With two singles currently out, Iggy Azalea is set to make a splash in the rap world. This Aussie MC began rapping at 14 and moved to the States at 16 in order to begin her career. She was so determined to hit it big that she told her parents that she was just going on vacation, but never came back.
Although Azalea was heavily influenced by her close friend Tip Richardson a.k.a. T.I., she decided to strike out on her own and she left his label (Interscope) for Def Jam to continue to craft her sound. She is much loved by her fans (called “Azaleans” on Twitter), but relatively unknown to the casual rap listener. This will probably change soon, though, as her first studio album The New Classic is set to drop later this year.
ANDPOP’s Evan Ross spoke to Iggy Azalea about her beginnings, what it’s like to work on a full record, and why she is wary of the term “role model”.
Evan Ross: What was it about rap that drew you to it?
Iggy Azalea: Some things can’t be explained, I just had an emotional connection to it.
Why did you pick the name Iggy Azalea?
Iggy Azalea: My grandfather kept saying that I had to have a stage name and my real name (Amethyst Amelia Kelly) was too long. I had a dog named Iggy, who was named after Iggy Pop and I wore a necklace that said “Iggy” on it so people started calling me that a lot. Azalea was the street that I lived on at the time.
Who are some of the artists that influenced you, both now and when you were younger?
Tupac definitely when I was younger. In terms of a female influence I would say Missy Elliot; she was a woman I wanted to dress like, wanted to dance like. I would save my money so I could buy the Adidas jackets that she wore. I basically wanted to be Missy Elliot (laughs). Now I don’t idolize people so much, I have grown out of that. But I like Kendrick Lamar and really like Andre 3000; I hope he has another record.
You talk a bit about how you supported yourself when you left home in “Work.” How else has your past influenced your music?
My music isn’t really biographical, but what I think definitely shapes the music. My music has both my past and my present, and past stories are evident.
Is there any reason behind the accent you use when you’re performing?
RATING: 3 clever Tony Stark quips out of 5
Starring: Robert Downey Jr., Gwyneth Paltrow, Ben Kingsley, Don Cheadle
Let me just start by saying how tempted I was to rate this movie 5/5 simply because it begins with the beloved (by me) 90’s classic “Blue (Da Ba Dee)” by Eiffel 65, and I have a depp affinity for the truly terrible music of my youth. This was definitely the best of Marvel’s Avengers universe movies with a stellar cast and a director/writer (Shane Black) who creates a much tighter superhero movie than Joss Whedon, in my opinion.
In Iron Man 3 movie, the genius billionaire playboy philanthropist Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) is back in his So-Cal pad, but he’s still a shaken after The Avengers‘ New York City alien invasion. Stark’s case of post-traumatic stress disorder leaves him tinkering away in his workshop at night instead of sleeping and puts a strain on his relationship with Pepper Potts (Gwyneth Paltrow). Lo, there’s no rest for the weary as a new global terrorist known as the Madarin (Ben Kinsley) sets his sights on the United States of America and it’s up to Stark to save the world. Again.
Let’s start with the good. Paul Bettany as Tony Stark’s computer/butler/best friend JARVIS continues to be my favourite thing about this series; he’s the perfect straight man to the always over-the-top Stark. The action sequences were also really enjoyable. My internal monologue during them consisted mostly of frantic OMGs! which are usually reserved for Game of Thrones episodes. They were much shorter than the ones in The Avengers (which is a good thing), and helped to push the plot forward rather then just having things blow up in vain.
The villains were also very cool. I feel like I can’t say anything bad about them should Stan Lee suddenly appear and have me killed. Just take my word that they are refreshingly different from the aliens and Tom Hiddlestons we have seen in Marvel movies past. One last thing that always made my nerdy heart smile was watching Tony Stark become Iron Man. Sure, he puts on the suit about 50 times in the movie, but it never stops being cool (and every time he does it I wish my own wardrobe could do the same thing).
So what knocked two stars off my perfect Blue-related score?
Jumping out of winter and into spring means starting fresh, and this begins with your home. Many see cleaning as the most mundane of all tasks but here’s a Spring Cleaning playlist to help liven things up! You might as well dance as you clean, right?
1) Freaks and Geeks – Childish Gambino
When I’m cleaning, I become possessed by the spirits of both Tupac and Biggie and think I’m some kind of reincarnated rap goddess. This is my favourite song to rap along to, especially if nobody is home and I can use my spray bottle as a mic.
