Our interview with Haim

“30 million alien Princes taking over the whole world? I’d like to live there…”

Here are a few reasons why we really like Haim: 1. They’re funny. 2. In fact they’re really funny. 3. They make nice songs. 4. Did we mention how they’re funny? The three sisters – Este, Danielle, and Alana – are from Los Angeles and have, over the course of 2012, become serious Hot Musical Property (or, “Pop-erty”, if you like) thanks to their brilliantly loose-limbed music that draws on Fleetwood Mac, The Go-Gos, Prince, hip-hop, Kate Bush and a pile of other wonderful things. A few days ago they came in to the Spotify office and played three songs (one of which we’ve been sworn to secrecy over) and now we’d like them to live here. Only we’ve not told them that yet.

You began your musical life playing in a band with your mum and dad. Does that mean they were hippies?
Este: Mum was more of a hippy; she loved folk music like Joan Baez and Joni Mitchell. All the Joan’s, basically.
Alana: My parents loved music – there was never a silent moment at home. We always had the radio or a record on and there were drums and instruments everywhere.
Danielle: My dad grew up around drums, so he thought it was very important part of our development!

Was he in a family band?
A: No! He would have loved to have been though. Grandma played harmonica. Everyone in our family plays harmonica, but we’ve not witnessed it as they are, basically, deceased.
D: Apparently, they would sit around the dinner table and play.
E: I’m not sure how appealing that is as an idea, to be honest.

It might have been beautiful…
E: It might have been, yes.
D: We’re the first generation of the family bands. Our kids will be Haim 2.0.

What music played in the house as you were growing up?
E: Well, every night after dinner we would do the dishes to disco radio. My mum was the best disco dancer ever. She was the girl who’d be in the middle of the circle getting cheered on.
B: There was Diana Ross, Sister Sledge, Chic…

Basically, any Nile Rodgers production?
E: Yeah! All those records worked for her. She loved Gloria Gaynor and she idolised Donna Summer as her name was Donna.
D: Dad listened to Spanish radio. He loves Spanish and Latin influenced radio. He loved Maná and Santana and Celina González.
A: We’re obsessed with her. We’re huge, huge fans!

Why Celina?
A: Her story is a lot like ours. She was in a family band, and then she toured with her husband driving the bus. Her music and her stage presence were so amazing.
E: She had such style; if she were alive today she’d be one of the biggest stars in the world.

Did you ever bring any music home that your parents just hated?
E: Oh God yes! The 90s were a difficult time for us. We loved Limp Bizkit, Korn and Puddle of Mudd.

D: We loved Papa Roach too. In fact, we still love them.
A: Our parents were on the right track. We’d bring rap home and they didn’t much like the harsh language on The Chronic, or from Eminem, but we still love those records so much.

Let’s cut to the chase, what five records couldn’t Haim exist without?
A: We couldn’t live without Joni Mitchell’s Blue, Paul Simon’s Graceland. Tom Petty’s Damn The Torpedoes and Destiny’s Child, The Writing’s On The Wall. That is a big one – that changed our lives.
E: We couldn’t live without Prince’s Controversy. I think that might be the greatest record ever made. I aspire to make a record one iota as cool and as fun as that or Purple Rain. Also, Prince live is the most amazing performer ever. Hit after hit after hit all while wearing a gold sparkly jumper? I’m sure he’s an alien.

Hopefully his alien family will come and take over the world soon…
E: 30 million Princes taking over the whole world? I’d like to live there.

Does the perfect song exist?
E: I think Thin Lizzy’s The Boys Are Back In Town is perfect. So is John Cougar Mellencamp’s Jack & Diane, although that has some questionable lyrics in it…
D: “Suckin’ on chili dogs outside the Tastee Freez…”!
E: Yeah, but when that song, or Tom Petty’s American Girl comes on they give you that great nostalgic rush and you have to jump around!

What new albums have your ear right now?
The Kendrick Lamar album is so good – The Recipe is the new LA anthem, so thanks Kendrick! We love Azealia Banks and Jessie Ware too.

