The Ting Tings Are Born

Jules De Martino and Katie White first met just before TKO broke up. A few months later the pair put together the trio called Dear Eskiimo. Partially due to problems with their record label, the trio broke up. Left with a sour taste for the music industry, De Martino and White formed the duo Ting Tings and initially played only private parties.

Katie White
Net Worth: $1.3 million

Katie White was born outside Manchester, England. As a teenager she appeared in the girl group TKO. The group also included Joanne Leeton and Emma Lally. TKO toured with such groups as Steps and 5ive but never released their own album.

Jules De Martino
Net Worth: $1 million

Jules De Martino got his musical start in a teen band as well. Later he was a singer in the indie rock group Mojo Pin who released 2 singles, “You” in 1995 and “My Imagination” in 1996.

The Sound of Ting Tings

The basic style of the music of Ting Tings is pure pop. However, the use of a stripped down elemental instrumental sound and aggressive vocals indicate punk influences. The steady beat in the music of the Ting Tings makes their music outstanding for alternative dance clubs.

The Emergence of the Ting Tings

“That’s My Name” was released as the first Ting Tings single in May 2007 on an indie label. A second single, the limited edition “Fruit Machine,” drew considerable attention to the band. Following an appearance at the Glastonbury Festival in 2007, a record contract signed with Columbia, and an appearance in December 2007 on the TV show Later With Jools Holland, Ting Tings were voted in a BBC poll as one of the top 3 acts most likely to have a big break in 2008.

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Ting Tings Videos

  • “Great DJ”
  • “Shut Up and Let Me Go”
  • “That’s Not My Name”

Chart Topping Hits

With momentum in the UK generated from a spot on the 2008 Shockwaves NME Awards tour, the re-release of the single “That’s Not My Name” went to #1 on the UK pop singles chart. It was followed by a #1 debut for the album We Started Nothing. In the US, the single “Shut Up and Let Me Go” was used for an Apple computer iPod commercial. This exposure helped take the song into the top 40 of the US pop singles chart.

Ting Tings were nominated for Video of the Year at the 2008 MTV Video Music Awards and won the award for Best UK Video. In January 2009 Columbia Records began promoting “That’s Not My Name” in the US looking for a big breakthrough for the duo.

That’s Not My Name (2009)

A bass drum, hand claps, and Katie White’s fiery, in-your-face vocals are all that it takes to hook the listener in the first 20 seconds of “That’s Not My Name.” This is primal pop music. There is something that feels somewhat punkish about the stripped down approach. Perhaps it’s the sound of the White Stripes after being locked in a room hearing only Abba for a week.

“That’s Not My Name” was first released on the independent label Switchflicker in the UK in May 2007. With a huge buildup through a Glastonbury appearance and strong press support, the single and the debut album We Started Nothing were re-released in May 2008 and “That’s Not My Name” topped the UK pop singles chart. With dogged determination Columbia Records has continuously promoted the Ting Tings in the US finally breaking this song into the pop singles chart and on pop radio in March 2009.

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Lyrically “That’s Not My Name” is an anthem for those who struggle to make enough impact on those around them that someone remembers their name. The song could be packaged as a painful lament but instead comes out as an accusatory howl against those who don’t pay attention. The elemental beginning of “That’s Not My Name” leaves plenty of room for layered sound as the song progresses but, despite two tracks of vocals in counterpoint, crunchy guitars, and a wall of sound roar to close the track it is always minimalist in its visceral impact. A flat, raw approach to the production keeps the sound punchy and powerful. “That’s Not My Name” will still be impressively fresh 20 years from now.

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