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Last Updated: Wednesday, 5 December 2007, 15:27 GMT
Talking Shop: Remi Nicole
Singer-songwriter Remi Nicole has been branded the female equivalent of Arctic Monkeys frontman Alex Turner for her wittily literate pop-rock records.

The 24-year-old, who is half-Trinidadian, has just been on tour with Amy Winehouse, and released her debut album My Conscience And I on 3 December.

Speaking shortly before Winehouse scrapped the remainder of her tour, Nicole talked about life on the road, and playing a 16,000 guitar.


Remi Nicole
The singer trained at Birmingham's School of Speech and Drama
Your album is called My Conscience and I. What's on your conscience right now?

Just drinking too much, I think! It's life on the road. You come off stage and you just want a drink. The four other band members are all boys. I can keep up, but I probably can't handle it in the long run!

How has the tour been going? Are there a lot of paparazzi?

The paparazzi are there every day. It's weird.

When we go back to the hotel they stay outside the hotel for hours - for the whole night. And they're very aggressive.

It's not really focused at me, though, so it's fine.

Have you been watching Amy's set?

Yes, I watched it almost every night and it's brilliant. The press always exaggerate. The gig she did at Birmingham where she got booed was all over the press. The next day she did the best gig I've ever seen - and I've seen a lot of gigs - and nobody wrote about it.

Your single, Rock and Roll, is addressed to people who think you shouldn't be playing rock because you're a young black woman. Have you struggled to gain recognition?

I so often get the misconception that I'm going to be making R&B music - and I don't. But I didn't set out to write a statement. I was frustrated and writing a song was a therapeutic way of chilling out.

Amy Winehouse in concert
She did the best gig I've ever seen and nobody wrote about it.
Remi Nicole on Amy Winehouse
So who are your influences?

I always listened to things like the Beatles and the Kinks and Tracy Chapman. But I was a big fan of the Spice Girls and New Kids On The Block when they were around, too.

So what's the most embarrassing album you own?

Possibly Hanson's album. The one with Mmm-Bop on it. It's quite good, but it's still a little bit embarrassing.

You've been called the next Lily Allen and the next Kate Nash. Are they fair comparisons?

I feel like there might have been some confusion. Our albums, if you listen to the actual music, are so different. I want to carve my own name in music and not be the "next someone" at all.

Remi Nicole
Remi played on the NME stage at this year's Glastonbury festival
But you are part of a wave of female singer-songwriters. Why do you think women are more likely to go solo these days? In the past, they would have formed a band.

Well, there are no such things as pop groups any more. Girls Aloud and Sugababes have been going for years and there are no new ones.

I think people want to say what they want to say, not what other people want them to say.

I heard you own 10 guitars. Is that true?

It is! Most of them are crap, though. I thought guitars cost about 100.

Also, I didn't know for an age that you can have a left-handed guitar and I'm left-handed!

So what would you pay for a guitar now?

A decent guitar is probably about 1,000. The difference is in the sound. It's easier to play. It stays in tune!

I saw you playing the guitar that The La's used to record There She Goes. Does that belong to you now?

I wish! We just hired it out. To buy, that was about sixteen grand!

Is there one instrument from rock history you would like to own?

I'd like to have one of the instruments that was played on The Beach Boys' God Only Knows.

Remi Nicole was talking to BBC Entertainment reporter Mark Savage.

SEE ALSO
Amy Winehouse scraps all concerts
27 Nov 07 |  Entertainment

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