What five records would you fight your way to the decks to play at a drunken Christmas party?
D: Whitney Houston’s I Wanna Dance With Somebody. Jackson 5’s I Want You Back.
A: The Pogues’ Fairytale of New York – that’s a serious party jam.
E: Mariah Carey’s All I Want For Christmas Is You and Adam Sandler’s Chanukah Song. That’s such a gem…

Are you Spotify users?
E: There are times when you’re at a party and you need a song right then. That’s when Spotify’s great – it’s the world of music in your hands! It’s the best DJ tool – if the DJ isn’t playing the hits they’re right there on your phone.
D: It’s the most powerful tool in music right now. I love Spotify, it’s really easy to use and it has an amazing selection. I haven’t found a single thing that’s not on there. And that’s from the heart.
A: When Haim stop touring we’d like to come and work at Spotify. Earn some money.

What music could I play that would be guaranteed to start an argument on your tour-bus?
D: Kenny G. That would start a war.
E: I actually think Kenny G has swag. It takes a lot to get up there armed only with a sax.

Finally – crucially – what’s your favourite noise?
E: I love the sound of breaking glass.

Also a great tune…
E: I was trying to catch you out!
D: We have a fart machine on the tour bus, which we like to use a lot. My favourite sound is crystal glasses, like when you’re cheering someone. Maybe that just means I like to party.
A: When I’m in the van I love the sound of silence.

Is there ever any?
A: One can dream! One can write about it in her diary…

Thank You for the Music – ABBA The Museum

It’s official! Two of the biggest names in Swedish music, Spotify and ABBA, come together in a unique partnership. ABBA The Museum will proudly open its doors to Stockholm’s music lovers on the 7th May 2013.

A limited number of opening tickets are on now on release so buy your ticket today via SJ’s website: www.sj.se/abbathemuseum.

ABBA The Museum will become the home of ABBA’s collected works, set to be showcased in a contemporary, musical and interactive exhibition that allows the audience to get closer than ever before to their favourite band. Read more about the Museum here.

To get in the mood, subscribe to the ABBA The Museum profile in Spotify and listen to the playlists.

Our Interview with Tulisa

2013 is my year of no more drama…”, Tulisa

Having walked up six flights of stairs to her management team’s swanky Central London offices, it’s hardly surprising to find some time N-Dubz chanteuse, full-time X Factor judge and solo starlet Tulisa laid out on a sofa. “Do you mind if I lay down for the interview?” she asks us, looking unsurprisingly shattered. “It’s not being filmed is it?” There are two gaping holes in the bottom of her tights. At one point a big toe makes an indiscrete appearance.

Tulisa has every right to need a bit of a lie down. In-between furiously prepping for Spotify’s grilling (ahem), she’s also been rehearsing for her maiden performance on The X Factor (this interview happened a couple of weeks before this weekend’s final) in support of her solo album, The Female Boss. With Dappy and Fazer currently pursuing solo projects, this is now Tulisa’s time to shine. First though, we need to find out how much she’s been missing Rylan Clark…

So, how has The X Factor been for you this year?
It’s funny because even though I’ve not been that successful with my acts, as a person, and my level of confidence, are a lot better than I was last year.

There was a lot of focus on you last year, wasn’t there?
Definitely. I think there still is [laughs]. Not in a big-headed way, but in the sense that I’m always being caned by the media.

What was it about Ella Henderson that the audience didn’t connect with?
I don’t think they didn’t connect with her, I just think she’s one of those acts that people assumed would get through. I think people assumed she was safe and she was one of those acts where people would wait until the final to pick up the phone. It was a case of having to get her to the final and unfortunately it was just one week where the votes slipped. It was on the week of her best performance as well.

Are you sad that Rylan’s gone?
Yeah.

People forget that pop’s meant to be fun sometimes don’t they?
Yeah. He was the fun part of pop. He’s fun-pop. Some people complain about it, but if he wasn’t on the show they wouldn’t have had that much fun watching it. That’s the truth, whether they watched it to love or hate.

