FOUR OF DIAMONDS
The message Four of Diamonds are sending out is important in the current climate of pop, culture, the world. Empowering, unique and fun – not to mention talented – the four girls, Caroline Alvares, Yasmin Broom, Lauren Rammell and Sophia Saffarian, are doing something that is a step a way from the usual pop sphere. The first all girl band to be signed to Virgin since the Spice Girls, the four bring vibrant positivity and a modern agenda of woke-ness to their music.
In their shared North London home, the four girls constantly vibe off each other. They’re always borrowing one and other’s clothes (Lauren borrows the most!) Yasmin has the best style and loves to party the most. Sophia is the messiest. Caroline takes out the bins but refuses to do it alone after "the rat incident". They all cook (not at the same time), usually spag bol or a chili stir fry or if they’re feeling really fancy a steak. But most importantly, they use each other for therapy – each with a specialist subject: Lauren if you’re looking for an honest answer, Sophia if you need to tackle an awkward situation with an amount of delicacy, “but only someone else’s awkward situation,” she says.
Their first single, Name On It, chronicles just this, a very shared experience of someone not wanting to commit to a relationship. “I feel like every girl has experienced that or will at some point,” says Lauren of the title. The song is super empowering, stating what happens when someone just isn’t that into you, ('Can't be seen in daylight and you won't do date nights, anyone would think you're ashamed but it won't make me cry,') and offering a level of acceptance. “Value yourself, if he doesn’t want you, he’s not worth it. Someone else does want you,” says Yasmin. “It’s important to be powerful,” she continues, “We have a responsibility really, anyone who has a platform does. Our song is about standing up for yourself.” It’s an important message at a time that could not be more complex. The single is dynamic and energetic, with vibrant hand claps and bold pop hooks. And it’s no wonder: the girls have been in the studio with some of the moment names, from Dua Lipa’s Caroline Ailin, to Ed Drewett (Jonas Blue), as well as Freedo (Zara Larsson), Cutfather (Little Mix, Pussycat Dolls), Grades (Khalid), Tre Jean-Marie ( Mabel) and Jin Jin (Jess Glynne). As well as working with this incredible pool of talent, Jonas Blue, the multi-million selling artist/producer and 2018 BRIT award nominee has come on board to executive produce their debut album.
“It was crazy being in the studio with Jonas,” says Caroline. “I think we’d probably all been in a studio or experienced some kind of setting like that before but this was legit. It's surreal, you walk in to reception and there's a board on the wall telling you who is in which studio. ‘Studio 1: Little Mix’ etc. We were so awkward at the time! We were so nervous and star struck by Jonas too,” she continues. He’s such a great artist.” Despite being so nervous that they temporarily forgot how to sing, the four managed to thankfully record with Blue. While seeing Little Mix’s name on the wall might bring them a tingle of nerves – it shouldn’t. The four girls have very much cornered their own sound, a cool, punchy euphoria, tapping into something that is a step a way from girl groups who have preceded them. And it doesn’t just stop at their sound; visually the band are arresting, and have put their collective stamps on the video for Name On It which collages footage shot on 8mm hand-held camera with the saturated colours of digital: it’s instagram ready.
The reason that they are so different is that each one of them, of course, is totally unique. Yasmin is one of seven kids, who’s making her mum (a former singer herself) proud, Caroline used to enter karaoke competitions and first went into a recording studio aged nine. Lauren comes from a big musical family that sing at family parties, and despite Sophia’s family all being tone deaf, she’s been destined to be a diva from a young age. “I found this picture the other day of me with a plastic microphone, posing with a tutu on in the kitchen. In my house, there was always music on and I just loved it. My dad always says to us – 'if you've got an upbeat song, it uplifts my mood'. When people are passionate about music, it rubs off on you, especially at a young age.”
The four, who met initially when they were placed together as a group for X-Factor two years ago (they had all auditioned as individuals) all have the determination and drive it takes to get to the top. Their energy and excitement for life is palpable, and although they might have differing opinions on some things, they all agree that the best moment in their journey so far is signing their record deal. Caroline explains, “Virgin wanted to try us out in the studio first to see if they liked what we did. It wasn’t a full gone conclusion that they would sign us. We had an afternoon tea with our management and they were like, ‘they really liked what you’ve done and want to take you on properly', I bawled my eyes out – literally sobbing. It was so close in our grasp but it was never a sign, sealed delivered thing.”
It’s obvious that the four have tapped into the moment and are using their platform to share the collective zeitgeist of empowering your friends. They say, “Be yourself, you don’t have to be any one else. Be positive, enjoy life. Have self confidence and self respect.” They might be well on their way to becoming the next big thing but they still have their feet on the ground, as Caroline says, “I feel like I'm pinching myself that this is my life. I'm a pop star – what the hell?!”