While the goss rags salivated over the Taylor2 sighting at KIIS FM’s annual Jingle Ball show this weekend, we managed to snag some time with Los Angeles radio station fest’s biggest acts—The Ting Tings, Jason Derulo, Orianthi, and Jay Sean all dropped by to dish on their hits and the latest music news, including Grammy reactions, Gaga’s wardrobe dysfunction and the last days of Michael Jackson. Our pre-performance chit-chats with the artists after the jump:
Ting Tings (Nominated for Best New Artist at the Grammy Awards; recently signed to Jay-Z’s Roc Nation label.)
I heard you guys got a little too excited about your Grammy nomination.
Jules De Martino: We got the news at about four in the morning when we were at our studio in Berlin, recording our album. And we were with a few friends, obviously when we got the news we started drinkin’… I think it was a 5 or 6 am departure, and we didn’t really have our heads together at the time, we got to the airport and we didn’t have our passports and we missed the flight. So we had to leave a day later. So you can imagine getting all the good news from the States, our label, our management, and then having to write back and say we just missed out flight.
Katie White: Which was amazing, when you’re supposed to be on a plane for 11 hours and you’re stuck there in bed, it’s a really great feeling.
Jay-Z didn’t lend out his private plane for you?
Katie: I think we’ve caused enough trouble by that point!
What made you decide to sign with Jay-Z and Roc Nation?
Jules: We’re big fans of his music, he’s one of the stand alone artists in the world, whose not only a good rapper but a good writer, he runs his own thing, he does it himself. And we produce our own music so we look up to him for inspiration.
How much influence will Jay have on your upcoming album? Will he be making a cameo?
Katie: It’s early days, we’re still settling in. We tend to knock ourselves away a bit when we’re writing ands recording so we’ve haven’t been socially hoppy, we just kind of sit in bed, and we’ll probably work out what we’re gonna do.
Jason Derulo (Hit number one with “Whatcha Say;” will be opening for Lady Gaga on the Fame Monster Tour.)
Were you a big fan of Imogen Heap? Is that what led to her song “Hide and Seek” being sampled on “Whatcha Say”?
Yes! I’m the kind of person that would go into a record store and just pick up any random CD just to educate myself. I went into the record store and picked up this CD, there was this… [searches for the word] eclectic-looking lady on there, so I really wanted to know about it. I heard the song “Hide and Seek” and fell in love with it and I showed it to [album producer] J.R. [Rotem] who loved the song, who knew about it from before. That happened around the same time my brother came to me with this concept. He cheated on his girlfriend, and he was begging for his love back. And in the sample, she was saying “Mmm, what you say, you meant well, of course you did,” so she’s being sarcastic. It was a perfect marriage to make a magical song.
What can we expect on your upcoming album?
I went into the studio and made this album with J.R., and for eight months we grinded, grinded, grinded, wrote and recorded three hundred songs. The album consists of totally different tracks. I tried to reinvent myself on each track because I’m a music lover. I’ve been a student of music my entire life. I’ve studied classical music, jazz music, you name it.
You can sing classical?
Yes! [Sings] Aaaava mariaaaa… I love rock, I love country, I love Eurodance—it’s a music lovers album. I think it’s the first album that pulls from so many genres.
Classical, too? I know you can sing it, you just did!
Not so much. My voice is deep rooted in classical music so that influence will always be there. Well, ya know, maybe! I’m still recording a few songs, so maybe.
Are you excited opening for Lady Gaga?
Of course! She’s incredible. Her show is so theatrical and it’s truly amazing. I studied musical theatre my entire life, so I’m very visual myself, I just love to watch her show. She’s forcing me to step my game up. It’s easy to get lost performing beside such a groundbreaking artist. I’m glad I’m on this tour.
Are you gonna step up your game on your on-stage costumes to compete with Gaga in that arena?
Eh, I might borrow a few of her outfits.
Orianthi (Guitarist in Michael Jackson: This Is It; her debut album, Believe, is out now.)
What was it like meeting Michael Jackson for the first time at your audition for the tour?
I was so nervous. I came in and played “Beat It”, “Wanna Be Starting Something” and “Diarty Diana”. And he sat there starting right at me, it was really intense. I was praying to god I got it right and he would hire me. It was incredible working with him, I learned so much. [I was] such a big fan of his going into it, and such a bigger fan coming out of it.
Would you two jam together during rehearsals?
We would jam out as a band and when he came in we would just want to run the sets and run everything so we were spot on. But he liked to have fun, he was a big kid, joking around a lot. I think people can see that side of him in [This Is It]. He’s funny and had a great heart, and wanted everyone to shine and have their own moments.
Do you ever feel unfairly judged for being an attractive female who plays guitar?
I’ve been playing for eighteen years. Since I was 6, I’m 24 now. I love it as much as the guys, so hopefully they see I’m serious about it. If you love something and you’re passionate about it, you keep at it. I wasn’t that popular in school because of it, lining up in the same auditions as the guys, it was pretty weird. It was a guy’s thing, but it’s sorta like being a male ballerina.
You’ve already played with one of, if not the biggest music superstar of all time. What’s one of your other goals in the music industry?
I’m gonna get more kids to play guitar. Especially girls, and if they’re playing guitar, to keep at it.
Jay Sean (Has released three studio albums in the UK, but is finally being promoted here in the States; hit number one with “Down” feat. Lil Wayne.)
Is it weird being launched here as a new artist although you’ve already made a name for yourself in Britain?
I think that was the nicest thing, even though I’ve been going seven years, for me it was a case of “Alright, you know what, you’re going to America, don’t expect anyone to know you, don’t expect anyone to care. It’s brand new for you, so none of the ego stuff.” This is a new land for me to make a name for myself, and I enjoy that challenge.
You’ve already landed on Lil Wayne’s seemingly endless list of collaborators, and now you’ve teamed up with Sean Paul for “Do You Remember”. How did that track get started?
I met Sean at the red carpet for the MTV VMAs and he came up to me and he liked my music. And I had been a huge fan of Sean Paul myself, so I got his number and I hit him up two days later. I was like, “Listen I’ve got he song for you,” I sent it off to him, he did the same thing, sent it back—he was in Jamaica, I was in New York—but we did it and I was so, so happy.
Who do you think got shafted by the Grammys this year?
I don’t know, I think it was pretty fair. The people I expected to get nominated got nominated. The Grammys is a funny thing. People don’t look at Grammys as though that’s the end all and be all, like that’s the only measure of an artist. Sometimes it’s not, some people are extremely successful who might get overlooked by the Grammy because it’s not a hype thing, I think anyone who got nominated should just be happy, not with how many they got. I would be happy to have just one!
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