What do you make of the state of pop in 2012?
I think it’s been altered so many times. You know when something just gets diluted again and again and again? I don’t really know what pop is anymore. It’s become a combination of pop, urban, old school and dance – there’s a little bit of everything now. I think ‘urban’ has come forward a lot more. It’s funny, what our idea of urban was how ever many years ago is now more commercial, but if we were to go over to America with what we call urban music they would look at us and go, “but this is cheese pop!” I remember going over to America with N-Dubz and they were like “what do you do?” and we said we were an urban British act and they’d hear our music and go [puts on American accent], “you’re not urban.”

R&B is going through quite a weird phase at the moment too, with a lot of R&B singer turning to Guetta-esque LOL-pop now.
Yeah. Dance is really the big thing at the moment isn’t it?

Would N-Dubz have ever auditioned for The X Factor if it had been around then?
No. Because we started off as a grime and garage act and that is always how we wanted to come into the industry and there’s no place for grime or garage on The X Factor. I think maybe if The X Factor was around in twenty years it might be possible, but the state of the industry as it is now there’s no way they’d accept it.

Do you think a rapper could win?
I think someone that sings and raps might have a chance.

You had quite a difficult childhood – did you ever seek solace in music?
All the time.

What kind of things did you listen to?
I listened to everything. I was very urban. I loved my old school R&B but at the same time I loved garage, I loved grime, I loved hip-hop, just pretty much everything urban. Up until the age of 11 it was all Spice Girls, Michael Jackson, Backstreet Boys, Eminem and then after 11 it just took a transition into everything urban.

Who were the strong female singers that you were attracted to?
I loved Aaliyah. I loved Lil’ Mo, vocally. I really loved this rapper called Ms Jade.

What Mary J Blige?
Oh yeah, I brought the No More Drama album.

That would have made a great Tulisa album title.
[Laughs] Good one! Yeah it would, you know. 2013 is my year of no more drama.

What was the first single you ever bought?
I didn’t ever buy singles, but I know my first album was Michael Jackson’s Bad.

What was the last album you brought?
These days I tend to download individual singles. I don’t really download albums anymore. The albums I buy are more likely to be old school ones that I haven’t heard for years. This is a bit random, but Lily Allen’s The Fear was like that as I saw the video on TV and I thought, “I remember this song, I can relate to this right now!”

What song would you put on to ‘get the party started’, as P!nk once said?
My motivational song is Prodigy’s Smack My Bitch up. That’s what gets me going.

Does the perfect song exist?
Yeah – and it’s the Prodigy’s Smack My Bitch Up! It’s my favourite song of all time. That and All Saint’s Pure Shores. Two random ones and yet funnily enough, two of them ended up married.

What’s your favourite musical note?
Oh God, I don’t have one!

You know people are always banging on about people being in the wrong key on The X Factor: do you have a favourite key?
Okay, so my key is… How could you put it? Right, if you had five keys, five being the highest and one being the lowest, I would probably be at four. That’s where I’m comfortable.

Can you go up to five?
I can go up to five but not in falsetto, in power voice. I don’t have much of a falsetto, but I have a full voice.

Who would you most like to collaborate with?
I’ve always wanted to do a tune with the Prodigy because I’m such a massive fan.

If you could be any band for a week, which one would you chose?
Good question. I’ve never been asked that before, wow, you’re good. I’ve never, ever had that before, I love it when I get a good question.

Tulisa, tell me, are you being sarcastic?
No I’m not, I swear to God! I get really excited when someone asks me a new question. You’re making me think. Any band? Well, I’d like to be in Swedish House Mafia. Just to hang with them and do all the Ibiza parties.

Why do you think they’re giving it all up?
I guess it must get pretty crazy after a while. Well, even I know that [laughs]! I do it every summer and I have to have interludes and breaks.

If the Government imposed a law stating you could only own one album for the rest of your life, what would yours be?
That’s hard. You evil man! The thought of it makes me feel sick. It would have to be something old school. Let me think of my favourite albums… Well, Michael Jackson’s Bad is one of them. Destiny’s Child The Writing’s On The Wall. And Michael Jackson’s HIStory.

