From Earl to FlyLo via Lana and Sir Elton…

Missed any of Clash’s cover features of 2014? You haven’t, because they’re all linked here. Check the full articles for credits.

- - -

Earl Sweatshirt

“I’m so thirsty. I want to do music so bad. I started revisiting the shit I listened to when I was learning how to rap; found a whole bunch of old Eminem freestyles. I wrote a crazy verse in the past week. This shit’s tight because, now that I’m comfortable, I’m starting to sound like myself again. ‘Doris’ is cool, but you can hear the doubt in my voice, that’s why it kinda stayed at a monotone. Just not moving from out that pocket. But now I’m fully comfortable, I can rap like I’m fully comfortable, and that shit is tight!”

Full feature

- - -

BANKS

Even the words that BANKS uses to describe her sound are enigmatic. “Dark blue and black. And infinite,” she offers cryptically. So how do we define her; into what box can we place her? According to the first line of her bio, perhaps we shouldn’t at all: “some things don’t need to be defined,” it reads. She shrugs when questioned. “No person fits into one label. People are so layered. Sounds are so layered.”

Full feature

- - -

Elton John

“We were on a high,” Elton says, remembering the palpable excitement as his ensemble was preparing to embark on sessions for their new album. He had six records to his name already, and each had fared better than the last. ‘Honky Château’ was his first to reach number one in America, while its follow-up, ‘Don’t Shoot Me I’m Only The Piano Player’, repeated the feat. As he stood on the precipice of his next move, all the signs were suggesting greatness. “It’s just a magic that happens between both of us,” Elton says of his relationship with Taupin. “I wish I could tell you more, but the fun and the beauty of the way we work is the element of surprise.”

Full feature

- - -

Metronomy

Mount admits there has been a discourse of amazement between himself and the label when each album comes around: “I met with my publisher the other day. We were joking about how they thought they were signing an instrumental electronic band [in 2007]. As a result, I didn’t sign a big deal. The more you take, the more you’re asking them to stick their oar in. I don’t think anyone should ever be putting pressure on me or anyone, more than I am myself. You should never be sat around listening to someone tell you to make a good record.”

Full feature

- - -

Jungle

“Our influences aren’t all necessarily from music. It’s very much about a space and time. ‘The Heat’ is very much about a place that doesn’t necessarily have to be real. Some people go super honest with their music, whereas ours is where we want to be: being somewhere else in this space. A lot of it is very cinematic. If you think about Grand Theft Auto, you have to remember the guy that made that was from Scotland.”

Full feature

- - -

Future

“Me and André 3000, we’ve been working back and forwards on some records,” he confirms of working with the OutKast rapper. “We sit down in the studio just listening to each other, having conversations, going back and forth over different ideas and just coming up with it. And I’m just learning, soaking everything up like a sponge. I’m just willing to learn, and just talking to someone that inspires me. We’ve done a few records, so out of the those that we’ve done I’m trying to pick which one’s going to be on the album.”

Full feature

- - -

Lana Del Rey

“It was never about the music for them. My public story is more a story about journalism; like a commentary on how modern-day journalism works. None of the stuff is ever really about me, because I didn’t even give that many interviews. Most of the stuff written was unsolicited or creative writing, and a lot of it was just wrong. I mean, there were pictures that had been f*cked with to look different. It was very weird.”

Full feature

- - -

Rita Ora

“I never take (gossip) seriously,” she sighs. “I never think that people even remember it after a week or so. I think press like that is just tabloid stuff. There’s reality and then there’s fish and chip paper – you use it as fish and chip paper the next day. That to me always comes and goes. I pick my battles with things like that; I never really want to respond or have a response, because it’s not necessary. You’ve got to pick your battles in this world and I think that is definitely not one of them.”

Full feature

- - -

Charli XCX

“When I was younger, I cared about fame, success and celebrity. Now, it’s unimportant to me. I don’t associate myself with ‘It girls’, tabloid culture, or people who do nothing but become successful. I don’t care about being cool, or being seen. I just want to be in the studio. I don’t want to be with boring people at a party somewhere and feeling like I want to die. I’ve done that shit, and it’s exhausting. People looking over your shoulder, wondering who to talk to next. Nobody cares about you. One of my pet hates is cool people who give limp handshakes. Just grip my hand! You can do it! It doesn’t make you cool; it makes you a dick.”

Full feature

- - -

Flying Lotus

“No, I don’t fear death,” he says, quite matter-of-factly. “Because, all the coolest people are dead already. They’re already hanging out, man.” The laughter – and when Ellison laughs, it’s incredibly infectious, his smile as bright as a beacon – subsides, briefly: “I think, when it comes to my fears, I try to confront them, head on.” Again comes a slight pause, Ellison shuffling in his seat, before he steers the conversation in a subtly different direction: “I always think about Michael Jackson, when it comes to this…”

Full feature

- - -

Buy Clash Magazine
Get Clash on your mobile, for free: iPhone / Android

-

Follow Clash: