La Roux

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Biography

L a Roux are an English electropop and synthpop duo formed in 2008 in London, England, UK, made up of singer/synth player Elly Jackson (born 12 March 1988) and co-writer/co-producer Ben Langmaid. Their music is largely influenced by 80s pop music including Eurythmics, Depeche Mode, The Human League, Heaven 17, Yazoo and Prince.

In 2006, Jackson and Langmaid were introduced by a mutual friend. Their first project was named "Automan" and they wrote largely acoustic music.
La Roux's debut single, "Quicksand", was released by French independent record label Kitsuné Music in December 2008. They then signed to Polydor Records in order to release their debut album.

"In for the Kill"

La Roux first found major success with "In for the Kill"
La Roux's second single "In for the Kill" was released on 16 March 2009, and prominent dubstep producer Skream created a remix of the track. Another remix was made by Lifelike. "In for the Kill" debuted at number eleven on the UK Singles Chart on 22 March 2009, peaking at number two four weeks later. "Bulletproof" was released on 21 June 2009 and debuted at number one on the UK Singles Chart. The song was released on 11 August 2009 in the United States and topped the Hot Dance Club Songs chart the week of 17 September. As of 11 June 2010 it had peaked at number 8 on Billboard's Hot 100 chart and had sold over 1.8 million copies. The band's debut album peaked at 70 (number 4 on the Dance/Electronic chart). "I'm Not Your Toy", released on 29 September 2009, reached number twenty-seven on the UK chart. On the 10 September 2009, Elly confirmed in an interview with French musical website Hall Musique that "As If by Magic" would be the fifth single to be released from the album.
In order to promote La Roux, the band was the supporting act on Lily Allen's UK tour of March 2009. La Roux headlined the Samsung NME Radar Tour 2009 and played alongside Magistrates and Heartbreak. They were scheduled to perform at the Glastonbury, Reading, Oxegen and Leeds festivals as well as the Scala, Southend Chinnerys and Coventry Kasbah venues. In July and August 2009, La Roux toured North America. The eight-city tour included performances at Osheaga Festival, All Points West Music & Arts Festival and the Lollapalooza event. On 23 July the group performed on the late-night talk show Jimmy Kimmel Live!. The group will return to North America for a seven-date tour in October. The group sold out their two Australian dates within minutes forcing an upgrade in venues. November will see the duo embark on an eleven-date United Kingdom and Ireland tour. La Roux gained fifth position on the BBC Sound of 2009 poll. The Guardian website featured La Roux on their new band of the day column. The Guardian also featured La Roux as one of the "Best New Acts of 2009" in January of that year. The album has been nominated for a Mercury Prize.
La Roux were scheduled to start writing material for their second album during Christmas at their manager's home. Jackson said that "I think there will be a natural instrument or two on there though, which will make a change from the first record." Jackson said that because of limited time "I don't think there will be anything in terms of a second record for a while."
La Roux have received 2010 BRIT Award nominations in the categories of British Breakthrough Act and British Single for "In for the Kill".
On 26 January 2010, La Roux duetted with the 1980s synthpop group Heaven 17 on the 6 Music Live Combos show. Heaven 17 keyboardist Martyn Ware said that he was surprised at how well his and Jackson's voices connected.
La Roux also performed at T in the Park Balado, Scotland, V Festival (Chelmsford and Staffordshire) and Oxegen Festival (Ireland) along with many other artists in 2010.
During a gig in Perth, Australia the lights on the stage collapsed nearly hitting Mickey O'Brien after a lightning strike. By the end of March, Jackson was concerned about a sore throat that she blamed on months of singing. In April 2010, the group played the Coachella Festival. La Roux have also been popular with music publication NME, with Jackson gracing the front cover of their 'Future 50' edition. They won the NME Award for Best Dancefloor Filler with the Skream Remix of 'In For The Kill'. They were also the only band to be featured 4 times on the NME 50 Best Tracks of 2009 list with Im Not Your Toy placed at 41, Bulletproof at 24, In For the Kill Skream Dubstep Remix at 19 and In For The Kill riding high at 8. La Roux will be the judge at the 2010 "fantasy dress" at the Bestival festival.
On 25 June 2010, La Roux played the Glastonbury Festival. In addition to their own material the group dueted with Glenn Gregory of Heaven 17 on Heaven 17's "Temptation" and played a cover of The Rolling Stones Under my Thumb. La Roux have played Under My Thumb since early 2010, including their March tour of Australia.
In July 2010, La Roux curated and mixed the latest volume of Sidetracked, a compilation series from Renaissance that allows artists from the electronic field free rein to showcase their musical interests. The mix eclectically features the likes of Japan, Heaven 17, Joyce Sims, Fever Ray (Lead singer of The Knife), Doris Troy, Tears For Fears, Gerry Rafferty and many more of her influences. It also includes an exclusive recording of the Rolling Stones' "Under My Thumb", a cover Elly's been featuring in her recent live sets. Album notes, with explanations for each choice, can be found here.
For several months while touring in 2010 Jackson struggled with bronchitis. After Jackson contracted pharyngitis following the group's July show in Los Angeles La Roux was forced to postpone the remainder of the US tour. A new 11 date United States East Coast tour was announced for November 2010.
Sales of the group's song "In for the Kill" spiked 600 percent when it was played on the HBO show Entourage in August 2010. Later that month, it was announced that an EP remix has been released in tandem with the November US tour. In October a second video for the song was released that was shot at New York's landmark Hotel Chelsea. The song was released in the United States 7 October.
In December 2010, La Roux was nominated for two 53rd Grammy Awards. Their debut album and their single "In for the Kill" were nominated for Best Electronic/Dance Album and Best Dance Recording respectively.
On 31 December, La Roux appeared on the American television program Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve.
As of January 2011 La Roux was writing their second album with a somewhat established indie rock band whose members are friends of Jackson. Jackson told the NME that "I know I'm not going to stop writing until we've got songs that can compete on the same level as 'In For The Kill' and 'Bulletproof',".

Band members

Elly Jackson
Elly Jackson's first interest was in folk music. She was particularly interested in Carole King and Nick Drake whose music she discovered in her parents' record collection. Jackson's early musical material consisted of folk ditties influenced by Joni Mitchell. Her taste in music changed during her mid-teens when she became involved in the rave scene. She lists Gerry Rafferty, David Bowie, Madonna, Prince and The Knife as her influences. Jackson is unhappy with what she perceives as a "normality" fashion trend among a majority of today's musical acts. Her androgynous clothing and hair style, which has been compared to the 1980s group A Flock of Seagulls, is being imitated. Jackson strongly opposes stylists who try to change her appearance to a more classically feminine look. Jackson does not feel that social networking will help musicians' careers in the long run because it makes them too accessible at the expense of mystery and intrigue. Jackson's mother is Trudie Goodwin, who rose to fame playing June Ackland on the long-running police series The Bill.
Jackson and others are collaborating with Kanye West on his album My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy set for 22 November 2010 release. The album is a companion to West's mini movie Runaway.

Ben Langmaid
Ben Langmaid is the second half of La Roux but he does not participate in the music videos or live performances with the band. Langmaid, a London-based producer and composer, has been involved with various other music projects in the past. He has a close association with Rollo Armstrong of Faithless; the two musicians went to the same school and later collaborated as Huff & Puff in the mid 1990s, releasing the house single "Help Me Make It" in 1996. Langmaid also recorded as Atomic and was one half of Huff & Herb before contributing as a songwriter to indie rock band Kubb's debut album Mother, released in 2005. This project was again linked to Rollo Armstrong; Kubb's frontman Harry Collier was introduced to Langmaid after Collier sang "Happy Birthday to You" to Armstrong whilst working as a waiter in a North London organic café. Langmaid turned down the offer of a permanent position in Kubb.

Supporting band members
Michael 'Mikey' Norris (Keyboard) is a London-based musician and is one of two keyboard players that support La Roux on their tours and live dates. A native of the Chester area in Cheshire, Norris studied music at university, joining La Roux shortly after graduating from a music degree.
Mickey O'Brien (Keyboards and backing vocals) O'Brien has been playing with La Roux for eighteen months, touring Europe and North America. Although her voice is unheard on the album, she performs backing vocals during song performances; namely "Bulletproof", "As If by Magic" and "Armour Love". She is also known as Ladyburden and owns a MySpace page with her own songs. O'Brien is currently in a long-term relationship with English actor Jim Sturgess. Mickey is also the younger cousin of Radiohead's Ed O'Brien.
William Bowerman (Drums) Former drummer for I Was a Cub Scout, an indie band from Lincolnshire and Nottinghamshire. Current drummer for Brontide along with La Roux


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Source: lastfm

Tags

dance, electronic

Discography

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