Biography of Ninja of Go! Team (Nkechi Ka Egenamba)

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Ninja of Go! Team sings at the Route du Rock festival in St. Malo France on August 16. 2007. Ninja has varied musical interests but is primarily interested in hiphop.[1] "I listened to everything. I was into classic music and jazz," says Ninja.[2] "I am mainly into hiphop. I like the real hiphop with loads of swearing. I like those CDs with stickers that say "Parental Advisory" and "Explicit Lyrics." The proper hiphop is all about people getting shot in the neighborhood. It is all violence. I like that kind of hiphop. Because it was real and they were rapping about what they know."[3]

Nkechi Ka Egenamba[4][5] (first name pronounced n-kay-kee)[6] known as Ninja is an English rapper and the female lead vocalist for the British indie band The Go! Team. Doing a mixture of rapping, chanting and singing, Ninja is well known for her energetic stage performances and dancing. In 2005, NME voted Ninja the 15th coolest person in music.[7]

Contents

Early life and education

Born Nkechi Ka Egenamba,[4][5] (Full name: Nkechi Ka Mmaku Egenamba[8]) Nkechi is short for Nkechinyere, and means "what God has given" or "gift of God" in Igbo, the language of the Ibo people of Nigeria, an ethnic group in West Africa, numbering in the tens of millions.[9] Ninja was born in London[10] (Surrey, Greater London, Middlesex, Essex[11]) on September 24, 1983[12]

Ninja's father is Nigerian and a lawyer.[13] Ninja's mother is half-Egyptian, half-Nigerian and while not a doctor herself trains doctors.[14] Ninja is one of five children and was brought up in a very strict household.[15] "There were only three career paths: doctor, lawyer, accountant. Other than that, you've basically wasted your life. Everyone wanted me to be a doctor," says Ninja.[16] When Ninja told her father she wanted to be a rapper, "He said to me, 'Wrap what? Presents?' He really had no idea what I was talking about. ... I've met relatives, and when I tell them I'm in a band, they treat me like I sweep streets and clean toilets. They're not impressed," Ninja says.[17] Ninja had an early interest in music.[18] "[I] always had music on the side, since I was 10 or 11 years old, whether it was talent shows or martial-arts classes."[19] Ninja trains in martial arts and although she is not a black belt she says "I could be if I wanted to be."[20]

Ninja had been studying at the university before she joined The Go! Team.[21] "I was doing media and culture studies," says Ninja.[22] "It's a great course if you have no idea what you want to do with yourself, cos it's got a bit of journalism, drama, advertising, marketing, graphic design, it's kind of got everything so you find your niche. But I wanted to do about a thousand things in my life. I wanted to be a mad scientist. I wanted to be a writer. I hadn't decided what I wanted to write."[23] Ninja continued her studies while a member of the band and graduated in 2006.[24][25] "I was doing my dissertation on the tour bus," says Ninja.[26] "It was on Joss Stone. She made a comment about soul music, she had said 'It's not black music, it's God's music'. I took that quote and it was the title of my dissertation."[27] Ninja had a social work job until December 2004 when she officially joined the Go! Team.[28] Ninja graduated in 2006 after touring with the band.[29] "I was studying finals exams at university and traveling around the world with The Go! Team at the same time," says Ninja.[30] "That was difficult for me."[31]

Ninja Joins The Go! Team

Ninja and Go! Team appear at the Festival Musica de Ibirapuera in Sao Paulo, Brazil on June 28, 2008. Ninja says the band's purpose is to get people on the dance floor.[32] "I can always see the one guy at the gig who’s refusing to dance," Ninja says.[32] "He’s always really tall, standing at the back, catching the light. I can see it in his face – 'You’re not going to make me move, you’re not going to make me dance' – and, by the end, he’s in the middle of the room, going mental."[32] Original Photo creaqted by Fernando Mafra Derivative work created by Hugh Pickens