Best for: getting into the cleaning mood, doing your audition tape for Young Money.
2) Are You That Somebody – Aaliyah
I also enjoy dancing while I clean and as a wee youth I had the choreography from this video memorised. I’ve realised that I still know about 50 per cent of the moves (coincidence because my middle name is Alia? I think not!) and always decide that I should try them, especially if I am in the bathroom where the lighting is good.
Best for: cleaning grout, performing for yourself in the mirror.
3) Chocolate – The 1975
I’m obsessed with this song and have been trying to find a way to jam it into this column for ages (seriously, I think all the YouTube views might just be me. You’re welcome, The 1975!) I have a recurring iPod fever dream where I am the lead singer of a band which has the popularity of One Direction but the credibility of an indie band. Yes, it’s very elaborate; I don’t expect non-insane people to understand. Annyway, this song is our lead single and we perform it on talk-show stages which are actually my bathroom. The moral of this story is that a fun fantasy actually makes cleaning super fun and rewarding, even if the rewards are entirely in your mind.
Best for: making cleaning way less boring.
4) Scream & Shout – will.i.am and Britney Spears
What’s the deal with Britney in this song? Is she British? Why is she British? This in-depth analysis has led to me listening to this song an alarming number of times and is perfect at distracting me from some of my most hated jobs. Grossed out by the hair that has been living in your U bend? Just put this song on and Brit’s dulcet faux-English tones will take you to your happy place (unless you’re me and find bad accents displeasing).
Best for: doing gross out jobs such as removing hair from various place and having to decide which of your treasured cat sweaters should be given to charity.
5) F—kin Problems – A$AP Rocky ft. Drake and 2 Chainz
Prom is a time that most kids either look back on with fondness or despair (when you play the game of prom, you either win or you die!). Some people look great and find the perfect person/people to share it with and others…don’t. Some even elect not to go at all. If you do plan on going, here are 8 songs for the perfect promposal that will help woo your guy/girl/hobo off the street into going with you, and hopefully, bring you one step closer to the night of your dreams and/or nightmares.
1) Let’s Go – Matt and Kim
Not everyone wants to go to prom. Some kids legitimately don’t feel like going, while others think they’re being cool non-conformists by staying at home, all while their friends are having the time of their lives. Basically, those who opt to stay home are the people who’ll regret their decisions later. Convince your girl or guy to go with you by playing this upbeat tune that chants “let’s go” over and over again. Eventually you’ll get them with the not-so-subliminal messaging alone.
2) Marry You –Bruno Mars
Prom is an excellent time for people who are in a relationship. In fact, in my final year of high school, prom was the primary motivation for even acquiring a boo. Even though your partner is a tailor-made prom date, you should still put in the effort when asking officially them to be your prom date. For the sake of cuteness, use this frankly adorable Bruno Mars song (note: just DON’T get married. Other than that, the rest of the song is pretty cute).
3) One Way or Another (Teenage Kicks) – One Direction
Maybe you have the perfect person in mind to take to prom; they’re cute, funny, nice, and you want to put your face on their face. But— plot twist—they have no idea that you exist. Use this song to tell them that you WILL get them to go to prom with you, one way or another.
Note: author not responsible for anyone being creeped out and/or terrified by this prom-posal tactic.
4) Umbrella ft. Jay-Z feat. Rihanna
Kiss me, I’m Irish! At least that’s what I’ll be telling any dapper looking dude this St. Patrick’s Day. It’s the one time of the year when the colour green doesn’t offend me and it’s politically correct to pretend to be from another country. Celebrate the man who drove all the snakes from Ireland with this playlist and get into some serious craic.
1) Green Garden – Laura Mvula
This is the holiday celebrating all things green, so why not start the day off right with a song that has green right in the title? Laura Mvula sings about enjoying a garden and the great outdoors which should please anyone thinking about good ol’ Ireland today.
2) Shots – LMFAO ft. Lil Jon
But lets not forget what St. Paddy’s Day (not Patty’s. Get it right, people!) is really about. Drinking copious amounts of (green) alcohol until you do something dumb/can’t see straight/fall over. Normally drinking this much shouldn’t be advocated, but when in Ireland (everywhere is Ireland today!) one must do as the Irish do.
