Yellow hard hats are not exactly fashion shoot attire--and yet, on an unusually warm and sunny London day, I donned my safety gear (steel toe boots, too) and made the six story hike up through one of London's most unusual landmarks, Battersea Power Station, to chat to homegrown pop sensation Eliza Doolittle. The singer, whose new ad campaign for boot brand Palladium officially launches today (she follows on the heels of N.E.R.D's Pharrell Williams and, before him, Johnny Knoxville), talked to NYLON about working on her next album, finding her stage style, and more.
You've got such a bold onstage look; how close is it to the real you? I think I'm the real me the whole time. Being on stage is a huge part of who I am, I think. I don't know if I change or if it's just another part of me.
Would you say that your style is fundamentally British? Probably--I think after being here all my life--but it's not something I've ever really thought too much about. I think style's great when you just put something on and it feels good, rather than thinking too much about it. But London style is quite particular. Seeing all this today I'm really feeling it, I feel really proud to be Londoner.
How did this project with Palladium come about? I've actually been wearing the boots for a while and they've been lending them to me--which is always nice! Someone from the brand then got in contact with me... Because I was wearing them already it seemed like a natural collaboration.
What is it about Palladium that fits with your style? I've always liked a nice high-top trainer. Palladiums were originally made for the French Army but they work really well in the city and I'm a city girl. And I just like the look of them--it's as simple as that for me, really.
Who are your style icons? I watch Sex in the City and Carrie Bradshaw's amazing. But it's not the clothes that she's wearing, it's just how she drops it. That's more important than what you're wearing; it's more how you live in what you're wearing.
What was the last thing you bought? I bought this T-shirt by Cats Brothers--it's a Camden musician T-shirt. My tee has Biggie on it with beautiful embroidery and pompoms and stuff. It's so cool! And I bought these baggy denim Ashish jeans with numbers all over them. I saw the catwalk show and I loved them, and then I saw them in the shop and thought, I have to get them!
On tour, what can't you live without? My laptop, my phone, my iPod, my band.
What have you been listening to recently? I'm really into this new band called The Colurs. They're from Texas and they're incredible. They sound like nothing else, really. But they sound really classic, like Beach Boys/Beatles-y kind of thing but different. The songs are great. They have an EP out and I can't wait for their album.
Other than working with Palladium, what's been keeping you busy lately? I won't be doing any festivals this year because I'm finishing my album. It will be out end of this year hopefully--I can't bloody wait! I've been working on it a while now and I need everyone to hear it already. I have about a month to finish it off and then I'll start getting videos and artwork together, which is also really fun. I love being involved in all the artwork, I've got some ideas I'm thinking about already.
Even if you're not performing, will you be attending any festivals this summer? Glastonbury's back on I hear! I didn't get to see Beyonce last year so I don't want to miss out this year.