Ninja became lead singer for the The Go! Team after founder Ian Parton created the first The Go! Team album in the studio. With Ninja, the live band became a "separate entity" to the original studio vision, as the performances became radically different from the recordings, particularly due to Ninja's freestyled vocals contrary to the sampled vocals present on the album.[32] Parton acknowledged that Ninja had become the "face of the band" in an interview with Erik Leijon in September 2007.[33] "How could she not be, really? It's an interesting thing because we're quite different people when it comes to The Go! Team. She brings it to life on the stage. She grabs the crowd by the bollocks and doesn't let go. She gives it her all, almost superhumanly, every night. When she speaks, the crowd they listen and she commands attention, more so than I could ever do. She's an entertainer, and I don't know what I am, perhaps an "ideas" person," Parton said.[33] "I'm not fussed about celebrity at all. There are no ego clashes, no 'Why her and not me?' We're all mellow and we all bring our own thing to the band. It's not just the Ninja show. It's the combination of the people, and what they bring musically, is what it's all about."[33] Ninja says it's hard to classify the band.[34] "We take elements of a lot of different decades, but it's been made into something completely new," says Ninja.[35] "It's not music from the 80s or 70s or 60s, but because of all of those influences, and because of the world we're living in and the technology we have now, we're making something completely unique."[36]

Ninja was the last to join the band and only heard about The Go! Team after answering an ad placed by Parton.[37] "For Ninja, I'd been looking for the right singer for a while," said Parton.[38] "I went to some open mic nights in London but most of the people there were more R&B or just didn't seem right. I wanted a kind of slinkiness. Also, I wanted a female because it's kind of a band rule not to have any male vocals. So I met her through the internet and sent her a CD, and she was one of the few people that was striving for something a bit different."[38] "I saw an advert on the internet that someone was looking for an old-school female rapper and I was a student at university and working part-time and I had nothing better to do with myself," said Ninja.[20] "I just took a chance on something," Ninja says.[39] "There's times when someone will be, 'I'm a producer!' And you go and check them out, and you're walking [through] a whole block of council flats with gun shots in the background, and it's just some bloke who's got some beats."[39] "There was an advert that just said 'looking for a female rapper and we have a show lined up in Sweden' and I thought 'I've never been to Sweden, so why not?' And that was it really."[40]

Parton had originally conceived of The Go! Team after wanting to create music incorporating his favourite things including Sonic Youth-style guitars, double dutch chants, and car chase horn music.[41] Parton started jamming these sounds together and eventually recorded Thunder, Lightning, Strike in his parents' kitchen[42] playing most of the instruments on the first album himself.[43] "Well lots of it was played by me and I pulled in people to play bits and pieces. It was pretty chaotic and drawn out," said Parton.[44] "It was recorded in a basement, everything was slammed to tape with the levels in the red. We deliberately fucked up the sound to make it too dirty for daytime radio."[44] Parton started his project with simple equipment.[45] "I had a bunch of crappy '80s sound equipment and an Atari, and I started putting some of my ideas in practice. The idea of putting different samples next to each other - trying to make a new song by putting a range of different types of music next to each other," said Parton.[45] "So it started off with me and then I hooked up with five other people in London and Brighton. Two of them are friends, the singer I met at an open mic night and the drummer I met at a record shop."[45]

Parton sent Ninja a copy of the record to learn the music.[46] "He sent me a CD. I listened it for two weeks. It took me a while to get my head around it," says Ninja.[47] "It was so unique that I didn't say, 'Hey, I want to play.' It was dizzy, different, chaotic, rocking, happy. It was so much. I was figuring what I was going to do."[48] Parton also wanted Ninja to come up with lyrics for the live show.[49] "Ian wanted me to write lyrics for the live show," says Ninja.[50] "I was wondering how I was going to fit in. People think of rapping as being a certain way. The Go! Team really pushes the boundaries. There can be rapping, singing, and shouting. There is so many possibilities. It is not as restrictive as modern rap is at the moment."[51]

