With a new YouTube reality show The Only Way Is Stooshe, a collaboration with ‘Billionaire’ rapper Travie McCoy in the pipeline and hard-hitting but hilarious single ‘Betty Woz Gone’, quirky threesome Alexandra Buggs, Courtney Rumbold and Karis Anderson are proving ‘girl power’ is alive and kicking. Soon after manager Jo Perry discovered them, producers Future Cut quickly made sure label giant Warner Bros took notice. An exciting combo of explicit lyrics, pop beats and ghetto-retro swag, the girls tore up the stage at Flavour Live, but for those of you that missed out, we thought it was only right we introduce you…
So, just another girl group…?
K: We aren’t! We exaggerate our style, we don’t have rules, we sing what we want and we definitely don’t like to do what we’re told [laughs].
A: I love it when we perform, it’s like a Stooshe alter ego: on stage we go to the extreme. We think about the most ludicrous answers and talk about it in our songs [laughs]. That’s the beauty.
Getting signed must be amazing – will you handle being controlled?
K: We wanted a label that didn’t want to change us. Warner Bros love how we are and the songs we did before.
Will what the press say bother you?
K: This business can be lonely and only we know what we’re going through. I’m glad we’re not put out as prim, proper girls, because we’re not.
C: We’re all feisty, and there may be arguments but we know our boundaries. I feel I’ve known them years, and as long as my family can handle it, I don’t mind what anyone else thinks.
So… ‘Fuck Me’?
A: When we read the comments, we were like, did we do something bad?
K: Like, lighten up, it happens every day, but we’re virgins, obviously…
K: Normal people have sex, have quickies, and women sometimes want to say what we’ve said! On the album we’ve got non-explicit songs too, about not wanting to get up for work, relationships…
C: Hopefully people realise there’s depth to this project.
Courtney and Alex, you were both headhunted while in retail – did you drop everything and go for it?
C: When I was younger I wanted to do musical theatre and I used to go to theatre school; but from being headhunted while working at Marks & Spencer, I finished my A levels and went straight into this.
A: I met Jo in my second year of university [Marketing]; I’ve always loved music and my mum was a singer, so I saw how hard it was. Mum and dad said go for it, but were strict, so I always wanted a backup.
Karis, your mum was a dancer and put you in to dance school at three…
K: I went on to the BRIT school, and as I love a challenge I started singing. I was working with people like Jessie J, Adele, Katy B.
A: I used to do ballet but I stopped because I thought it wasn’t cool… and I was really chubby! [Laughs]
K: Yeah – that’s why I really stopped!
C: Imagine me in a pair of tights…
Is the future bright for Stooshe?
K: This time last year, Jessie J would say she was watching the MOBOs at home on her own! We look at her, Wretch 32, Ed Sheeran, Emeli Sandi… and take a lot of inspiration.
A: I love the UK artists and Beyoncé’s work ethic!
K: We’re aiming for longevity; the album’s coming out, singles; hopefully we can afford one of those flights.
C: Up into space! [Laughs]
Interview by Catherine Ababio