New Music Mix: Lollapalooza and Kerli

Interviewing Kerli at Lollapalooza


On August 5th-7th, Lollapalooza celebrated it’s historic 25th Anniversary and 7th year in Chicago at Grant Park.
Recently I moved to New York City for a position with EMI Music in Marketing working for Astralwerks, home to The B-52s, Kylie Minogue and David
among others; however, being a Chicagoan over the past 2 ½ years I felt attending the event was certainly worth a trip back to town.

With over 125 acts performing over the course of the three day event, selecting one’s itinerary is both half the fun and half the battle. Headliners this year consisted of Coldplay, Eminem, Muse and Foo Fighters; however, I particularly enjoy catching the smaller artists before they break.

I flew into Chicago Friday, August 5th and just missed the chance at catching Young The Giant and Kerli perform. I was so bummed. I did get to see UK rapper Tinie Timpah perform his chart topping radio hit “Written In the Stars” and the talented young Christina Perri belt out her beautiful balad “Jar of Hearts.” I strolled past Afrojack’s performance of his dance anthem “Take Over Control” on my way to catch Crystal Castles perform their trippy must-see show. Check out their collaboration with Nate Smith of The Cure on “Not In Love.

I ended the day with an outstanding Coldplay performance that consisted of a lazer show, giant colored beach balls and pretty much every great Coldplay song you could ask for. As a bonus I got to catch Ratatat perform their wild hit “Wildcat” on my way out the festival doors.

During my second day of the festival I caught UK act Friendly Fires perform several songs off their catchy sophomore album Pala while trying to make my way over to catch the majority of the Skylar Gray performance at the same time. Skylar performed a medley of The Cranberries’ “Zombie,” and then went into a Medley of her Diddy/Dirty Money hit “Coming Home,” her Dr Dre/Eminem hit “I Need a Doctor” and Eminem’s “Love the Way You Lie”: all-in-all a winner for the audience. Watch video of the medley here.

I ended the festival catching one of my favorite new bands Local Natives perform their track “Wide Eyes” before hopping over to Ellie Goulding’s stage for my final show of the festival. She looked gorgeous and sounded great. The highlight of the whole event though was a chance to interview Estonian pop star Kerli about her recent shift in musical direction, her views on life for gay teens in Estonia and her thoughts on Lady Gaga.

Read on.



AfterElton: So tell me about what life was like growing up in Estonia? 
Well it was
boring and grey and restrictive. Sometimes when I say these things Estonians
get really hurt. They’re like “why is she saying such bad things?” Besides being from Estonia
I’m from a really small town of like 5,000 people. I knew that a world like
this was out there and I knew that I wanted to be part of it. Everything around
me was just so grey. I never really felt like I belonged. I got the fuck out as
fast as I could. I moved away from home when I was 16.

 AE: Wow so
where’d you move?

Sweden. I got
my first publishing deal at 16. I was a songwriter before I was an artist.

AE: You started
off really young.
Yeah, and I got my
first record deal when I was 14.

AE: And then you
signed with L.A. Reid in 2006. Your first big American breakthrough was
Walking on Air” and recently you’ve come out with the single “Army of Love,” with quite the interesting music video. Where did you get the idea for the gasmasks with the teddy bears?
I wanted to
make it very industrial. In my head that video would have even been more early 90’s experimental.  I went to Estonia to film it. It was hardcore
making that video. It was just me and my team. Me and my mom made a lot of the
stuff in that video. It was very DIY. I don’t have anybody else. I’m a one girl army.

AE: That’s
It’s not
awesome. I wish I would have someone helping me. I haven’t met that person yet.
I just did a thing in my blog: “What I want from Santa next year” and this one
thing I want is an “in-house nerd” that is a Logic genius who sews and cooks
and cleans. So when I have a skirt idea he’ll just make it.

AE: Would this be
a boyfriend or a non-sexual in-house nerd?
Not sexual at
all. I have other people for that!

AE: So is there
anybody special in your life right now?
special in my life

AE: Good answer!
You’ll make a lot of people happy with that. So you live in America now?
Yeah actually
I live in LA now

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