The Ting Tings

The Ting Tings
The Ting Tings

Performing at the Mod Club Theatre, March 2009
Background information
Origin Salford, Greater Manchester, England
Genres Synthpunk, dance-punk, indie electronic, pop rock,[1] New Wave[1]
Years active 2004–present
Labels Columbia, Switchflicker, Roc Nation
Associated acts TKO, Babakoto, Mojo Pin, Dear Eskiimo
Katie White
Jules de Martino

The Ting Tings are an English music duo comprising Jules de Martino (drums, lead guitar, bass guitar, vocals, piano) and Katie White (vocals, guitar, bass drums, bass guitar, and cow bells). They formed in December 2007 while based at Islington Mill Studios in Salford. They have released four singles on their current label Columbia Records UK, including the single "That's Not My Name", which charted straight at number one in the UK Singles Chart on 18 May 2008.[2] The album We Started Nothing was released on 19 May 2008 and charted at number one in the United Kingdom.[3] The album has now sold over 2 million copies, with a further 4 million singles sold worldwide. Their new single, "Hands" was released on 11 October 2010 - also featured in the video game FIFA 12.[4], and their new album, which is yet to be named, is due out in January 2012.




Katie White started her music career 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 some success and supported Steps and Atomic Kitten.[5] In March 2001 songwriter Jules De Martino wrote four songs for TKO at Leeds University.[6] While De Martino was in Manchester a few months later, the pair bumped into each other and discovered they had a mutual love of Portishead. De Martino relocated to Manchester, based at Islington Mill Studios in Salford.[7] The pair along with friend Simon Templeman went on to form the Portishead-influenced trio Dear Eskiimo who were signed to Mercury Records. However, due to a change of directors and managers, the management style of the record label caused them to split.[8][9] The experience left White and De Martino with a distrust of the music industry.


Retreating to The Mill, while White served behind the bar, de Martino produced tracks for various artistes located at The Mill. Developing their sound while listening to performances at The Mill they formed 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 ().[8]

Having created three songs, the band's first gig was a free-beer invite all at The Mill. Subsequent gigs were funded on donations, and after their third gig they were name checked on XFM.[7] The subsequent 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.[9]


Performing at the Variety Playhouse in Atlanta, Georgia on 23 October 2008

Their first double-A side single "That's Not My Name/Great DJ" was joint released by the band and local label which was Switchflicker Records, and together with their second single "Fruit Machine", they were on heavy rotation on British radio (amongst others BBC 6 Music, played regularly by many DJs including a session for Marc Riley who was first to have them in session on 6 Music and first to play their record on the station). "Fruit Machine" was a 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 in Germany and at Glasslands in Brooklyn, New York City.[10] They had a notable performance at Glastonbury Festival 2007, and after an October 2007 tour of universities in the UK with Reverend and the Makers, signed for Columbia Records.[11] 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 BBC Radio Manchester's Introducing 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.[12] 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?.[13] In conjunction with the NME and HMV the band contributed a demo version of "Great DJ" to a limited, 5000 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 which 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 enthused by magazines such as the 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 iPod commercial in late April 2008, peaking at #55 on the Billboard Hot 100.[10]

"Great DJ" was also played during the opening ceremony of the 2008 Carling Cup Final.

A cover of Altered Images' "Happy Birthday" appears on the children's show "Yo Gabba Gabba" CD (now discontinued).

"Shut Up and Let Me Go" was played in a party scene in 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' is used in an advertisement for the PBS Kids show Dinosaur Train.

2008–2009: We Started Nothing

Performing at South by Southwest in 2008

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" had reached number 1 in the UK Singles Charts, the statement went on to encourage fans to purchase legal copies of the single in order to keep it at the top position for the official Sunday Chart release on 18 May. The band went on to secure Number 1 in the UK Singles chart on 18 May.

The Ting Tings performed at the iTunes Live London Festival in the KOKO nightclub on 9 July 2008, and 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, while 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 and recently the Edgar Wright comedy Scott Pilgrim vs. the World. This single is also used in 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 performed on Jools Holland's Hootenanny show, to bring in the new year on BBC2 in the UK along with numerous other singers and bands.

The band toured Australia and New Zealand in early 2009 as part of the Big Day Out Festival lineup. They also toured in Singapore as part of that festival's night counterpart, Big Night Out.[14] Columbia Records announced on 16 January 2009 the US release of the single, "That's Not My Name" for 27 January 2009 and a March/April US concert tour by the group. 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 Friday, 12 June 2009.[15]

They toured the US, supporting Pink on her Funhouse Tour.

On 2 December 2009, they were nominated for Best New Artist at the 52nd Grammy Awards.

2010–present: Second studio album

The band began writing their second album in Paris, France.[16] The album was recorded over a period of eight months in the basement of a former jazz club in the Friedrichshain area of Berlin.[17][18][19] Jules de Martino stated that they chose Berlin "to have complete, crazy freedom",[20] while Katie White also said that they wanted to "isolate themselves".[21] 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."[19] Since then, it has been reported that the band would collaborate with rapper Jay-Z on the new album [22] The duo have reportedly been assisted by label mate and Barbadian-R&B star Rihanna with her vocals contributed on a track on the upcoming album.[23] The album features a mix of styles, with the band aiming for a 'playlist' feel, de Martino explaining: "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."[19][20][21][24] De Martino stated that influences on the album include Fleetwood Mac, Pet Shop Boys, and TLC.[25] 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."[26] 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."[27]

By April 2010, White & Martino updated their blog to announce there were nine tracks new to the album. The following month in May they sent a message out to say they had nearly finished recording the main vocals on their album. It was revealed in January 2011 that ten tracks were to be on the album, but that since returning to the UK they had recorded further tracks which they wanted to be included on the album.[28]

The lead single "Hands", the first track they had written for the album, was released on 11 October 2010.[21] It was mixed by Calvin Harris and written by the duo themselves.[29] 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.[30] Early in 2010, it was reported that the album would be called Kunst.[31][32] 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 this had just been a working title and that the final name had yet to be decided.[20][21][26][33] They later joked that instead it would be called Cocks.[20]

On 8 July, they stated on their Twitter account and Facebook page that the album is scheduled for release in October 2011.

In July at DCode Festival in Madrid, they performed three new songs "Silence", "Hang It Up", and "Hit Me Down Sonny",[34] which might appear on the new album. On their Twitter they stated on 26 July that they were filming a video for "Silence".

By now, the album seems to be delayed again - now to be released in January 2012. [35]

On the Salford Lads' Club website, where the duo recorded the music video for "Silence", it states that the single should be released soon.

The video for their lastest song, "Hang It Up" premièred 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. Another new song is slated to be released in October.


Katie White

Katherine Rebecca White (born 1983[36] in Lowton, near Leigh, Greater Manchester) was raised in a small house in Lowton,[37] and attended Lowton High School which has a large performing arts department.[38] In 1995, White's grandfather Ken White won £6.6 million on the National Lottery and gave each of his three sons £1 million.[39] Katie's father David used his share of the money to start a music management company, which would later sign Katie's act TKO.[40]

Jules De Martino

Julian "Jules" De Martino (born in 1969 in London, England[41]) began playing drums at age 13.[42] He signed a minor publishing deal to Morrison Leahy Music (publisher to George Michael) and formed band Mojo Pin after being 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.


Awards and nominations

  • MTV Video Music Awards 2008
    • Video of the Year – "Shut Up and Let Me Go" – Nominated
    • Best UK Video – "Shut Up and Let Me Go" – Won
  • 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
  • MTV Europe Music Awards 2008
    • Best UK Act – Nominated
  • UK Festival Awards 2008
    • Festival Pop Act – Won
    • Best Newcomer Awards – Won
    • Anthem of the Summer – Won
  • mtvU Woodie Awards 2008
    • Best Performing Awards – Nominated
  • 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
  • BRIT Awards 2009
    • Best British Breakthrough Act – Nominated
    • Mastercard Best British Album – We Started Nothing – Nominated
  • NME Awards 2009
    • Best Track – "That's Not My Name" – Nominated
  • MTV Australia Awards 2009
    • Best Breakthrough Act – Nominated
  • Ivor Novello Awards 2009
    • Album Awards – We Started NothingWon
    • Best Contemporary Song – "That's Not My Name" – Nominated
  • Border Breakers Awards
    • Best Album – We Started NothingWon
  • 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
  • Grammy Awards 2010
    • Best New Artist – Nominated
  • MP3 Music Awards 2009
    • The MIC Award (Music / Industry / Choice) – Nominated
  • IDMA 2009
    • Best Alternative/Rock Dance Track – Shut Up and Let Me Go – Nominated
    • Best Break-Through Artist (Group) – Won


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  3. ^ "World Album Charts". Retrieved 10 June 2008.
  4. ^ [ FIFPlay - FIFA 12 Soundtrack
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  6. ^ "How feud tore Ting Tings star's family apart". Retrieved 2009-03-07. 
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  9. ^ a b Ting Tings – the hottest party in town Manchester Evening News – 8 June 2007
  10. ^ a b The Ting Tings release new single... NME – 28 September 2007
  11. ^ Liquid Room, Edinburgh, Wed 17 Oct The List (Issue 590) – 15 November 200
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  13. ^ Shockwaves NME Awards Tour 2008[dead link]
  14. ^ Changi Airport Media Changi Airport Media- 15 April 2009
  15. ^ "The Ting Tings beim Isle of Wight Festival". 15 June 2009. Retrieved 2010-03-13. 
  16. ^ "set to write second album in Paris". 2008-02-12. Retrieved 2009-01-02. 
  17. ^ "Ting Tings to do 'Berlin album'". BBC Newsbeat. 1 July 2009. Retrieved 2009-07-01. 
  18. ^ Murray, Robin (2010) "Ting Tings Talk Album No.2", Clash, 5 November 2010, retrieved 20 November 2010
  19. ^ a b c Smirke, Richard (2010) "The Ting Tings: “We’ve had loads of surreal moments”", The Big Issue in the North, 25 October 2010, retrieved 2010-11-20
  20. ^ a b c d Bain, Becky (2010) "The Ting Tings On Freezing In Berlin, Loving TLC And Making A “Playlist Album”",, 11 November 2010, retrieved 2010-11-20
  21. ^ a b c d Reilly, Dan (2010) "Ting Tings Bring 'Playlist' Feel to New Album -- Exclusive Video",, 3 November 2010, retrieved 2010-11-20
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  23. ^ Thursday, 7 January 2010, 11:56 GMT (7 January 2010). "Music - News - Ting Tings 'to collaborate with Rihanna'". Digital Spy. Retrieved 2011-04-07. 
  24. ^ Perry, Andrew (2010) "The day we began to crack up", Daily Telegraph, 7 October 2010, p. 30
  25. ^ Ramaswamy, Chitra (2010) "Tings ain't what they used to be", The Scotsman, 14 October 2010, p. 40
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  27. ^ Stickler, Jon (2010) "The Ting Tings Finish Work on Second Album",, 8 July 2010, retrieved 2010-11-27
  28. ^ Purdie, Ross (2011) "Pop duo Ting Tings stay true", The Sunday Telegraph, 29 January 2011, retrieved 2011-02-04
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  30. ^ "The Ting Tings",, retrieved 2010-11-20
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  33. ^ Smirke, Richard (2010) "Ting Tings Stick to DIY Roots for 'Weird' Sophomore Set", Billboard, 15 October 2010, retrieved 2010-11-27
  34. ^ "[1]",YouTube 3 new songs
  35. ^ "[2]"
  36. ^ Craig Mclean (5 October 2008). "Tings can only get better: Why sudden pop success has not been easy on the Ting Tings". The Independent (London). Retrieved 2009-01-05. 
  37. ^ "Katie enjoys the fame game – Leigh Today". Retrieved 2009-07-07. 
  38. ^ "December 2008 Newsletter". Retrieved 2009-03-07. [dead link]
  39. ^ "LOTTERY MILLIONAIRE'S WIFE DIES AFTER STROKE". Retrieved 2009-09-06. 
  40. ^ "Teen band member in quit shock". Retrieved 2009-09-06. 
  41. ^ "Jules de Martino bio". The Ting Tings. wetpaint. Retrieved 24 January 2010. 
  42. ^ "The Band". Retrieved 2009-03-13. 

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