"I felt like an outsider in my own country," Iggy Azalea told an interviewer in 2013, explaining her move to the States from her native Australia aged 16. "I was in love with hip hop, and America is the birthplace of that, so I figured the closer I was to the music, the happier I'd be. I was right." 8 years later, Azalea is Australian rap's biggest ever export - an international best-seller with four Grammy nominations to her name, but dogged by accusations of cultural appropriation.
In February 2013, Jimmy Whispers was badly beaten up in his Chicago hometown. The organ player and sometime graffiti artist was walking home drunk from a party when he was jumped and kicked in the mouth, losing a tooth and chipping half off another. Shocked and upset, he retreated into himself, only leaving his house to go to work and drinking heavily in the evenings. Two years on, Whispers is preparing for the release of his debut album 'Summer In Pain' (released in Europe via Field Mates Records and via Moniker in America).
"It's less a question of 'why now?' and more 'why only now?’… That's how I feel now the ball is finally rolling and these songs are finally starting to get out there." For Nate Mendel, bassist in Foo Fighters and revered first-wave emo pioneers Sunny Day Real Estate, a solo career is something “I’d always wanted to explore but the timing was never right.” Then a realisation struck him. “There’s never a right time!” he tells NME. “Schedules are always packed. There are always other commitments. So it was important I just bit the bullet and did this.
"It feels so good to fix something, even if it's temporary," says Ava Luna’s Felicia Douglass about the emotions underpinning new single ‘Coat of Shellac’. “As a dancer I used to put coats of shellac on my pointe shoes to increase their longevity. But I knew it was only a quick fix." After the kaleidoscopic funk-punk triumph that was their second album 'Electric Balloon', released barely a year ago, you'd have forgiven the New Yorkers for adopting an ‘if it ain’t broke…’ approach to upcoming third album ‘Infinite House’.
Nothing's certain in life but death, taxes and Kanye West stealing the limelight at award ceremonies. Or at least that's how it's supposed to be. But as the dust settles on Wednesday's Brit Awards, conversation continues to be about Madonna's unfortunate cape slip. Apparently elder pop stars being susceptible to laws of gravity like the rest of us is a really big deal, or something. Anyways, it's meant that for once, Kanye's been outdone in the controversy stakes.