Mini Viva are the new band from Xenomania, the super-successful production team behind Girls Aloud. They are also great. So why did their last single – the excellent ‘I Wish’ chart at a despicable number 73 in the charts? On the face of it, Mini Viva deserve a number one just […]
Mini Viva are the new band from Xenomania, the super-successful production team behind Girls Aloud.
They are also great. So why did their last single – the excellent ‘I Wish’ chart at a despicable number 73 in the charts?
On the face of it, Mini Viva deserve a number one just as much as Girls Aloud. So, as Snoop Dogg would say, uh, back to the lecture at hand – today’s being ‘Why aren’t Mini Viva massive?’
Mini Viva consist of Frankee Connolly and Britt Love, from Manchester and Newcastle respectively – a couple of Northern lasses whose infectious enthusiasm and party-mentality permeate throughout their fantastically energetic pop songs. Which luckily are really quite good indeed. It’s most likely you heard at least one drunk person singing “I left my heart in Tookeeeyoooo!” last year, and no it wasn’t an original improv – it was the name of Mini Viva’s first single. This debut number was an uptempo blast of perfume scented air that breezed its way to a respectable number 7 in the charts.
But the fun ended there. Their next single – the bouncingly optimistic ‘I Wish’ only stayed in the top 100 for one week, before sinking without a trace. It seemed that it was a wish that didn’t end up coming true.
So it’s up to ‘One Touch’ to bring them back to the fore. This latest single is perhaps their best so far, and carries all the verve and originality that is to be expected of a Xenomania production, along with a nifty video chock-full of the girls’ trademark dance moves.
But does any of that matter? It still remains a fact that their second single had all the required elements to make everyone involved expect a sure-fire hit, but it didn’t deliver. And we’d like to know why. Why is it that Girls Aloud can score so many top-ten hits when acts from the same stable fall by the wayside?
Mini Viva have the tunes, they have the look, they even have the critical plaudits – NME, Guardian and Q Magazine all gave it the big ‘un about them earlier in their career. But what is it that’s not converting to commercial success?
Is credibility the problem?
1. Do Mini Viva’s target audience even know what NME is? It could be a case of making a pop act (and don’t forget, that’s exactly what Mini Viva is) a bit too cool for school, thereby alienating the music fans with a little more room in their jeans.
2. It didn’t help that when they appeared on the mainstream ‘Live at Studio Five’ they performed a ‘credible’ acoustic version of ‘I Wish’ before being cut off mid-song by the adverts. This can’t have helped towards portraying Mini Viva as they really are – pure and polished pop.
3. Surely it’s time to market Mini Viva as unashamedly as their unpretentious songs and steer them away from frighteningly niche, nonsense descriptions like ‘glacial treadmill-disco’ – cheers for that one, NME. Pop can be cool, but only if it’s not marketed that way – shouting at people about how trendy something is instantly makes it the opposite.
Are Xenomania themselves the problem?
1. Is there too much emphasis on a 30 and 40-something production duo?
2. Maybe “The next big thing from Xenomania” isn’t the best introduction for a new act as it severs the essential connection between the band and the public.
3. Xenomania shouldn’t be trying to be the next Timbaland or Red One – what’s next, a foghorn and someone shouting ZEH ZEH ZEH ZEH XENOMANIA at the beginning of each track?
Simon Fuller is their manager
1. OK, you know him as the multi-millionaire svengali behind S Club, Spice Girls and American Idol. But his recent forays into pop music have been to launch 21st Century Girls, S Club Jnrs, American Jnrs, plus Emma Bunton’s and Rachel Steven’s solo careers.
So what’s up?
Well we don’t know, and unfortunately it seems the Viva girls aren’t the only Xenomania off-shoots who aren’t exactly lighting up the charts – Alex Gardner peaked at a disappointing 44 on the charts with his debut single ‘I’m Not Mad’, another tune that should’ve fared better.
Of course it could all be a tiny glitch in the system and the new single might prove to be relatable enough to warrant a hit, which we certainly hope is the case, as it’s a rather catchy little ditty.
But perhaps there’s only one real reason Mini Viva aren’t huge… there’s nothing a well-timed verse from Chipmunk couldn’t fix.
Here’s the video for their new single, ‘One Touch':