Megalomaniacal Hollywood gossip blogger and one-time self-described "Queen of All Media" Perez Hilton's first CD compilation, Pop Up! #1, was released earlier this week on the Opus Label. As early as 2009, there was talk of Hilton getting his own boutique imprint on Warner Bros., and his website's constant championing of new discoveries is largely responsible for putting artists like Iggy Azalea on the map. He's certainly spending less time berating celebs these days: Having started the fitness-oriented fitperez.com, he's finally making his first foray into record-making. The 18-song sampler of mostly undiscovered artists is the first in a reported series of Hilton-curated compilations.
And indeed, it's a fun record, with such varied flavors of EDM novelty that might surprise people in its scope -- one highlight is "Zero Gravity" from Kerli, a "goth-pop" star from Estonia. That said, the work's subject matter may not be so surprising. Ex-Morningwood singer Chantal Claret turns Jack and Jill into a horny revenge tale on "Pop Pop Bang Bang." Mostly built for clubs and parties, even the "rock" and "rap" stuff here averages out to dance music. Hilton spoke to West Coast Sound by phone about such topics as redeeming Ke$ha.
So how many demos and CDs do you get in the mail per week?
Uh...a lot. But I actually hate getting stuff by mail. I really prefer getting stuff by e-mail because it's easier. But I get a lot.
What's the weirdest shit a band has done to try and get your attention?
Actually something crazy just happened this weekend. On Sunday I was leaving [monthly "polysexual" clubgoer party] Summertramp and this car filled with lesbians and a transgendered singer started chasing me and stopped in the middle of the street and handed me a CD from the transgendered singer.
Did you play it?
Do you look for the same qualities in musicians as the actors and other celebs you admire?
Mmmmm....mmmmmmmnn...nah. No. No, because for music it's usually something a lot more...immediate. So I'm looking for something that will grab me instantly. Whereas actors or other artists, you get to know them more and differently over time. But with music it's really that quick, instantaneous thing.
What's worse for an artist: being terrible or being boring?
Hmmmm. Being really bad is worse, because boring can still be successful. [laughs]
There's a lot of raunchy humor and sexiness on Pop-Up, like on the tracks by Kat Graham and Chantal Claret. Hi Fashion's "Amazing" is very funny.
Do you always lean towards bawdy-humored stuff or does the album just represent one side of your taste?
I have I like to think a very eclectic taste, but I definitely have preferences. And I think the most prevalent preference is my predilection towards female vocalists. I love female musicians, female singers. And another thing I think is guys tend to be in bands, and girls tend to go solo. And I'm much more of an "artist" fan than a "band" fan usually. And there are amazing bands I love -- I've been obsessed with Walk the Moon recently, I love them. And just today I posted Lianne La Havas and she's not...funny at all. [laughs] She's very serious and beautiful and makes amazing soul jazz music.
Were any of the artists here completely unknown before this disc?
I think a lot of them are still unknown! But I just came across them and I love their songs. I love how fun they all are and how varied. I called it Pop Up, the album, because to me pop is everything that's on there. Pop is everything from Kanye West to Taylor Swift, it's all pop to me.