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Who needs guitars anyway?

Best Bits
Wednesday, February 28, 2007

More bad news!

I just found out that Lillix have split up. Sob x a million!

So many comebacks I'm getting dizzy!

It was just the other day I was instructing you all to buy a copy of The Honeymoon's phenomenally ace album Dialogue, and now I hear that lovely Icelandic lady Thorunn from the group is back, again sharing singing duties with a bloke, although she doesn't seem to be getting much of a look-in as he drones on in all their MySpace tracks. The new act is an up-and-coming indie-rock band called Fields, not to be confused with Field Music, who sadly are actually better than Fields. What's going on Miss Honeymoon?

Another case of an ex-member of a band I used to adore (again pretty much on my own, as no-one paid any attention to my fangirling) joining a rather less brilliant new group is XYP, the new home of Bart from K-Otic. It's another 6-piece pop group based in Amsterdam, but their music (although successful in Holland, so better than any of the others apart from Sita have managed) is the stuff that even Liberty X would reject.

Sort it out, someone!

Can the UK do well in Eurovision 2007?

Let's find out - here are our contestants for Making Your Mind Up:

Big Brovaz - Big Bro Thang (Clip)
Do they have to make every song about themselves? Eurovision viewers aren't gonna care since they won't have even heard of the band. Still, it's an alright song (rather like French hip-hop in fact, which could bode well!), I'm sure there's much worse to come...

Cyndi - I'll Leave My Heart (Clip)
The only unknown act, although her song is written by Brian Rawling, who has worked with every cheesy pop act going (A1, allSTARS, Samantha Mumba, Gina G and many more!) and a few big names like Britney (Breathe On Me) and Kylie (On A Night Like This). It's like a rip-off version of the Faith Hill song from Pearl Harbour, mixed with You Raise Me Up, which I guess could work but I doubt she can beat her more famous rivals.

Brian Harvey - I Can (Clip)
Well, I am very very excited to hear that this track was written by the amazing soul-pop star Conner Reeves! Hopefully he'll appear on backing vocals on the night. Can we just send Conner to Eurovision instead please? It doesn't sound like a very exciting song, but maybe it'll be a grower or something. Who cares? Conner Reeves!

Hawkins & Brown - They Don't Make 'Em Like They Used To (Clip)
There's little sign of Justin on the clip, so hopefully he's just as rarely involved in the whole thing. Wishful thinking I'm sure. The song doesn't sound terrible, but not amazing either - I hope his celebrity status (even if he is extremely hated - you get voted in, not out) doesn't win it for him unfairly, cos I couldn't bear the whole continent thinking he is representative of British people!

Liz McClarnon - (Don't It Make You) Happy! (Clip)
Obsessed with punctuation much? It's a bit like Antony Costa's entry from last year, trying to be a bit Motown-y but just not having the songwriting, producing or singing talent to create such a sound, even though acts like Pauline Kamusewu and Natalia manage it quite easily in Europe. How are we so rubbish?

Scooch - Flying the Flag (For You) (Clip)
The only act who actually made ace pop music in their career (well, East 17 and Atomic Kitten had a few OK songs but solo they have been dire) and actually suited to Eurovison, so I had high hopes. The song is really super-cheesy and will probably get us another nil points if it wins, but still it is the only one that actually considers what Europe might like as opposed to what will least harm the artist's career, so I'm in favour for that reason.

Hmmm... I think we're gonna lose again! Great. I would say "I'll just have to move to Sweden", but I already am (although only for a few months... perhaps I'll have to extend it).

Top 6 Most Exciting Pop Things Of The Near Future

1. The comebacks of Darren Hayes and the Backstreet Boys
2. WinterKids & Alphabeat's albums
3. Robyn's concerts this week and next month
4. Patrick Wolf's Magic Position video
5. The Melodifestivalen final - go Måns & The Ark!
6. Discotech by Young Love being the biggest hit of 2007
Sunday, February 25, 2007

New Pop On The Block

Bat For Lashes - Prescilla (Video)
Natasha Khan would be my style icon if she didn't remind me just slightly, but enough to be off-putting, of Joss Stone. However, the loveliness of this song, which really reminds me of the amazing Italian singer Elisa, pretty much makes up for it, and the video is completely captivating. I don't think calling her the female Patrick Wolf would be too far off the mark, and I know that comparison will intrigue many DP readers. I just wish I didn't wear glasses (as much as I do like my particular pair) so I could get a fringe and look more like her. She's from Brighton as well so I'm gonna be looking out for her everywhere from now on.
77% Poptastic!

