- Uffie »
Yesterday saw part one of this interview tumble out of bed and onto the web plus a DiS premiere of the new video from Uffie, the Fred Durst of the so-called 'MySpace generation'. In part two of DiS founder Sean Adams' chat with Uffie, she discusses the kefuffle about Ke$ha and expands on her development as an artist.
DiS: When you were growing up, who were your icons that really inspired you?
Uffie: No-one, really. I guess I loved but I don't like, the Hollywood girls like Paris Hilton and girls like that, and people say so much crap about them and they're just living their life, and it seems like a joke on everybody, like, they can't really be that stupid and it's a joke on everybody that they care so much and get so angry about these people.
DiS: Do you ever wish you had never opened your mouth and started letting people into 'your world', or the maybe slightly exaggerated version of the world of Uffie, so you could just live how you wanted, without the almost Warholian documentation and criticism of your life by strangers?
Uffie: Obviously, this kind of life, you get pushed to being eccentric. Like at school you can't just be all crazy, without getting abused for letting your freak flag fly. I guess, for me, I haven't realised what's happening and it's kind of fascinating. When you open up to other people it's really weird and you can kind of connect, in the same way, and I'm like I don't know how this happened.
DiS: How much has your song-writing changed? You mentioned earlier thinking about singing songs for years to come, whereas I imagine when you started it was just some fun with a microphone and some beats, with no idea anyone would ever hear it?
Uffie: Before it was just like, okay, I have to to write a song because I'm in a studio, so it was like 'Hot Chicks, that's the theme'. Now, with song-writing, Mirwais got me to go deeper within, yknow, your artist. So it was more like feelings and stories, rather than 'this is what I did last night' with lots more abstract concepts, so things have changed a bit.
DiS: What did you learn about yourself making a full-length album?
Uffie: I guess it was mostly the difference between songs and making an album with a concept that has to try to fit together. I think you just, like, can experiment much more because I could write songs that didn't have to be singles or think about how it would sound in the club. I could think about people listening to it in their homes and cars and stuff like that, so I could do much more what I wanted, without having to worry about marketability and stuff like that.
DiS: How much of the music is you and how much is the producer?
Uffie: A lot of the first stuff was the producers because I didn't know what I was doing. I bought the hip-hop to it so it was more me but they really influenced things a lot. On the album, I got to do more research and its a lot more me.
DiS: So did you kind of direct the music?
Uffie: Like, I want a beep here and then... (laughs). With a lot of them, I would be like 'I want strings here' or 'wouldn't this be cool' but I didn't get to push the buttons or anything like that. I just gave a general idea. It was so interesting to me and I certainly watched what was happening a lot more because it would be awesome to produce my own music because I can't always vocalize the sounds in my head. It would be awesome to do everything and maybe one day I'll try!
DiS: So, 'Tik Tok' sounds rather like 'Thhhe Parrrty', and I saw you tweeted a link to an article about that... thoughts?
Uffie: There's definitely a similarity but I don't wanna trash-talk about her. Then again, everything is a sample of something or a copy of something, nothing is really original any more. I think it's a bit harsh how people were trashing her. It's pretty, waaay close, as everyone's copying something. I mean, like, it did get to number one. It's not really my style of music.
DiS: Do you think it's similar to the way people dismissed you for not being Peaches?
Uffie: It was way more hardcore for Kesha, people are really attacking. I dunno, I'm just not paying that much attention to it.
DiS: Some of your songs are like battle songs, I wonder what response songs you've ever had?
Uffie: None. Do you think maybe I should challenge Kesha to one? (laughs) No, no-one's really responded, maybe they don't really care. No-one wants to fight with me. That's ok with me.
Uffie on Kate Nash, L'il Wayne and Girl Power
DiS: You've mentioned in a few interviews "girl power" and was wondering whether you were a big Spice Girls fan?
Uffie: Totally. When I was 8 I was. I knew all the dances. It's sort of a feminist thing, like in American girls can be so bitchy and catty toward each other, and instead of typing shit about each other, support each other, do you know what I mean? I think it'd be really nice if people did stuff like that, rather than calling people sluts and shit like that. I'm kind of anti- that.
DiS: Why do you think there's been such a rise of female solo artists over the past few years?
Uffie: Right now, it's fantastic. I love like Kate Nash, and it's cool and artists doing their thing. It's not like Britney Spears, and I love Britney but they're not these perfect popstar, blonde chicks - it's really cool!
DiS: Do you think there's a rise in people creating characters, possibly because of the way we use the web?
Uffie: Now's the time to do it, if you're going to do it. Music at the moment is also all about personality, than talent. Obviously, you have to have the some talent, you can't sound like shit. It's almost like having a great personality matters more now. I feel like this whole persona...
