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INTERVIEW: Katie Antoniou joins Kate Nash's Girl Gang

Previously signed to a big label but now going it alone- Kate Nash's story is a familiar one. She's another poster girl for the crowd-funding movement, having raised the money for her new album Girl Talk through PledgeMusic. Like many of her independent female musician peers, Nash set up her own record label 'Have 10p Records' in order to release her new work, deemed too daring by her old label. And she's been encouraging young girls to get into music via the Kate Nash Rock 'N Roll for Girls After School Music Club. We spoke to Kate about feminism, Joss Whedon, Quentin Tarantino and, of course, Girl Talk.

Katie Antoniou: Tell me about Girl Talk- how did you arrive at this new sound- was it just a question of growing up a bit?

Kate Nash: Yeah, it was just a natural thing- people grow and change. I also played bass in a punk band which I really enjoyed and ended up taking that process of songwriting into my own work- I really took to bass and loved playing it. I went through a lot of personal changes and rubbish too and then used music as my therapy and purged everything I was going through- and made a record.

KA: You had so much success with Foundations, how did you deal with that sudden fame?

KN: There are good and bad sides to that part of it- obviously if you're releasing music and putting it out there then you want people to know about it! You want to play shows to people and sell records. But there's some parts of it that are uncalled for and you have to be prepared for the negative side of the media.

KA: Did you feel you were prepared?

KN: I think it was a shock, I don't think there's much that can prepare you, it was so quick and I was so intensely busy that there wasn't much I could do to control it.

KA: And how do you feel about the media now- when you released some of your new work you got quite a strong reaction; is it hard not to take it personally when people are critical?

KN: Well I found it quite enjoyable actually this time round, it created such a stir when I released 'Underestimate the Girl', that was sort of the point- everyone plays it so safe and no-one wants to mess with the rules, and all the reactions kind of proved me right. So that was exciting to watch and just as an experiment- seeing how people react negatively when somebody does something different. I think its good to make people feel uncomfortable sometimes- but I'm also older now and more used to it- I'm 25, I'm a bit more chilled.

KA: God, 25- you're still such a baby!

KN: Yeah, I'm like, I'm 25, I'm old now!

KA: Speaking of young female musicians, I was interviewing VV Brown yesterday, she said to send her love to you

KN: I love VV Brown, she's so cool- her new music is so good too.

KA: That's what made me think of her, talking about coming out with new sounds. People like you and VV had success so young, that people have associated a certain sound with you before you'd even had a chance to decide whether that's the kind of music you want to make.

I know you've done a lot of work with young girls, helping them get into music- I wanted to ask what you thought about certain A-list, role-model female musicians who are reluctant to brand themselves feminists- cos I'm assuming you would call yourself a feminist?

KN: I do, I do. It can be frustrating- I get disappointed; it doesn't have to be a negative thing. But I think it does have negative connotations attached to it- as many things do- cos people just get the wrong impression- even people who would call themselves feminists can get it wrong. Recently I was talking to a magazine about feminism and having a sense of humour and I think that's so important; in life really, to be able to laugh at anything. I feel like there are a lot of people in any social, liberal groups or anything political, who take it too seriously and sit behind a computer screen writing blogs moaning about stuff or reading every book you can read on it- but I don't think that makes you a feminist, it's about being active and actively trying to change things for the better- standing up for women and your right to be the person you want to be. It's about equality and respect and seeking opportunities for women. And protecting girls. I don't feel the need to get caught up in the specifics about what kind of feminist you are- it's not a club that you're invited into; you don't have to qualify, it should just be a way you live your life.

KA: Let's talk about Buffy- I'm also a huge Joss Whedon fan. Why do you think he's so good at portraying strong women?

KN: It's always nice when there is a guy who can do that- I feel like there were so many things covered in Buffy, things that I didn't really understand until I was older- it was really groundbreaking TV. For example having a lesbian couple who were just a genuine gay couple, not some sexy, male fantasy- and being gay wasn't the main thing about them; they had proper characteristics that weren't stereotypically 'lesbian'; that wasn't the focus of their storyline. It covered so many emotional scenarios- if you go through something bad, there's probably an episode of Buffy you can watch that will help you somehow- me and my friend Emmy the Great were watching all the seasons and realised there really wasn't anything they didn't cover- if you're going through a rough time you can always watch it and be like; Buffy had it worse- her boyfriend was murdering her friends, that beats my ex-boyfriend! There's so much depth to the characters which I think is why they're so good, they don't just represent one thing, everyone has layers- and so do the storylines. They also cover in detail how each character reacts to certain situations- people don't heal as quickly in real life as they do on most TV; I remember watching after Oz leaves Willow, half way through the season Willow gets really drunk and is smashing things up, and her friends are sort of rolling their eyes and being like 'God, it's been ages' but it's a real portrayal of how long it takes to get over something and heal. It's weirdly realistic even though it's in a fantastical setting.

KA: That's often the way with TV shows- like the Battlestar Galactica remake; yes it's about cylons and space and stuff, but it's basically just a human drama. You're also a big Tarantino fan- one of your records was called Death Proof- obviously Tarantino has a very different style to Joss Whedon,  and he's been criticised for being misogynistic, which I'm really torn about because obviously he does depict some horrible violence towards women, but then he also portrays really strong female characters...

KN: I really like how he represents women- that's one of the reasons I love Death Proof so much, they're different types of women who are really hot but in very natural ways- ways that don't feel phony. That's what's attractive about women genuinely- not because they're blonde and white and barbie-like; Tarantino makes women look attractive in their natural state and highlights the things people are actually attracted to. There are different types of women; bad-ass bitches and tough women and then there are women who are weaker, or abused, so actually that's quite a normal cross-section; that's not a false representation.

KA: Let's talk about fashion- you're a big supporter of emerging designers, who are you keen on at the moment?

KN: I like Romance was Born, I love Felder Felder- I love those girls, they're so nice, and Bora Aksu. And Moschino.

KA: Would you ever think about doing a collaboration?

KN: I would love to, I would totally love to do that at some point..

KA: what are your plans for this summer?

KN: I'm doing Glastonbury and a couple of other UK festivals, then I'm going to Brazil, then back to Europe.

KA: Where's your favourite place to perform?

KN: Brazil actually, it's amazing, the crowds are crazy and so welcoming and giving and lovely, and they don't care about being cool! It's such a beautiful setting as well.

KA: You've been doing some acting recently too?

KN: Yeah, I did a British film most recently with Sheridan Smith and Jaime Winston and Oona Chaplin, that's called Powder Room; a comedy which should be out later this year- I'm really excited about that.

KA: What do you enjoy about acting?

KN: Being somebody else- and also being part of someone else's project. I'm a control freak so it's nice when I'm doing a movie that I only have to concentrate on one thing, and I'm helping create someone else's vision. I love the storytelling really- that's what I do through music too.

Buy Girl Talk here and see Kate's tour dates here.