The Ting Tings are a British musical duo, consisting of Katie White (vocals, guitar, bass drums, bass guitar, cowbells) and Jules De Martino (drums, lead guitar, bass guitar, vocals, piano). They formed in December 2007 while based at Islington Mill Studios in Salford, Greater Manchester.
White and De Martino have released four singles on their current label, Columbia Records UK, including the single "That's Not My Name", which reached number one on the UK Singles Chart in May 2008. The album We Started Nothing was released on 19 May, 2008 and hit number one on the UK Albums Chart. It has now sold over three million copies in the UK, with five million singles sold worldwide. A single, "Hands", was released on 11 October, 2010 and was also featured in the video game FIFA 12. Their second studio album, Sounds from Nowheresville, was released in February 2012, with the lead single "Hang It Up" released on 16 January, 2012.
Katie White started her music career as a school-time hobby in a girl group punk trio TKO – short for Technical Knock Out – with two friends from Lowton School, Marion Grethe Seaman and Emma Lally. The band had minimal success, once sharing the same stage as the bands Steps and Atomic Kitten. While De Martino was in Manchester, the pair bumped into each other and discovered they had a mutual love of Portishead. De Martino relocated to Islington Mill Studios (the Mill) in the Salford, Greater Manchester area. The pair, along with friend Simon Templeman, went on to form the Portishead-influenced trio Dear Eskiimo, who signed to Mercury Records. However, due to a change of directors and managers, the management style of the record label caused them to split. The experience left White and De Martino with a distrust of the music industry.
White was a bartender at the Mill while De Martino produced tracks for various artists therein. The pair developed their sound from influences of performers at the Mill, and were inspired to form their own group, "The Ting Tings". "Ting Ting" was the name of a Chinese colleague of White at a shop, who told her that it sounded like the pronunciation of "bandstand" in Mandarin (亭). The band researched the name and found it to also mean the "sound of innovation on an open mind"
Having created three songs, the band's first gig was a free-beer invite all at the Mill in their rented dwelling called "the Engine House". Subsequent gigs were funded on donations, and after their third gig they were name-checked on XFM. The Islington Mill gigs ended up as some of the most sought-after tickets on the Manchester party scene with various A&R reps and record producers, such as Rick Rubin, asking for tickets.
Their first double-A single "That's Not My Name/Great DJ" was jointly released by the band and local label, Switchflicker Records. With their second single "Fruit Machine", they were on heavy rotation on British radio, including BBC 6 Music and others.DJ Marc Riley was the first to have them in session on 6 Music and the first to play their record on the station. "Fruit Machine" was a released as limited-edition, 500-only, seven-inch single on Legendre Starkie Records (the band's own label), which was only available at the group's gigs at Islington Mill in Salford, Electrowerkz in Islington, Berlin, Germany and at Glasslands in Brooklyn, New York City. They had a notable performance at the Glastonbury Festival in 2007, and after an October 2007 tour of universities in the UK with Reverend and the Makers, they signed toColumbia Records. On 14 December, 2007, they appeared on Later with Jools Holland. In May 2008, the band credited BBC Introducing for giving them their 'life changing' break after the show spotted the band and put them forward for inclusion in the Glastonbury running order.
In January 2008, they were voted third in the annual BBC 6 Music poll of industry experts Sound of 2008, for acts to emerge in the coming year. In February 2008. they were the opening slot act on the 2008 Shockwaves NME Awards Tour, performing with The Cribs, Joe Lean And The Jing Jang Jong, and Does It Offend You, Yeah?. In conjunction with NME and HMV, the band contributed a demo version of "Great DJ" to a limited-audience, 5,000-copies-only, 10" vinyl release of all the artists on the NME Awards Tour.
In late March 2008, The Ting Tings joined up with Alphabeat and The Fratellis to play a gig that was part of the 'MTV Spanking New Music Tour'. The gig was held at the Islington Academy in London.
The first single released on Columbia was "Great DJ", which received considerable airplay on BBC Radio 1 and XFM in the UK and praised by magazines such as NME. The band performed a live set on the In New Music We Trust stage at Radio 1's Big Weekend in Maidstone, Kent, which was made available by the BBC's online video player application iPlayer. The single "Shut Up and Let Me Go" appeared in an Apple iPod commercial in late April 2008, helping the song peak at No. 55 on the Billboard Hot 100.
"Great DJ" was played during the opening ceremony of the 2008 Carling Cup Final.
A cover of Altered Images' version of "Happy Birthday" appeared on the children's show Yo Gabba Gabba CD (now discontinued).
"Shut Up and Let Me Go" was played during a party scene in the 2008 movie The House Bunny.
The Ting Tings appeared as the musical guests on Saturday Night Live on the 16 January 2010 episode, hosted by Sigourney Weaver.
An instrumental version of "Shut Up and Let Me Go" was used in an advertisement for the PBS Kids show Dinosaur Train.
In 2012, "Hit Me Down Sonny" was featured in a television commercial for the 2013 Acura ILX.
2008–09: We Started Nothing
The band's debut album, We Started Nothing, was released on 13 May, 2008. It was leaked onto the internet on 19 May, 2008. Shortly after the release of the album, the band released a statement on the social network service MySpace, which explained to fans that their single "That's Not My Name" was set to top the UK Singles Chart. On 18 May, 2008, the single topped the chart as predicted.
The Ting Tings performed at the iTunes Live London Festival in the KOKO nightclub on 9 July, 2008; the performance was released as a downloadable EP in the iTunes Store under the title iTunes Live: London Festival ‘08. Their singles "Shut Up and Let Me Go" and "We Started Nothing" were featured in the Gossip Girl series, and the song "Be the One" was featured in One Tree Hill. Their single "Great DJ" was featured in the theatrical trailers for the Anna Faris comedy The House Bunny, the Oscar-winning Slumdog Millionaire, the Edgar Wright comedy Scott Pilgrim vs. the World, and the Japanese drama Sunao ni Narenakute. The Ting Tings were one of four performers who played small interludes consisting of remixes of past hits throughout the 2008 MTV Video Music Awards. They played a section from "Shut Up and Let Me Go" with Blink-182 drummer Travis Barker and DJ AM. They also won Best UK Video for their single "Shut Up and Let Me Go". On 31 December, 2008 they (along with numerous other singers and bands) performed on Jools Holland's Hootenanny show on BBC2.
The band toured Australia and New Zealand in early 2009 as part of the Big Day Out Festival. They also toured in Singapore as part of that festival's night counterpart, Big Night Out. Columbia Records announced on 16 January, 2009 the US release of the single, "That's Not My Name" for 27 January, 2009, followed by a March/April US concert tour. In May 2009, their album won an Ivor Novello Award for best album. In June 2009 they returned to the Glastonbury Festival, playing the Other stage on Friday night; on Saturday, British hip-hop artist Dizzee Rascal opened his set on the Pyramid Stage with a cover of "That's Not My Name". The two appeared at the Isle of Wight Festival on Friday, 12 June, 2009.
The duo toured the US, supporting the artist Pink on her Funhouse Tour.
On 2 December, 2009, the duo was nominated for Best New Artist at the 52nd Grammy Awards.
2010–2012: Sounds from Nowheresville
The duo began writing their second album in Paris, France. The album was recorded over a period of eight months in the basement of a former jazz club in the Friedrichshain area of Berlin, Germany. Jules De Martino stated that they chose Berlin "to have complete, crazy freedom", while Katie White also said that they wanted to "isolate themselves". According to De Martino: "We had to find a new challenge and going to hide away in Berlin was the perfect place because our friends aren't there, our families aren't there and our record company isn't there, so no one really bothered us. I think that if we'd have gone back to Manchester we'd have been a mess." It was reported that the band would collaborate with rapper Jay-Z on the new album. The duo were reportedly assisted by labelmate and Barbadian-R&B star Rihanna, who contributed vocals to a track. The album featured a mix of styles, with the band aiming for a 'playlist' feel. De Martino explained: "We wanted to make a record that had that much variety that if you played it you could almost shut your eyes and think: 'Is this the same band on each song?' We just had no fear and wanted to make a record that was like an MP3 compilation." De Martino stated that influences on the album included Fleetwood Mac, the Pet Shop Boys, and TLC. It was described by Clash writer April Welsh as "an album glistening with polished pop perfection. Ranging from acoustic folk to bangin’ electro, R‘n’B and, of course, rock and roll." The album was self-produced, with White explaining "We're complete control freaks – I don't think we could work with anyone else. We'd have a heart attack if they changed one little beat."
By April 2010, White and De Martino updated their blog to announce there were nine tracks new to the album. The following month, they sent a message out to say they had nearly finished recording the main vocals for the album. It was revealed in January 2011 that although ten tracks were to be on the album, since their return to the UK they had recorded further tracks, which they wanted to be included on the album as well.
The lead single "Hands" (the first track they wrote for the album), was released on 11 October, 2010. It was mixed by Calvin Harris and written by the duo themselves. On 18 August 2010, "Hands" premiered on BBC Radio 1 and was followed the official release of the video on 5 September, 2010. The single was released in the UK on 11 October, 2010, where it debuted at number 29 on the UK Singles Chart, marking the duo's fifth Top 40 single. It also topped the Billboard Dance Charts. Early in 2010, it was reported that the album would be called Kunst. De Martino explained that the name was taken from a massage parlour near their studio called Massage Kunst: "We took a picture of us standing outside it with Katie's arm up over the S and sent it to the label saying: 'Here's the front sleeve.' It didn't go down too well." The band later announced that Kunst had just been a working title and that the final name was yet to be decided. They later joked that instead it would be called Cocks.
On 8 July, 2011 they stated on their Twitter account and Facebook page that the album was scheduled for release in October.
In July at DCode Festival in Madrid, they performed three new songs: "Silence", "Hang It Up", and "Hit Me Down Sonny", which later appeared on their new album. On their Twitter account they stated on 26 July that they were filming a video for "Silence" at the Salford Lads' Club.
The video for "Hang It Up" premiered on YouTube on 18 October, 2011. The video was filmed in Alicante, Spain. The launch of their new video also made them 'trend' worldwide on Twitter. A video for their song "Silence", which was later remixed by Australian electro-house duo Bag Raiders, premiered on YouTube on 21 November, 2011.
It was confirmed by De Martino on Twitter that the second album would be called Sounds from Nowheresville. It was released on 27 February, 2012 in UK and on 13 March, 2012 in US.
The album's third single, "Soul Killing", premiered on the internet in early February 2012. A video for the single was filmed on 28 June, 2012.
The song "Hang It Up" was featured in the Gossip Girl series on 8 October, 2012.
2012-present: Wrong Club
The band went to Ibiza in September 2012 to begin writing and recording material for their third studio album, Wrong Club. As of April 2013, the band was still working on the album. They travelled to New York City to mix and master the album in September 2013. In October 2013 the band stated they had nearly finished mixing their third album and are planning to record lots of music videos. However, the release date has not been confirmed yet. They released a club remix of "Wrong Club" through SoundCloud on 24 April 2014.
Katherine "Katie" Rebecca White (born in 1983 in Lowton, England) was raised on a farm in Lowton, and attended Lowton High School, which has a large performing arts department. In 1995, White's grandfather Ken (who Katie saw little of) won £6.6 million from the then-newly established National Lottery and gave each of his three sons £1 million. Katie's father David used his share of the money to purchase a haulage company, and as a father helped Katie during her school years as a prospective musician.
Jules De Martino
Julian "Jules" De Martino (born in 1969 in London) began playing drums at age 13. He studied fine art at East London's Loughton College and signed a minor publishing deal with Morrison Leahy Music (who also publish George Michael). He formed a band, Mojo Pin, which was influenced by artist Jeff Buckley. The band released two indie singles: "You" and "My Imagination", with Lowlife Records and toured with Irish band the Big Geraniums in 1997.
- We Started Nothing (2008)
- Sounds from Nowheresville (2012)
- TBA (2014)
Awards and nominations
Vodafone Live Music Awards 2008
- Xfm Live Breakthrough Act – Won
BT Digital Music Awards 2008
- Best Pop Artist – Nominated
Q Awards 2008
- Best New Act – Nominated
- Best Track – "That's Not My Name" – Nominated
- Best Video – "That's Not My Name" – Nominated
UK Festival Awards 2008
- Festival Pop Act – Won
- Best Newcomer Awards – Won
- Anthem of the Summer – Won
Nickelodeon UK Kids Choice Awards 2008
- MTV Hits Favourite Song – Nominated
Triple J Hottest 100, 2008
- "Shut Up and Let Me Go" – position 78
- "That's Not My Name" – position 9
XFM New Music Awards 2008
- Best Debut Album – We Started Nothing – Nominated
NME Awards 2009
- Best Track – "That's Not My Name" – Nominated
- Best Breakthrough Act – Nominated
Ivor Novello Awards 2009
- Album Awards – We Started Nothing – Won
- Best Contemporary Song – "That's Not My Name" – Nominated
European Border Breakers Awards (EBBA)
- Best Album – We Started Nothing – Won
Glamour Women of the Year 2009
- Newcomer of the Year – Nominated
- UK Solo Artist of the Year – Nominated
Premios Oye! 2009
- Main English Breakthrough of the Year - Nominated
MP3 Music Awards 2009
- The MIC Award (Music/Industry/Choice) – Nominated
- Best Alternative/Rock Dance Track – "Shut Up and Let Me Go" – Nominated
- Best Break-Through Artist (Group) – Won
MTV Video Music Awards
|2008||"Shut Up and Let Me Go"||Video of the Year||Nominated|
|Best UK Video||Won|
MTV Europe Music Awards
|2008||"The Ting Tings"||Best UK Act||Won|
mtvU Woodie Awards
|2008||"The Ting Tings"||Best Performing Woodie||Nominated|
MTV Australia Awards
|2009||"The Ting Tings"||Breakthrough Act||Nominated|
|2010||"The Ting Tings"||Best New Artist||Nominated|
|2009||"The Ting Tings"||British Breakthrough||Nominated|
|"We Started Nothing"||MasterCard British Album||Nominated|
- at the Internet Movie Database
- Interviews and reviews
- in Coed magazine from 17 June, 2008.
- , directly after their Glastonbury 2008 performance for Radiowaves.co.uk.