Jessie and the Toy Boys Talks "Push It"
Thu, 31 Mar 2011 11:12:51
Lady Gaga Photos
Jessie and the Toy Boys Videos
Jessie and the Toy Boys make pop really sexy again.
Her latest single, "Push It", is the kind of anthem that can heat up any dance floor all over the world—whether it's in an underground warehouse or a chichi high rise club. Jessie seduces listeners with each verse before going in for the kill on the song's unforgettable refrain. In the music video, she dirties up a Laundromat in the best way possible. With a little help from Yelawolf, Jessie has crafted an undeniable anthem that will make listeners everywhere "Push It." It's also a fitting precursor to her forthcoming next release. This girl has got the goods to dethrone Lady Gaga and take the crown…
Jessie spoke to ARTISTdirect.com editor and Dolor author Rick Florino in this exclusive interview about her sound, some favorite movies, "Push It", and so much more.
Would you say there's a rock 'n' roll or old school disco attitude to your sound?
[Laughs] Yeah, definitely! Thank you! Having a punk rock background and jumping into write pop music makes for a really interesting combination or juxtaposition. Different genres come together in the right way. That creates that "disco attitude" you're referring to.
Does that grit set you apart?
I think I'm a unique artist with my own sound. My biggest thrill is watching people discover the Jessie and the Toy Boys sound. It's sexy electro alternative pop but it's got these driving dance grooves and catchy melodies. I try to write playful lyrics that are almost like listening to pages out of my diary. I'm very honest whenever I approach writing a song. The honesty of my songwriting is probably what people connect to the most.
What's the story behind "Push It?"
Generally, I start the songwriting process with a melody first. Then, I develop the lyrics and track around it. However, a skeleton of the track had already existed that Tony Kanal and Jimmy Harry we're already working on. They had it kicking around for a couple of months and didn't know what to do with it. I had previously lived in London and had been a huge part of this South London dubstep scene. I still am. I've been on this major dubstep kick. I was in the studio and I heard the track. I was like, "No, you need to do this! You should throw a couple of dubstep wobbles in it here." Then, I became married to the track after I was working on it with them. I had to write to it. I started to write to it, and the melody instantly came out. We didn't over-think it. The song literally wrote itself within an hour. Finally, Yelawolf added that last little sprinkle of magic that it needed. Generally speaking, I'll say "Push It" is about having a crush on someone and fantasizing about that crush.
Is it important for the songs to paint a visual picture?
I'm always thinking visually when I write. I have a real love for art and photography. Songs should be stories. In terms of the visuals for the music video, I handle all of the art direction when it comes to anything Jessie and the Toy Boys. I came up with the concept to shoot in the Laundromat because I was doing my laundry one day, and I noticed how the machines and the layout provided such a graphic visual backdrop. Once I had the location in my mind, I started developing the narrative for the video. The visual for "Push It" definitely came after I wrote the song. Sometimes, they come at the same time. This was an instance where the visual came afterwards.
What fosters that cinematic sensibility?
I love movies. I like to read also. I just love fashion. Probably, most of my inspiration comes from my love for high fashion photographers. With Jessie and the Toy Boys, I want to do the same thing that they do to me when I look at their fashion spreads. It's just one picture but inside of it there are so many stories. That's how I feel about my songs. Inside a song is a number of different stories for every listener.
Which movies do you come back?
I'm a weirdo; I like a lot of weird movies [Laughs]. I love Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind and Fight Club, and then I love classic films like Diamonds Are A Girl's Best Friend. Those three don't go together at all [Laughs]. My favorites are all over the place. I'm a really big Quentin Tarantino fan, and I love how nonlinear his films are. That's relatable to songwriting because there really isn't a beginning, middle, and end to the way I write. My songs are also very nonlinear. They jump back and forth through time and take you all over the place. They never really have an ending. I try to leave my songs open-ended and pose a question lyrically.
If you were to compare your forthcoming album to a movie or a combination of movies?
I'd say Pretty Woman meets Kill Bill Vol. 2 meets Cinderella [Laughs].
Have you heard "Push It" yet?