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In a recurring feature, WWD Eye spotlights the rising stars to look for this summer.
With her platinum blonde hair, pixielike looks and pulsating dance anthems, British sensation Victoria Hesketh, aka Little Boots, could easily be mistaken for the latest shellacked starlet coming off the pop-star manufacturing line. But few up-and-comers have as much raucous energy and unabated drive as Hesketh. After auditioning for Britain’s “Pop Idol” as a teenager and a stint with New Wave girl group Dead Disco, the 25-year-old launched her career by posting a video of herself singing in her bedroom on MySpace. “It was a joke. I was just messing around one night and put it online,” says the Blackpool native. “People replied and said do another one, so I did.” Eventually, Hesketh landed record deals with 679/Atlantic Records in the U.K. and Elektra Records in the U.S. Her electronic disco album, “Hands,” dropped this week in the U.K., and her five-song release, “Illuminations,” hit the States on Tuesday.
Mix Master: Hesketh, who has studied piano since age five, considers herself equal parts songwriter and pop star. In songs like “Stuck on Repeat,” she juxtaposes lyrics of love and loss against club-thumping keyboards and sequencers. “I wanted to make a varied-sounding record. All are pop songs, but some are dark and some are dance-y and others are slow,” she says. One of her favorites on the U.K. version is ‘Mathematics,’ a disco stomper she says is inspired by Sylvia Plath’s poem, ‘Love Is a Parallax.’”
A League of Her Own: While comparisons to every pop tart imaginable abound, the “It” Brit doesn’t think she is accurately compared with anyone. “People like to put any girl who uses a synthesizer in the same box,” she says. “I’m a big fan of Kylie [Minogue], but she doesn’t write her songs or play instruments. Lady Gaga is fun, but she’s kind of crazy and sexual, which isn’t really my vibe.”
Do It Yourself: Hesketh’s blog includes videos of performances, pictures of her stuffed dog, Sid, and posts about fruit in fellow musician VV Brown’s hair. “We live in a digital, social-networking age. These tools are opportunities. I want to get in touch with people who want to hear my music.”
Style Star: “I’m an ambassador for my music all the time, so I want to express it in what I’m wearing. I think, ‘If a song were a dress, what would it look like?’ David Bowie always expressed himself in everything he did. He always looked like his music,” says Hesketh, who cites Alexander McQueen, Versace and Felder Felder as her favorite labels. Despite her loads of shiny, sequin frocks, her favorite splurge thus far is a McQueen Hitchcock style bag that she carries constantly: “If someone told me that buying an expensive handbag would make you feel that good every day, I would have bought one a long time ago.”