“Rosie and Alex have been best friends since they were 5, so they couldn’t possibly be right for one another…or could they? When it comes to love, life and making the right choices, these two are their own worst enemies.”
Released last month, ‘Love, Rosie’, is an Irish film based on the 204 novel, “When Rainbows End”, by Cecilia Ahern. The film stars Lily Collins, Sam Claflin, Tamsin Egerton, Suki Waterhouse, Jaime Winstone and Art Parkinson, and has a soundtrack bursting at the seams with feel good electro pop. Nestled amongst The 1975 and Olly Murs, are relative newcomers to the UK music scene, MiMi with her band The Mad Noise Factory. We introduce you to MiMi, and hope you enjoy our interview as much as we enjoyed speaking to her!
(1) Give us the potted ‘MiMi and the Mad Noise Factory’ story for our readers who may be unfamiliar with your work.
I’m Mimi, I’m from London but I live in Berlin. The Mad Noise Factory are a group of my best friends from Berlin and London making home-made music. (The name is a combination of a couple my favourite influences ‘Mad’ as in ‘Alice in Wonderland’, ‘Noise’ being what we do, and ‘Factory’ as an Andy Warhol nod) I write the songs as a sort-of diary. I use songwriting as an outlet for communicating what I really feel as I’m not big on talking about that. I’ve been doing that since I was 7. The music is so personal that I felt it was fitting that my drawings and paintings make up the artwork. This album was particularly exciting because we got to work with our Hero, Stephen Street on production! An amazing experience that we’ll all remember forever.
(2) You started writing and perfoming from a very early age – do you feel it was something you always wanted to do? Or do you have a distinct memory of deciding this is what you wanted?
I grew up around a lot of creativity. My mum did a lot of drawing and painting with me and we didn’t have a TV when I was really little. It felt very natural for me to start playing around on my mum’s piano that she’d inherited from her grandma and as soon as a very close family friend, Chris, taught me a couple of guitar chords, I immediately wanted to write songs. It gave me someone to talk to in a way. I never thought I’d be lucky enough that music would be what I do so I’m very happy and grateful for every day I can spend doing that.
(3) You live between London and Berlin – which do you prefer and why?
They’re both so different. I feel I need both. Berlin is wonderful because it still feels like its growing and developing, London feels totally developed already. I think Berlin is easier to live in for artists, not just because its cheaper (which helps!) but because everyone around has the attitude to build something new. However, London has this vibe like you are at the centre of everything. I love London. Its where I grew up, its home and I feel most comfortable there. Its just great to travel and experience life somewhere else. I think its the best education you can get.
(4) Talk us through “Get Me Back” – How did it come to be on the soundtrack of “Love, Rosie?”
“Get Me Back” was my way of stepping outside myself in a situation. I often get too emotional to see what I’m doing, then can’t go back, even though I’d like to. Its just so perfect for the story of ‘Love Rosie’- this twisting, turning love story where life just gets in the way. The makers of the film had heard the track and contacted me. I was so happy to have the chance to be involved. Its the biggest thrill in the world to hear a song I wrote in my bedroom in a beautiful movie!
(5) You have previously supported Biffy Clyro and Imagine Dragons, but who would you choose to support you on tour?
Hmmmm its a fantasy question so I’ll pick someone way too successful. Probably Lewis Watson even though I’d hate to follow his beautiful performance and really I should be supporting him…. I met him in Berlin and he’s lovely. I think its very important to have people you get on with when you’re on tour. I’d try and trick him into singing with me too.The bands we’ve supported have all been so sweet to us. That really meant a lot as you can feel very ‘in the way’ as a support act.
(6) Your mother, Polly Eltes, was a catwalk model who featured in one of the iconic ‘Taste Of Paradise’ Bounty Adverts and is now a photographer, do you have any aspirations to go in that direction?
When I left school, I was modelling in London for a few years, with Storm models . My mum was great about that because she just had so many insights into what to expect. Its a good, flexible way to make ends meet while following what you really want to do- for me, it was music. It allowed me to arrange things around gigs or opportunities that popped up at the last minute. I was happy to be able to concentrate on music when I had the chance. In terms of photography, I’m just rubbish at anything technical. I’ll stick to drawing and painting.
(7) Your track “Don’t You Mourn The Sun’ was featured on the Twilight Eclipse soundtrack. Do you feel this has helped to bring your music to a wider audience?
Yes definitely! The song itself is about the twilight moments of the evening so it was perfect. I was completely unknown at that point and it gave people a little window into what I do. Such an honour to be asked, especially as the soundtrack contained so many amazing bands.
(8) You have a very unique look, where did the inspiration for that come from?
I’m influenced heavily by illustration. I was always fascinated by the drawings in my books as a child, like Alice in Wonderland, Peter Pan etc. We had a lot of old books around ranging from the 20s to the 50s and each one was more beautiful to me than anything the modern world had to offer. I also fell in love with the 60s and its freedom of expression. With people like Penelope Tree and Twiggy looking so iconic in their pictures. I started making my own clothes and printing my own fabrics because it was just another way to express myself. I see it as fun. Something to be enjoyed and played with.
(9) Is there one fact you can tell us about yourself that may surprise people?
I used to have a pet pigeon that I rescued. I let him go when he got better but he stayed pretty friendly. He had nearly nothing left of his feet and used to sit on my head.
(10) What can we expect next from Mimi?
More music! I write a lot all the time so I can’t wait to get back in the studio again. I’ll be carrying on painting and making stuff in the meantime too.
“Get Me Back” is released November 26. It’s available on the EP of the same name. “Love, Rosie” stars Lily Collins, Sam Claflin, and Suki Waterhouse.
Check out the video for “Get Me Back” here: