Victoria Christina Hesketh (born 4 May 1984), also known by her stage name/pseudonym Little Boots, is an English electropop singer–songwriter. She took her name from that of the Roman Emperor Caligula, whose name comes from "little soldier`s boot". Her nickname was given to her by a friend, and is a reference to the fact that she has small feet. As a musician Little Boots sings and plays the keyboard, piano, stylophone and a Japanese electronic instrument called Tenori-on.
After a return to college to focus on her studies, Hesketh along with two of her fellow students formed the indie pop/electronic band Dead Disco. The band had limited releases of two their singles but due to increasingly different ideas about the band`s musical direction Hesketh left to pursue a solo career.
Hesketh has cited as influences Captain Beefheart, Britney Spears, The Human League, Gary Numan, Pink Floyd, Jean Michel Jarre and Kraftwerk.
Hesketh began writing her own songs and posting covers on the social networking sites such as YouTube and MySpace. After appearing on several shows including Later... with Jools Holland and Last Call with Carson Daly, Hesketh entered production on her debut album Hands. With increasing media attention regarding her then-yet-to-be-released debut album, Hesketh topped the BBC Sound of 2009 poll and received a BRIT Critics Choice nomination. With the release of her debut she has become linked to a recent wave of breakthrough female artists in their twenties including Lady Gaga, Ladyhawke, Florence and the Machine and Elly Jackson of La Roux.
Hesketh was born in Blackpool, Lancashire to English parents; her father has a business in car sales and her mother is a writer. The eldest sibling with three brothers, she was raised in the area of Thornton, between Blackpool and Fleetwood, Lancashire.
From the age of five Hesketh played the piano and began lessons at six, later taking lessons from Arthur Lingings and eventually winning a music scholarship. During this time she was taught how to play the flute, was a member of the school choir and travelled regularly to Manchester to take lessons on her harp. Trained initially in classical singing by Janet Wunderley, by the age of thirteen Hesketh was writing her own songs.
Hesketh attended the fee-paying Rossall School in Fleetwood, being taught by Christopher Drew (now Principal of The King`s Academy in Middlesbrough) and then Blackpool Sixth Form College; it was around this time that Hesketh entered the ITV talent competition search Pop Idol aged sixteen. Reaching the third round, she was eliminated by the producers of the show and did not reach the panel of judges. She stated that "It gave me a thicker skin and it made me realise that it wasn`t a short cut to getting where I wanted to be".
After singing with the Lancashire Youth Jazz Orchestra and performing with a jazz trio for some time Hesketh decided to prioritise her education and studied cultural studies at the University of Leeds, attaining a first-class honours degree.It was during her time at the University of Leeds that Hesketh, along with two of her fellow students, formed the all girl band Dead Disco, Hesketh herself eventually becoming the lead singer. She also performed for ITV`s `Pop Idol` talent show, where she made it to the third round at the same time when she stated "I was writing really poppy songs and the others thought it was cheesy." .. "`I lost a lot of confidence with that band" Dead Disco
Her debut album, Hands, released on the 8 June 2009, peaked at number five on the UK Albums Chart and at number twenty on the Irish Albums Chart. The first single off the album "New in Town" became a top twenty hit, while the next single "Remedy", produced by RedOne,reached the top ten. She has also released the EP Illuminations in the United States.
While studying at the University of Leeds, Hesketh answered an online advertisement posted by Lucy Catherwood and Marie France looking for a lead singer in order to start a band. Sharing an interest and love of The Killers, Ladytron, The Rapture and Siouxsie & the Banshees, they formed the electro/indie pop band Dead Disco in August 2005, The band got their name through randomly picking words from a hat. With Dead Disco, Hesketh sang lead vocals and played synth, with Catherwood on guitar, and France providing bass and backing vocals.
With only a few songs written, Dead Disco began playing gigs around the north of England; their live gig in the headline slot at the "In the City" event in Manchester gained them enough recognition to get a recording stint with James Ford. Working with Ford in his London attic studio, the band issued a limited release of their debut single "The Treatment" in April 2006 on the record label High Voltage. Their second release "City Place" was a digital-only release through Playlouder Records.
With the success of several sell out gigs and an appearance at the Carling Leeds Festival, the band moved to Los Angeles to begin recording their debut album with Greg Kurstin. However, it was around this time that Hesketh herself began to write songs not in keeping with the band`s "indie" style. Choosing a new musical direction, Hesketh left Dead Disco; they officially revealed their disbandment on their MySpace blog in December 2008. In an interview with The Times online, Hesketh spoke about her gradual shift away from the band: "All the time I`d been hiding my own songs and finally I had to make the sort of music I actually wanted to listen to. [...] Before I used to always think, `What would a jazz performer do?` or `What would the band do?`—Now it`s so easy because it`s `What would I do?` It`s just me." In a later interview Hesketh noted that the bands` label was pressuring the group to have a certain style and that her fellow band mates lost confidence in her because she wanted to write "cheesy" songs.