The Live Band

The Go! Team playing at Berlin Festival in July 2007. "We have a lot of visuals going on as well now. The visuals encompass the spirit of The Go! Team. We make very visual music," says Ninja.[52] "It's like a party on stage. We have a lot of fun. When someone smiles you want to smile back. If we are having a good time onstage we hope that the audience is having a good time as well."[53]
Ninja at a Live Concert in Brussels in 2011. Photo: Kmeron Flickr Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.0 Generic (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

Fitting Into the Band

Ninja tried to figure out where she fitted in when she joined the band.[54] "At first, I thought, 'What is going on?'" Ninja said.[54] "I was trying to think where I fitted in. It’s like fireworks, and you want me to dance under the fireworks?" [54] Ninja, at 19, had previously appeared on stage with other bands and had ambitions of becoming the next Mis-Teeq.[54] At first, Parton wasn't even sure The Go! Team could become a live act and described a terrible first live performance as "ropey."[55] "But I didn’t know I was joining a band. I just thought I was doing a couple of shows," says Ninja.[20] "And then I kept doing more and more shows. And then it was about a year later that our manager got us together and said, let’s talk about this band thing. And it just went from there."[20]

The Band's Purpose is to Get People on the Dance Floor

Ninja says the band's purpose is to get people on the dance floor.[32] "I can always see the one guy at the gig who’s refusing to dance," Ninja says.[32] "He’s always really tall, standing at the back, catching the light. I can see it in his face – 'You’re not going to make me move, you’re not going to make me dance' – and, by the end, he’s in the middle of the room, going mental."[32] "For The Go! Team it's about what the music needs, it's very upbeat, it's very reminiscent of cheerleading and hopscotch and double dutch and Sesame Street, so I give it that feel," says Ninja.[56] There are times when I slip in something I want to say, get a bit political. But for The Go! Team, most of the time, the lyrics aren't really about anything, it's fun music. It's feelgood music, so it needs feelgood lyrics."[57] Ninja is well known for the athletism of her performance in live shows.[58] "For me, when you've got three mad songs together, it's killer with all the singing and dancing. But if you're in the Olympics and you're running a race or something, just because you're tired it doesn't mean you're allowed to stop," says Ninja.[59] "You have to keep going, like I started at this level, so I have to continue at this level till the end of the show. I'm not allowed to be tired, I'm the gang leader and I'm leading the crowd into having a great time. When they see me dance, they want to dance."[60]

Difference Between the Records and the Live Show

Ninja says the records and the live show are really two different entities.[61] "To know what The Go! Team is about you need to see the live show and hear the album," says Ninja.[62] "The live show is so hectic. So much is happening onstage. People are running around and changing instruments. Sometimes it is two people and sometimes it's all six of us. People can expect the unexpected."[63] Ninja says that the visual element onstate is a strong part of the live show.[64] "We have a lot of visuals going on as well now. The visuals encompass the spirit of The Go! Team. We make very visual music," says Ninja.[65] "It's like a party on stage. We have a lot of fun. When someone smiles you want to smile back. If we are having a good time onstage we hope that the audience is having a good time as well."[66]

Ninja says she likes performing live at universities.[67] "I think we're quite well known within the uni crowds," says Ninja.[68] "And in America, as well, college students seem to love us. I think we just have a lot more fun - older crowds, you come out and you feel like they're waiting to be impressed. But young people just want to be carefree and have a great time, and it's going to be a great crowd. If it's all uni stops on our next tour, then it's going to be great."[69]

Ninja Injured in Brooklyn Concert During 2011 Tour

Ben Lozovsky reported at Brooklyn Vegan on April 19, 20111 that Ninja appeared to have hurt herself fairly bad while caught in the middle of a giant group dog pile at the end of their performance at the Brooklyn Bowl. She was carried off-stage when she couldn’t lift herself up, and was later evaluated by medics in an ambulance outside, flanked by all her concerned band mates. Ninja later posted this message to Facebook:

"Ended up in hospital last night after the Brooklyn show. A band member body-slammed me in the ribs! (All in the name of rock) Thought I had a punctured lung. X-rays showed no broken bones but I’m still sore. Spent the night in a Manhattan A&E with Sam and kept expecting an actor from Grey’s Anatomy to walk past. It happened on stage and I think the crowd thought it was part of the show. Nuff scary. Also, thank you Brooklyn for braving the violent weather to watch our violent show."[70]

Go! Team Appears at Loadstar Festival at Cambridge in 2012

Chris Gravett reported that Ninja appeared with the Go! Team at the Loadstar Festival on September 12, 2012.[71] Joseph Goggins wrote in the Manchester Evening News that "with no further dates in the diary, by the time they made a fleeting appearance at a Radcliffe and Maconie roadshow for BBC 6Music over the August Bank Holiday weekend in 2012, it looked as if the Brighton outfit had finally edged towards a natural conclusion."[72]

2015 Tour

Ninja on Tour with Go! Team in 2016 Photo: Goatling. Flickr Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic (CC BY-SA 2.0)

On September 29, 2015 Consequence of Sound reported that Go! Team had announced their first tour in five years with Ian Parton joined by original members Ninja and Sam Dook, as well as Cheryl Pinero and Simone Odaranile. Go! Team planned to tour in Ebisu, Japan, Shizuoka, Japan, Bilboa, Cardiff, Chicao, San Francisco, Los Angeles, New York City, Boston, Philadelphia, and Washington DC.[73]

The Go! Team appeared at the Sinclair in Cambridge, Massachusetts on January 22, 2016 as part of their first US tour in five years. "[Ian] Parton tried to honor his group’s various phases by splitting front duties between an original member, the sensational rapper Ninja (born Nkechi Ka Egenamba), and new guitarist-vocalist-melodica player Maki (also known as Angela Won-Yin Mak)," wrote Franklin Souts at the Boston Globe. "Dressed in white short shorts and a striped halter top, Ninja kicked off the show with “The Power Is On,” from the group’s debut, dancing and rapping with equal aplomb. Unfortunately, as with so much live hip-hop, the backing music just sounded canned, and the two drummers and guitarists banged away as if on props." "Still, the 75-minute set was never less than fun, and it kicked into elation when Ninja laid into superb old hits such as “Grip Like a Vice” and “Huddle Formation.”"[74]

According to Zack Ruskin, one challenge Parson faced in the tour was "figuring out how to replicate the varied voices he’d recruited in studio for a live performance. Parton found the answer in Angela Won Yin Mak, whom he discovered playing in the band Parlour. He sent her The Scene Between, and when she agreed to join up with The Go! Team, Parton knew the rest of his work would be easy. Simone Odaranile, who Parton calls “the best drummer we’ve had,” and bassist/backing vocalist Cheryl Pinero came aboard, along with mainstays Ninja (vocals) and Sam Dook (guitar)."[75] “I always knew I would keep doing music, but it was really becoming impossible to carry on in the old line-up,” says Parton. “There were babies and jobs and stuff happening making it impossible to tour. It’s been quite liberating in a way. I didn’t know if I was going to call it The Go! Team for a while, but I’m glad I have kept the name – it means we can keep playing the old stuff like Tornado, and have the power of the brass samples coming out of the PA.”[76]

According to Steven Johnson, Ninja is still the unchallenged focal point of Go! Team's live shows. "The sheer energy they exert is striking, the co-ordinated on stage jumps, blurs of collective movement, interchanging of instruments and Ninja’s direct crowd engagement all coming together to heady effect (and causing several instances of mass-arm waving amongst the crowd)," wrote Johnson after seeing them at Village Underground in London. "They’re markedly a different band when Ninja is on lead vocals – the smash of adrenaline of T.O.R.N.A.D.O shows the power and physicality of their sound with the almost chaotically buzzing Grip Like A Vice and Keys To The City not too far behind (it’s during these moments when even the Village Underground sound system seems close to giving out)."[77]

