Verge Sits Down With IV Rox

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Since bursting onto the scene less than a year ago, IV Rox have been the girl group that everyone has been talking about and now, you’re about to hear why. They’ve just released their much anticipated debut EP, ‘Imperfections‘, and they managed to peak at #33 in the Pop charts on iTunes which is a pretty massive deal for any act so early on in their journey! Raquel, Dolly, Natalie and Nadine have perfectly (excuse the pun!), created a piece of work which shows off their infectious and sassy personalities, as well as their impressive vocals.

Contrary to the EP’s title, IV Rox have created a seemingly faultless work of art with Imperfections. So far on their journey the girls have amassed an army of nearly 18,000 ‘Roxstars‘ on Twitter and have won co-signs from some of the industry’s key tastemakers including DJ Target, Mista Jam, Sian Anderson and Manny Norte.

Put together by super producer, Davinche, this EP encompasses the true grit of fresh British talent. By combining the thrilling musicality of the production with the smooth yet fierce vocals from the girls, this is for sure a mighty follow up to IV Rox’s previous releases. The girls’ take you on a journey to get to know them throughout the EP, and at the end of selected tracks they’ve even given us a little added bonuses with acapella covers to their favourite childhood songs!

The IV Rox girls prove that they can hold their own with minimal features on the EP. BBC Sound of 2015 nominee, Stormzy, features on, ‘Badder Than A Mother’ and the EP also features their recent smash with Ghetts, ‘Down For Me’. ‘Under The Bridge‘ and ‘Grenade‘ both show the true power, and strength of the girls, both vocally, and personally, with their fight for female empowerment a strong theme consistently through. Title track ‘Imperfections‘ see’s IV Rox tackle a common issue apparent in todays world and amongst their youngest female fans – body image. Imperfections also features their previous releases ‘Better Than Your Girl‘ and their debut release, ‘Case Of The Ex‘.

Verge’s Tasha Demi sat down with the IV Rox ladies to find out a little more about the EP, and what lessons they’ve learnt so far in the world of music. But first of all, they had to complete the quick fire round…

Hot or Cold?

NADINE: Hot

Sweet or Sour?

RAQUEL: Sour! No no no, Sweet

Phone Calls or Texting?

DOLLY: Phone Calls

Instagram or Twitter?

NATALIE: Twitter

Would you rather go back in time, or to the future?

NADINE: Back in time

Would you rather be able to fly, or be invisible?

RAQUEL: Flyyyyy – I’d fly to Brazil

If there was an apocalypse, would you be a surviver?

DOLLY: Of course! I wouldn’t be the one that trips over something silly. I would just – survive. I’m a survivor!

If you’re drunk and you say ‘I love you’, does it count?

NATALIE: Ummmm, no. No it doesn’t count. Girls always do it to each other *laughs*

What is your weakness?

NADINE: My two left feet!

Tell us something not many people know about you…

RAQUEL: I’m very picky when it comes to the opposite sex *laughs*

Tell us 3 artists you’ve got your eye on at the moment…

DOLLY: Jhene Aiko, Stormzy, and umm, I’m excited to see what Chips gonna come back with!

What’s your favourite song right now?

NATALIE: Alt J – Left Hand Free

What’s the most embarrassing song we’d find on your laptop?

NADINE: Well I’M not embarrassed by them *laughs* The Aqua album?!

What song do you wish you had written?

RAQUEL: TLC – Unpretty

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Okay so, the quick fire round is now over! Time to get down to it… Tell us how you guys first got together?

DOLLY: Raquel had previously worked with Davinche, and he told her he wanted to start a new project – a girl group. And she knew me already from church and knew I sang so she bought me in. And eventually one day we went studio and Davinche had Nadine and Natalie in there.

RAQUEL: Nadine was sitting there with 4 green tea’s for all of us!

*Everyone laughs*

DOLLY: And Natalie was wearing a green dress, no wait – it was green shoes!

NATALIE: Oh my God! I was wearing green shoes and a polka dot dress!! How on Earth did you remember?! *laughs*

DOLLY: I don’t know! *laughs* I remember those green shoes!

NATALIE: You probably remembered them because they were SO AWFUL!

*Everyone laughs*

It’s a pretty cool thing to be able to say you’ve been put together by super producer Davinche, right? What has it been like working with him?

NATALIE: *Laughs* Sorry, I can’t get over the fact that you remembered my shoes Dolly!! *Laughs* Davinche is so brilliant. He’s turned into one of our closest friends now! He’s so easy to get on with, he’s humble, he’s so talented.

RAQUEL: He’s a genus. So to have him work on our project is a blessing. It still gasses me today! To have him on our journey, is amazing.

It must feel amazing now your EP is complete and out there for people to hear! Give me a few words to describe it…

DOLLY: Fun!

NATALIE: Different.

NADINE: Girl power.

RAQUEL: Energetic

DOLLY: Sassy

RAQUEL: It’s filled with different genres from our different backgrounds. It’s not just one type of track. There’s R&B, there’s Grime influences… There’s a bit of drum & bass. It’s all of our likes mixed into one.

Why did you choose to call it ‘Imperfections’?

