Friday, April 1st - LA MACHINE DU MOULIN ROUGE, Paris
The 25 year old Hackney resident, aka Anita Blay, is in possession of the most interesting, credible pop record of the year. It is a joyful celebration of everything in Blay's life: the teenage depression; the colourful confusion of her Catholic-turned-Pentecostal upbringing; her Ghanaian uncles and their hi-life band in Accra; and her insistence that her songs should turn negative emotions into high-saturation pop songs that will turn the FM dial kaleidoscopic when they inevitably perform a massive ambush of the charts. Her music has lush strings, twinkling marimbas, steel drums and a brass band and an insatiable appetite for incessant hooks. It sounds like Kate Bush, were she dancing on cloud nine and insisting that you dance too.
Anita Blay was born in Clapton, moved to Walthamstow, then did most of her adolescent growing up in Hackney Central. At ten she wanted to be a proper pop star and starting writing primary school songs in her bedroom, and began entering talent shows. She also entered dance competitions, often creating routines around her then-favourite band, Eternal. The key moment, though, was when she joined Tribal Tree, the east London youth music project that kickstarted Plan B's career after he was spotted at their regular industry showcase by 679's A&R man. She left Tribal Tree aged 20, set up a MySpace and the rest is cocknbull history.
Ask Blay about her influences and you're as likely to hear her talk about The Knife; the entire 1983-1998 Madonna catalogue and Morrissey. "
And the live shows? "All I'm saying is that there'll be a story - a cradle to the grave journey. And it will be very interactive. There may even be vogueing". Fully grown and ready to blow: that's CocknBullKid, 2011.