Victoria and Jacob are an epic and ethereal electronic pop band who are currently touring the UK and launching their new album Victoria and Jacob. They’ve enjoyed radio play from across BBC 6music and garnered critical acclaim from NME, Artrocker and TimeOut. After composing a remix for the band, I decided to catch up with lead singer Victoria to hear more about their music.
Tell us about your musical style?
Electronica with warmth and Indie pop song structures. Perhaps for fans of bands such as The Knife, Lykke Li, Bat for lashes and Beach House.
How did 'Victoria and Jacob' come together?
We met at university studying Creative Music and Sound Technology. We collaborated on a couple of projects which involved software programming and sound design and soon realised we had a good working relationship so we began writing music together. We started writing folk songs originally and played open mic nights around Cambridge, and then gradually we started incorporating more electronic elements into the music. We released a couple of early EP's in this electro-folk style and then moved to London and released our first single on Voga Parochia Records.
You have a new self titled album coming out soon, tell us about it?
We are very excited about this release as its our debut album and its been a long time coming. We’ve been busy in the studio the last couple of years and it will be great to be out and about promoting the album. Its out on the 5th of August on WIAIWYA and Fika Records and it will be released on CD and as a 12” on heavyweight vinyl in a gorgeous die cut sleeve.
Wonderful! Your single 'Cry Baby' is out on July 15th, what is the concept of this song?
The song is about allowing yourself to be yourself when you're with someone. I also cry a lot because I’m a massive wuss!; Its about crying in front of someone and feeling comfortable to do so!
When creating a song, how do you go about it? Do you have a set procedure?
Haha good question. This album has been about learning our songwriting process so each song has been through many stages and much experimentation. I don’t think there is one way in particular we have written but in general Jacob sends me a beat and I lay some vocal ideas down. Then we structure it together and Jake writes the instrumentation. We also experiment with samplers and synths and find interesting melodies and hooks and ways to distort my vocal!
Who are your influences?
So many - I love interesting electronic music whatever that means! Bjork, Imogem Heap, Four Tet, Burial. Also loving all the 80’s stuff that’s around at the moment like Kavinsky, Chromatics. The Drive sound track rocked my world!
What is the highlight of your career as Victoria and Jacob?
Supporting the Mystery Jets and Com Truise. Releasing an Ep with Voga Parochia Records and now releasing our album with WIAIWYA and Fika Records.
What do you think of the 'Sazrah remix' to 'Cry Baby'?
I love that you have taken a new angle on the track, leaving lots of space for the song to come through, with a cheeky finish!
You can hear the Sazrah remix by clicking on the player below...
You can order Victoria and Jacob's album here or listen to the original of their new single Cry Baby here
Written By Sazrah
Facebook.com/sazrahproducer <-subscribe to my blogs here
Thanks to all of y'all who have been following my blogs! The feedback has been wonderful so I appreciate it! Anyway, I have done quite a few blogs about 'celebs' recently haven't I? However, the stories in general have linked to my thoughts or things to do with me. But those of you who know me well, know that celeb gossip really is not a massive interest to me! So it's time to GET PERSONAL and GET LOCAL for the next couple of weeks! I really want everyone to be involved! So if you know me, and want me to blog about you or your work HOLLA! So Artists, Producers, Bloggers, Sazrah's beasts - let me know what you want me to say about u!
Email me at: firstname.lastname@example.org with your ideas, photos etc and I will see what I can doooo-hoooo! x
Anything underlined in this blog leads to a link :)
Today I want to write about my FAVE rap duo. If it wasn't for these 2 crazy beastys answering my many questions, I wouldn't have got a 1st on my dissertation about 'Coz Ov Moni' their rap-musical movie (click here to see trailer)!
Wanlov and M3nsa are both Ghanaian rappers, singers and composers who have taken the world by storm. They have shared the stage with Snoop Dogg, Sway, Irie Maffia and the Gorillaz -to name a few! I became a massive fan from the moment I saw their work! Little did I know that one day they would become good friends of mine.
It all started during the Summer of 2010 when my friend Jaya and I first discovered Wanlov. It began when we were randomly laughing at the size of a shoe in this video featuring a few Ghanaian artists. Then we became obsessed with the song. To the point that we played the video on repeat when getting ready to go out! It's one of those songs that just make you giggle and go all bubbley! I even had it as my alarm tone haha! Anyway, after repeating the video about 199 times, we THEN decided to pay more attention to each individual rapper who features on the song. When we searched Wanlov we were blown away by his talent! We also found it bizarre that he chooses never to wear shoes, even in the snow! He is constantly barefooted!
Whilst searching further we came across the trailer for 'Coz Ov Moni', Ghana's first ever pidgin rap musical by Wanlov and M3nsa (this is how we found out about M3nsa)! We noticed it was premiering in London so we bought tickets
. . . and the rest is history!!!!!
Wanlov and M3nsa as a duo are titled the FOKN bois and are known for causing controversy. But if you meet them, you realise they are the kindest and most positive, laid back characters you can ever come across. I love being around them because they make me feel at ease and without doubt, we have the best laughs together every time we hang out. I always bring cookies and crisps to them at M3nsa's studio and they always make sure my belly is full with tasty Ghanaian food. If I refuse to eat, Wanlov force feeds me gari.<--sorry i'm going crazy with the 'link' thing lol!
M3nsa and I quite enjoy arguing. We argue from the moment I step into the building, to the moment I leave. He calls me 'Miss Defensive' but it's only because I am just as good at arguing back as he is...we are too alike. So perhaps I should start calling him Mr.Defensive :-P
They have taught me a lot about my culture as I am half Ghanaian but am yet to visit Ghana! I hopefully will this year because it is a BEAUTIFUL COUNTRY from what I have heard/seen!
FOKN sandwich ;-P
Anyhoo, I just wanted to big up these two talented cheeky chappys. They chilled me out throughout all my uni stress and were always there to put a smile on my face/make me laugh no matter how tired I was. They understand my strange humor and Wanlov has even featured on one of my 'joke-rap-tracks' that I made for Jaya. I love the FOKN bois creativity, their naughtyness and how caring they are. A random, yet great combination of characteristics!
You can find them on twitter: @mensamusic and @wanlov
OR @FOKNBOIS. Their most recent album 'FOKN Wit Ewe' is out now so get listening! I am currently working on a lil remix to their track 'Gimmie Pinch'. Now I shall treat y'all to some of their videos below this blog....It shows the variety of styles they can bring...enjoy!
P.S. I now have a FB music 'like' page...so click HERE and get ta liking ;-) or type www.facebook.com/sazrahproducer
You can comment on these blogs from that page too.
So, I always tell my friends I want to shave my head! And the reactions I get are 'Why?' or 'It looks good the way it is. It doesn't need any more off' and (my fave reaction) 'DO IT THEN'. The thing is, I would leave a tiny bit of hair but I would have it very low -like the models below. I wouldn't do it for anyone else but me. And it would be easy to manage compared to my mohawk! However, I might leave it for a year or so because I really love my mohawk and it feels like its my trademark for now! Its the longest hairstyle I have ever kept so it must mean I feel at home with it as I used to change my hair monthly! Anyway, today I thought I would blog about my two fave sexy bald looks!
Bald girl 1! Amber Rose
BALD AND BLONDE
Amber is a model who was first well known for dating Kanye West. He didn't treat her right though, so she left, moved on and she is now dating Wiz Kalifa and sounds really happy. Last time she spoke on the 'Wendy Williams show' she said that she never believed in being with somebody for the rest of your life until she met him. Her family struggled when she was younger so she worked as a stripper to make money for her and her mother when growing up. She was only exposed to idiotic men and did not believe in love. But now, with Wiz, she is living a fairy tale romance! Aaaw. lol.
Bald Girl 2 Azmarie
BALD AND BEAUTIFUL
Azmarie has a bit of hair in this picture. But sometimes she is really close to bald! Either look I like. She is a model as well. She picked up a lot of attention on the new season of 'America's Next Top Model' which just aired in America not long ago. She is known for how she can be real 'blokey' but also be really feminine! This is what I love because I can relate to that! I can look like a right boy in my mohawk on my lazy days. But on my days where I wanna wear a dress and make effort, I can be feminine! Azmarie is a lesbian and is rumored to be dating Raven Symone (yep- the girl from 'That's so Raven'). She currently lives with her. I have attached a couple of pics of Azmarie below, so you can see how androgynous she is! So, if you got a good head shape girls- flaunt it!!!
Today whilst listening to my favourite album Frank I thought i'd share my story about when I met Amy Winehouse. It is a really positive story and there has been too much negativity released about her during her life.
My first encounter with Amy was quite a long time after her album Frank was released but before Back to Black was created so she hadn't done anything for a while. She had come to Cambridge to do a set in a concert being held to help raise money for the Tsumani. Although she was offered money to do the gig, I remember her telling me how she told them to put it all to the charity, which I thought, was sweet.
I was around 17 years old and was obsessed with her and her debut album Frank! It is the only album (apart from MJ's) which every single track on it is amazing and it never gets old or boring to me. Very few albums are timeless. So I decided I wanted to express my love for the album to her. I turned up early at the concert in the Junction, Cambridge with a little letter I'd hand-written for her, telling her how much I love her and her album! I gave it to the steward who was guarding the backstage door and asked if he could hand it to her. He seemed thrilled to have the chance to get to speak to her. He grabbed the letter and ran backstage excitedly! When he came back out, the conversation was like this:
Me: 'Did you give it?'
Me: “WOW what did she say?'
Steward: 'She asked what you look like....'
Me: 'No way! Then what did you say'
Steward: 'Erm...black girl with dreads'
Whilst I was standing there jokingly arguing with the steward about how his description of me wasn't good enough as I am mixed race and my 'dreads' were ‘braids’, I suddenly noticed a barefooted, petite figure appear from the door behind him!
