There is no denying that Mini Viva have got a lot of pop sensibility going on. I quite like the quirky element that they bring to pop music and "I Left My Heart In Tokyo" was the jam that had me utterly obsessed for about a week when it was released. C'mon, you know you jammed out to it a few times too…
I was lucky enough to catch up with Frankee from Mini Viva (Britt was out sick for the day) for a little chat about where they came from, what's the meaning behind their new single "I Wish" and equally jammin "Bedroom Viber" and which version of the Sugababes she prefers.
Hope you enjoy this little chat!
EQ: Well hello Frankee – how are you today?
Frankee: I'm good – thanks!
First of all, congratulations on the success of your first single "I Left My Heart In Tokyo". You must be over the moon that it did so well. There was a point where you couldn't go out in London without hearing that song…
Awww thank you – Yeah we weren't expecting it to go to number 7 in the UK chart, so we're really happy that everyone believes in us and put us in the Top 10!
So tell me, how did you girls get discovered? I'm quite curious…
Well I got discovered through MySpace actually – I got a flyer sent to me about putting a group together in Manchester. Britt was at a breakdancing contest and saw a poster on a wall about putting together a new girl band and she went down and auditioned and then later we both went down to Xenomania headquarters and we met there. As soon as we met, we just clicked really! They thought that instead of putting us in a big girl band, it would be best to keep us as a duo. That's how it happened!
We're you nervous about working with someone you didn't know beforehand?…
Not really! Me and Britt, it was a natural connection if you know what I mean. We are from the same background and similar towns up north. A lot of the other girls were from stage school, so we couldn't really relate to that – they were very different than us. So I wasn't one bit nervous at all and I don't think Britt was either…
Now I have to ask, I've always wondered this, is "I Left My Heart In Tokyo" autobiographical at all? Did one of you actually leave your heart down by the river with some lucky Japanese boy?
[Laughs] – We get asked this question all the time! It is about that – we haven't experienced that though because the song was wrote for us. I just think the inspiration for it came from the backing track – at Xenomania, they produce the track first and they'll then write the melody of the track. But the lyrics are exactly what the song is about!
One of our Twitter followers wanted to know what was the funnest part of promoting "Left My Heart In Tokyo" so far…
I would say going on tour with The Saturdays. That was our first step in the music industry and it was our first time performing on big stages. I think our biggest crowd was something like 6000 people. Everyone took to us really well and their fans took to us and we had so much fun and we just want to do our own tour now next year!
Wow – they certainly threw you in front of big crowds quickly then!
Yeah! It was a lot of fun [Laughs]
So I am loving your new single "I Wish" right now. Tell me what that song is all about?
Thank you! It's out on the 14th of December. Basically what it's about is when you come out of a relationship and you are sorta of sitting there reminising about it saying things like "God I wish I would've tried harder because it would've gone further". It's just one of those songs that a lot of girls can relate to. A lot of people can relate to this song better than "I Left My Heart In Tokyo" I think…It's more universal…
Did you girls have a good time filming the video out in America?
Yeah – It was filmed in LA. We worked with the same director as our first video. We had so much fun – it was good to do it outside as the first video was filmed in a studio. "I Wish" is all on the streets of LA and it felt so natural and there was much more atmosphere – we just had so much fun with it!
Is filming a music video in LA as glamorous as it sounds?
It is…I mean it's Hollywood after all [laughs]. Downtown LA is just so big and it was new to us cuz we are just not from places like that! It felt good filming it there – a lot of great groups have filmed videos there.
I love the concept of the video too – it sees you girls turning everyday boring old buildings into bursts of colour and light – is this what being part of Mini viva is all about?
We wanted it to feel like that…Yeah, we are just two normal girls, but we are in this career that is supposed to be glamorous and fun and that's just what we wanted to put in the video. We like a lot of bright colours and we hope people can see that from us!
I also loved your track "Bedroom Viber" that you gave away for free download – tell me what was that track all about? What's a bedroom viber?
Well it can be anything you want really! [Laughs] Um, we never really thought of that – it doesn't have a straight meaning – it's like an alter-ego if you want to put it that way! You know how Beyonce has her Sasha Fierce alter-ego, well that's what "Bedroom Viber" is all about [Laughs]
So you gals were signed to Xenomania and then moved to Geffen recently. With the move, how is the album coming along?
The album is coming along great! It’s actually going to be delivered next week but it won't be out until March 2010 so you will have to wait until then! It’s going to be like a big bag of treats – every song will pull in a different crowd. We want to show we are not one-trick ponies!
So as a girl band you must have some thoughts on this – which version of the Sugababes do you identify with - Sugababes with Amele, Jade and Heidi or are you more classic Sugababes with Mutya, Keisha and Siobhan (or Heidi)…
We definitely identify more with the original Sugbabes – Mutya, Siobhan and Keisha! They all had their own individual style going on, together they look cool and unique. We want them to reform! Although we do wish the current Sugababes all the success!
Who have you got to meet so far that has really had you starstruck?
We haven’t been starstruck as such yet but we did meet Will.I.Am at a party in L.A and we were kinda like woahhh! It’s Will.I.Am! And he also played "Left My Heart In Tokyo" as it was his DJ party! I think I will be very starstruck if I met Beyonce! And I think Britt would be starstruck by Madonna!
Well that's it Frankee – thanks so much. Any parting words for the EQ readers?
Thank you for all your support! Keep partying along with Mini Viva!