Alex, Courtney and Karis, also known as StooShe, are one of the hottest new acts to emerge this year. These ladies are much more outspoken than your average girl group, though. With their official debut single, 'Betty Woz Gone', out this week, The Wrap Up’s Vanessa Laker dug a little deeper to find out a bit more about this exciting new trio...
The Wrap Up: Hi girls! Now, you guys are definitely not your average girl group. In your words, how would you say StooShe differ from other girl bands?
Karis: Heya! All the girl bands that are out at the moment are so different; we’re all just doing our thing. We really try to keep our music/ style really fresh and new, whilst obviously taking inspiration from old school artists. Doing what we do is our dream, so there is a lot of passion in StooShe world! We talk about real life things that we hope people can relate to. The main thing for us is having fun, no rules.
TWU: You don't mince your words and have some pretty explicit lyrics, which some people may find quite shocking. Do you feel that there's a double standard with females/males and rappers/singers when it comes to using profanity in songs?
Alex: It’s always gonna be more acceptable for men to talk about certain issues than it is for woman. We don't go out of our way to be explicit, it’s not contrived, and not all of our songs are explicit. We just write songs about everyday life and if that means us talking about a having a quickie, or a Betty-type woman, then so be it! We all swear in everyday life, so sometimes it will just slip out in the booth while were catching a vibe, so it will stay in the track because that’s just us. We will always have clean versions and radio edits for innocent ears.
TWU: You've got a new single coming out soon, 'Betty Woz Gone'. Tell us a bit about the song...
Courtney: Well, it’s based on a true story, but she isn’t called ‘Betty’ and she didn't die (laughs). It’s basically us telling her life story in a short and narrative way. She was always up to no good, had a load of kids that she couldn't look after, took drugs and drank alcohol. She's the kind of woman that would take young boys virginity (laughs). So while she had other teenage kids looking after her own kids, she was out and up to no good! Eventually, as we said in the song, ‘Betty’ was brown bread. Although we tell the story in a really narrative 'StooShe' way, it’s a really serious issue and we just wanted to get across that what ‘Betty’ does isn't cool.
TWU: 'Betty Woz Gone' racked up 100,000 views in 24 hours of it going up on YouTube and became the day's most viewed music video in the UK! Were you slightly taken back by the overwhelming response to the song?
Alex: Just a little bit. It was amazing! ‘Betty Woz Gone’ is only a soft release and we didn't at all expect it to be picked up on like it has. Thank you so much to everyone who has shown support.
TWU: So, how did you guys get together?
Courtney: We were working with the same producer and wanted to jump on the same track. Before you know it, StooShe was born.
TWU: ‘StooShe’, how did that name come about?
Karis: We all loved the word ‘stoosh’, just because of all the different meanings it has: stashed away, stoned, a mystery, expensive, and also the meaning that people will be the most familiar with, someone who thinks they’re a bit too nice. We’re aware there's already an artist called Stush, so we wanted to switch it up a bit and added the 'she' on the end to rep for the ladies!
TWU: Even though you guys are completely different to them, there's a slight Salt-N-Pepa essence about you. What's your take on the comparisons?
Alex: We’re really over whelmed by all of the comparisons, because they've all been super successful. No pressure! (Laughs) It’s amazing that people think that and we hope we can deliver as well as they did.
TWU: All three of you come from very different musical backgrounds. How would you describe your sound, collectively?
Karis: We always say 'urban-pop' because we feel we’re the more extreme urban that pop can go, and the most extreme pop that urban can go. On the album we’ve also have funk, pop rock, R&B and more. We all love different types of music: I love hip-hop and rap music, Alex loves R&B and slow jams and Court loves Motown. Collectively, we try to cover as many aspects as we can and we love experimenting with music. Ultimately, the main thing for us in terms of music is having fun with no rules.
TWU: Growing up, which artists inspired you?
Alex: I loved Motown music! My mum is a singer, so I took a lot of inspiration from her as well. We all loved the Spice Girls, Salt-N-Pepa, Destiny's Child and En Vogue. Strong work ethics inspire us, we appreciate the time and effort people put into their craft and aspire to be like that.
TWU: And which UK acts are you rating at the moment and why?
Karis: Wretch 32! He was always an underground MC and I'm so proud of him for having so much focus and drive and experimenting with all types of music and crossing over and, of course, having a number one. Ed Sheeran is an amazing artist and songwriter, I wish we could bring him and his guitar with us on road trips (laughs). Our boys, Rizzle Kicks, we love what they're doing, they have fun and stay real to themselves and they're genuinely lovely guys. Their music always has our bums wiggling! There's so much talent in the UK and everyone is doing so well, so we hope that we can be part of that movement.
TWU: Your fashion style is quite quirky and fun. How would you describe your personal fashion style?
Courtney: There's a brand who tweeted us a few times called 'Ghettro', which is a mix between ghetto and retro and I love that! I love experimenting with new styles and I just love swagged-out items.
Karis: My style is really girly and colourful, but then my 18 tats and crazy personality give it more of an edge, I think. I love pin-up girls and burlesque-style clothing, but then I also love wearing bright colours, and 50s-style things.
Alex: My style is ghetto fab. I like tight and sexy stuff. Even though I'm not a size 6, it doesn't bother me that I'm not skinny. I love leotards, leggings, catsuits, bodycon, high-tops and loads of bling! 80s/90s hip-hop kinda swag.
TWU: What's the best thing about being in a girl group?
Karis: For me, it’s that I get to share this amazing experience and journey with two girls that I class as my sisters. We’re more than friends and I wouldn’t want to do it with anyone else. We have little rituals and things that we keep just between us three, private jokes that could have us laughing for days and I like it like that. I couldn’t imagine being solo. Plus, we’re all the same shoe size! If we like a sick pair of trainers, we just by one pair of each and rotate (laughs).
TWU: What's the worst thing about being in a girl group?
Alex: I don’t know about other girl groups but, for us, it’s probably the fact that we’re all in-sync with each other – same time of the month (laughs).
TWU: And what's the plan for 2012?
Courtney: To have lots of fun, release more singles, release an album and do loads of gigs and tours.
StooShe’s new single, 'Betty Woz Gone', is out now.
Stay up to date with StooShe on Twitter – www.twitter.com/StooShe
Words: Vanessa Laker (@VanessaLaker)
Online editing: Joseph 'JP' Patterson (@Jpizzledizzle)