'OH MY...OH MY it's AMY WINEHOUSE' I screeched!
Amy smiled... ‘Hello hun, what's your name?’ She continued..'I haven't finished reading your letter yet but had to come and see you’. I said my name and she goes 'Sarah! Nice to meet you darling' and hugged me! She smelt really nice. Amy continued 'I really like your letter. It makes me feel so shy when you are comparing to artists as big as MJ' and I responded 'Honestly, you are the best artist ever! Words can't express how good you are! Your song writing, your voice!' and she interrupted with 'Stop it Sarah! I'm going all shy' and she gazed down at the floor tilting her head and cheekily smiling! We then hugged each other again in the excitement!
Amy was doing an intimate acoustic set at the Junction, just her and her guitar. No band. As we were chatting she asked ‘Do you have any requests Sarah? I haven't actually planned what I am doing’! I stupidly started singing one of her tracks:
Me: 'I couldn't resist him, his eyes were like yours'!
Amy: 'Aaaw Yeah! I can do that'!
Me: 'And could you do the track named- ‘I Heard Love Is Blind’?
Amy: 'Yes! I can'
Me: 'Hang on! Oops! That's the same song!'
Amy: 'Is it? Oh yeah! Sorry I didn't even notice'
We both laughed and blamed it on the fact we were a bit tipsy! I told her, I love all the songs so anything will please me and we carried on chatting for a few minutes.
Then my silly boyfriend-at-the-time appeared behind me, grabbed my shoulders and goes ‘get her autograph, get her autograph’ in my ear really loudly, really ruining our moment! We both just stared at him in silence. Well, I was glaring and I think Amy knew I was disappointed in his interruption!
The thing is, it wasn't one of those cringe moments when I wanted to be like 'Can I have a photo?' or 'Can I have an autograph' to boast about it with friends. It meant much more than that to me. It was the fact I was communicating and sharing my thoughts with my favourite artist of that time and she was genuinely listening! The memory of that was more important than a bit of writing on paper. It's not very often any fan gets to meet their absolute first choice artist and have a genuine chat with them.
It got to the point where she had to go and get ready. But as she disappeared behind the door, she poked her head back round and muttered 'Where will you be standing?' looking at the venue as it was beginning to fill up! I shouted 'front row' as I pointed to the stage where my friends were waiting for me. She then looked right into my eyes and softly said 'Make sure you do, cos all that matters to me is that you're at this gig tonight Sarah' and closed the door!
I was so exicted, I ran back to my friends almost in tears of happiness! But that wasn't the end.
There were lots of artists performing on this night so she could only perform 5 songs on stage. And when she did perform them, she dedicated 3 of the 5 songs to me! She kept saying 'this is for Sarah...my fave person in the audience tonight' ....'this one goes out goes out to Sarah' and on the last track she said 'I bet you're all thinking 'Who the f*ck is Sarah?' and the audience chuckled! She continued 'She wrote me a letter. And I think that’s so real. I can't write letters, I can only express myself in songs. But it takes skill to write a letter like that. That's real sh*t!' and everyone clapped! To be honest, we all know her award winning and cleverly written song lyrics are a much larger talent than my scribbled down fan letter but what she said was so nice and meant a lot to me!
I saw Amy perform two more times after that when she toured with Back to Black. I saw her once in Brighton and then the last time back in Cambridge. The final time I saw her, I was front row again and I went to take a photo of her while she was performing. A bossy security guard ran across and shouted 'No photo' whilst trying to take the camera off of me! She stopped mid-song (yes...in the middle of a verse while the band was still playing) and shouted ‘NO NO! Let her take it! She's my mate'!
The security guard nodded and waddled off. And then she looked into my eyes again and winked at me. I mouthed out 'Thank You' and she smiled.
I often wonder if she recognised it was ME-the Sarah who wrote the letter all those years ago or if she was just generally helping a keen fan, not realising it was me! I guess i'll never know.
R.I.P Amy x
Words by Sazrah
I gotta blog quickly today because one of my 'fellow producers' is coming to jam with me! Today I wanted to speak about the new craze! Ukulele's! hahaha.. They've been around for years but NOW everyone likes to mess around on one! Everybody is learning pop songs on them and there are some good videos of people playing the ukulele! Feel free to add any good uke vids as 'comments' underneath the blog! In the photo I am holding my talented flatmate Dan's blue uke! Well it looks like I am munching it!
You can get them for about £15-£40 depending on how snazzy you want it to look! I am thinking of either getting a pink one or a blue one!! Pink one is cheaper... what you reckon I should get?
Anyway, here is a video of Dan doing his thing on the uke (with me atrociously trying to sing). All fun and games! But yes- GET A UKULELE! They're fun and you can get so many youtube tutorials about them :) x
p.s. Dan did a lil summin summin to the sound on the video...which made me giggle pahahahahhaa! Enjoy x
Sazrah is a UK music producer who has composed music for BBC 1xtra, Film, Catwalk and famous artists. Her blogs are about upcoming artists, music industry tips and general chit chat!