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Dirty Blonde

15th August 2023

Interview: Amy Bell

Dirty Blonde is a fierce female alternative duo comprising members Ailis Mackay and Hayley Tait. Hailing from Manchester, the duo have quickly gathered pace amongst key tastemakers and were praised as ‘one of the most exciting acts to come through Radio 1’s Future Alternative'.

The pair met on Instagram in 2022 after Hayley kept seeing sponsored videos where Ailis combines the styles of two artists and makes a cover of them says Hayley. 

Hi girls, for people who don’t know you, describe your sound in 3 words.

Grunge meets glam.

You met on Instagram, when did you realize that you wanted to pair up and start creating music together, and was music always something you dreamt of doing both of you?

We were sick of writing songs on our own so we started writing songs together. We definitely weren’t the stereotypical story of coming out of the womb as a musical genius. Hayley wanted to be Simon Cowell. Ailis wanted to be a vet but after she got into uni she realized she’d have to give up music and that wasn’t an option. Hayley realized she didn’t actually know what Simon Cowell's job was so decided to do music instead.

Tell me a bit about your amazing successes, such as featuring on BBC and performing at the Isle Of Wight festival, how do you celebrate these brilliant successes? 

To be honest we’ve been so busy and have a lot of exciting things coming up that we can’t mention just yet so we haven’t really had a chance to celebrate yet. We’re actually really boring though and are planning an end-of-year spa day.

You have just released a new song a couple of days ago, how did ‘Don’t Cry (It Doesn’t Suit You)’ come about, and what is the message behind the song?

Don’t Cry is about going through a breakup when you’re sick and tired of repeated bad behavior and the person in the wrong cries but you know they’re only sorry they got caught. The song actually came from a funny meme. We’ve definitely all been there where you’re just tired of someone’s BS.

Your previous single ‘Run (When I Tell You)’, was a brilliant success, when creating this single, how did you prepare?

We both really love Jack Antanoff and he says to always go with your instinct when you first write a song, even down to what tempo it should be. When we write a new song we always make sure that we don’t overthink it so it allows it to come to life organically once you take it into the studio. It’s very easy to let technology take over and everything becomes too mechanical so we do our best to stay away from that. We record with Gareth Nuttall at The Lounge and he really understands what we envision when we take a song into the studio. Maybe he’s psychic. 

Allis and Hayley, what are both of your favorites out of writing or recording, if you could choose?

We’re greedy and we like both. It’s always a really great feeling when you see a spark of an idea but it’s even better when you take it to the studio and see it really come to life.

Have you taken this song out of any personal experiences and how did this song make you grow as people, when writing and recording this?

The song is about growing up and moving on from betrayal so lyrically we took inspiration from various different walks of life. Ailis is also a serial dater of musicians so we took inspiration from that. We wrote this song quite differently from our usual process because we usually write and produce together however Hayley wrote this song and handed it to Allis as an acoustic voice note who then produced it to what it is now.

How are you gearing up for the latest release? 

We’ve had a really good festival season and we’ve been playing the song in the set which has been going down really well, so we’re just really excited to get the song out and for people to hear it ready for our headline shows in September. It feels like a good way to end the festival season.

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