3) Pour It Up – Rihanna Read more…
March is approaching which means this infernal, unending winter is almost over (I hope). March is also the time when most youths get a week off school and can jet to exotic locals that contain beaches and/or a lot of alcohol. But even if you’re not luckily enough to spend a week getting alcohol poisoning in the sun, you can still have a fun time at home. Fill your bedroom with sand and pretend you’re at the beach, or if your parents/roommates/cats object to that (as I am most certain that they will) turn up this playlist and jam out to these island-ish tunes while you spend every day of your break on Tumblr.
1) Island in the Sun – Weezer
To me, this is the quintessential vacation song. It just conjures images of floating around a pool with sunglasses on, while being fed grapes by some male servants (…or something like that, I definitely haven’t thought about it that much…). It’s also a great uplifting track to make you feel better when it’s March and it seems like the sun may never surface again.
Best for: starting the week, reminding yourself that you’re on vacation.
2) All Eyes on You – St. Luica
You might know this song from a recent series of Victoria’s Secret ads, but it was my official song of Summer 2012 (“I knew it before it was cool,” she said pretentiously). There’s just something so relaxed in the tone of this song, I think it’s perfect for unwinding during your at home vacation. You can bop your head enthusiastically while dancing around your kitchen as you eat Oreos or some similar domestic activity.
Best for: going to the pretty beach in your head
3) Cake – Toro y Moi
For me, vacations from school are doubly relaxing because I get to have the house to myself as everyone else slumps their way to work. I frequently use this alone time to play music obnoxiously loud while dancing/eating/instagramming. Toro y Moi is one of the reigning kings of chillwave and this track off his latest album “Anything In Return” is one of my favourite booty shakers.
Best for: pretending you’re in a Harlem Shake video but with better music.
4) Feel It All Around – Washed Out
You’re going to need some seriously relaxing tunes for this break. After all, you lead a stressful life. I mean, all those books about medieval England didn’t just read themselves this semester did they (full disclosure: I didn’t even read them. LOL)? Dedicate one day of your break to wearing a onesie all day, reading books, and drinking tea and/or the caffeinated beverage of your choosing and play this song while you do it. Whenever I hear this, a movie-like montage runs through my head: sitting on the counter boiling water, scratching a cat’s ears while you read, napping peacefully while your hair fans out like a halo around your head (I may watch too many movies). Feel the relaxation all around.
Best for: being a sluggish as humanly possible.
5) Domino – Jessie J Read more…
Valentine’s Day is a weird time for singletons… or at least this singleton. You spend half of the lead up to the big day feeling sorry for yourself for not having a Valentine and the other half screaming about how free and independent you feel about not being tied down to a significant other. This is a confusing time of year to say the least, and what better way to get through confusion than music? Here’s a playlist for all those feeling “forever alone” this week…featuring songs to play if your happy about being single, sad about it, or any make-it-weird feeling in between.
1) Dancing With Myself – Billy Idol
Right, it’s Valentine’s Day and you’re dateless. Sad. BUT, chocolate is discounted and you don’t have to stress all night about wearing the correct shade of red. Sometimes it’s just less of a hassle to be unencumbered by a mate so why not dance it out?! Sink another sink and jam out because nobody will ever love you as much as you love you.
Best for: Dancing around your room wearing silky underwear while eating a lifesized Toblerone (I may or may not be speaking from personal experience on this one.
2) It’s Not Fair – Lily Allen
Here’s another song for the “Thank God I’m Single” file. Here, Lily Allen (Cooper now for those counting at home) describes one of the more intimate issues that may occur on Valentine’s Day. Picture it: You’ve spent all night wooing the lad/lady of your choosing and you finally get them back to your house/apartment/spaceship and you simply can’t… perform. When you’re single this doesn’t/won’t happen, so stick that in your pipe and smoke it, people on dates (not bitter, nope, not me).
Best for: Get your mind out of the gutter, you filthy animal.
3) Don’t Let It Break Your Heart – Coldplay
Sometimes being alone on Valentine’s Day can be a major bummer, and not even that giant Toblerone can fill the hole in your heart. This feeling fills you with what the LOL Cats would refer to as “sedz” (read: sads). Coldplay is here to give you strength; sometimes being alone sucks but “come on baby, don’t let it break your heart” (Valentine’s Day was invented by card companies after all!).
Best for: Dragging you out of a hole of self pity.
4) Your Ex-Lover Is Dead – Stars Read more…
You might think depressing songs are reserved for the iPods of angsty teens, but they play among us everyday, even if you don’t realize it. They’re lurking on the TV and radio, waiting for you to stop and go “hold up? What did they just say?” Here are some of the worst offenders that trick us into dancing until we have that “what the what?” moment.
(Note: If I was a complete sadist, this would just be a list of ten songs by The Smiths and by the end you would be a weeping mass laying on the floor but I think andPOP enjoys having readers so…)
1. Pumped Up Kicks – Foster The People
This was the chillest song from last summer, and definitely has to be the most popular song to ever feature whistling. I mean what’s not to like? It’s clearly about cool kids who have fun wearing nice sneakers, right? Lol jk it’s about a school shooting. The lyrics are as follows: “all the other kids with the pumped up kicks / better run, better run / faster than my bullets” and the song is from the perspective of a kid named Robert who finds his dad’s gun. I think we may have been better off just whistling along idly.
2. Small Bump – Ed Sheeran
Aww how cute, Ed Sheeran is singing a song to his future child. Plot twist: the child is dead. This songs starts off as a really cute message from a young, would-be dad to their unborn baby. He goes through all the lessons that the baby will learn during its life, and how it will look as it grows. Once we get to the end of the song however, we realise that Ed/the dad is singing about the child he would have had, had it made it to term. Ouch. Right in “the feels” with this one, Ed.
3. Girls Just Want To Have Fun – Glee Cast
This one is a bit of a reversal: It uses the very upbeat original lyrics by Cyndi Lauper and makes them depressing as hell. Finn sings this song to Santana because she’s being bullied after he forcibly outs her (or something along those lines… I watch Glee, but just barely). Glee’s cover puts a more melancholy spin on the 80s classic, and makes me feel that sometimes girls yearn for fun because it’s something that they just can’t have right now.
4. Valerie (ft. Amy Winehouse) – Mark Ronson
This song has an amazing jazzy and upbeat tempo that will have you looking for the nearest person that you can learn to Charleston with. But the narrator is actually pining for the troubled Valerie who has outstanding fines and a recent stint in prison. He’s actually physically pining for her (“since I’ve come on home, well my body’s been a mess”) and it’s a bit sad because you get the sense that Valerie kind of messed him up. The fact that it’s sung so amazingly by Amy Winehouse makes it even sadder because parts of it seem like it could be about her life.
5) Little Lion Man – Mumford & Sons Read more…
At 19-years-old, Walden is not only a talented DJ, but very down to earth. He’s up for anything, evidenced by the fact that he tried dog sledding while on holiday in Sweden (“It was about -35, but it was fun”). Evan Ross chatted with him over the phone while he was in Chicago to get a sense of dance music’s bright young thing.
WHO HE IS: Let’s get the superficial stuff out of the way: Walden is adorable. His face, his demeanor, everything. He’s just an all around pleasant person, which should take him far. John Walden aka. Walden is an Australian producer/DJ who is just starting to gain speed on the EDM/house circuit. This is a big time for electronic music and Walden seems excited to be a part of it all: “House music has always appealed to me…it’s such a varied genre, that it allows you to put anything in it. It’s really fresh and new.”
WHY HE’S ON OUR RADAR: He’s young and talented, and it really doesn’t get any more exciting than that. Walden is only 19 and is already slated to play at the Ultra Music Festival in Miami. He says his age can be both beneficial and a hindrance; “a young age generates attention, which is good, but I do lack experience.” He also joked that, being 19, he can’t drink in most places. Hopefully he took advantage of the drinking age on his Canadian tour stops in Toronto and Montreal this January.
FILE NEXT TO: Walden is signed to the same label as some of the biggest names in dance music today. He knows how to let a track climb and give it an epic release a la Skrillex, and his songs have the earworm tendency of Martin Solveig, both of whom are fellow Big Beat Records signings.
HIGHLIGHTS: He was recently signed to Big Beat Records, home to some of the top dance artists like Chromeo and Icona Pop (as well as massive hits Skrillex and Martin Solveig, mentioned above). He’s worked with acts like Tiesto and David Guetta which has helped to build his sound. He says “I’ve learned how to read crowd reactions and give a track build up to keep them moving.” His music is awesome, Brightness being a particular favourite. It’s a great track and you can tell it’s going to be massive in clubs (also be sure to check out his YouTube and Soundcloud pages to hear the rest of his work)