Magnus Bäcklund - Burn (Listen)
If you remember the duo Fame who represented Sweden in Eurovision a few years ago with Give Me Your Love, you know Magnus already. I was quite surprised, considering he was in Fame Factory, to learn that he is 41, but a closer look at him makes it less surprising, and the same goes for his new song (oddly popular with readers of teen mag Okej) which sounds as much like Bon Jovi and Bryan Adams as is suggested by his photos and the influence section on his MySpace which namechecks those 2 acts. Sweet Catastrophy is a catchy song, though, and In The Name Of Love was a bit great. You're capable of better, Magnus!
43% Poptastic!

Danny - Tokyo (Watch)
Sometimes cheesy pop music can be so well-crafted it is obvious that the makers had huge talent, intelligence and imagination. This couldn't be further from the case with Idol contestant Danny Saucedo's debut single, but I quite like it nonetheless. It's catchy and it's dance-pop and that's more than I can say in favour of anyone to come out of X Factor so far. It's a very gay-sounding song so I was a bit surprised to see a storyline involving Danny and a girl in the video, but I guess it's promising - maybe even straight boys like cheesy pop in Sweden! Now I really can't wait to live there...
70% Poptastic!

American Idol 2007

As those of you who've been reading DP for a year at least will know I am a huge fan of this show. It's definitely my no.1 reality show, for its general silliness, drama and the surprise appearance of talent every so often. There are annoying contestants too but they're always much more amusing than the painful British ones, and since they rarely have any UK success, we don't have to put up with them afterwards. Here are my concise thoughts on this year's top 24 (who I spent 5 whole hours watching last night - I'm a hardcore fan but even for me it was a test of endurance), who I have put in my order of preference, so the first 12 are the ones I'd like to get through to the final 12, and luckily none of them are out yet.

Sanjaya - Just too adorable, I looove him!
Blake - Jason Mraz meets Tyler James, potentially very interesting
Jordin - She's not 17, she's 27!
Lakisha - Super-mum!
Brandon - His skin is gorgeous
Stephanie - The new Fantasia?
Sabrina - Leona's less pretty American cousin
Melinda - Odd but very good
Chris S - He's not 28, he's 18!
Gina - Best of the white girls, got personality at least
Phil - Wear a hat before your shiny head blinds us all
Jared - Good singer but lacks individuality and spark
AJ - Small & sweet but nothing special yet
Chris R - No JT but could be the American Shayne Ward if he improves
Rudy - Kinda jolly but too try-hard
Alaina - Film star looks but vocally can't compete
Haley - Made a great song boring, actually forgot she existed til just now
Amy - Seems sweet but dull as a singer
Nick - Should have been in 98 Degrees but unlikely to marry Ashlee Simpson
Leslie - Quirky but not in a very likeable way, can't say why
Antonella - that is so definitely Nikki Reed!
Paul - His sweet parents were his only redeeming feature
Nicole - Terrible song choice, we'll never know if she was good
Sundance - The new Meatloaf, and unless that means he'll get Marion Raven in the top 10 it's not a good thing
Saturday, February 24, 2007

Magnus Uggla is a lunatic

... jag älskar han!

Melodifestivalen Week 4

Magnus Uggla:
Schlagertastic! A big star with a great song means a safe bet for going through tonight, I think.

Emilé Azar:
A very nice pop song in Swedish but quite dated - not going to change the world at all.

Sanna Nielsen:
She's made the MF final 3 times before and this is rather good (like Celine Dion in pop mode) so don't rule her out.

Caroline af Ugglas:
Not bad, could have an outside chance. Quite 'proper musician'-ish, which did work for Marue Lindberg.

After Dark:
Ace Go West-soundalike from the popular drag act who finished 3rd in 2004. Great fun, I love it.

Sarah Dawn Finer:
A well-sung ballad, a bit Idol winner-ish, could get the granny vote for general nicey-niceness.

Ooh, this is good - dance-pop in the style of In-grid or Whigfield. Probably not a winner, though.

Andreas Johnson:
Another big star but the song's nothing on his entry for last year so he might be disappointed.

My predicted order of likeliness of success:
Andreas Johnson
After Dark
Sarah Dawn Finer
Caroline af Ugglas
Emilé Azar
Friday, February 23, 2007

Now there's no excuse

not to own one of the most brilliant pop albums of the 21st century.

Dialogue by The Honeymoon is available in your local Fopp for only £3, or you can buy it here online for the same price. What are you waiting for?
Monday, February 19, 2007


Will you be my popstar boyfriend?

We were even born in the same year - it's meant to be!

Dirrrty Pop Meets... Dragonette!

First of all, we don't yet know a lot about the members of Dragonette individually so please provide an interesting fact about each of you.

Joel: his retirement aspiration is to tour hotel bars as a lounge pianist. (he’s actually quite good at it already)

Dan: is from Brasil.

Tina: has a twin brother.

Will: Will’s uncle is Mark King from Level 42. They are both from the Isle of Wight.

You relocated to London to record your album - how did you find living in the UK?

So far it’s been great. Everyone we’ve met and made friends with are really cool, save for the couple of times we nearly got beat up by the kind of drunk asshole you only ever really find here in London.

What do you miss most about home?

A perfect winter’s day (you’ve seen the kind on TV…. Fluffy snow, not too cold, sunny, the smell of a log fire in the air); good and easy Chinese food (Toronto has the best, in our opinion); mum and dad.

What can we expect from a full-length Dragonette CD?

Everything you ever wanted out of a long-play record: drama, hope, sex, redemption, lies and love.

If you could draft in any musician or producer to work on your next album, who would you choose?

That would depend on the kind of songs we end up writing for our next record. If we brought in anyone, it would probably be someone we find on myspace who’s got some cool new ideas that haven’t been used anywhere else yet. Who knows, though… we’ll probably have a different opinion 6 months from now.

In the early days of Dragonette you posted 2 of your best songs, I Get Around and Shock Box, for fans to download for free on your web site. What is your opinion on illegal downloading? Are you happy for fans to share your MP3s in the name of promoting you to potential new Dragonette-lovers?

That’s pretty much the only reason to hand our songs for free… in the hopes that whoever’s getting them likes what we do and passes it on. Getting into the habit of thinking that music should always be free is not such a good idea, though (I’ve been there, and have recently come back to the fold of people who buy music from artists they like)… it had actually devalued the whole music experience for me.

You've toured with great pop acts such as Annie and Scissor Sisters. When you're megastars, who will you be calling on to support you on tour?

U2 or Paul McCartney, for sure.

Finally, please confirm that your song Shock Box contains the line "on the other side of Mike Teevee" because no-one will believe me that the song is Roald Dahl-inspired!

Were we that literary that we could write such a line. Roald Dahl rocked our world as kids, but Mike Teevee did not make it into the lyrics of Shock Box.

Thanks to Dragonette for answering my questions. Their single Jesus Doesn't Love Me is out today so buy it now from HMV.
Saturday, February 17, 2007

Another great week on Melodifestivalen

Måns Zelmerlöw:
Ace dance-pop with a good chorus and cute singer - this could do very very well in Eurovision.

A duo of young girls with a cute pop-rock sound. They're no Shebang but not bad at all.

Magnus Carlsson:
Sounds just like Bosson! AMAZING! May have to stop hating Magnus now (I'm an Andreas fan generally).

Eastern sound but sung in Swedish. Boring.

The Attic ft. Therese:
I love both acts so was excited for this. It's good but too dancy for Eurovision - disappointing.

Better than his usual, sure to do well. Sounds a bit like Andreas Johnson. Could be top 10 in Eurovision but not a winner.

