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La Roux

Sixty seconds with Elly Jackson



Indy: How did you get into retro synth pop?

EL: I discovered it when I was about 16, 17. And I love Blancmange — Ben [Langmaid, La Roux's keyboardist, co-writer and co-producer] introduced me to them. And the Human League's Dare! — just amazing. But I was 17, and all about going out clubbing and raving. And then I started to get into more electronic music, until something just triggered in my brain one night at 5 o'clock in the morning. Now I could go on and on for days, just talking about '80s bands.

Indy: So do you feel like an old soul in your early 20s?

EL: Actually, I've always felt quite wise, like I've been here a few times before ... I started hanging out with 28- to 35-year-olds a few years ago, and I find I'm much closer to them than I am people my own age.

Indy: Would you use the term "mentor" for Ben?

EL: Well, yeah, you would. But it's different every week — it just depends where we both are. We often share the same emotions, the same lows and highs, at the same time, so it's quite funny. But yeah, for a long time I would've said he was my mentor, but now he's more like my closest friend. And I don't feel any age gap in any way, shape or form, and neither does he.

Indy: When you two signed a deal as La Roux, they tried to pair you with kitschy co-writers. But you instinctively said no?

EL: And I never would've written the song "Bulletproof" if I'd said yes to what they were saying. Because it's about saying no, I'm not gonna work with Eg White or some guy who'd worked on the Spice Girls. I'm not doing it. I don't care. And that's why it's not just Elly Jackson — we turned it into a project name so they couldn't split us up. We contractually had to be together as La Roux!

At Denver's Ogden Theatre, June 5.

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