Interview with... FANFAIR who are currently on UK tour with THE WANTED


Fanfair are creating a huge buzz right now. Currently on a UK Arena tour with The Wanted and Lawson, we catch up with Jess, Aimee, Anara and Roberta to find out a little bit more about them:

Hi girls, you’re on a huge arena tour supporting The Wanted, just how excited are you!?
It's amazing for us to be invited on tour with the Wanted, we are SUPER excited!! We supported the guys for a few shows last summer and loved it, but this is so different because we're playing to sold out arenas.  We are three dates in now and each show just gets better.  The Wanted's fans are amazing - there's usually quite a lot of fans queuing outside the arena for hours before the doors open - we met some girls who were outside since 5am that day for doors opening at 6.30pm!! The best part is that lots of fans have made banners for us too - its amazing!! 

Tell us a bit about your sound – what can new listeners expect to hear? What do you think will help you stand out from the other girl bands in the charts at the moment?
When we got together we found that we had lots of the same influences - we love Robyn's beats and edgy synth sounds, and Katy Perry's guitar riffs and the energy of her songs.  We have always said we want our songs to be uplifting, something you can dance to and most importantly, something you can relate to.  Our lyrics are really important to us - we're four girls, each with our own experiences and personalities, and we want to share that with our fans.  I think what makes us stand out is that we're true to ourselves and what we like, and we sing and write about our own lives and what we've been through.  We call our sound Electro-rock-pop.

What’s currently on your iPod – any unexpected musical tastes we need to know about? 
One of my favourite albums at the moment is Drake, Take Care, which I heard first in Anara's car - I know she still LOVES that album.  Im also a big Prince fan so I have a few of his albums on my iPod.  Aimee is a massive fan of Jennifer Hudson so I know her albums are definitely on Aimee's ipod!  Jess is a big Jesse J fan but what you may not know is that Jess is a HUGE Disney fan too, so I'm pretty sure she'll have some Disney songs on there.

How did you all meet and form Fanfair?
We had all been working in music prior to Fanfair, so when we got together a few of us knew each other already.  It was nice because there were no auditions or anything like that, we just knew we all wanted the same thing so we got together as a group.  Each of us knew our manager too from working in the industry so it just came together very easily.

Describe each of your personalities in only three words. 
This is a tough question so I'll start with the others first! :)
Jess - Fun, determined and care bear caring!
Anara - Cool, honest and she has that Spanish edge too!
Aimee - Calm, kind and so warm and friendly!
Roberta - Cheerful, grateful with an Irish sense of humour :)  

Do you each have musical backgrounds? Did you always want to be singers? What jobs did you have before being in Fanfair?
We each have musical backgrounds and yes we always wanted to be singers!  Ive been singing and playing piano since I was 5 - I come from a musical family!  I trained with the Royal Academy of Music to Grade 8 and sang my heart out in school.  When i left school i decided to try out for the first series of X Factor and reached the live shows - that was amazing! After X Factor I began writing songs and gigging around Europe, and then released my own music independently in Ireland.  I toured around Europe with another project 'Momo', and I've been lucky enough to sing with big names in Irish music such as Ronan Keating, Sharon Corr and Chris de Burgh.  One of the big highlights for me over the last few years was performing at Glastonbury and Oxegen festivals - they were amazing!  

Aimee has been singing and dancing since she could walk and talk! Aimee was a finalist on Popstars the Rivals and went on to form the band Clea with another two finalists from the show.  They released 4 singles, followed by an album, and toured all around the UK.  They found they had a big following in Asia and so spent quite a bit of time touring there - Aimee's showed us all her photos, it looked amazing!  After Clea, Aimee began writing and performing as a soloist for a few years and started to learn the guitar.  It seemed like the perfect fit when we all came together!

Anara learned to play piano and violin when she was a little girl, but she always wanted to sing.  She loved performing but when the opportunity came along for her to model she decided to give it a try - you might recognise her from some big campaigns :)  She always knew she would come back to singing though, and here she is.

Jess has been dancing and singing since she was 5, but then also got an opportunity to model.  After years of modeling she wanted to follow her heart and so she began working as a duo with a friend of hers and was signed to Ministry.  She recorded lots of tracks and loved every minute of it.  She knew from then that she wanted to be in a group and so joined Fanfair.  You may be surprised to hear her rapping on some of our songs too.

What would be your best tips for young girls wanting to make it in the music industry?
The best tips we can give is to work hard and be persistent - You've got to be dedicated.  It's a tough industry and there can be lots of knock backs, so you've gotta brush it off and get back on track.  The most important thing is to listen to your heart - that will lead you to your style and your individuality as an artist

What’s been the best moment of Fanfair so far?
We have been really lucky so far - we began by performing at the London Irish games (our first audience was 9,000, scary!) and then were straight into studio. We've been working with a producer called Arnthor Birgissen in Stockholm, and we had SO much fun going over to Sweden.  We played lots of summer shows last year too, alongside the Saturdays, Example and The Wanted, and then performed at Twickenham stadium in September.  The best moment so far is definitely supporting the Wanted on their arena tour, we feel so lucky to be performing in front of everyone.  The crowds are fantastic, they have made us feel so welcome

Any embarrassing stage stories to tell?
YES!! It was opening night for the tour in Nottingham and we didnt have a chance to see the stage before our performance.  So when we were on stage, in front of THOUSANDS of people, I managed to walk on probably the only dip in the stage, and very nearly fell! Thankfully I didnt, but I definitely wobbled!!  Not exactly what you want for opening night haha!

Finally, what do you hope for 2012? Any single/album releases or tour dates we should know about? Where can fans catch you live next?
We are really looking forward to the year ahead.  Fans can catch us on tour until March 9th, and then we'll be back in studio working on our album.  We will be performing over the summer at lots of shows so be sure to keep checking in on for our diary.  We hope to release a single later in the year and follow this with our album!  You can keep in touch on facebook too (Fanfairmusic) and tweet us @fanfairmusic.

Interview by Melissa Phillips