Sonja Aldén:
Swedish ballad, very slow and dull. Kind of Celine Dion-ish. More like a Monaco entry than a Swedish one.

Back to claim the victory she deserved over Martin Stenmarck? I don't know if this will do the job, it's not her best.

I can't see Sebastian, Magnus and Nanne not going through so it'll be a big race for the other place through to the final/andra chansen. My favourites by far are Måns and Magnus, so I hope Måns will be the fouth to go through.
Wednesday, February 14, 2007

The 2nd Annual Dirrrty Pop Awards!

As I'm sure you're well aware, tonight is the Brit Awards and they're being shown live on TV. I don't have a TV in my student room, which can be a burden when I want to keep up with American Idol, but right now I think it's a blessing cos I can pretend that Corrine Bailey Rae has no nominations and instead, Margaret Berger is the star of the show. That's right, it's time for my now annual Dirrrty Pop Awards, acknowledging the acts who really deserve to be on that Earl's Court stage.

The categories are mostly the same as the Brits but I have added a few more genre awards and got rid of any boundaries of nationality, because that is irrelevant these days when we can access the music industries of whichever country we choose. And unlike the Brits, I'm not even going to pretend to be democratic - all the awards are decided by me, based on the output of each artist over the year of 2006 and 2007 so far. Another convention I have discarded is that categories have to be a certain size - mine are as big as I want them to be. So, let's begin!

Best female solo artist
1. Margaret Berger
2. Robyn
3. Linda Sundblad
4. September
5. Jamelia
6. Marit Bergman

Best male solo artist
1. Mika
2. Darin
3. Will Young
4. Patrick Wolf
5. Dima Bilan
6. Just Jack

Best new act
1. The Pipettes
2. Alphabeat
3. Linda Sundblad
4. Mika
5. The Feeling
6. West End Girls
7. WinterKids

Best group
1. BWO
2. The Pipettes
3. Delays
4. Scissor Sisters
5. Alphabeat
6. Melody Club
7. Girls Aloud
8. Pet Shop Boys

Best rock act
1. Delays
2. Melody Club
3. Veronicas
4. Fefe Dobson
5. The Ark
6. Lilyjets
7. Lillix
8. All American Rejects

Best urban act
1. Robyn
2. Jamelia
3. Darin
4. Just Jack
5. Lily Allen
6. Justin Timberlake
7. Nelly Furtado

Best pure pop act
1. BWO
2. The Pipettes
3. Margaret Berger
4. Linda Sundblad
5. Scissor Sisters
6. Girls Aloud
7. Mika

Best dance act
1. September
2. Infernal
3. Najoua Belyzel
4. Kate Ryan
5. CSS
6. Madonna
7. Da Buzz

Best single
1. BWO - Temple Of Love
2. BWO - Will My Arms Be Strong Enough
3. The Pipettes - Pull Shapes
4. Scissor Sisters - I Don't Feel Like Dancing
5. September - Satellites
6. Rihanna - S.O.S (Rescue Me)
7. Kate Ryan - Je t'adore
8. Delays - Valentine
9. Will Young - Who Am I
10. Infernal - From Paris To Berlin

Best album
1. BWO - Halcyon Days
2. The Pipettes - We Are The Pipettes
3. Margaret Berger - Pretty Scary Silver Fairy
4. Delays - You See Colours
5. Linda Sundblad - Oh My God
6. Jamelia - Walk With Me

Outstanding Contribution to Music:
There is one very obvious choice for this award and that is one Mr Darren Hayes of Brisbane, Australia. He didn't release anything in 2006 but it was a special year for him as he broke free of his rubbish major label contract in order to make music which he will release independently in the coming months of 2007, and he came out as gay, revealing that he had recently married his English boyfriend. It's the end of one era and the beginning of another that promises to bring some fantastic new music from Darren, as he is finally free to do exactly what he wants without any record company interference. Darren's contribution to music includes his work with Savage Garden and his two solo albums, which have shown him to be one of the greatest songwriters of our generation, and most importantly his songs mean so much to so many people. His work has had a big impact on my life and listening to each album, brings back memories of each time in my life, as I have been a Darren fan for many years now. Therefore there is no-one who deserves this award more than Darren Hayes.

