MuzicNotez: First off, it’s an honor to be doing this interview with you, thanks for taking the time to sit down with us.
Kitten and The Hip: You’re very welcome, and thanks for inviting us!
MuzicNotez: What motivated you to start creating music? When did your group form?
Kitten and The Hip: We started about three years ago, almost by accident. We were writing toplines for Djs and pitching songs to people. The I came up with this backing track and Kitten and our then writing partner Kristian Booth wrote a nice tune on top of it. We sent if off to a friend who worked at HedKandi and he got back almost immediately with an offer. That track was Don’t You Worry About That. We then began to write a bunch of other songs, free from the tyranny of ‘what major labels are looking for’ and became much happier people. We started touring as soon as we had enough songs for a set and have been out on the road entertaining people for the last two years.
MuzicNotez: What are your names and roles in Kitten and The Hip?
Kitten and The Hip: Ashley Slater is the producer, Scarlett Quinn is the singer and we both write the songs together.
MuzicNotez: Who were your musical influences, idols, or bands growing up that have helped mold you into the musicians and group you are today? Or helped mold the music that you create?
Kitten and The Hip: Ashley’s early days were filled with the sounds of jazz and easy listening, along with a lot of American soft rock and a big dab of country and western. He grew up in a small village in the mountains of California, where the men were men and the bears were nervous. Consequently, he never even heard any ‘black music’ until he left home and moved to the UK. He arrived there just as punk was in full flow, and was exposed to all kinds of British pop like Bowie, Genesis, Kate Bush and Ian Dury. Then, along came ska and it all seemed to make sense. Kitten grew up listening to mainstream pop and lots’ of UK indie bands, both of which have informed her songwriting.
MuzicNotez: What’s the ultimate goal you want your music to achieve, or for you to achieve in your career as a musician? Any particular message you wish to send?
Kitten and The Hip: We want to have hits and tour the world playing our music. We were both born to perform and being on stage is our ‘happy place’. Our message is pretty simple, love your life, you’re a long time dead.
MuzicNotez: You have had a lot of releases and great videos lately. Do you have a favorite? What is it? And why?
Kitten and The Hip: We really like I’m Ur MF, the production values on that video are great and we really like the song. It was a chance for us to break out of the ‘electro swing’ sound, but Kitten rose to the occasion like the talented star that she is. We’re working on a bunch of similar stuff with Alex Rizzo (Skeewiff) at the moment and absolutely loving it.
MuzicNotez: Your genre is self described as “Bubblegum Pop”, how would you describe your sound?
Kitten and The Hip: That was friend’s description. It is bubblegum pop but with an acid centre. Our mission statement at the moment is simple. Times are tough, let’s forget about that and have a laugh and a party for an hour or two. We’re not out to change the world, but it is a better place for us being in it and making the music that we do.
MuzicNotez: There’s a lot of horns and funkyness to your sound making it extremely catchy and unique. Where do you think that comes from?
Kitten and The Hip: No doubt it comes from Ashley’s background as a professional trombonist. He’s played in every type of band, orchestra and ensemble you can imagine, so it’s a natural progression to integrate brass into our sound.
MuzicNotez: You do all of your own writing and production. What’s your writing style like?
Kitten and The Hip: Random would be the best way to describe it. One of us will get an idea and then we’re off. It’s always tough deciding what the song should be about, but once you find that lyrical idea, you have something to hang the rest of the song on and it normally just flows out. We like to keep an ear on what’s going on out there in the world of modern music and try to integrate what we can so that we have a current, fresh sound.
MuzicNotez: You’re releasing a new album in February. What can we expect from this new release?
Kitten and The Hip: You can expect a lot of great songs, performed very well! We think it’s full of hits, there’s no filler material on the album. But then, we would say that…
MuzicNotez: What else can we look forward to within the next year?
Kitten and The Hip: Our debut album will be out in February or march 2014. We’re really looking forward to that, it’s a kind of closure which means we can go on and write the next one for a start. We’re also quite excited to see how it’s received.
MuzicNotez: Anything else you wish to say about yourself or your music? Any message for your fans?