I have dedicated a lot of column inches to duos and just how…
varied they are. They are never as predictable as bands and I find duos have much more longevity and quality (than most groups out there). MissDefiant consists Jordan Cather and Emily Rose Adams. The London-based two-piece is one of the most colourful, assured and delightful duos around and always bring it hard. Their three-track single Calculator is out next week and it seems like a perfect time to chat with the girls and see how the year has treated them; how they came together and what they have planned for the remainder of the year.
HEADER PHOTO CREDIT: @robgardnerphotography
Hey girls. How are you? How has your week been?
Jordan: Wassup! How’s it going? It’s been a manic week! Rehearsing for our upcoming gig at 93 Feet East and working on the promo around the release of our next single Calculator - which is out on the 7th October.
For those new to your music: can you introduce yourself, please?
Emily: We’re MissDefiant! We are an Electro-Pop duo from London. We write our own music and our producer and silent member of the band is the amazing Mike Tournier from Fluke and Syntax. Our debut album will be out soon along with a B-side of acoustics and remixes - so there should be something in there for everyone.
How did you two meet in the beginning and when was the moment you realised you would go on to make music together?
J: We went to the same performing arts school called Millennium; over a year ago we met again on a film set, randomly! It was a long day of filming and we were both catching up with what we had both been up to since leaving Millennium.
It was quite apparent that we both wanted to do something in music so thought it would be cool to have a jam and write some music together…the rest is history!
Duos don’t have the comfort of additional band members or the same critical attention as solo artists. Has it been challenging putting MissDefiant in the mindset and getting your voices heard? Is it quite difficult getting exposure and attention in the modern climate?
J: Yes it’s been a challenge at times but we love a challenge and are always forward thinking! We also like being a duo as it’s a bit different. Two minds can create magical things!
E: Exposure is tough as there are so many amazing artists out there.
So we’re always thinking of new ways to get our voices heard!
How do new songs come together for you? Do you both set time aside for writing sessions or is it very much a case of putting pen to paper when ideas strike?
E: It’s a bit of both: sometimes when we go into the studio we have written a full track beforehand. But quite often we go into the studio and brainstorm ideas together and record them there and then. It can be really spontaneous.
MissDefiant has a very colourful vibe and sense of fashion - lots of bright, neon lights and variegated tones. Is fashion and imagery a visual representation of the music or a subject you have both been interesting in for some time?
J: We are both very much into fashion and make-up! We love experimenting with new looks and arty ideas. We wanted to not just be known for our music but also for our fashion style and the imagery of what we are trying to create. We want to be music and fashion icons!
The video to recent single Ear Candy is out. The song mixes elements of ‘90s Dance and modern Pop artists like Lady Gaga. It is one of those addictive songs that have huge energy and rush. What has the reaction to the song been like?
E: It’s been great! It’s probably our catchiest song that we released so far and its particularly gone down well in clubs.
Your music videos are always eye-catching and memorable. Is that a side of music you enjoy and do you feel it’s vital to keep the art of the music video alive?
J: It’s a lot of fun creating the music videos: something I used to dream of doing as a kid!
I think the videos are very important in connecting with our fans and to also show people what we are about but also to show different sides to both of us.
Calculator is your forthcoming three-track single. What can you tell us about the themes and tone of the song? Are there remixes as part of that release?
J: This song is quite different to some of our other songs that we've released. It’s quirky with an urban feel and it’s got a lot of attitude! The lyrics express some of our personal experiences with dating! We feel that a lot of women will relate to this song, as let’s face it, we have all been there ;)
E: We have a fab remix of the song by Hectic. Big shout out to Hectic: you are amazing! We also have a more stripped-back ‘acoustic’ version by the awesome Humbringer too, which sounds so different to the original version. It’s super laid-back and melodic.
A lot of your songs address deep issues and social concerns. Do you think musicians have an obligation to dig deeper? Is it important for MissDefiant to mix serious subjects and important messages into the music?
E: We love digging deep and spreading a strong message. Some people might think it’s a bit full-on at times but we want to feel like we make a difference to our listeners' lives, and let’s face it, we’re MissDefiant - we’re not going to just write about love and heartbreak!
We’ve been running anti-cyber bullying workshops in London schools this year; helping teens deal with it and performing our track Fairytale to them. It’s an amazing feeling helping young people through our music.
You are both hosting a festival showcase in East London on 13th October. How did you become involved in that and can you reveal any of the acts who will be playing?
J: We really want to play at festivals next year! We were reading an article about how it’s so important for festival bookers to see acts live or else it’s very unlikely they will book you for a festival. So we came up with this idea of putting on our own festival showcase to showcase us and other cool acts to festival bookers that are ready to perform at festivals next year.
We have the amazing DOPEBOYLDN, Ella on the Run; Episodes and Zen Blythe performing. It’s going to be a really great evening!
Your debut album is out in December. I guess many of your previous singles will be incorporated. What can you reveal about the songs that will appear and the general theme of the album?
E: The album has a mix of Electro. party tracks and statement songs. A few of our previous singles will be on there but there’s loads of new stuff too. It’s a really fun album that we hope our listeners will LOVE! The B-side stuff is pretty cool too: we’ve got some acoustic versions of our tracks on there which sound so different to the original.
PHOTO CREDIT: Anna Urik
You have had such a busy year and have so many great memories. What sticks out as the best (or several) that has defined the past year?
J: It has been an AMAZING year!
The memory that sticks out for me is performing at KOKO supporting LMFAO: that was an unforgettable experience which I will remember forever.
In terms of the artists and musicians that have inspired you most: which would you rank as most important?
E: Big inspirations to us are Die Antwoord, Grimes, Madonna, Lady GaGa.
Are there any new musicians – either mainstream or underground – you would encourage us to check out?
J: Tove Lo has some awesome tunes! Also, DOPEBOYLDN is a serious talent to check out!
There will be similar duos and artists who want to follow in your footsteps. What would you say to them?
J: Be bold, be brave and don’t hold back on what you want to achieve in life! Never be afraid of what people think of you; just be YOU.
E: Don’t give up! The music industry can be a tough industry to crack and many awesome artists give up before they’ve got to a real level of success.
So keep going and find ways of doing things differently to everyone else!
Finally, and for being good eggs, you can name any song you like (not one of yours as I’ll include that) and I’ll play it here...
Cool Girl - Tove Lo! It’s a sick song!