NATALIE: ‘Imperfections’ is actually one of the tracks on there. The title means a lot to us because we don’t want young girls to keep growing up with the idea that they have to be perfect just because the media says so. We want all girls to know that they can be whoever they want to be and to never doubt themselves.

What are your personal favourite tracks on the EP?

DOLLY: Grenade and Badder Than A Mother!

RAQUEL: Just one…

DOLLY: *Laughs* Ooooh… Grenade…

RAQUEL: Under the Bridge

NADINE: Imperfections

NATALIE: Badder Than A Mother

RAQUEL: Oh we’ve all got a different song! *Laughs*

Davinche has produced your whole EP, and you’ve also got features on there from Ghetts and Stomzy. How does it feel to not only have support from some of the biggest names in the industry, but to have some of them feature on your EP? What was it like working with them?

DOLLY: We’re soo lucky to have two of the most talented rappers on OUR EP!

NATALIE: Stormzy was amazing! He’s so nice. I’m such a big fan now. He was really cool about coming to the studio. He’s so talented. He just went into the booth and spat his bars and blew us away. And that was it. *Laughs* And Ghetts! He’s so talented too. And he’s soo easy to get on with!

NADINE: Yeah, at the video shoot, he asked us to comb his beard! And we were like…

NATALIE: Ummm, okaaaay *pretends to comb beard*

*Everyone laughs*

RAQUEL: Yeah they were both so lovely! We feel so privileged to have been able to work with them! We still can’t believe any of this. Like, we’re nobody! *Laughs* How have we got tracks with these guys?! We’re so lucky!

Over the years there’s definitely been a fair few girl groups, and they always seem to be compared to one another. What is it that makes you different from the rest of them?

DOLLY: I think every girl group is different from each other you know. I think with us though, it’s down to the fact that we’re from so many different backgrounds. We like to bring all of our backgrounds into what we do. Into our messages, into our sound… And I also think it’s to do with the message that we like to bring to our audience – empowerment!

There always seems to be a bit of a stigma attached to girl groups. Have any of you ever experienced that from anyone? In either a positive or negative way?

NATALIE: Oh yeah, do you know what – I do get that sometimes. It does depends who you’re talking to though. If you’re talking to someone who’s in a completely different industry – like a businessman in the city or something – they don’t see this as a real job. They don’t understand.

NADINE: Yeah, sometimes people look down on it. Like it’s nothing. They’re like, well you can sing, but it’s not a ‘real job’. Or if they ask me what I do, and if I say I’m in a girl band, they’re like… ‘Oh.’

NATALIE: *Laughs* Exactly! But then, some people are really wowed by it and tell me that they wish they had to courage to do something like this too. It’s such a mix!

RAQUEL: For me, it’s more the opposite you know. Wherever I go, whoever I meet, everyone is SO excited. Especially back home in Portugal! They think you’re really famous just by having a song on YouTube. *laughs*

DOLLY: Yeah me too! Everyone around me has always been so excited about it all and if anything, I was the nervous one at the beginning…

RAQUEL: It’s so great having so many people around us that are excited, but it does puts on that extra pressure! *Laughs* Like, I really have to do this now, and keep on pushing because they’re all routing for us and expecting big things which is an incredible feeling.

You guys have been working together for the past couple of years and it’s now finally time that we can hear what you’ve been working on. What have you each learnt from this journey so far? On a personal level… 

NATALIE: Oh wow. So… this was actually taught to me by Davinche. I used to take things too seriously. I used to think, oh this is never gonna happen for me and be really negative. And then one day he just said to me, ‘If you don’t believe in yourself, and just know that whatever you wanna do in life, you can actually do. You can pursue anything, and be anything you want. But you need to believe that’. And I did. By changing my mindset, it really has changed everything. It’s made me so much more determined. I know things are going to happen for me. It’s made me work harder.

DOLLY: I would say that, there is no limit on the amount of chances that you have. Don’t give up. If one door closes, there will be another one!

RAQUEL: It’s kind of on the same theme as the other girls… It’s just that, you really can achieve anything. The little that we have achieved so far, to me, is huge. Some people will look at us and think we’ve just started out, but for me I’m so grateful. Like, wow we’ve released our EP, we’ve got a song with Ghetts, we’ve got a song with Stormzy, we’ve got our own music videos, we’ve performed at the Indigo2… This whole experience has taught me that you can achieve anything in life if you work hard and put your mind to it. Don’t doubt yourself.

NADINE: The most important thing I’ve learnt is how to sing in key… *laughs* No I’m joking… I guess it’s taught me that all that glitters isn’t gold. I’ve seen the amount of work that gets put in behind closed doors. It’s way more than you’d ever think. It makes you think how hard people have worked to get to where they are and that it doesn’t actually just happen overnight.

And last but not least… What is the IV Rox dream?

RAQUEL: World domination baby!

NATALIE: World domination. *Laughs*  When people are screaming for us at shows!

RAQUEL: Selling out an arena! Winning a MOBO, an MTV Award –

DOLLY: And a Grammy!

If you haven’t got you’re copy yet, make sure you head over to iTunes or Amazon to download the brand new EP, ‘Imperfections’ by IV Rox. And don’t forget to give them a follow on Twitter @IVROX!

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