Joseph Goggins wrote in the Manchester Evening News on June 22, 2015 that Ninja remains the star of the show. "The London rapper doesn’t actually appear on The Scene Between, but - as was the case when Thunder, Lightning, Strike material was adapted for the stage - she brings her own lyrics to the tracks, as well as a slew of classics; incendiary opener The Power Is On is a case in point, as is a vicious take on Grip Like a Vice," writes Goggins. "Ninja and Maki, between them, do a fine job of replicating the studio vocal provided by Bethany Cosentino of Best Coast on Buy Nothing Day, and buy the time Apollo Throwdown climaxes with some typically energetic guitar work from Parton and Dook, the state of play is clear - The Go! Team might have been on their death bed not too long ago, but now that they’re back at peak fitness, there’s few more arresting live propositions in Britain."[78]

Albums

2004: Thunder, Lightning, Strike

Thunder, Lightning, Strike is the debut album by The Go! Team. It was released on British label Memphis Industries in 2004 and was nominated for the 2005 Mercury Music Prize.[79] According to Zeth Lundy writing in PopMatters, "The Go! Team’s music—mostly instrumental with scraps of schoolyard chanting, cheerleader ranting, and funky cold medina raps courtesy MC Ninja—is both infectious and incendiary. Everyone’s fantasy persona needs an internal soundtrack, and that soundtrack is what the Go! Team provides, completely free of prejudice. So if your fantasy involves headbands, Ray-Bans, karate kicks, double takes, rooftop-to-rooftop jumps, somersaults, Lee Marvin, or simply some well-timed one-liners, Thunder, Lightning, Strike is the perfect accompaniment, offering themes to nonexistent ‘70s cop shows (“Panther Dash”, “Junior Kickstart”), shouted mantras set to cataclysmic rhythm tracks (“The Power Is On”), mash-ups of ‘80s dance-pop and ‘60s soul (“Ladyflash”), and even mellow excursions into Hot Rats-era Zappa (“Friendship Update”)."[80]

2007: Proof of Youth

On May 13 2007, The Go! Team announced the release of their new single and subsequent album on their website.[81] The single, "Grip Like a Vice", was released on July 2, 2007, and the new album, called Proof of Youth, was released on 10 September in the UK and a day later in the US. The new record maintains The Go! Team’s scrappy spirit through a canny mix of samples, live band recordings and an array of special guests, including hip-hop hero Chuck D, electro diva Solex and Bonde Do Role singer Marina Ribatski.[32] "I wanted it to be noisier, more kind of ballsier, just a bit more wangy, a bit more kick ass, and a bit more live sounding," said Parton.[82] "I always loved weird tunings and white noise and feedback and more aggressiveness. A bit more Public Enemy and more sing-along."[82]

Ninja and the rest of the band had more musical input on the second album.[20] "The band was a bit more involved in the recording process, we went into the studio and put down our parts as they were needed but the samples are still Ian’s side of it."[20] On the song Flashlight Fight, "Chuck D's part on was all done over the Internet," says Ninja.[83] "Ian chopped it up and rearranged and changed the words. If he ever wanted to do it with us, Chuck would have to learn the new version."[84] When Ninja performs the track live, she uses her own words.[85] "I just can't rap someone else's lyrics, so I made up my own," she says.[86] "I made (my lyrics) political," Ninja says.[87] "I was watching TV and was inspired by how the government makes you think you have a choice in things. You have a choice to go to school or work, but they're the only options they have given you. ... I am a conspiracy-theory addict, and this is my little conspiracy song."[88]

Ninja also uses her own words on the song "Grip Like a Vice" instead of the words on the recorded version.[89] "Ian used found vocals for that song," Ninja says.[90] "Mine are all break-dancing terminology about b-boys and tricks and moves."[91]

The recording was a more collaborative effort on the second album.[33] "Everyone contributed to it in the recording stage," says Ian Parton.[33] "Ninja wrote some of the lyrics, everyone played their instruments on it, and they came up with ideas for parts and what instruments would be used next."[33] "The second album is a big deal for any band," says Ninja.[92] "But I think luckily people don't care so much about our second album as they would someone like the Arctic Monkeys or The Kaiser Chiefs. So that way the pressure is eased a little bit. If you don't get us the first time, you're not going to get us the second time!"[93]

2011: Rolling Blackouts

Jessica Henderson wrote at the Harvard Crimson that "to accuse the sextet of doing too much would be remiss, because few groups can match their ingenious blend of influences or their pop sensibilities. Though you wouldn’t know it from the blaring horns and incomprehensible rapping of opening track “T.O.R.N.A.D.O.,” this album might be their most tuneful yet. Its most compelling cuts often lean more toward vocal than toward instrumental greatness."[94]

Scott Thill, writing in Wired, wrote that "Rolling Blackouts is a blast of beautiful noise, from its Ninja-led anthemic stomp “T.O.R.N.A.D.O” (downloadable above) to its hypnotic My Bloody Valentine-like title track (featuring guest vocals from Best Coast‘s Bethany Cosentino and Piano Magic‘s Angèle David-Guillou)." Ian Parton said he might put The Go! Team out to pasture after Rolling Blackouts and the engaging sextet’s upcoming U.S. tour, starting April 13 in Washington, D.C., and wrapping April 20 in San Francisco. “This may be the last Go! Team record,” said Parton.[95]

Jessica Escobedo wrote at Neontommy that "Rolling Blackouts” creates a fresh collage of hip-hop, pop, indie rock and funk. Still preserving their playful carnival sound, the rambunctious melodies makes listening to this one just as entertaining as attending ones of their live shows."[96]

Stuart Berman wrote at Pitchfork that "since its inception, the group has reconstructed sounds that are all about inspiring motion-- cheerlander chants, rollerskate jams, breakdance beats, cop-show chase themes, 90s mosh-pit rock-- into a brass-blasted wall of squall. But the side effect of constant movement is fatigue-- in this case, on the band itself, which charged through its 2007 sophomore release Proof of Youth with the same gusto heard on its dazzingly 2004 debut, Thunder, Lightning, Strike. Compounding the exhaustion on Proof of Youth is Parton's unwavering deference for high-pitch-frequency productions that sound like they're blaring out of an old Zenith, tenuously walking the line between ingratiating and just plain grating."[97]

2015: The Scene Between

Alex McCown-Levy wrote that "with the dissolution of the group, The Go! Team is no longer much of a team, but the sole remaining teammate has crafted the group’s best album since the release of Thunder, Lightning, Strike back in 2004. Ian Parton has always been the Svengali of the group, singlehandedly creating the first record, and composing the vast majority of the music ever since. But subsequent albums have showcased various members of the group he assembled in the wake of his first album’s success, particularly there-from-the-start MC Ninja, whose hortatory rhymes often pulled Parton’s pop-collage compositions into the 21st century."[98]

"I think songs [I’ve made] aren’t Go! Team-y at all," said Ian Parson in an interview with Dan Derks. "And I thought that people might be surprised with this record, that it might not sound as Go! Team-y that they might think it would. I guess since I’m close to it I won’t really recognize there’s something that flows through it, which is just me, I guess. And I kind of love that about music, the way it’s almost like a fingerprint. The melody choices you make, and the aesthetic."[99]

"I’ve always written the music all the way down the line," said Parson in an interview with Sarah Gooding. "We’ve never been a jam band. I’ve got a lot of patience, so I’m the one that can be asked to sit in front of the computer all day, listening to a thousand songs. (Laughs) Most people probably wouldn’t do that. On albums two and three, Proof of Youth and Rolling Blackouts, the band were a lot more involved in the recording and I’d use their skills. They’re better guitarists and bass players than me. But in some ways it was quite refreshing not to feel like, Oh, is Ninja going to like this? Is so-and-so going to like this? I could just do what I wanted."[100]

2017: Semicircle

Under the Radar reported on October 11, 2017 that The Go! Team have announced a new album, Semicircle, and shared its first single, "Semicircle Song." Semicircle is due out January 18 via Memphis Industries. The album features two key members of the original live band lineup that toured the band's acclaimed debut album, 2004's Thunder, Lightning, Strike, guitarist Sam Dook and rapper Ninja.[101]

"With 'Semicircle Song' I was trying to take the technicolour feel of a marching band into a more psychedelic place, reclaiming that sound from patriotic or sporty bullshit and harnessing its toughness and power," said Ian Parton. "Brass which takes your head off, bouncy xylophones, offbeat handclaps and toms hopping in the gaps - I hoped it would be recognisably The Go! Team but unlike any song we'd done before. Something more about the space between the notes. But when the notes hit, you make them count. Vocals were laid down by a bunch of teenagers in Detroit, which is a musical mecca for me. In the middle 8 I thought it would add a kinda interstellar cheekiness if they each introduced themselves, and their star sign."[102]

According to Javi Fedrick one of the most striking things about the album is the instrumentation. "Parton and his merry band of musicians (including Sam Dook, Simone Odaranile, and Angela ‘Maki’ Won-Yin Mak) employ trumpets, marimba, bells, shakers, and sitars to keep each song as varied and engaging as the last. That’s not to say the music ever feels trivial or gimmicky: the filthy, filthy horn sound and Revolver-esque sitar drone add to the emotional heft of “The Answer’s No – Now What’s The Question”, rather than detract from it." Fedrick says that live frontwoman Ninja takes the helm on “She’s Got Guns”, rapping about girls who “beat the boys” in what’s sure to be 2018’s female-empowerment anthem. "Semicircle picks you up and keeps you dancing until the final feel-good track fades out; it’s a sassy, fresh, sophisticated record which proves The Go! Team are as inimitable and exciting as ever," concludes Fedrick.[103]

Live Tour in 2018

Edwin Gilson wrote at "The Argus" on February 12, 2018 that the The Go! Team's live show at Concorde 2 was blitzed by overzealous instrumentation. "Intricacy and nuance were largely surrendered to make way for crashing drums and overbearing guitars." According to Gilson, old favourites Ladyflash and The Scene Between were nothing like the best versions of themselves, with melodies lost in a harsh racket that assaulted the ears. "Certain parts of the set begged to be stripped down, allowed to breathe, but the band seemed unwilling to drop the intensity aside from on touching instrumentals like Everyone’s a VIP To Someone," said Gilson. "The band will no doubt see the Concorde gig as a successful hometown show and the audience was enthusiastic enough. At times, however, one pined for a little more subtlety and a little less sound and fury."[104]

Solo Efforts

Ninja sings with The Go! Team at the Glastonbury Music Festival in June 2007. "I'm definitely going to do my own solo thing," Ninja said.[105] "I don't know when that's gonna be. I don't know what I'm doing this month or next year."[105]
Ninja and Go! Team appear at the Festival Musica de Ibirapuera in Sao Paulo, Brazil on June 28, 2008. Ninja says the records and the live show are really two different entities.[106] "To know what The Go! Team is about you need to see the live show and hear the album," says Ninja.[107] "The live show is so hectic. So much is happening onstage. People are running around and changing instruments. Sometimes it is two people and sometimes it's all six of us. People can expect the unexpected."[108] Original Photo created by Fernando Mafra Derivative work created by Hugh Pickens

Ninja says that in The Go! Team, "you're always fighting to be heard. I suggested we put the lyrics out there on our web site, but it hasn't happened yet. There's six of us, and you can throw something out there, but you never know what's gonna happen."[109]

On September 14, 2007 Aversion reported that Ninja has recorded songs with producer Richard X for an upcoming release.[110] No additional details were released about the upcoming album.[110] "I'm definitely going to do my own solo thing," Ninja said.[105] "I don't know when that's gonna be. I don't know what I'm doing this month or next year."[105] Ninja says the only reason she hadn't made a solo album before is that she doesn't like the glare of publicity.[105] "I'm not ready to be a celebrity. I still get on the Tube almost every day and go out to buy the Sunday paper in my nightie," Ninja said.[105] "I doubt I could handle people spying on me while I'm doing that," she added. [105]

"What I write for my own music is completely different to what I would write in The Go! Team," says Ninja.[111] "My own music is about what I am and what I've been through. I've recorded with Simian Mobile Disco and there are producers who want to work with me – Mark Ronson. So you'll have to watch out definitely."[112] Ninja is writing some of her own material for her solo effort.[113] "I’m a rapper – I’ve got exercise books stuffed with lyrics instead of homework going back to when I was 11," said Ninja.[113] "I’ve been recording stuff with Richard X, and I’d love to be a solo artist in the future."[113]

Ninja's Views on Music and the Music Industry

Ninja has varied musical interests but is primarily interested in hiphop.[114] "I listened to everything. I was into classic music and jazz," says Ninja.[115] "I am mainly into hiphop. I like the real hiphop with loads of swearing. I like those CDs with stickers that say "Parental Advisory" and "Explicit Lyrics." The proper hiphop is all about people getting shot in the neighborhood. It is all violence. I like that kind of hiphop. Because it was real and they were rapping about what they know."[116]

Ninja says that the music business a very difficult industry.[117] "But music is a really difficult industry and one of the things people don't realise is that drugs are everywhere and if you drink – I'm not a drinker at all – but if you drink, alcohol is everywhere and all the pressures are everywhere," says Ninja.[118] "I was actually shocked. If someone has dabbled in it before, they're just going to stay dabbling in it, they're going to drown in it if they're in the music industry."[119] Ninja says that she is able to work in the music business because she knows who she is.[120] "I'm really lucky that I'm in it at this age, cos I've seen a lot, even before I joined the band," says Ninja.[121] "So I know who I am now. But if you are a teen coming into the industry, you might not know who you are and that's when you can get into trouble."[122]

Ninja remembers the time she met Keith Richards of the Rolling Stones. "He was really nice!” says Ninja. “You’d think with that green hair he might be full of attitude, but he made us a nice cup of tea. He wasn't a fire-starter at all. He was a tea-starter."[123]

Discography with The Go! Team

Albums

Singles

  • "Junior Kickstart" 7", 12" and CD single (2003)
  • "The Power Is On" 12" Single (2004)
  • "Ladyflash" 7" and CD Single (2004) #68 UK
  • "Bottle Rocket" 7" and CD Single (2005) #64 UK
  • "Ladyflash" (re-issue) 7" and CD Single (2006) #26 UK
  • "Grip Like a Vice" Single (2007) #57 UK
  • "Doing It Right" Single (2007) #55 UK, #3 UK Indie

EPs

Featured on

External Links

Citations

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  2. The Portable Infinite. "The Go! Team" by Alexander Laurence. February 14, 2006.
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  4. 4.0 4.1 Time Magazine. "All Systems are Go!" by Hugh Porter. October 13, 2005
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  8. [http://search.ancestry.com/cgi-bin/sse.dllnew=1&gsfn=Mmaku&gsln=&gl=ROOT_CATEGORY&rank=1 Ancestory.com "England & Wales, Civil Registration Birth Index, 1916-2005 BIRTH, MARRIAGE & DEATH"]
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  10. DCist. "Concert Preview: The Go! Team" by Andrew Wiseman. October 30, 2007
  11. [http://search.ancestry.com/cgi-bin/sse.dll?new=1&gsfn=Mmaku&gsln=&gl=ROOT_CATEGORY&rank=1 Ancestory.com "England & Wales, Civil Registration Birth Index, 1916-2005 BIRTH, MARRIAGE & DEATH"]
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  71. Chris Gravett. "Lodestar Festival 2012" September 12, 2012.
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  74. Boston Globe. "Fun and games from Go! Team at Sinclair" by Franklin Souts. January 25, 2016.
  75. San Francisco Weekly. "Through Mixing and Matching The Go! Team Creates its Own Unique Concoctions" by Zack Ruskin. January 18, 2016.
  76. The Argus. "The Go! Team's Ian Parton on space gospel and starting again from scratch" July 3, 2015.
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