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Booty Luv

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Booty Luv
The lovely Cherise and Nadia, formerly of Big Brovaz (not yet defunct) are now working on success for Booty Luv, their duo dance act that scored heaps of success with debut release 'Boogie 2Nite'. New single 'Shine' is released in a few days' time, so we caught up with the pair to chat about working as a duo rather than a foursome, how on earth they got involved with the Eurovision Song Contest this year as part of Big Brovaz, and what they've got planned for the future of Booty Luv.

So, you've already had two successful solo single releases. What's up next for you?

C: We've got an album coming out late this summer, we've recorded a couple of songs so far, looking great. So look forward to an album from Booty Luv late in the summer. Another single, we're going to release another single as well - I can't really say too much about that, until we've decided which one it's going to be. Me and Nadia are really excited about the whole project.

Were you surprised at the success of Booty Luv?

C: I was definitely surprised, both of us were. We did it like five months before they decided to shoot the video for it. We did that and carried on with the Big Brovaz promotion, forgot about the track, push it to the back of our minds kind of thing. Next thing you know, we're shooting the video and before we knew it it was number two, floating around in the chart for seventeen weeks. We can't believe it, we're over the moon.

What inspired you to work together as a duo outside of Big Brovaz?

C: Lots of people used to say to us, 'we think Big Brovaz are great but we'd love to see the girls do a side project, hear more from the girls, the girls'. So as soon as we got this opportunity we both jumped at the chance. We both really, really love dance music, and haven't had the chance to work on a dance project before, so it was ideal, really.

Can you tell us a little bit about how you got involved with Eurovision?

C: Basically, our manager hooked that up for us. We really wanted to do it, we thought it would be a good experience if anything. Also they'd never had a UK urban act represent for the UK, and overall it was a really great experience. We were really happy with our performance and we got to meet a lot of good people from that, so a lot of good things came out of that.

What was the atmosphere on the night like? It looked like there was a lot of backstage tension.

C: Between the artists? Backstage it wasn't like an uproar or anything like what the papers or anyone said about Justin Hawkins or anything like that. He did storm off stage, but it was for a laugh, and as soon as he stormed off stage we were there to greet him, and he just started pissing himself laughing, we all did. It wasn't...it was blown out of proportion if anything. I'm not saying we were happy with the decision the UK made - who they put through to represent for the UK, but that's probably why we sat down there and thought 'that's probably why we lose every year', but if we did get through we wouldn't be doing the Booty Luv stuff. It's kind of worked out like that for a reason.

I think you did yourselves proud, though. The song was great!

C: Yeah, and it was a great performance. It was a good chance for a couple of us to get together - Brian Harvey, Justin Hawkins, Cyndi and Liz McClarnon from Atomic Kitten. It was really nice to have that couple of days with them, really.

Where does Big Brovaz go from here? Do you think perhaps people want you guys and aren't really so interested in Big Brovaz any more?

C: I don't know, we've still got our devoted fans and we just released an album a few weeks ago called 'Re-Entry'. We can't expect everything to be doing exceptionally well. It might pick up, if it doesn't it's not the end of the world for us. There's other things to do - me and Nadia are so excited to be doing the Booty Luv stuff. It's confusing but great at the same time. We can only be happy about the situation right now.

Can you tell us a little bit about how you got into the industry in the first place?

C: I met this guy called Skillz who was a producer when I was about 15 years old. He heard me on a mixtape and thought I sounded alright, called me down to record a song. He was working on this project called Big Brother's Watching You and basically it's a thirteen piece collective he was looking after at the time. I became part of that collective and here I am - I've been doing it since I was 15 years old and I don't regret a thing.

N: I think each of us had our own upbringing with our family - I was brought up listening to a lot of oldschool reggae, when I was 4 or 5 I was singing along to the old reggae singers. It just kind of grew onto me, and I always wanted to sing anyway. As far as taking it really seriously, I didn't really do it till I was in secondary school. I moved onto college to do performing arts to learn more about the entertainment industry. I can't really explain it - we all had our own ways of growing into the music. Cherise did her first recording when she was nine because her dad was doing music...I got into it cos I thought it was fun. Randy and J-Rock, the same thing with them, they loved to write and entertain, started out in their room writing songs...that's kind of how it came. It's a good thing, cos it came naturally, born to have that talent. It was a lot easier for all of us to go off to the studio and record and then join Big Brovaz and have the success that we've got. We've got the experience and we've learnt a lot. We know what to expect, we've been knocked down before, so we know that there are barriers that are going to be in front of us that we have to knock down. We're used to it. I think that's why we're still here, really.

Tell us a little bit about what an average day - if there is such a thing - is like for you?

N: Usually we'll get up...at the moment we're doing a lot of TV, early morning starts, get hair and make up done. We'll have TV, phoners like this, get an hour for lunch and then go back to work. It's tiring but it's really worth it because it goes to show that a lot of people in TV and stuff are interested in finding out more about us. It's worth getting up early in the morning and finishing late at night.

I imagine it's a bit of a shock to the system, especially cos Big Brovaz hasn't been that prominent for a while.

N: It was a little bit of a shock, but now it's sunk in and I'm just getting on with it. Sometimes I feel like I'm starting all over again, but it has to be done, it has to be done. We're just working hard to get back to the success we were in with Big Brovaz. You can't really complain about the hard work. Sometimes we do have odd little complaints but we're so happy to be here basically. There's a lot of people who would so love to be in our shoes, because this is our career, this is our life at the moment. We don't do anything else apart from sing. We have to put our all into it. It's definitely worth doing.

What's happening with the Booty Luv album? Has any progress been made with that?

N: We've made quite a bit of progress with it, we've written some of the songs...the album is almost done, we've been in the studios a lot of times laying down different tracks - no one's really listened to them yet. We've just been going in there and recording. As to what tracks will be on the album, nobody's really sure yet. And me and Cherise are actually writing our own tracks, we're not always going to be doing covers, we're going to be showing our writing skills as well. Basically the album is going to be a typical summer dance album that everyone can enjoy with loads of good vibes in it. A lot more flavour, a lot more excitement. We're definitely looking forward to doing it.

Tell us about the balance of covers to original songs you're looking at?

N: We don't know at the moment. We want to make it a 50/50 kind of thing, don't want to have more covers than songs we've written, we do want to get people familiar with a lot of old tracks like 'Boogie 2Nite' and 'Shine'. It was very successful when Tweet, the original singer did it. We still want to bring certain songs back and have people say 'I remember that song, it's so good that they did that'. But at the same time we want to have a really good balance, with our own writing, our own publishing, basically. Even though we do enjoy doing the covers, it's so exciting, but we want a 50/50 balance on the album.

Is the stuff you're writing more r'n'b than dance?

N: No, it's dance music, but it's still got our r'n'b flavour, we can't lose [that]. That's what we were born to do, you know what I mean? We are sticking to our own kind of flavour but we are going to change it so that people who love dance will listen to it.

For me, dance is more about samples and repetitive beats. I'm guessing you guys are more about the lyrics?

N: Yeah, we are, but because it's something different, we've always had lyrics, plus 'Boogie 2Nite' has lyrics and 'Shine' does as well, but there will be really typical dance tracks with the hook repeating, as you said, which is good. I think they're the most catchy ones, really. We can do lyrics at the same time and make it just as successful as all the other original dance tracks out there.

Is there anyone you'd particularly like to work with and why?

N: To tell you the truth, I'm not sure. As far as artists, most of them I'm not really sure of their names. As far as producers, we've already had Seamus Haji, who did the remix for 'Boogie 2Nite' which was a smash, so we'd love to do a lot of production with him. We were actually working with Sticky, before Miss Dynamite came out, she'd done a garage track with him. He started off doing reggae and DJing but now does a lot of dance beats as well. That was a touch of r'n'b in it. As for different flavours on our album, we'd love to work with someone like Sticky. He adds an r'n'b feel to it. Basically, there are lots of people.

If you could give us one musical recommendation, what would it be?

C: I recommend you listen to JoJo's new album. It's amazing, she's an amazing singer. She's only 17 - I saw her on GM:TV this morning. She's so good at what she does, she could be a role model for young people who want to get into music. So yeah, I recommend JoJo's new album The High Road>

N: I think personally people should really actually acknowledge someone like Beverley Knight. She's been in this industry before nearly everyone in this world. She has worked so hard to still not be appreciated. She's such a successful artist with a wicked voice - a good person, she knows the industry inside out, she's definitely worked a lot harder than a lot of other artists who've got it easy, so I think what I want to say is that people should really look into other artists that are more in the background than the front. They're the ones who are doing less of the practical work and more of the inside work, learning about the music and learning about life doing music, cos it's such a hard thing to get into. I just think people should appreciate Beverley Knight a lot more than they do.

Booty Luv's new single 'Shine' is out on May 14.

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