DiS: ...like, the line 'I'm an entertainer not a lyricist'
Uffie: Exactly! Because people think I think I should care more about my lyrics but I never said I was a great rapper or anything like that. It's all about the whole persona. I'm not like, L'il Wayne, who's an amazing lyricist. It's not about that for me. People, like, get angry with me, what I do and because I'm not claiming to take myself seriously. It's not like I've ever said I'm the best, then I could understand. If I did claim that then fair enough they could say 'no you're not' but I didn't say anything.
Uffie on Being a 'Serious' Musician
DiS: Do you feel like you're still developing, I mean, this is only your first record?
Uffie: Totally. I was a bit nervous with this record because I started to take things seriously. And then I can be judged because, you're, like, trying. Before it was totally fun and then with this, I did begin to explore myself as an artist. It was a really different experience, so I'm a bit nervous about the release because of kind of, care.
DiS: Kind of?
Uffie: A big kind of.
DiS: So, the title of the record?
Uffie: It's just because it rhymes! [laughs]. Actually, there's a track on the album called 'Sex Dreams and Denim Jeans' and I liked the way it sounds. It's young, rock'n'roll, it reminds me of leather and denim, the fashion and the imagery, it kind of summed up the album. Like, Sex Dreams, have everyone plays up the sexuality part of my music. It kind of, like, fits.
DiS: In terms of your earlier lyrics, some of them are about things which happen to you personally, sort of me-me-me. Did you feel you a need to touch on more universal topics and themes?
Uffie: There's one song, called an 'Illusion of Love' which features Matt Safer, and it's, about like, y'know, our twisted generation. It's full title is the illusion of love is better than none, about how we'd rather have this illusion of love than being alone. It's about the night-life now and the people we meet and how its not really real, so its kind of an abstract of that.
DiS: Next album, moving forward, do you think this shift might continue?
Uffie: I'd love to write songs that are stories, about things that aren't true. It's only recently occurred to me that I can make shit up. It's hard to write when my songs are so personal. You kind of have to censor yourself as it's all about you...
DiS: I think our readers would be surprised by the idea of you censoring yourself...
Uffie: It's for my parents! I'd love to got a bit more crazy with things that aren't true.
Uffie on Uffie
DiS: How much of the crudeness is you and how much of it is the exaggerated Uffie character?
Uffie: Ha. I'm an exhibitionist. I only think about this stuff after. Like, maybe I shouldn't have worn that dress or done that but I'm kind of in the moment, I don't think about stuff, I probably should now but... (smirks)
DiS: What's it been like having a child, has it made a big difference to your life?
Uffie: Massive. Its done me good stuff, I got to take a year off, and I was in the studio everyday, whereas before I would have been out all night. Its kind of nice having to be home and like, having to wake up in the morning, and like, I've started going to the gym everyday and more healthy stuff. It's a totally new life, it's great, I feel like I have more substance. You kind of live in this bubble of me and my baby, so its made me different kind of person. Obviously I'm finding an amazing nanny for when I'm on the road but I'll be with her in the week and play clubs on Friday and Saturday. Its not like I have to work all-day everyday, so I'll probably see her more than most parents see their kids. She'll have a fun childhood, hanging out with Pharell, y'know (laughs).
DiS: Speaking of the live show, how did you approach performing this album?
Uffie: Its really changed. Whereas before it'd be and a DJ and I'd be getting really drunk, and trying to make it onstage every night, whereas now I'm putting a lot into it. I've got this amazing new DJ called DJ Kode, he was like DMC champion when he was 17. I've got another guy who plays keys and drumpad and we worked with a choreographer and light guy and it's much more 'rehearsed'. People are gonna pay to see, so it has to be a proper show.
DiS: You get glimpses from the stage but do you have much of an idea of who your audience is?
Uffie: It's so diverse. I remember I once had this show in Chicago and it was goths and hip hop kids stood beside eachother. I get like, letters from school teachers and then thirteen year olds asking me how to walk in high heels. I don't really have a certain type of group but that's what I like, it's sort of random people.
DiS: A bit like a punk crowd?
Uffie: I guess I'm a punk in spirit. I'm not that well educated it. Like, I've covered Siouxie and the Banshees, and I'm really get into it. For the show, we wanna do like 'Anarchy in the UK' and covering that kind of stuff live as the show has quite a punk feel.
Sex Dreams and Denim Jeans is out now via Ed Banger.
- Spotifriday #64 - This Week on DiS as a playlist
- Interview: Uffie on Uffie, Girl Power and Ke$ha (Part II)
- Interview: Uffie vs The World (Part 1)
- Watch: Uffie 'Difficult' (World Premiere)
- In Photos: Bestival 2010 @ Robin Hill Country Park, Isle of Wight
- Spotify playlist: 10 Years of Solo Artists - Part 2: Beats, Bleeps, Björk & Beyonce
- Sonar 2010: the DiS review (Saturday)
- Watch: Uffie feat. Pharrell Williams 'ADD SUV'