And no award show would be complete without some performances to showcase the best music of the past year. While these were obviously not performed exclusively for us, I have chosen performances that you are less likely to have seen before. So, enjoy them and goodnight!

Forget the real Melodifestivalen

Linda Bengtzing and Markoolio's parody version is the only one that includes BWO, Alcazar and Carola! Well, sort off.... click here (then go to Nyheter and Musikvideor) to see it. As I'm learning Swedish at the moment, in preparation for my planned study at Goteborg university this Autumn, I decided to translate the lyrics of the first verse and chorus so here they are for you now in English:

It begins well, almost interesting
Yes, yes, but maybe slightly too familiar
We build up to the bridge, my friend
But it is not time yet
Because we have about half a verse left to go
One rehearsal as people tend to do
We build the bridge again
And here it comes at last
Excitement rises as we face the crescendo
And now it's time for the chorus

And it is love and it is wind
It is eyes and they sparkle
And many other tired old clichés
Which say everything and nothing
And it is stars and it burns
It is the world and it is missing
And the title will act like a punch to the stomach
It is the worst schlager song

And so it goes on and on and on...
Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Question Time

1. Are Patrick Wolf fans on average about 13 years old across the country, or is it just Brighton?
2. Why did no-one tell me the Long Blondes are the new Lush? I would have bought their CD months ago!
Saturday, February 10, 2007

Calling All Swedes!

Get your mobiles out, we're relying on you to make sure The Ark win their heat of Melodifestivalen tonight. You can hear their song, which is fabulously ABBA-esque but retains the band's super-cool and individual style, by clicking here and you should return to the same site at 7pm tonight (UK time) to watch the show itself. What else are you gonna watch, Dancing On Ice? This will be a million times more entertaining, even in Swedish! And if The Ark doesn't take your fancy, I recommend a vote for the extremely adorable little Jimmy Jansson, who's like a Swedish one-man-McFly with songs always bursting with energy.

Edit: Oh no, too many good songs in one week! Regina Lund's song is ace pop Alcazar would be proud of (and look at her costume!), Marie Lindberg's is pretty and a bit Venke Knutson, Cosmo4 is cute and really catchy (and I usually hate them!) and Jessica Andersson's song is a bit dated but nicely cheesy disco-pop. Only Lustans and Svante & Anne-Lie are boring (so they'll probably win).
Friday, February 09, 2007

New Pop On The Block

Maximo Park - Our Velocity (Watch)
I never loved or hate this band, although I could see the charms of Graffiti and Apply Some Pressure, and again I am quite apathetic about their new single, although it is very 80s which of course is a good thing. It's quite messy and jerky, but that's their style, so I guess I'll have to give it a chance, as their songs do tend to grow on me. I'll get back to you on this one, as I have a feeling it could be their best song ever when I get used to it.
72% Poptastic!

Avril Lavigne - Girlfriend (Listen)
Like Hilary Duff, Avril's another teen-pop star I've never really got on board with, but I'm extremely surprised to find I may soon be changing my stance. What I don't understand is how she can sound younger and more fun now that she's grown up and married? Now she sounds about 12, like she's taken cues from Shebang, Kim-Lian, Shampoo or Blog 27! Certainly not what I expected from her new material. How is she going to combine this with her new grown-up image? It's confusing but I'm not complaining. All singers should follow Avril in ditching all serious musicianship in favour of music aimed at the under-10s!
90% Poptastic!

Idlewild - No Emotion (Watch)
I really loved a few of the songs from Idlewild's last album (particularly Love Steals Us From Loneliness) so I was interested to hear their new single. It's quite good, a lot more upbeat than Love Steals, and actually quite danceable! It's the closest I think Idlewild will ever get to going electro, and the video is cool. I'd say it's probably my 3rd fave of their songs, following Love Steals and El Capitan, and it's growing on me with every listen. Great 'woah's!
81% Poptastic!

Katherine McPhee - Over It (Listen)
I had an irrational dislike of Katherine on American Idol - she seemed nice and talented, but there was something in her I couldn't support. However, she was one of the few contestants to be well enough suited to music that could actually have commercial success. For her first original single she's gone for a very commercial sound, a Jojo rip-off, but it lacks the ace catchiness of Leave or TLTL. Katherine is going to have to do much better if she doesn't want to play second best to a 16-year-old who only has 2 good songs.
66% Poptastic!
Thursday, February 08, 2007

For goodness' sake!

Why don't people just listen to me when I say something is great? I was harping on about Just Jack back in 2005 (and had been a fan since 2002) and proclaiming Freeform Five to be the best electro-pop act since the Scissor Sisters in 2004 - we know what happened to Just Jack, and now Freeform Five are getting played on Radio 1, but their album which was amazing at the time now sounds nowhere near as brilliant and innovative as it did then, although still ace of course. I guess the British public just weren't ready for their jelly - I just hope it hasn't gone off before they've had chance to consume it.

To Do List

1. Listen to this interview with Linda Sundblad in English - just try your best to ignore the most hideously annoying interviewer ever.
2. Start reading the Stylus Singles Jukebox blog if you haven't already.
3. Spin are giving away MP3s of some of the hottest new bands for the Artist of the Year feature - mostly American or indie but I've had some interesting finds.
Tuesday, February 06, 2007

The Next Big Thing?

Grace (MySpace)
This lot are tipped to do very well with the kind of people that buy The Feeling or Keane CDs, but really that comparison isn't very apt cos they're definitely more on the side of rock than pop or indie. Still, their next single, called Wonderful, is a very commercial sounding rock song, only a step more sophisticated than Rooster, and since they met at public school and one of them was almost in 5ive, they're probably just as authentically rock'n'roll as Rooster as well. Still, I have no interest in authenticity so if they can make a song as good as Come Get Some then I'll be on board. Wonderful isn't bad, I think it'll grow on me and it certainly sounds like a hit single in the making.
Hit Potential: 90% Poptasticness: 65%

The WinterKids (MySpace)
I wasn't entirely convinced by the first song I heard but by the end of it I was intrigued enough to want to hear more, so I did and soon found myself becoming a bit of a fan. They formed in the Surrey village of Peaslake, but so far they seem to be getting more buzz on American indie music sites than in the UK. They'll be playing the SXSW festival in Texas this year, and with the consistency of the songs I've heard so far I think they'll be headed for big things if the right people see them there. I don't know if I like it enough to want a whole album, but many people will, and for non-electronic indie music it's quite enjoyable. Tape It and Who Am I Kidding are two songs worth hearing.
Hit Potential: 72% Poptasticness: 75%
Monday, February 05, 2007

New Pop On The Block

Erik Segerstedt - I Can't Say I'm Sorry (Watch)
Sweden finally have their own Daniel Powter, and sadly he's just as dull. The song is not unpleasant (just boring) and he's good-looking (but in an equally boring conventional way) but that's about all there is to say about him. He was the runner-up in Sweden's Idol programme in 2006, but I don't think he'll be following in the footsteps of past Idol 2nd placer Darin. Still, if you do like what you hear, his album's out in February.
42% Poptastic!

Sahara Hotnights - Cheek To Cheek (Watch)
I've never felt too strongly about Sahara Hotnights, although I like them, but this is instantly the best song they've done. It's very catchy, 80s style, their poppiest single by far and sure to be a big hit. The music actually sounds quite like The Ark - if the whole album is like this they could be the female Ark and that would be fantastic! I can't quite imagine them ever entering Melodifestivalen, though...
85% Poptastic!
Friday, February 02, 2007

Dirrrty Pop Meets... Ashley Tisdale!

So, a little while ago I sent over some questions for the young High School Musical starlet, who is currently launching her own pop career, and at last this week I received her answers. They are... succinct, but hey, she was in High School Musical! What more could you want?

You've already recorded covers of Kiss The Girl and Last Christmas, but are there any songs you'd love to release a version of in the future?
"I Wanna Rock and Roll All Night" by KISS, and maybe a Madonna song!

What kind of music can we expect from your debut album? Any big names involved in writing/producing?
Pop overall with some urban influences. Some big names are JR Rotem, Kara DioGuardi, Guy Roche, Shelly Pieken and Dianne Warren

Tell us about your first single...
My first single is actually “He Said She Said”, and we just shot the video!

Which is most important to you - success in singing or acting?
I hope to have success with both.

Do you have any other TV or film projects planned?
HSM2 and possibly a feature film.

Were you surprised by the success of High School Musical?
Yes, it was so unexpected.

Do you think your role as the antagonist of HSM makes it harder for you to win fans than the female protagonist, Vanessa/Gabriella?
No, I think everyone seems to love the bad girl that is really likeable.

In what ways are you similar or different to your character, Sharpay?
I am not as sarcastic or a diva.

Tell us about the funniest moment on the set of High School Musical...
When I had chili fries dumped on me we were trying to not get it in my hair because it would take 2 hours to wash and blow-out my hair for the next scene.

What can we expect from High School Musical 2?
Not sure we haven’t seen the next script yet.

Was it always the plan for the stars of High School Musical to have music careers or did that come about simply because of its huge success?
I know we all wanted to pursue singing careers but we did not expect the offers that we received from major labels.

What do you think of HSM being promoted so much and being everywhere in the media over the past year?
I count my blessings every day for what it has done for me and my peers.

How much control does Disney have over your music and image now that you are releasing a record of your own?
They are definitely involved still – I am still a star in one of their series, but they have never stood in my way. I want my fans to continue to support me and my music.

How do you plan to win over music lovers who aren't part of the Disney fan base? Do you think it's necessary to win them over in order to consider yourself a successful musician?
Yes and no, I just want people to love the music no matter what age and to connect to it.

Top of the Poptastic!

A little late I know but yes I am still doing this. And for this month only, because there's so much new ace stuff and I wanted to include all the songs that were in my chart last year but are released this year, it's a bumper double edition!

1. Alphabeat - 10,000 Nights of Thunder
2. Margaret Berger - Will You Remember Me Tomorrow
3. Kleerup ft. Robyn - With Every Heartbeat
4. Mika - Grace Kelly
5. Just Jack - Starz In Their Eyes
6. Nick Lachey - What's Left Of Me
7. Linda Sundblad - Lose You
8. Justin Timberlake - What Goes Around... Comes Around
9. Sophie Ellis Bextor – Catch You
10. Girls Aloud vs. Sugababes - Walk This Way
11. Duke Special - Freewheel
12. Marion Raven - Falling Away
13. The Ark - Absolutely No Decorum
14. Guillemots - Annie, Let's Not Wait
15. Regina Spektor - Fidelity
16. Cascada - Miracle
17. Ghosts - Stay The Night
18. The Feeling – Rosé
19. Gwen Stefani - The Sweet Escape
20. Keane – A Bad Dream
21. The Knife – Marble House
22. The Gossip - Standing In The Way of Control
23. Klaxons – Golden Skans
24. The Automatic - Raoul
25. Switches - Drama Queen
26. Vanessa Hudgens – Come Back To Me
27. CSS - Off The Hook
28. Long Blondes – Giddy Stratospheres
29. Stefy – Chelsea
30. Los Campesinos – We Throw Parties You Throw Knives
31. Sasha - Coming Home
32. Take That – Shine
33. HUBB - I Love Ya, I Don’t Even Know Ya
34. Camera Obscura - If Looks Could Kill
35. Amy Winehouse - You Know I'm No Good
36. Sarah Nixey – When I’m Here With You
37. Cold War Kids – Hang Me Up To Dry
38. Spaced Cowboy ft. Nadia Oh - My Egyptian Lover
39. Kelis - Lil Star
40. Jamie T - Calm Down Dearest

I used to think January and February were the most rubbish time of the year but actually over the past few years I've come to love them. It's a fresh start and a chance for life, and music, to be good again and hopefully at the end of the year we'll be celebrating another good one.

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