MTV VMA Performer Florence and The Machine Talks Lady Gaga, Gays and Getting Awards


One of the most anticipated performers at this year's MTV Video Music Awards on Sunday is Florence and The Machine. The British singer will be performing her break out hit "Dog Days Are Over" that is nominated for an impressive four VMAs, including Video Of The Year, Best Rock Video and Best Art Direction.

A few days ago, I sat down with Florence for a totally fun and candid chat to talk about her upcoming show at the VMAs and the incredible success of her debut album "Lungs," which has been a success in the charts and received massive amounts of critical acclaim and accolades.

Florence also confides that she has received special help from none other than Lady Gaga to get ready for her show on Sunday, and that she hopes to meet Drake and Nicki Minaj on the Red Carpet. Florence also gives a special shout out to her gay fans who have been huge supporters of her music.

Congratulations with all of your success over the past few months. It has been an incredible year for you.
Thank you, Arjan! I know! It is supposed to be winding down right now, but it doesn't seem to be.

You've not only had success in the charts with "Lungs," but you've received loads of awards and nominations too. The critics love you!
Aww. That's nice of you to say. I've been really lucky with all of the recognition that the album has received. When you are making an album all that you really want is for people to take it to heart, but to get all the critical acclaim is amazing as well. I very much appreciate it.

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Video: Arjan Chats with Neon Hitch

This weekend, I met up with the sweet, spunky and totally fun British singer and songwriter Neon Hitch via video chat. While recovering from a throat infection, Neon and I caught up to chat about her nomadic lifestyle that eventually brought her to Los Angeles where she is rapidly become one of the most sough-after pop writers. Neon also fills us in on her much-anticipated debut album "Beg, Borrow and Steal," and talks candidly about her friendship with Ke$ha and Amy Winehouse. (Neon shows the tattoo she got together with Ke$ha in the video.)

Born to a family of gypsies deep within the countryside in the south of England, Neon Hitch lived the life of a true free spirit. The young globetrotter spent her early years in a traveling circus with her family. A trapeze artist and fire swinger, Neon nurtured her inner performer early on in festivals throughout Portugal, Spain, France, and other parts of Europe.

After being Amy Winehouse's flatmate in London ("when things were really crazy"), she moved to the U.S. and ended up meeting producer Benny Blanco who has worked with Katy Perry, Bruno Mars, Britney Spears, Santagold and many other pop artists. Neon and Benny forged a powerful songwriting partnership, which most recently resulted in Ke$a's "Blah Blah Blah" that the three wrote together.

American Idol judge Kara DioGuardi acknowledged Neon's talent and signed her to Warner Brothers Records to start performing her own music. Currently, Neon is putting the final touches on her debut album "Beg, Borrow and Steal," which will introduce us to the singer's unique brand of bohemi-pop and includes collaborations with Imogen Heap, Greg Kurstin, Jason DeRulo and Sia. A very eclectic and exciting line up of collaborators indeed!

Make sure to go see Neon in a town near you this fall when she will be touring together with 3OH3! and Miike Snow.

On The Couch With... Mike Posner


One of the hottest new pop artist to enter the mainstream spotlight this summer is Detroit's Mike Posner. Earlier this month, the producer turned singer released his much-anticipated big label debut "31 Minutes to Takeoff" on Jive/RCA that follows the release of 2 hugely successful mixtapes. The album debuted this week at #8 on the Billboard Album Chart and #3 on the Digital Album Chart. Mike is stirring up a storm on pop radio as well with his single smash, "Cooler Than Me."

I met up with Mike to have a bite to eat, play a few rounds of Connect 4 (yes, he won) and to chat about his success, his inspirations, his unique brand of hip pop and the importance of social media in his rise to mainstream fame.

In person, Mike is very much like his music - savvy, articulate and presenting himself with a style and swagger that make him one of the coolest new kids in the business. What you hear is what you get.

And he is ambitious too. In our little get together, he explains that there is a lack of male pop stars on the charts right now. He smiled, "Lady Gaga needs a prince. I plan on wearing that crown!" 

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Video: Arjan Chats with BT

Ever since he released his ground-breaking LP "Emotional Technology," I have been a huge fan of BT (aka Brian Transeau). Throughout his career, the acclaimed composer/producer/DJ has been pushing the envelope by incorporating innovative new production techniques to give his music a compelling new edge with every new release.

BT has been a trail blazer who was at the forefront of the dance-pop revolution in the U.S. infusing his productions with distinct pop sensibilities while also staying true to his dance and electronica roots. That's what makes him stand apart from the crowd - he understands melody, composition, production and what sounds good on the dance floor. A good example of that is his production of 'N Sync's 2001 smash "Pop" that served up an exciting, genre-crossing sound that still sounds current today. (It also includes that "stuttering" audio effect that BT invented and been used many, many times since.)

I recently chatted with Brian about his new double LP "These Hopeful Machines" which is the long-awaited follow-up to his critically-acclaimed "This Binary Universe." We talked at length about the process of making this new record, his contribution to pop music, his new iPhone app, and his past and future collaboration with some major artists Really fun and interesting chat with a super cool guy. 

Video: Arjan Chats With Lolene

Lolene is getting ready to take on the pop world in her own unique way. The British pop singer worked with people like Nellee Hooper and Sam Sparro to put together her debut album that is filled with slick, '90s inspired tunes that will be released on Capitol Records later this year. Lolene had a club smash with "Sexy People" a few months ago and is now hoping to cross over into the pop charts with "Rich (Fake It Like You Make It)." Check out the little chat Lolene and I had a few weeks ago, while Lolene was lounging around on her Hollywood apartment balcony. She's a blast.