Lily Allen says Twitter feud with Azealia Banks motivated her to write new songs

Singer says her row with Banks ignited 'juvenile flame in my belly'

Tom Oxley/NME
Photo: Tom Oxley/NME
Lily Allen has revealed that her Twitter feud with Azealia Banks helped motivate her to write new songs.

Allen made her comeback earlier this month with the track 'Hard Out Here', which is her first original song since 2009 and the first taster of her new, long-awaited studio album, which is scheduled to be released in 2014. Speaking on Nick Grimshaw's Radio 1 show this morning, Allen revealed that she had found it difficult to write new material until her row with Banks in July of this year.

Allen and Banks swapped numerous barbs on Twitter, with Banks describing Allen's children as "ugly" and her husband, Sam Cooper, as looking like a "thumb". Allen responded by calling the rapper a "one-hit wonder" and posted a picture of a penis which had been crudely made up to resemble a black person.

Referencing her and Banks' spat while talking to Grimshaw, Allen said: "There was one person that was particularly nasty to me on Twitter for no apparent reason. And I was struggling with finding my voice - not my singing voice, because I've never found that - but my writing voice. And this one person was being particularly horrible to me and I happened to be in a studio session at the time, and it was just brilliant because it ignited this juvenile flame in my belly. So thank you, Ms. Banks."

Allen also confirmed that she would be playing Glastonbury 2014 while on the show, stating: "It got confirmed yesterday. That's the first big thing I'm going to be doing. I'll be doing 16 weeks of festivals over the summer and then tour." Although Allen did not reveal which slot on the bill she would be performing in, she did praise Glastonbury, adding: "It's the best festival, I think – that, and Fuji Rock in Japan."

Since its release, Allen has defended both 'Hard Out Here' and its accompanying video, which shows her dancing with a group of black dancers in a spoof of hip-hop music video tropes. This part of the video has been picked up on by some critics, who claim that using black dancers to gyrate explicitly around a white singer, albeit ironically, is not acceptable.

Speaking to NME at the Red Bull Revolutions In Sound event at the London Eye last week, she said: "There's been a lot of praise [for 'Hard Out Here']. Millions. Laura Mvula, Ellie Goulding and Kate Nash were all in touch. Loads more. Laura Mvula said she both laughed and cried with happiness when she saw it." She acknowledged that there had also been plenty of critics, "but we're not going to talk about them."

Allen refused to give any more details about her third album, saying it would be announced in due course. When asked if she was looking forward to being so busy in the New Year, with a presumed 2014 album release and tour dates, she joked: "You never know, I might rush-release it before Christmas."

Take a look at Lily Allen's provocative career in photos.

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