Hot Interview Alert: Jessie and The Toy Boys
P-P-P-PUSH IT! I can't stop listening to debut single from Jessie and the Toy Boys, "Push It" featuring American rapper Yelawolf. The song is quickly rising on the Billboard Hot Dance Club Play chart, jumping up two spots this week to #12. Make sure you download the hot remix EP on iTunes (HERE), featuring remixes by Junior Sanchez, Richard Vission, Ron Reeser & Dan Saenz, Skeet Skeet and Dirty Freqs. Why don't you also pick up "We Own The Night" HERE on iTunes while you're at it. The fabulous and beautiful frontwoman, 22-year old Jessie Malakouti took some time to answer a few of my pressing questions - talking about her time working in the UK, collaborating with Yelawolf, touring with Britney Spears and more! Ch-ch-check it out and comment away!
MIMKSB: Hi Jessie, thanks for taking the time to answer a few of my questions today. Now, the first time I heard you was on a remix for the song “Standing Up For the Lonely,” back when you were performing as Jessie Malakouti. Now you’re Jessie and the Toy Boys. What would you say is the biggest difference between your music back then and your music today?
Jessie Malakouti: When I wrote "Standing Up For The Lonely" I had just moved to the UK and very much into the British pop scene. SUFTL was a straight up dance record, but my roots are more punky. I've always loved being in bands, so I started Jessie and The Toy Boys. Towards the end of my time in London I got really into the dubstep scene, which to me was perfect for my style because it is kind of that marriage between dance and punk rock. Jessie and The Toy Boys has a lot of dubstep influence on the album that I'm excited for everyone to hear.
MIMKSB: I LOVE that you just packed up and went to the UK to help find yourself as an artist. There’s just something so fresh and energetic about the UK music scene. I try and showcase a variety of musical styles on my blog, but a lot of it comes from the UK. Are there any fresh UK artists that you discovered while you were over there?
JM: I discovered loads of fresh UK artists, all of which at this point have or are in the process of blowing up in the US. I remember hearing La Roux ages ago! Same thing with Tinie Tempah- I was listening to him over 2 years ago... It's funny how long it takes sometimes to cross the pond.
MIMKSB: There’s definitely more of a fondness for dance and electronic music in the UK, but I think America is finally starting to come around. What would you say the biggest difference is in the music scene over there, versus here in the States?
JM: British pop is a bit quirkier, a bit riskier generally... but I will say there are a lot of crap artists there too. Sure they have some amazing dance/electronic artists, but then they have these faux model-esque- "artists" that are really about a face, yet somehow remain so faceless... Do you know what I mean? I feel like it's a lot harder in America to make it unless there is some real talent there. I think America is finally getting over reality stars and are becoming more interested in actual musicians, which is great for me.
MIMKSB: Let’s talk about your new single “Push It.” I believe congratulations are in order! I see that the single is moving up the Billboard Dance Charts – currently at #12. I absolutely love this song! Can you tell me how your Yelawolf collaboration came about?
JM: Thank you. I'm always looking out for new artists that spark my attention and Yela definitely did just that. We became friends on twitter and then one day I went to one of his shows downtown. Right upon meeting him I approached him with the idea to spit a verse on "Push It" and pretty much kid-napped him and stuck him in my car and drove to the studio to get it recorded. He loved the song, and was really inspired, It was done in an hour.
MIMKSB: Have you chosen a second single yet?
JM: Right now the focus is all about Push It. It's amazing because it's just starting to blow way up! It's so thrilling to hear it everywhere in the clubs. The best part is watching people get down on the dance floor to it. It's the best feeling.
MIMKSB: You once said: “When you have a vision for yourself, you have to take risks.” What is your vision for yourself today? Are you still taking risks?
JM: Absolutely. My vision is endless and ever evolving. I want it all, and I will have it all. I feel really blessed and humbled to have amazing people around me helping me achieve my dreams and goals and allowing me to take the risks I want to take. A lot of record companies (And I know this having previously been signed to a major label) won't let you be who you really are. They want to stick you in a box and ship you out. My team now lets me be me. A few months ago I had an idea for a short film where Jessie and The Toy Boys become super heros and kill bad guys with squirt guns that shoot bullets- so I wrote a script and last week we filmed it. It's amazing to have that kind of creative freedom.
MIMKSB: Congratulations on landing an opening spot on the Femme Fatale Tour! That’s massive! Nicki Minaj and NERVO? That sounds like quite the lineup. What can fans expect to see in your live set? Will the “Toy Boys” be making an appearance?
JM: Thank you so much! Fans can expect to see incredible choreography and hear some of my favorite new songs off of the album I'm writing, as well as fannequin favorites like "Push It" and "We Own The Night." Yes, The Toy Boys are coming with me! They are very excited. We are all just so humbled and honored to be a part of the tour. Britney is an icon, she's so spectacular and I'm so grateful to her for giving a new artist like myself a chance. Nicki Minaj is my favorite new artist, and Nervo girls are wicked cool! It really is going to be an amazing show.
MIMKSB: Jessie, thank you again for your time. I hope to see you live in Boston– either on the Femme Fatale tour or flyin’ solo! Wishing you continued success on your journey!
JM: Thank you very much Jamie. I appreciate the support. Look forward to it!