Saturday, February 28, 2009
Friday, February 27, 2009
DUFFY on being picked by Paul McCartney:
When I found out that Paul McCartney had selected me to cover his track Live And Let Die, the first thing I did was call my mum. He has written some of the best songs ever, so it was a great honour.
The original version is really exciting and unpredictable but for my version, I wanted to present it as a song, rather than as a big, exciting production. I wanted the sentiment to come through. Of course, I was slightly daunted. Part of me was thinking, “I hope Mr McCartney won’t hate it” but at the same time I just concentrated on singing it.
I’m really pleased to support War Child. Children are vulnerable at the best of times and these children didn’t choose to be born in a war zone. They deserve the same chances as everyone else.
Thursday, February 26, 2009
Duffy teams up with Clogau Gold
by Charlotte Cowell
Hot on the heels of the superbly named Duffy-dil – a new breed of daffodil set to be launched by the Royal Horticultural Society in April - the eponymous Welsh songstress has teamed up with Clogau Gold to create a brand new licensed jewellery range.
A spokesperson for the family-owned Welsh jewellery manufacturer told Marketplace that discussions with Duffy were still in the early stages, but that: “She is keen to work with Clogau due to her Welsh background.” If all goes according to plan the full range of silver and rose gold jewellery will be launched to the trade by the middle of 2009.
Clogau Gold, which was founded when William Roberts discovered a gold mine near his home in Bontddu in Wales, exhibited at The Jewellery Show during Spring Fair International 2009 and reported that: “It was a good show and definitely worth us being there. [Because of the weather] there were fewer people visiting our stand, but we had a better quality of visitor compared with last year. The ones who attended the exhibition did so with a purpose.”For more information on Clogau Gold click here
Monday, February 23, 2009
Sunday, February 22, 2009
The NOTW have this article about Duffy. It is strikingly similar to their other article from back in August.
Duff guyBy Dan Wootton, 22/02/2009 DESPITE all the attention that’s been hurled at her, DUFFY has kept rather quiet about the special man in her life — but I can tell you that things are getting serious.
Duffy has been so guarded about this part of her private life that she gives the impression of being single.
But guitarist JONNY GREEN has been at the Duffster's side through thick and thin — and all her recent award triumphs.
J has even introduced Duff to his family, who “adore” her.
A source said: “They’re starting to get very serious but it’s funny because Duffy doesn’t talk about him so most people assume she’s single.
“They spent the day after the Brits chilling out together and she was giggling like a schoolgirl for the whole day.
“It’s obvious she’s falling for him in a big way.”
Star Duffy was always set for fame
by Darren Devine
In 12 short months she’s gone from being a virtual unknown to conquering the music world with three Brits and a Grammy.
But now Duffy’s name is arguably the biggest on the UK music scene, while her debut album Rockferry reached number four in the US.
However, though it may seem like the songstress has emerged from nowhere to dominate the global music scene in 12 months, the truth is very different.
Here, DARREN DEVINE speaks to the people who knew Duffy before she was famous and nurtured the fledgling talent that has made her one of the world’s biggest singer songwriters...
SHE never had a record collection of her own and her introduction to the music world she would one day dominate was through her dad’s video recordings of 1960s rock show Ready Steady Go!
The view from those who knew Duffy
Those who knew her when she was still just Aimee Ann Duffy remember a driven 16-year-old drama student working long and hard to reach the peaks she’s now conquered.
Though born in Nefyn, Duffy moved with her mother, twin sister Katy Ann and older sibling Kelly to Pembrokeshire after her parents divorced when she was 10.
Her father John still lives in Nefyn and following her success at the Brits on Wednesday, told reporters he was “ecstatic”.
But just six years after she went to Pembrokeshire, Duffy would return to Nefyn to begin studying for her A-levels at Coleg Meirion Dwyfor, in Pwllheli.
Duffy in school
Duffy’s former drama teacher at the college, Mair Gruffydd, said the qualities of modesty and humility that marked her acceptance of three Brits this week were always in evidence as a student.
“She was very modest, yet bubbly, full of enthusiasm and determined to be a songwriter and sing her songs.
“I keep saying that this was more important for her than the fame aspect – she just wanted to sing and perform.
“I was her drama teacher and she was a good actress as well.”
Miss Gruffydd, from Caernarfon, acknowledged that while she had the outward modesty of the girl-next-door, Duffy’s lofty ambitions were also clear to all who knew her.
“People think she’s come from nowhere, but when she was in college she was studying drama and doing design and technology and also arranging her own gigs and going out singing.
“As she said herself, it took her five years. Then a year ago, the album was released and the last year has been amazing.
“She was a natural talent. In her drama classes, she had excellent stage presence and she played a range of characters and would enthusiastically throw herself into everything. She wanted to succeed and she had that drive.
“I knew she had that extra something and it wasn’t a question of will it happen, but when.”
College manager Liz Saville Roberts echoed her colleague, saying years of unseen toil went into the Grammy and Brit Awards successes Duffy has just enjoyed.
She said: “She was very capable and very self-possessed.
“She’s really worked for it and she’s got a genuine talent.
“You can see it’s down to hard work and she’s kept at it.”
Ms Saville Roberts, 50, added: “You’ve just got to admire her really because she’s kept a steady head on her shoulders even though she has an extraordinary and unique voice.”
After college, Duffy eventually hooked up with Richard Parfitt, the former lead singer with Newport rock act the 60ft Dolls.
He immediately sensed her massive potential and took her to meet executives at his label Rough Trade Records.
Duffy is on record as crediting Parfitt with a big hand in the success she’s now enjoying.
Parfitt, from Cardiff, recalled how he was bowled over by the then teenage girl from Nefyn with the retro ’60s soul star voice.
The songwriter, who penned two of the numbers (Oh Boy and Enough Love) on the deluxe edition of the four-million selling Rockferry, said: “I worked with her quite a lot in the early days and she’s done a few of my songs.
“I always thought she was great and believed she had a real, raw talent.
“She’s a pop star and my thing is rock, but I went to Rough Trade Records and said: ‘I think this girl is special.’
“They agreed, but it didn’t happen straight away for her. This all happened about five years ago and they had to develop her.”
Now Parfitt believes Duffy can go on to become Wales’ biggest ever pop performer.
He suggests Duffy, whose single Mercy last year saw her become the first Welsh woman in 25 years to have a number one hit, can eclipse past greats like Tom Jones and Shirley Bassey.
Parfitt, 45, said: “She’s proved herself to be world class. She’s won a Grammy and she’s the best we’ve got in Wales right now.
“Maybe she’ll become the biggest star ever to come out of Wales.”
Duffy, 24, is often compared to other female soul stars like Amy Winehouse and ’60s diva Dusty Springfield by those suggesting she’s little more than a sound-a-like mimicking a style that’s not truly her own.
But Parfitt insists Duffy has not been trained to sound like Winehouse, as fellow singer Alison Goldfrapp suggested last year.
Parfitt, who now lives in Cardiff, said: “I’ve got demos of her from way back and she sounds exactly the same.
“I wrote ‘Oh Boy’ on the deluxe edition of the album and that was recorded five years ago before she was even signed and she sounded as she does now.
“I’m sure prevailing fashions and styles have had an effect on the way her videos are made, but her voice has not changed one bit.”
Friday, February 20, 2009
Duffy Interview With Dermot O'Leary
Dermot O'Leary caught up with Duffy shortly after her BRIT Awards hat-trick on Wednesday night.
In the Radio 2 interview Duffy discusses the making of 'Rockferry' and just how much it meant to have her work recognised by some of the most prestigious awards in British music.
Click here to listen again on the BBC website.
From the Daily Star.
THE DUFFY FILEBy James Moore
SHE'S the golden girl of soul who stormed the BRITs. But the story of Duffy's unlikely rise to fame is as amazing as her unique music.The 24-year-old Welsh wonder swept the board with three gongs at this week's glittering award ceremony and sales of her music have shot up an amazing 450% according to website play.com.
Now we've put together the ultimate guide to the sexy blonde chart-topper. From her life and loves to getting locked up for her own good, here's all you need to know a bout how the down-to-earth star made her meteoric rise to fame.
THE EARLY YEARS
DUFFY'S mother tongue was Welsh as she grew up in the seaside town of Nefyn in Gwynedd, north Wales.
Nicknamed "Chunky" as a child, she didn't have much of a musical background either – only her gran, who played the accordion and danced.
But by the age of six Duffy loved singing and was carrying around a notebook filled with lyrics she'd scribbled.
Yet her rise to chart stardom seems all the more amazing when you learn that she was kicked out of her primary school choir aged 11 because her voice was "too big."
Her childhood was turbulent, too. At nine her parents divorced and she moved to Pembrokeshire in west Wales with her mother Joyce, twin sister Katy Ann and older sister Kelly.
Then, in 1998, aged 13, Duffy was put into a police safe house after her stepfather's ex-wife plotted to pay a hitman £3,000 to kill him.
The plan was foiled but the teen later said: "I was so terrified. I felt so ill."Aged 15 she ran away back to her father's house in Nefyn.
There she hhw orked at the local Spar supermarket. But that big voice was to be the making of her.
