Related BBC sites

Page last updated at 08:19 GMT, Monday, 11 August 2008 09:19 UK
Is Micachu the next big thing?

by Kev Geoghegan
Radio 1 music reporter

Micachu is playing the V festivals and Bestival

Her name may sound like a sneeze but at just 21 years old, Mica Levi aka Micachu has already composed for the London Philharmonic Orchestra. Her piece was performed at the Royal Festival Hall in March.

Mica and her band, The Shapes, have toured with the Mystery jets and 2007 Mercury Prize nominee Bat For Lashes is apparently a big fan.

And one of her mix tapes brought her to the attention of the east-London grime scene.

But ask her about Bjork calling her up after a gig and she scrunches her face.

"Yeah, that was nuts. We spoke but she didn't call me up. It's not like she had my number or anything.

"But I spotted her dancing and I kind of stopped for a second."

Offbeat pop

Filed under quirky minimalist electro pop, Micachu and her Shapes, fellow music students Marc Pell and Raisa Khan, release the single, Golden Phone, this week.

It begins with a loop of Micachu's breathing and a basic upbeat guitar melody. Her simple no frills approach to singing actually ties in nicely to the random electronic beeps and blips and mangled keyboard sounds that pepper the record.

Another of her tracks Turn Me Weller actually does begin with a vacuum cleaner.

Although undeniably catchy, she could very easily be criticised for being a little 'artsy' for most mainstream audiences.

Talking about her brand of offbeat experimental pop, she said: "I'd say we just play pop, maybe hillbilly pop?"

"Please, don't use that as a description", added percussionist Pell.

Not content with household appliances, or violins and violas - which she studied at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama - Micachu has even started inventing her own instruments.
I think I'm a megalomaniac

One, bizarrely, is made out of a CD rack and the other one is an adapted guitar called a Chu.

She said: "I've raised the bridge on it so the strings can be hit with a hammer action.

"It's actually quite a small guitar but you don't strum it, you sit it on your lap."

Micachu is still working on the debut album but is set for performances at V festival and Bestival.

She said: "I think the album could be coming out September of October or maybe a bit later, it just depends when it's done.

"We've got a lot of gigs coming up which is preventing me from finishing the record. But it's a good dilemma to be in."

The Verve explain festival return
Wednesday, 6 August 2008, 13:57 GMT |  Music
Kings of Leon 'unsure' on single
Tuesday, 5 August 2008, 09:11 GMT |  Music
Oasis to play secret gig for fans
Tuesday, 5 August 2008, 13:32 GMT |  Music
From Gorillaz to Monkey: The album
Thursday, 7 August 2008, 11:02 GMT |  Music

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific