Ladyhawke set to soar at Music Awards

After flying into Auckland from London, Masterton-born musician Ladyhawke is set to soar at the New Zealand Music Awards tonight.

Ladyhawke landed back in New Zealand yesterday after two years in London, jetlagged and a little disoriented.

She has no idea who's performing on the same stage as her at the awards, telling NZPA she hasn't had chance to find out.

"I don't even know who's playing. I've no idea. I just got in last night so I'm still a bit jetlagged," she laughed.

Ladyhawke is a finalist in six categories: album of the year for Ladyhawke; single of the year for My Delirium; the People's Choice Award; best female solo artist; breakthrough artist of the year; and best dance/electronica album. She was a mix of nervous and excited, and didn't know what would emerge when she hit the stage.

"It depends what mood I'm in on the night, to what I usually do before I go on stage," she said.

"If I'm really nervous I'll just have a drink. Not that I recommend that to anyone with nerves.

"A whisky and coke or a beer or something or a vitamin C or both."

It's been two years since 28-year-old Pip Brown, or Ladyhawke as she's better known, went to London to kick off her career in Europe, And she certainly did that.

With the 1980s-inspired anthem Back of the Van and the pulsing Paris is Burning, she was soon going great guns.

Her self-titled debut album sold more than 100,000 copies in Britain, 35,000 in Australia and 8000 in New Zealand.

Her recent single My Delirium was huge - spending 14 weeks on the charts - a long way from her days as a Masterton rock chick with Two Lane Blacktop.

"Those two years in London were really hard. London is a hard city to exist in. It's so over-populated and scary. It's a crazy place but it was amazing as well.

"I toured a lot and had some good success. I toured all around the UK and Europe and I even played in Moscow, Japan, America and Scandinavia."

The massive British festival at Glastonbury left the greatest impression on her.

"I did Glastonbury two years in a row and this year was my favourite. That gig was just amazing and it blew my mind.

"Glastonbury was definitely the highlight of my whole time away.

"It was the point for me when I realised how well things were going.

"That coincided with my album going gold over there, which was a huge surprise to me.

"The UK is a hard market to crack, especially if you're an outsider, as they really love their own there.

"That whole time, including The Big Day Out, came at the right time for me.

"I did the V festival as well this year and that was cool because I got to play with (American duo) MGMT."

Ladyhawke has left the UK now. It must be permanent, because she has shipped all her stuff back to New Zealand.

She has three weeks off, before she starts a tour of Australia and New Zealand which finishes in mid November, then she's free until the Big Day Out in January.

"I don't really have any plans after my tour finishes, but I think my friends are feeling a bit neglected.

"I think I'm just going to catch up with friends and try to make the most of the summer.

"I'll probably base myself in Wellington because that's my old stomping ground. I love Wellington.

"I've got a portable studio so I'm just going to set that up at my parents' place and just mess around.'

Ladyhawke started out on grunge rock, so her music style has changed dramatically over time..

"I've always been a lover of all sorts of genres of music. I'm influenced by so many different bands. Everything from metal, pop, grunge and hip hop.

"When there's so many different sorts of music you love, it's really hard to try and figure out what sort of music you want to make.

"All I knew is that as Ladyhawke, I just wanted to see if I could write some pop tunes. I just wanted to do my own thing."

She wrote Ladyhawke before she lived in London, and cites New Zealand bands Split Enz, Straitjacket Fits and The Chills as strong influences.

"I still listen to their music all the time. Stuff from Straitjacket Fits does influence me. I'd love to play in a band like that one day.

"I used to play in quite a heavy guitar band in Wellington for quite a few years, and I'd love to do that again."

Despite her success in the UK and Europe, she has no plans to try to crack America.

"America is an impossible market to crack. You can tour and have a good indie following but there's no way in hell I'd ever crack it. You can't do it as an outsider, it's impossible.

"But I would like to live in the States. I like the weather in LA," she smiled.

But for now, she'll have to make do with windy Wellington.

- NZPA

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