Sunday, August 17, 2008

Platinum Pen Exclusive: Interview With UK Electronica Artist Antigone




Look out Kylie Minoque, there's a new musical majesty in the land of the Gays. The UKs Antigone is the newest thing out on the market and she's already tearin up clubs and car stereos alike. The first single off of Antigone's latest album "AntigoneLand" is called "More Man Than Man." The single is upbeat, uplifting, and you totally can't help but sing along. The rest of the album is eclectic. Each song is completely different. You have your jazz, your disco, your dance, your lounge. Antigone is definitely an artist worth giving a listen because whatever your musical preference, her album has something for everyone.

I had the wonderful opportunity to interview this artist, and she had a lot of interesting things to say about her music, music in general, and women empowerment in the bedroom ;-)

THE PLATINUM PEN: Let's talk about your hit song, "More Man Than Man." It's a great song, by the way. And I have a pretty good idea what it's about, but let's hear from you, the artist. Describe what the song means.

ANTIGONE: At a basic and more primal level it's about a girl telling her frisky fuck-buddy to chill out and grow up about their brief sporadic encounters. She's urging him to become the man he is at night the morning after! At a more subterranean level it's about sex and gender perception, and the fact that even today, many women are castigated as sops who automatically want a relationship with anyone they sleep with when quite often, they seek out casual intimacy as frequently as men. What I like about the title of the song is that it seems at first glance to be about men, whereas in fact it is all about women, and women with stronger libido's than many of their male counterparts. Ha!

THE PP: Who are some of your musical influences?

ANTIGONE: Well my forthcoming album is very eclectic and it betrays a diverse musical upbringing and interest. My parents were both jazz musicians before they became novelists and prison counsellors, so my childhood soundtrack was impeccable - I'm very grateful! I'm usually obsessed with some female singer or another, but I've tended to ease off on listening to one too intensely for too long or I invariably end up imitating them and that's not good. It's good to begin with, but in order to stay true to your own voice there comes a point where you have to stop listening. But I would say my life-long influences are Sarah Vaughan and Syreeta Wright (look her up if you don't know her), probably Bjork, and to an extent Moloko and Goldfrapp who have always encouraged me with their leftfield pop vision. Mostly I'm influenced by artists whose names I don't even know though, because most of the music I listen to is mixtapes by DJ friends and I never end up with the playlists!

THE PP: Who do you listen to the most in the house/dance/electronica genre, and also in other genres?

ANTIGONE: I rarely listen to house. It's for dancing to at clubs! I'm really so much more of a disco lover, and so is my producer. For me disco is still the best dance music, and in a way I consider my dance music to be disco not dance or house. But I can dig bent or more 'haunted' house, like say remixes by Herbert, or the kind of beautiful dancey stuff that graces Hotel Costes compilations. M.I.A and Bugz in the Attic have a good tip on dance. Electronica-wise I'm into so much different stuff but generally the more musical the better, like Susumu Yokota, Wagon Christ and AIR. Otherwise I listen to all sorts of stuff, from Radiohead to Jamie Lidell to Beach Boys. Just good music.

THE PP: How did you end up getting a music deal? How long have you been doing this?

Well it was quite simple because I signed myself. I've been signed before to both majors and indies, and it's not that I don't want to be signed again, but because myself and my producer did the album ourselves, we figured we would try and hold onto the rights for as long as possible while we built buzz around it. In the dance scene particularly, it is not unusual now for artists and producers to put their own records out as the first step. It's really a 'soft' release structure because you're just ensuring that people can buy it if they know about it, and with digital distribution that's easy now. But marketing and promotion remain the biggest challenge. I've been in the biz now for 8 years. They say it takes 10 years to have overnight success, so I'm nearly there - hurrah!

THE PP: What can we expect on the album?

ANTIGONE: It's 11 tracks so a proper LP. Here's what the Editor of PopJustice, Peter Robinson, recently said about it:

"A surefire hit for anyone whose two favourite genres are pop music that sounds like dance music and dance music that sounds like pop music, 'Antigoneland' is a smart and sophisticated club record full of stylish tunes and a fair number of surprises. The hypnotic technological pop of 'Promiscuity' should please those left disappointed with the new Goldfrapp album while tracks like 'Mirror' and last week's single 'More Man Than Man' hit the spot in a brilliantly Roisin Murphyesque way." Hopefully it will be released by the end of the year.

THE PP: Include any other info you would like readers to know about you.

ANTIGONE: Random fact--As well as jazz I have studied Indian singing. On a trip to Mumbai/Bombay for 3 months I sang an impromptu gig with Talvin Singh and also had quite a novel Valentine's Day experience: hanging out on set with esteemed Bollywood siren Rheka, whose only husband died in very mysterious circumstances shortly after they married (in the Indian film industry female stars are instantly relegated to matronly roles as soon as they marry, even if they are still very young and beautiful).

THE PP: Thank you so much for your time. It was wonderful having the opportunity to chat with you and get a better perspective into your world and music. I look forward to listening to your future material. All the best of luck with the success of your current album.

FOR MORE INFORMATION or to order "More Man Than Man," please visit Antigone's myspace: http://www.myspace.com/antigoneland

1 comment:

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