Maybe they’d let you have three, bearing in mind you’re a popstar?
Because I’m a musician I get Brownie points? So I would say Destiny’s Child The Writing’s On The Wall, Michael Jackson’s HIStory, because it’s got a bit of everything on it, then I’d say Ms Jade, Girl Interrupted.

The Top 100 Playlists of 2012 courtesy of ShareMyPlaylists.com

Our friends at ShareMyPlaylists have put together some awesome charts to wrap up the year – check it out!

Top 100 Playlists
These are the most popular playlists of the year. TV show soundtracks dominated with playlists that include music from HBO’s hit show, Girls, Made In Chelsea, Breaking Bad and Shameless all featuring in the chart, as well as music from the London Olympics opening ceremony.

Top 100 Tracks
These are the most playlisted tracks – i.e the tracks added most often to playlists throughout 2012. The most popular genre on the ShareMyPlaylist site is Dance and this is clearly reflected here with Skrillex featuring three times no less in the top 10!

Top 100 Artists
The artists featured the most across all the SMP playlists!

Top 100 Members
The most popular playlist curators on the site.

Just for fun
The award for best playlist title of the year goes to “Inspirational Jogging Playlist – Songs That Make Me Feel Like A Superhero When I’m Jogging”.

Did you know?
The average playlist on ShareMyPlaylist.com has 173 tracks
All in all, it would take 144 years, 5 months, 2 weeks, 15 hours, 36 minutes to listen to all the playlists on the site!

Spotify just got louder. Here’s Metallica

With millions of fans the world over and nearly a dozen multi-platinum albums under their belt, Metallica are undoubtedly the most successful hard rock band in history.

We’re thrilled to announce that for the first time EVER, music spanning Metallica’s 30+ year career is now available to stream – only on Spotify.

We know. Incredible.

It’s yours to listen to right now.

So are you ready to rock? Listen to Metallica now!

Introducing a better way to discover music

We’re about to change the way you discover music forever. Now on Spotify, you can get closer to the music – and the artists – you love.

Make it better, please
“Dear Spotify, sometimes I don’t know what to listen to.” We know what you mean. Sure, having millions of songs in your pocket has changed the way you listen to music, but can you figure out what to play on a lazy Sunday afternoon?

So we’re thrilled to announce a new and entirely personal way of discovering music on Spotify.

Our latest, greatest upgrade will see a whole host of new discovery features introduced across desktop, mobile and our new web player over the coming weeks.

Put it this way, you’ll never be lost for music again!

The all-new Follow tab
We’re bringing artists and fans closer than ever before.

Now on Spotify, you can follow all the people who turn you on to the music you care about. Find out what friends and artists are listening to in real time, and check out the music that matters to the trendsetters in your life.

Want to hear Obama’s playlist as he prepares for a big speech? Or check out what David Guetta is listening to this week? Now you can.

Build your following
Share your soundtrack with the world, and people will follow you too. Post your playlists on your social networks and be part of the discovery revolution.

The all-new Discover tab
Your hunt for the right music is over! Spotify’s Discover feed continually seeks out personal recommendations for you. Get ready for:

  • New single and album releases from the artists you follow.
  • All the music and playlists shared by influencers you follow.
  • Recommendations based on the music you listen to – including music, reviews and concerts.

Introducing Audio Preview
With our new Audio Preview feature, you can dip into new music without moving away from the song you’re playing. If you like what you hear, you can save it for later or play it right away. The choice is yours.

Oh, and we’ve given our website a bit of a spring clean. You’ve probably noticed!

We’ll be telling you more about our latest features real soon. Until then, our Follow features will roll out as part of a desktop app update in the coming weeks, with a full cross-platform upgrade arriving next year.

Happy discovery!

100 Beats of 2012 by @thursplay

thursplay

Here’s what you’ll listen to on this December Beats by our friends at @thursplay :

2012 was filled with great music releases!

