MTV's PUSH Artist of the Week is the inimitable, intoxicating La Roux. You're probably already familiar with the twosome's severe beauty and alluring, infectious electro-pop. But now it's time to get to know singer-songwriter Elly Jackson a little more intimately, with these fascinating interview clips.
In the videos below, Elly Jackson talks about being the face (and voice) of La Roux (which, in the studio, functions as the duo of Jackson and producer Ben Langmaid), the history behind her increasingly famous and always fabulous hair, some of her celeb sightings (Jennifer Lopez!) and her biggest musical influences (Michael Jackson, Prince, David Bowie).
So buckle up for a four-pack of La Roux greatness.
While we Americans did just celebrate our independence from England, there are a handful of British imports we should be thankful for -- Flake bars, Russell Brand and, particularly, La Roux. The twosome -- Elly Jackson and Ben Langmaid -- hit mainstream in the States by the end of 2009 with their curious, impossibly compelling mix of 8-bit-bent electro-pop laced with Jackson's haunting, hunted vocals and undeniable amounts of vulnerability. La Roux's style -- a decadent yet detached, Bowie-meets-Blanchett (with a dash of Elvis and the Eurythmics) mashup of color and images only added to their hypnotic swirl.
But by the time your mom saw them perform on "Good Morning America" last month and asked you if you'd heard of "this La Roux," they'd already had the music blogs, and, er ... much of their homeland buzzing like a hive of angry bees, clamoring for more. And they'd already sold more than half a million albums worldwide. America's just getting started on La Roux's thrilling self-titled debut, while the U.K.'s demanding a follow-up album. Thankfully that's in the works. And, thankfully, La Roux's showing no signs of slowing down.
So whether you're just hearing "Bulletproof" for the very first time, or you've found yourself having heated debates over which "Bulletproof" remix is better, Hyper Crush's or Skream (or you're already remixing Lazerproof), we're thrilled to bring you even more La Roux.
Check out interviews with La Roux to find out more about the minds behind the enigma. See why they consider themselves a visual band and how their songwriting process works.
By now, you know that Dan Auerbach and Patrick Carney are the brains and brawn behind The Black Keys. But did you know that with those skills lies a litany of everyday Seinfeldian "What's the deal with that"-esque complaints. From kids playing loud music in cars -- DAMN THEM -- to Dan's general dislike of baseball, these are just a few of The Black Keys' least favorite things. Oh yeah, and annoying airline employees, who are basically jerks. Just listen to Patrick Carney tell you why.
Plus, watch The Black Keys take you inside the recording of "Next Girl" and see why their album, Brothers, may be hazardous to your health.
This week's MTV PUSH Artist of the Week is The Black Keys, Akron, Ohio's baddest, bluesiest duo. They only went and made one of 2010's most head-nodding, foot-stomping, fist-pumping glam/neo-blues/beard-friendly slabs of rock and roll this year -- their newest album, Brothers. And if that weren't enough, Dan Auerbach and Patrick Carney went and made two of the best videos of the year for the Brothers songs "Next Girl" -- featuring a sleazy stuffed dinosaur -- and "Tighten Up, which stars a bunch of cheeky kids who beat the tar out of each other. Their Blakroc side project saw them collaborate with Jim Jones, RZA and Raekwon (to name just a few hip-hop elite), and if that weren't enough, their song "Chop and Change" is on the "Twilight Saga: Eclipse" soundtrack.
But before The Black Keys became your favorite band's favorite band, life was far less cool. See how The Black Keys lived before they were famous, and get a behind-the-scenes look at their "Tighten Up" video, featuring little kids wailing on each other. And of course, watch the "Tighten Up" video, too.
The MTV PUSH Artist of the Week is the incomparable French band Phoenix. Its immaculate, perfectly played, emotionally rich pop-rock is some of the most rewarding music being made today. Earlier in the week, we introduced you to the band, found out more about its latest album, Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix, and revisited its incredible "MTV Unplugged" performance.
Today we cap off Phoenix's PUSH week with another batch of videos. First off is an excellent, somewhat plugged version of "1901," taken from It's On With Alexa Chung. We then move on to two interview clips, where Phoenix reveals which song the group loves to cover (Prince's "Forever In My Life") and how the band members have improved as musicians over the years.
Check out the clips below.
