Uffie the Electro Slayer
Uffie is the 'hot chick' who once banged on about how she was 'ready to fuck, fuck, fuck, fuck.' A few years later, with both newborn and new album in her sights, there is no doubt fans can expect a different, perhaps more mature sound on the soon-to-be released Sex Dreams and Denim Jeans. But she's hardly a reformed party girl. Oyster caught up with Uffie as she prepares for her Australian Parklife tour.
Having been in the music industry since she was a teenager, and signing to the infamous Ed Banger records in 2006, it's easy to imagine that Uffie has seen some wild times in her day. "Growing up in the industry definitely makes you grow up quickly in the sense that you're subjected and opened up to a lot more things, but at the same time you have people to do stuff for you like accounting, so you don't have to worry about those sorts of things," she tells Oyster, reflecting on her own experiences. Uffie tells us that her childhood in Hong Kong also contributed to making her "a more open person."
It is clear, however, that the Paris-based electropop musician is wise beyond her 22 years. A fleeting marriage to graffiti artist Andre Saraiva and the birth of their daughter in 2009 probably has something to do with this. Uffie tells us that being a mother has definitely changed her, saying, "I'm a lot more organised now. You have to plan every minute when you have a baby."
Known for her cute and quirky dress sense, Uffie is well-versed in fashion, gushing about her favourite designers, saying, "I've always been a big fan of Jeremy Scott.... Brian Lichtenberg, who is a young designer coming out of LA, does amazing things as well, Alexander Wang is of course amazing!" She also explains that for her, fashion and music share a mutual relationship of self-expression, saying, "I think fashion is really important in the sense that it's the way to express yourself and I think it goes hand-in-hand with music. On stage it can really set the mood for you, if you're wearing a costume you feel a little bit more pepped up."
Uffie tells us that "The Strokes are making a big come back on my iPod!" and also lists Franz Ferdinand, Biggie Smalls and Jay Z as other artists that she is currently listening to. Her dream music collaboration, however, would be working with Pharell Williams as a producer. "I love his vocals but I think he'd be a very good producer as well, so that would be fun," she says, sounding excited at the prospect.
Uffie tells us that her much-anticipated new album Sex Dreams and Denim Jeans has been received well so far by critics and fans alike, but says, "I think a lot of people are surprised that there's not just party tracks on it." While her favourite track from the record changes everyday, 'Illusion of Love', which is the first track she has ever produced, holds a special place in her heart. "It was a big turning point for me and was the first track that I really opened myself up lyrically so it was a bit of a challenge." The track includes guest vocals by Mattie Safer from The Rapture, and might surprise fans as instead of her usual anti-flow rap delivery, Uffie actually sings.
Besides spending time with her daughter, the rest of the year for Uffie is full-on with a schedule that reads 'tour, tour, tour, promo, promo, promo!' Having fond memories of her previous trips to Australia and listing them as some of her most memorable gigs, Uffie is excited about heading to Australia in September for Parklife. "I didn't go last year because of the baby but I've been every year before that, not necessarily for Parklife but for other festivals," she tells Oyster. "It's really nice because it's summer there when it's winter for us, so it's a really nice break. I found the crowd there really gives you all of their energy, which is so nice to be happening when you're on stage."
Uffie is part of the 2010 10th Anniversary Parklife Line-up also featuring Missy Elliot, Groove Armada, The Dandy Warhols and Soulwax, by Fuzzy Events. Parklife tickets are on-sale July 1st at www.parklife.com.au.
You can read more Ingrid Kesa on her blog.