From the anticipated album releases by Metric, Jens Lekman, Cat Power, Keane, Grizzly Bear, Miike Snow, The XX, Mumford & Sons, A Fine Frenzy, Passion Pit, The Shins, The Vaccines, The Walkmen, Regina Spektor, MIKA, Fiona Apple and many more, to the unexpected amazing new music by less known artists, such as: CITIZENS!, Alfred Hall, Fossil Collective, Icona Pop, Alabama Shakes, Lucy Rose, Atlas Genius, Of Monsters and Men, MS MR, Urban Cone, Turn off your television, Milano Sun, Jessie Ware and a lot more.

Music for all tastes, from all parts of the world in diverse genre: you pick!

As hard as it is to choose 100 songs to represent the music released in 2012, here you can find the selection:

Thanks to ALL the artists who gave us those amazing songs during this year!

What were your favorite tracks of 2012? Share with us today on Twitter using the the hashtag #thursplay.

Exclusive “Live in the Studio” Spotify Sessions curated by Jim Eno

Spotify partnered with Spoon drummer and acclaimed producer Jim Eno to record a set of exclusive “Live in the Studio” Spotify Sessions with some of today’s most exciting artists, including: The Shins, Michael Kiwanuka, Father John Misty, Gardens & Villa, Polica and Tennis.

Working from his Austin-based Public Hi-Fi Studios, Eno, our first “Producer in Residence,” has captured these bands in all their road-tested glory. Check it all out here!

Hør Kavehs nye EP eksklusivt på Spotify

Fortell oss litt om deg selv? Hvordan startet du med musikk?
Navnet mitt er Kaveh. Jeg er en 18 år gammel rapper fra Oslo som rett og slett brenner for musikk og hip-hop. Jeg startet smått å leke med ord på et tidlig tidspunkt. Jeg var vel rundt 10, kanskje 11. Jeg satt i stua og spiste frokostblanding som liten, og fant det mer interessant å se på ZTV og MTV enn tegnefilmer. Jeg kunne sitte timesvis og bare se på musikkvideoer. Sakte, men sikkert så begynte jeg å få et forhold til hip-hop. Jeg pleide å beundre selvtilliten rapperne hadde, hvor kule de var. Og som alle andre barn, så var det ikke noe annet jeg ville mer enn å være han karen på skjermen.

Din første singel er nå her – hvordan føles det?
Det er en herlig følelse. Vi har jobbet fram og tilbake med denne i noen måneder nå, og det er herlig at låten endelig kommer ut. Min første har nok ikke den mest kommersielle tilnærmingen til seg når det gjelder soundet, så det er ikke noe man kan referere til som en “instant hit”. Men så lenge det er en låt jeg føler representerer den retningen jeg vil bevege meg i som artist, og så lenge det er en sang jeg virkelig føler, så er det vel det som er det viktigste, eller hva?

Hva inspirerer deg når det kommer til musikk?
Jeg liker å høre musikk med substans… et originalt sound. Folk som ikke er redd for å teste grenser og musikalske normer. Jeg hører på all slags musikk, så det er vanskelig å konkretisere. Det kan være alt fra soft-rock til hip-hop.

Hva hører du på på Spotify om dagen? Har du noen favoritter du kan dele med andre?
Det er uten tvil de nye albumene til Macklemore og Kendrick Lamar. Jeg anbefaler også Schoolboy Q – Habits & Contradictions. Sjekk de ut her!

Hva er planene for framtiden? Har du noen store drømmer?
Jeg drømmer stort, men starter lokalt. Vi kan starte med å ta over byen og landet, deretter Skandinavia.

Er det muligheter for å se deg live noen steder?
Ja, jeg skal spille en del framover. For folk i Oslo så blir by:Larm i februar den beste muligheten. Etter det skal jeg på en lite rundreise for å spille litt utenfor Østlandet. Jeg kommer til å besøke disse stedene:

14. – 16. feb: Oslo – by:Larm
21. feb: Sogndal – Meieriet (VEKA 2013)
22. feb: Bergen – Kvarteret
23. feb: Haugesund – Jimmy Legs
1. mars: Rena – UKA i Rena
2. mars: Trondheim – Familien

Hør Kavehs nye EP eksklusivt på Spotify: