Just last week, I was given the chance to talk to Robin Antin‘s latest group of girls – G.R.L.! Building off the success of their catchy Pitbull collaboration “Wild Wild Love,” which peaked at #30 on the Billboard Hot 100, the rising girl group – consisting of Simone Battle, Lauren Bennett, Emmalyn Estrada, Natasha Slayton, and Paula Van Oppen – are now ready to branch out on their very own with the release of their self-titled debut EP. Released today (July 29), the G.R.L. EP, is a thrilling and fresh 5-track set of innovative girl-power pop anthems that perfectly embody what the fierce ladies are all about. Check out my interview with G.R.L. below where we talked about their lead single “Ugly Heart,” working with hit-makers Dr.Luke and Max Martin, the EP, and what we can expect from them next. ENJOY!

BUY G.R.L’s self-titled debut EP, which includes their lead single “Ugly Heart” on iTunes NOW!

Jon ALi: Hey girls! How’s it going?

G.R.L: Great! We’re doing great.

Jon ALi: Sweet! I actually was just jamming to “Ugly Heart” because it was playing on the radio.

G.R.L: Oh my god! That’s awesome. So happy to hear that.

Jon ALi: Yeah! You guys must be excited. “Ugly Heart” is the first real, real single you guys have put out and you recently premiered the video. How was that process coming up with the idea for the visual? Was it a team effort?

G.R.L: It was kind of collaborative but our director Chris Marrs Piliero really took the lead with it and gave us some great ideas we could work with. He was very hands on, let us play with our characters and have fun with the video to make it a cool concept that we would never actually do in real life (laughs).
Lauren adds: It was great because we all got to choose our own character for the video to show off our different styles. We’re all very different so it was nice to be able to show off our personalities. Kind of how we are as a group in general.

Jon ALi: Yeah, you girls are definitely a mixed bag of ladies but it works out and I think that’s what your fans like about G.R.L.

G.R.L: Yeah! Definitely.

Jon ALi: Now, “Ugly Heart” is the lead single from your brand-new EP. It has five songs, two of which we’ve already heard. Did you work with Dr.Luke on everything?

G.R.L: The majority of them are Dr.Luke and Max Martin but we also got to work with Jacob Kasher, Cirkut, Ammar Malik, and a few other people but the majority was Luke and Max. Luke kind of oversees everything.

Jon ALi: How is it working with Luke? He’s crafted some of the biggest hits over the past couple of years so it must be amazing to be able to work with him basically all the time.

G.R.L: Yeah, I mean we definitely get a little starstruck from time to time. In the studio we would get a little nervous because he’s so huge and such a professional. We’d all been dying to meet him, let alone work with him, so it’s definitely a little intimidating but he’s so cool, humble, and down to earth that its always a pleasure. We always have a blast working with him. He makes us feel comfortable and is always joking around with us. He’s a really cool guy. Luke and Max are two of the most funniest people you’ll ever meet. You almost forget who you’re working with and then you get in the booth and it’s like ‘Oh my god, this is kind of scary’ (Laughs), but we’re very lucky to have them.

Jon ALi: For sure! You always want to work with someone you can vibe with so that’s great that you’re able to do that with two of the biggest producers in the world. That’s insane!

G.R.L: Yeah it is! Totally insane.

Jon ALi: So out of the three new songs, which one are you guys really excited for the fans to hear?

G.R.L: Well there’s one that no one has heard at all, we haven’t even performed it live yet. It’s a different sound from what we’ve put out so far. It has this really cool dance, electro, rock vibe and we’re really proud of it. It’s called “Don’t Talk About Love” so we’re really excited for people to hear that one. It’s fun and will totally make you want to get up and dance.

Jon ALi: Yes! That’s exactly what we want. Super excited to hear it.

G.R.L: Yeah! We think you’ll love it.

Jon ALi: I’m sure I will. So what’s next after the EP? Are you guys currently touring and doing radio promo?

G.R.L: We are finishing up our full-length album and going to radio stations trying to get people to play the single. We are about to go to Australia to do some more promo. We recently found out that will be performing on X Factor Australia so that’s really exciting, they’re really loving “Ugly Heart” out there. We’re just working hard to get the record out there so people can learn about us and find out who we are because we’re still very new. So lots and lots of promotion. We just want to meet and talk to as many people as possible because it has a lot to do with how well we do. It’s very important to us and we are very grateful for people like you and anyone who has helped us along the way.

Jon ALi: Yeah for sure, thrilled to hear that from you guys. I first wrote about G.R.L back when you first released “Vacation” and I immediately fell in love with that song because it’s so fun, carefree and uplifting. You just want to have a good time when you hear it.

G.R.L: Aww thank you! We think so too! We love it.

Jon ALi: Same. Other than my blogging life, I also DJ at a couple spots in New York City and I always try to throw in a little G.R.L in my set and “Vacation” is just one of those songs that always gets a reaction. It’s awesome to witness.

G.R.L: Oh my god! That’s so cool. Thank you so much Jon, that means a lot to us. Thank you.

Jon ALi: Of course, of course. I play it for myself most of the time (laughs) but its always great when people are feeling something that they haven’t heard before. It’s like magic.

G.R.L: That’s so cool, sounds like a lot of fun. Thank you, seriously.

Jon ALi: You’re very welcome! I’m excited to hear more from you guys. How’s the album coming along?

G.R.L: Great! We’ve recorded a whole bunch of songs but we really want to make it perfect. We want every song to really represent us in the best way so we’re just enjoying the creative process and recording whenever we get the chance. Will know when its ready.

Jon ALi: Good, I think its great that you guys are taking your time with it. The first full-length, that’s your baby.

G.R.L: Seriously! It is and Luke always has a few tricks up his sleeve so we never know what could happen, but we’re excited to continue working on it.

Jon ALi: Awesome! Well I’m super excited for everything you guys are about to do and for people to start getting to know you. I already know you’re going to kill it so keep fighting ladies. You got this!

G.R.L: Thank you Jon, we appreciate it.

Jon ALi: No problem! Hope to see you soon. Have a great one ladies!

G.R.L: You too. Take care Jon!

 photo grlEP_zpsddb26f0e.png

BUY G.R.L’s self-titled debut EP, which includes their lead single “Ugly Heart” on iTunes NOW!