrapp, Cut Copy, Ladyhawke... Seriously, I'm unashamedly pop I love it all and take inspiration from all pop artists or acts in various ways, even right through to classic Elvis thanks to Sunday visits to my Nan. Mixed to that the boys bring different layers of their inspiration which I also embrace - from Daft Punk, Basement Jaxx or Pnau for example.
Did you guys really meet on Myspace?
Sounds scary hey but yes it's true. The boys saw me in a Sydney nightclub performing with a DJ, and then they found me on Myspace. Stalkers!!! Haha. No seriously, they invited me to write vocals for a tracks of theirs. The studio sessions were successful and so I ended up joining them full-time and we reinvented ourselves as Radio INK.
Tell us about performing at private parties in America for the likes of the Kardashians?
You pinch yourself. Looking out in to the crowd you're thinking "seriously there is the cream of the crop here, Tinseltown's A-team and we are performing for them". And everytime we met one of them it would lead to another invitation. The boys were out having a drink on Sunset and half an hour later performing a DJ set at a wild party in a millionaire's pad in the Hills. I did warn the crew that if I saw a Kardashian I'd be army-rolling out of the car to meet them. I know it's sad but I am strangely addicted to their show. Luckily, no army-rolls were needed.
"Physical" was a very classy song about just wanting no-strings attached one night stands - is this the band philosophy?
Omg. Haha. No. It's certainly not about me or my personal experience. Or the bands. I did write it almost as a self-empowering anthem for single ladies however. While it was meant to be a bit of fun, it was a tribute for the girls. It's not a man's world, they can't call all the shots so to the women - don't be scared, be whoever you want and do whatever you want.
When is the album coming and who are you working with on it?
I was juggling the Aqua tour with studio work as there's no time to waste. And the boys have been busy writing new material. We're planning on it being here for next Summer so that's exciting. Most of the songs are written by Radio INK but recently we've had the great opportunity to start co-writing. Including the pop hitmaker Shelly Peiken (Jessie J, Christina Aguilera) for our single "Who We Are Tonight".
Will the songs from the EP make the cut?
Good question! We're not 100% sure at the moment as there's so much new awesome music. It'll come down to the final editing room. So stay tuned!
"Who We Are Tonight" is available to download now from iTunes.