An Interview with Dirty Blonde

  • 3 min read

Dirty Blonde are 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. “I knew she was really talented so I took the plunge and reached out to her and asked if she’d want to be in the band, and here we are today!”, says Hayley.

Following a packed out show at The Great Escape last month and a sold out debut headline at the Deaf Institute, Dirty Blonde are back with their new single ‘Run (When I Tell You)’, and we couldn't wait to find out more about it.

Wonderful to have you here, we've been absolutely loving the new single. We know you first met on Instagram, but how did you first start making music?

"Individually we had different routes that led us to being in Dirty Blonde. Hayley wanted to be Mark Ronson and Ailis wanted to be Dave Grohl. The band came together when we met on Instagram and realised we were as delusional as each other. We’d gotten used to working remotely throughout Covid so we worked on some demos together initially before turning it into Dirty Blonde."

The new single has been described as indie-pop in the recent past, but how would you describe it to the uninitiated?

"Indie rock anthems with a pop edge - picture Dua Lipa being dragged through a hedge kinda vibes."

I love that. There's definitely a distinct indie rock edge to things. What sort of bands have helped inspire that?

"We have a really big range of influences ranging from Oasis, Royal Blood and Kasabian to The 1975, Billie Eilish and Phoebe Bridgers."

I can imagine some amazing potential collaborations there. Do you have a particular favourite?

"Dirty Blonde X The 1975"

Let's talk a little about the new single, can you tell us a bit more about it?

"'Run (When I Tell You)' is a gritty song with big riffs and vocals. We love this song because it really resonates at our live gigs. A lot of people are shocked when they hear that two girls are writing and playing such heavy music."

What is your songwriting process? How does it all come together?

"It varies from song to song. Sometimes the whole song will just come together out of nowhere in a couple of minutes and other times it needs more work. With Run, the original version was very close to the end product. We took it into the rehearsal room to play it through and made a few changes that just really brought the song together."

What’s the most important thing for you when you’re writing a song?

"Just making sure that it’s a song that we genuinely like. If you can strip the song back to acoustic and it still sounds good and interesting then we know we’re not hiding behind the production."

What has been your best moment as a musician/band so far?

"We’ve been lucky enough to play some really great gigs in a short space of time but our highlight to date was playing Isle of Wight this summer. It was our first major festival slot and the crowd kept growing throughout our set to the point that it was overflowing outside the tent. Playing Isle of Wight as a new unheard Northern band, to see that many people come to see us and singing along to our songs was unexpected but the best surprise."

The big question - what’s next for you as an artist?

"Loads more songs and loads more gigs."

In just a few months Dirty Blonde made some major achievements with their debut single ‘Come Over’ including airtime on Radio 1, Radio X, XS Manchester, BBC Manchester and BBC Introducing Merseyside & Lancashire. The duo were invited to play for BBC Introducing Merseyside at the Cavern and landed two Spotfiy editorial playlists. They were named as one of This Feeling's 'Big in 23' acts, with their debut headline at the Deaf Institute selling out well ahead of time along with a sold out O2 Academy Liverpool show supporting the K's and various festival slots within their first 12 months together.

With 'Run' being the first of a string of singles for Dirty Blonde this year, as well as shows up and down the country this summer, 2023 shows no signs of slowing down for the formidable duo.

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