Scent(re) of attention

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Old 20-May-2011
Scent(re) of attention

UNP ImageNina Ricci is in the business of selling bottled dreams. Florrie Arnold is in the music business.

What happens when the two collide? A pop princess becomes model and a perfume ad becomes a music video.

Confused? We were too but however odd it seems, it's unique and it works. Nina L' Elixir, a variation of the original Nina perfume, which launched in 2006, has a new face.

But this time, instead of just a pretty girl who dances around aimlessly in a fancy location with music playing over the top, the clever people at Nina Ricci actually found a pretty girl who is talented enough to do the singing all by herself.

Not just any pretty girl. Arnold - an up and coming singer, songwriter, drummer and producer (phew), who's been mentioned on more "one-to-watch" lists this year than she's had hot dinners.

Marketing chiefs at the fashion house are confident the latest variant will be similarly successful, supporting a new artist instead of going for someone with celebrity status.

Arnold appears in the music video, in which she sings Blondie's Sunday Girl and the song will also be released as a single.

"We changed the lyrics and tune slightly, which I wrote," she started almost nervously. "I was terrified of sending it to Debbie Harry because she's someone I admire so much. But she approved everything which was amazing. It felt like an achievement in itself."

To look at the delicately-dressed girly-girl sing her way through the video you'd never imagine the first time she ever performed she was dressed as a fish.

"I was seven and I was done up like a fish," she said rolling her big blue eyes in utter embarrassment laced with obvious fond memories in retrospect. "Our school play was set under the sea so I wasn't the only dressed in a silly costume. But I remember I was playing the drums and I could barely reach the pedals. Partly due to the fact I was so young and the rest because of the fins."

The video features the 22-year-old making her way through an enchanted forest in search of the apple-shaped perfume bottle.

"Making the video was such great fun and I learnt so much," she said. "It gave me a lot of confidence when it came to making my latest video for my music. I felt I had a head start."

If you recognise the face already that's because the pocket pop star has just released her latest album Introduction, which is available to download free from her website at florrie.com

She has been British songwriting and production outfit Xenomania's in-house drummer since 2008, playing on Girls Aloud's The Promise, Alesha Dixon's The Boy Does Nothing, and Pet Shop Boys' Yes album. Plus, she has also just shot her own music video for single Begging Me which released this week.

‘Prove myself'

"It's not easy being a female drummer or producer," she says providing an insight into an industry more often than not a man's world. "I have always felt I had to prove myself that little bit more. If you're pretty it doesn't help either. People can sometimes look and believe you are only gaining success because of your looks which can be very frustrating. It takes guts."

Having studied Music Technology, she knows about programming and remixing and has worked the controls at Xenomania HQ for the likes of the Saturdays, plus she writes music and lyrics.

The endorsement gives her a fourth career option after drummer-for-hire, writer-producer, and pop performer in her own right.

"When I think of powerful scents from my past it's not quite so glamourous," she admits. "It's a damp basement which does it for me," she laughs. "I spent so many years making music locked away in dreary, musty rooms under my parent's home, that is what I think about when I think of a smell which sparks memories. Weird, I know." She said it.

Begging Me is the lead track from Arnold's new EP, out on May 26.

"I hope you love it as much as I do," she wrote to fans on her website. "So, as ever, play it as LOUD as you can, LOVE it as loud as you can and DANCE like you you've never danced before."

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