RISE TO STARDOM
DUFFY got into soul music as a kid after watching Whoopi Goldberg, 53, in the movie Sister Act. But she could not afford CDs, so she relied on the radio for her musical education.
She started singing in local bands in Nefyn, then dropped her real first names Aimee Ann at the age of 19 while writing her first album and working part-time in a local second-hand shop.
She came second in Wawffactor, Welsh TV's answer to Pop Idol – even though she called the experience "the unhappiest time in my life".
But music was still her passion and she dropped out of her arts course at the University on the dole, love, and become a singer."
That was the start of a series of odd jobs including working as a part-time waitress in a fish restaurant and a hotel.
But she managed to record a CD in Welsh before fellow musicians introduced her to an agent, who spotted her talent.
Duffy moved up to London – and fame.
LOVES & LIFESTYLES
DUFFY has a close-knit family – she is set to celebrate her BRITs win back home in Nefyn.
Her dad John still runs a social club in there and she once revealed the song Rockferry is written about the place Rock Ferry on The Wirral, where he is from.
She dated music promoter Mark Durston, 35, for five years. They split after she discovered he cheated on her but remain friends.
Now Duffy says she enjoys being single.
She says: "I have fellas in all different parts of the world." She has also admitted to having a "trail of casualties."
Duffy owns up to smoking "not just cigarettes" during her teens but, though she now has the odd tipple of red wine, says she has given up vices in order not to become a typical celeb.
She prefers Diet Coke and her advert for the fizzy drink debuted after the BRITs were shown on TV.
As a teenager she had her tongue and eyebrows pierced and also dyed her hair red.
She's emotional – Duffy apologised to a New York audience after briefly bursting in to tears on stage, saying that it happens once every 15 shows.
Her favourite way to relax is getting into her gingham pyjamas, putting on an old movie like Breakfast At Tiffany's and cooking a meal.
And she loves boxing. "I'm a massive fan of Joe Calzaghe, " she says. "He's my idol."
BACK HOME TODAY
DUFFY is still haunted by her parents' bitter marriage break-up, say locals.
The split between dad John, 51, and mum Joyce was so tortured and acrimonious that Duffy, then known by her Christian name Aimee, feared she would have to make a choice between who she should side with.
One villager said: "It's no wonder so many of her songs have a sad thread running through them.
They were terrible times for Aimee and her sisters." Yesterday dad John said: "I'm over the moon. She has slogged away. She looked terrific at the BRITs and deserves the awards for all her hard work."
AFTER teaming up with Suede's ex-guitar player Bernard Butler, 38, Duffy started getting more into soul music.
She invented her own new retro sound and landed a record deal.
Soon dubbed the new Dusty Springfield the husky-voiced star got her first TV spot in 2007 performing on the BB2 show Later With Jools Holland.
She gave her career a massive kick-start when she became the first Welsh woman in 25 years to top the singles charts with Mercy.
Duffy's debut album Rockferry went on to sell 4.5 million copies around the world.
At the 2008 Q Awards she won the title Best Pop Vocal Album for Rockferry at the American Grammy Awards before sweeping the board at the BRITs, winning British Female Solo Artist, Best Album and British Breakthru Act.
On her voice: "I've felt since I was a little girl my voice would take me places. I think it's sexy to be rough. I'm aiming for rough, the rougher the better."
On being in love: "I did have it once with a guy. I wrote Stepping Stone about him. He wasn't a local guy in Wales. I've never told him that the song was about him, he was so out of reach."
On her ideal man: "I want a man who's charismatic and funny and intriguing and dresses well."
On illegal downloads: "You know what? I don't care, because I think the majority are kids. So it's just making music a part of everyone's lives."
On Rockferry's success: "I made a record that was just about music. No dreams, no ambitions, no expectation, nothing. I just made a bunch of songs."
On fame: "I didn't want to be famous – I still don't. It would be easy to become a recluse."
DUFFY accidentally set her hair on fire in her dressing room while performing in Cleveland, Ohio.
Her single Mercy features in video game EA Sports FIFA 09.
She has a daffodil, called the Duffydil, named after her and shares her tiny London flat with a cat called Felix. Her sisters live in the same street.
She got into a tussle with ex-Sex Pistol Johnny Rotten, 53, at last year's Mojo Music Awards when he swore at her after she tried to hug him.
Puts her sexy tones down to smoking cigarettes in old shed as a teenager while telling ghost stories with her mates.
French brasserie Chez Jules in Chester, where Duffy worked for 12 months, has become a shrine to the songbird with fans wanting to eat at the tables she once wiped down. She still has fond memories of working there.