NEWS: Tulisa Joins V Festival Line-Up

V Festival, sponsored by Virgin Media, is proud to announce the addition of Tulisa to the 2012 line up. The N Dubz star will make her V debut as a solo artist at this year’s festival, which takes place across the weekend of the 18th and 19th August.

The ‘Young’ singer will join headliners Stone Roses and The Killers and a veritable feast of musical talent including Snow Patrol, Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds, Lawson, Rita Ora, Nicki Minaj, David Guetta, Tinie Tempah, Wretch 32, Ed Sheeran as well as her N Dubz band mate Dappy.

The addition of Tulisa to the bill comes after the news that US folk singer Lissie will sadly no longer be appearing on the V Festival line up.

With the festival weekend drawing ever closer, fans are being asked to stay tuned for further announcements over the upcoming weeks.

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FEATURE: Joe McElderry “I don’t believe that you need to put yourself in a box and say this is what I am going to do for the rest of my career.”

Having been awarded the title ‘flopstar’ the moment his debut single “The Climb” failed to hit the number 1 spot, it is good to see that X Factor winner Joe McElderry is a popular fella. Having been written off by the press within a week of winning the reality television talent show, McElderry decided to stay sheltered from the storm and focus on furthering the career he had always dreamed of. As The Kaje meets the Geordie gent in his dressing room ahead of another sell out show on his “Classic” tour, the happy go lucky star flinches slightly at the term “flop” but retains his warm smile as he states, “the press have made it out like it is massive highs and massive lows but to be honest there was no real flop period – I just changed record label.”

“I have kind of not focussed on any of the negatives of it, so it has been pretty plain sailing for me.”

“It was made into this big deal that my career was over because I had been spotted in a supermarket buying a pint of milk. You can’t go shopping when you are famous apparently.” Clearly accepting that a career in the public’s eye brings both its fair share of positive and negative feedback, McElderry, who still lives in Newcastle, may have been affected by his very public slaying but now that he has laid the foundations of a solid career in entertainment, his beaming smile and natural warmth simply shrug them off. He continues, “It has been fine. It has been absolutely amazing and I have just enjoyed every minute of it. I have kind of not focussed on any of the negatives of it, so it has been pretty plain sailing for me. I have just enjoyed every experience I have had.”

“What I wanted to do is try explain the journey,” explains McElderry of his debut solo tour. With two tumultuous years in the spotlight already behind him, McElderry is too gracious and grateful to do anything but focus on his fans. Unlike many an X Factor star, McElderry has decided against biting the hand that first fed him, instead using the tour as a celebration of the diverse audience both X Factor and Popstar To Operastar have brought him to. “There are two audiences that come see the show now. It ranges from five year olds to teenagers to middle-aged people to older people. When I step out on that stage and look around the room there is everything from a group of five year olds with their family to some seventy year olds and even a hen party. For a performer to have such a wide ranging audience is fantastic. What I wanted to do was show a bit of everything. There is a bit of my pop album “Wide Awake”, a few of people’s X Factor favourites then the “Classic” section. You can see from people in the audience that they may not have heard certain parts of it, but they still go crazy for it which is amazing.”

While he may have never predicted that his name would be known for renditions of “Nessum Dorma” or “Canto Della Terra”, he refutes any claim that his career has changed direction. While on the X Factor he was celebrated for his versatility, and though he is seemingly aware that bold, emotional ballads are his forte, he sees little reasons to place restrictions on his output. “We are just making nice music, so that is probably what I will keep on doing. The Christmas album is the same really – a few uptempo numbers on there, a few chilled out numbers. But I guess really it goes back to where I started with the big emotional ballads, so that is kind of what I want to be doing. That is not to say I won’t do uptempo numbers as I enjoy doing them. I want to just try doing different things all the time. I don’t believe that you need to put yourself in a box and say this is what I am going to do for the rest of my career. That just limits you.”

“I always think that when you put a rapper with a singer that shouldn’t go, it is the most genius thing as it is so different.”

“I’d love to go into film, musical film, musicals. There are so many things I would like to try.” While his foundations may not be firmly laid, McElderry is far from comfortable in his fortunate position. A born entertainer, he craves innovation and seeks new challenges. Rather than being comfortable in a framework that will further his fortune, he would rather challenge both himself and his audience by breaking the mould. Though film and stage work are clearly stated on his to do list, they are not at the top. The current cherry on the pie is explained by a beaming and excited McElderry, “I would like to try a pop/rap collaboration. I always think that when you put a rapper with a singer that shouldn’t go, it is the most genius thing as it is so different. I would love to try do something like that as I don’t think anyone would expect me to do that. Somebody like Dappy, Tinie Tempah or Tinchy Stryder. Any of those rappers would work because we are so different. If you put us together it would be amazing.”

While he may be full of big dreams, which we have little doubt he will more than achieve, McElderry lacks the ego that many of his contemporaries ooze. Having made his name as the affable boy next door, his lack of celebrity craving has allowed him to ride the wave of success unaffected. Far from feeling like an interview, McElderry allows you to be his mate, even if only for five minutes, and as he boasts a similar on stage presence, it is little wonder than every man and his dog is queuing by the stage door for an autograph after the scream fest that accompanies his stunning stage show. Now if only I could land the role of his biographer, or even if his best mate…

Joe McElderry is currently touring nationwide.

Words and Images: Jeremy Williams

The Kaje talks going solo to Joe Jonas

Joe Jonas rose to fame back in 2006 alongside his brothers Nick and Kevin and is already a world famous showbiz veteran despite his tender years – he turned 22 in August. Having experienced acclaim on stage and on screen – he has taken his brave baby steps towards solo success with debut album “Fast Life”. Already being hailed as the new Justin Timberlake, whose solo work has easily eclipsed his days in both N Sync and the Mickey Mouse Club, The Kaje jumped at the chance to find out if “Fast Life” spells the end for the Jonas Brothers….

You’ve only been here a couple of days but how are you finding the UK so far?

It’s been great. I always love coming over to Europe, the response is always great. I did the BBC Teen Awards and that was a great time – its good to be back!

The BBC Teen Awards were at Wembley Arena; did that give you a taster and make you a little bit more excited to be back at the same venue later this month?

Yes, it’s always an incredible feeling to play there. It was a great taste tester of what it’s going to be like back here at the end of the month.

After being in a group it must be a little bit daunting going out by yourself, is it a bit like starting from scratch?

Sometimes – it’s cool to be back and to be able to do my solo stuff here. It’s a little bit sometimes scary to be up there by myself but I’ve been getting great support and the band support so overall I’m just happy.

In America you’ve just finished touring with Jay Sean who’s from London – how was the tour?

It was great, he’s such a good tour partner and I’m really happy and thankful to have been able to do that tour. Jojo was the opener too and that was a lot of fun. Jay Sean is a really cool guy so we had a great time.

Did he offer you any advice coming from a solo artist?

We sort of both gave advice to each other, just to go out there and have a good time and to really enjoy every second, every moment as it can move by so quickly.

As mentioned earlier you performed at the BBC teen awards yesterday, did you get a chance to check out any of the UK talent that performed? What’s your opinion on the current music scene?

The current UK music scene is really amazing, it’s definitely getting better and better. Every time I’m here I find new artists and things that I really love listening to. I got to meet the One Direction guys and thought they were really nice, really cool and I’m really happy for them. Pixie [Lott] is a good friend of mine and I love her music and her new stuff sounds incredible.

One Direction came from a program called the X Factor, which you appeared on their sister show the Xtra Factor on Saturday (8/10), how was that experience for you?

It was really fun! It was a little bit interesting as it was the first time I was learning about the program, I didn’t want to necessarily mess up any of the names – I definitely ended up messing up someone’s name! I said Lucy instead of Janet so that was a little bit of a funny moment but I think they understood that it would have been out of the norm for me to know everybody. I definitely want to keep up with the series; I’m really interested to see who wins. Funnily enough I got to watch the show for the first time in the studio and the ones who got kicked off were the ones who I thought were going to be kicked off except for one person – I felt pretty proud of myself for knowing my stuff!

Now you’re coming back in the UK to tour with Britney Spears, that’s gotta be something that must be a little surreal?

It’s definitely surreal! I grew up listening to Britney Spears – it feels good to be back here but to be doing this tour is just so incredible. Britney was the first CD I ever bought so I’ve listened to her stuff since I was really young and continued to listen to her music for many years so it’s very exciting.

Britney is well known for having a massive live show, really theatrical, big stage set up. What can we look forward to with your set?

Very high energy! Fun show! I almost like to make the crowd feel like they’re in a club, I just want to get them dancing, get them standing up. I feel like I’m not doing my job unless everyone’s standing up and rocking out. Have a really good time with it and hope everyone else does too.

Your debut album “Fast Life” is out now in the UK, and with this album you collaborated with many different writers, producers and artists such as Chris Brown and Lil Wayne. Has working with these artists been important in your musical transition to a more R&B influenced sound?

Yes definitely – it’s always a good feeling when you work with artists that are that incredible. I’ve been lucky enough to have been able to work with some really amazing artists and some amazing songwriters. You know, I guess it depends I’ve been lucky enough to have been able to work with producers and writers that I personally really look up to. So, it really kind of almost is helpful to be able to work with artists who are accepted into that genre because it means that people that listen to that kind of music have a newfound respect I think for artists that do that.

Who would be your dream collaborations to work with in the future?

Maybe Kanye West, British artists like Adele, Tinie Tempah, then Foster The People, something a little different from what I’m used to. That way it shows a different side to the music that I am making.

How different was the creative process with making an album as a solo artist in comparison to making an album with your group [Jonas Brothers]?

It took a WHILE! I wanted to really spend time on this album – to take my time to make sure I made music that I was really proud of; that I wasn’t holding back from anything necessarily. I didn’t want to just rush this album at all so I was very pleased with taking the time, and really finding the sound that I wanted to go with. There’s been some times with my brothers that we’ve done some things and really just rushed them, like making records quickly and I wanted to take my time with this one.

Have your brothers been supportive of your solo career?

My brothers have been very supportive. They’re incredible and I’m really thankful for the fact that they’re happy for me to take my time and do my thing, it’s the best feeling.

Throughout your music career you’ve also been dipping your toe into a bit of acting, is this something that you would like to do more of in the future?

Yes I would love to; I really enjoy doing movie roles or acting roles. I’m actually working on a project with a friend of mine out in LA, we’ve just got a writer involved so it’s very very exciting. I’ve got a few plans for next year – at the beginning of the year I may be making this movie that I’m thinking about creating and then I think what it’s looking like right now is that we may try and do a world tour of some sort and definitely make more music. I’ll definitely be coming back soon to do my own tour – I’m not exactly sure when but it’s in the works.

If everything goes to plan with your solo career would that mean you would have to put the Jonas Brothers on hold?

No we’re still going to be doing Jonas Brothers stuff, nothing yet is plan, no specific stuff for when we’re going to make our next album, we’re just taking our time with it. My brothers are doing their own individual things – Nick is going to be on Broadway next year so we may end up making music in New York but it all depends on what our schedules look like.

Finally, what sort of music are you enjoying at the moment? Any artists that you would like to champion?

You know what, I’m really liking One Directions stuff. I think they’re doing a great job and their stuff sounds really great so I can definitely see myself checking out more of their music. As well as them I love all different kinds of music, I love dance music, I love pop music, I love a lot that DJs are doing. I think Pixie Lott’s new stuff is great. To get inspiration I pull from all different types of music, everything from dance music to hip-hop music, you name it, I probably listen to it! I always try to pull from all of those different influences and experiences for inspiration.

Words: Jenny Entwistle

NEWS: Labrinth Announces Debut UK Tour

The UK’s most exciting artist; singing, song-writing and producing phenomenon, Labrinthtoday announces his debut UK tour for February and March 2012.

A born performer, Labrinth is set to wow crowds as he tours the UK early next year. Attracting rave reviews for his live performances over the summer festival season, where he performed to packed-out crowds at the likes of Glastonbury, Wireless and Global Gathering, this tour is one not to miss.

Since featuring on, and producing, Tinie Tempah’s Pass Out and Frisky, Labrinth has rapidly become one of the most significant emerging artists of the past 18 months.

Already the most sought after producer in the game, working with the likes of Gorillaz, Plan B and Ms Dynamite, Labrinth became the first act in six years to not join Simon Cowell’s SYCO label via a TV platform.  He’s already had two smash hits as a solo artist; Let The Sun Shine which hit the number three spot, and latest single, Earthquake which went straight in at number two, making him THE one to watch in terms of UK talent.

Originally from Hackney, east London, Labrinth is the youngest of nine musically gifted siblings. He discovered his talent for music by going to the local studio whilst still at school. Making beats at the age of 13 and playing guitar and keyboards by 15, Labrinth is completely self-taught.

Tickets for Labrinth’s debut UK tour go on sale Friday 4th November at 9am priced at £15.00 LONDON / £13.00 REGIONAL (subject to booking fees), available fromwww.livenation.co.uk and www.gigsandtours.com.

FEBRUARY 2012

Thursday 23 – Birmingham HMV Institute Library
Friday 24 – O2 Academy Liverpool
Saturday 25 – Manchester Academy 2
Sunday 26 – Glasgow O2 ABC2
Tuesday 28 – Leeds Metropolitan University
Wednesday 29 – O2 Academy Oxford

MARCH 2012

Thursday 1 -O2 Academy Bristol
Friday 2 – Cardiff University Solus
Sunday 4 – Norwich Waterfront
Monday 5 – London Koko
Thursday 8 – Brighton Concorde

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