Phoenix, the incredible (in our approximation) French alt-rock band, possesses everything that a band worshiped by critics and deemed almost holy by modern music experts ought to possess. It has a four-album-strong discography with nary a miss and a coveted place on the cultural mantelpiece beyond music (its music was featured in Sofia Coppola's film "Lost In Translation," and the group is scoring her upcoming film "Somewhere"). Phoenix's appeal spans from college kids to NPR parents, and you can find yourself, well, lost in its high-brow, wordplay-heavy lyrics and lush orchestrations. The band has redefined the depths and dimensions of what pop music can be. Phoenix makes music that by definition of pop music is popular. They're influenced by Michael Jackson. They wins Grammys -- and, incidentally met Snooki). They play late-night shows. You can hear their music on a car commercial. Phoenix's music is irresistible and catchy. But unlike most music you hear on car commercials and on late-night shows, this group's music lives in that rarest stretch of pop music's most intelligent outskirts, in its deepest and most reflective pool.
For the uninitiated, see how Phoenix came upon the name of its latest album, Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix. See how they met and how they handle mainstream success, and watch Phoenix's "MTV Unplugged" performances after the jump.
Having one of the most hotly anticipated albums of the year might cause even the smoothest, savviest rapper to stall out or pause, take a moment, and reflect on how they'll be received or how many units they'll sell. Not Drake. With his debut album, Thank Me Later, finally out this week, Drake's already on to the next one and thinking about his sophomore album. And as he told us in this exclusive MTV.com PUSH interview below, he knows he's got room to grow, change and "make better music."
But first, Drake wants to take a few nice ladies out to dinner (or one nice lady out to a few nice dinners). And maybe throw another chocolate chip cookie in the microwave.
Watch Drake's brand-new MTV PUSH interview and find out how Drake's handling the hype surrounding Thank Me Later, what he considers worthy of tweeting and why he considered Jamaica, where he shot his "Find Your Love" video, a homecoming.
And don't miss Drake's one-hour MTV special, "Drake: Better Than Good Enough," on Wednesday, June 23, at 10/9c.
This week's MTV PUSH Artist Of The Week is one of pop music's biggest and brightest new stars: Drake. The singing, rapping, (and acting) Young Money member has been winning over listeners with his finely tuned, tough-but-not-rough style of hip-hop and R&B -- an intoxicating hybrid that showcases his smooth, alluring voice, witty rhymes and head-to-toe appeal.
With his debut album, Thank Me Later, which builds off the momentum of his mixtape classic So Far Gone, Drake is quickly establishing himself as one of hip-hop's biggest names, alongside the likes of his label boss Lil Wayne, Kanye West and Jay-Z. And with tracks like the perilously romantic "Find Your Love," and the frenzied yet reflective "Over," he looks to be well on his way.
Watch Drake discuss his journey as an artist and a man, why he could never top Lil Wayne, and the dichotomies in his turning-point track, "Over." And watch "Over" and "Find Your Love" videos too.
This week's MTV PUSH Artist of the Week is Miike Snow. With a seamless mix of dance, R&B and pop, Miike Snow has been garnering attention and gaining a gang of new fans. This week, we watched the video for "Animal," the lead track from the group's 2009 debut self-titled debut album, and their exquisite live performances from the 2010 MTV Movie Awards afterparty.
Now, check out Miike Snow's performance of "Burial" and "Silvia," shot in a less traditional environment. Namely, the middle of the woods.
"Silvia" sounds particularly beautiful, with singer Andrew Wyatt's reverbed and distorted vocals sailing out into the night sky. The band also perform "Burial," the beautiful crescendo of which is absolutely soul stirring.
As Jay-Z once said, after the show it's the afterparty. And last night at the afterparty for the 2010 MTV Movie Awards, this week's MTV PUSH Artist Miike Snow performed a sweet five-song set under the L.A. sky.
With the production talents of Christian Karlsson and Pontus Winnberg (aka Bloodshy & Avant) and Andrew Wyatt's dreamy vocals, Miike Snow's music is a dense and atmospheric listening experience. So it's fascinating to see how perfectly the songs translate live. Miike Snow fills out a bit onstage, with a grip of additional live players adjusting nobs, playing drums, tinkling keyboards and bringing their sound to life. It's especially impressive to see the band build and add layers to its live version of "Burial."