We caught up with talented, North London MC Lady Lykez for a Q&A session before her headline show at Old Blue Last in Shoreditch. The artist gained major attention from her notable release “I Love my Butt,” including over half a million YouTube hits on the video, as well as national radio playlists.
The versatile musician can proudly lay claim to being the first female MC to clash a male MC on Lord of the Mics. She has come along way since that breakthrough and below she reflects on some of her career highlights and future aspirations:
So Lady Lykez, thank you for taking time to sit down and chat. First things first, how did you decide that music was the right career for you?
“I’ve always been into performing from really young. When I was a child I went to a performing arts school, so I was always on stage doing something, whether it was acting, dancing or singing. Music just seemed to be my passion. That was what I really wanted to do.”
Clearly, we can see that passion in your shows. If that was what you wanted to do since you were young, who were your inspirations growing up?
“My inspirations growing up were definitely Eve, Missy Elliot and Eminem. I used to listen to a lot of Hip-Hop when I was growing up, especially when learning how to spit. In terms of the UK, I used to love Dizzee Rascal when I was younger – I was just like, “This is crazy!” Miss Dynamite as well.”
You’ve done a lot of live performances since breaking through. What’s the best show you’ve done and why?
That is so hard to answer. The best show I’ve ever done… I’d actually say recently supporting Bizzle on tour. His shows were crazy! I really liked the shows on his Two Two Tour. So yea, if we are talking about recently it would have to be supporting Bizzle, that’s the one that sticks out to me.
In terms of other artists, what was the last album you listened to from beginning to end that gassed you?
“The last album that I heard that gassed me? Boy I’m not gonna lie, I haven’t bought an album in a hot minute! Don’t get me wrong, I might like your song, but a whole album? I’m not sure.”
It doesn’t have to be recent! It can be going way back?
“Well an album that I love and I think is one of the best albums of all time, is Lauryn Hill’s Miseducation. That album for me, is what you call an album.”
Your new single is called “What Are Those!” How did this come about?
“(Laughs) So obviously I’ve got the Vines which is all part of the banter, but it originated from when I clashed a guy on Lord of The Mics. His dress sense was very “out-there” and so I knew when we did the live show, he was going to be wearing something very random. As I thought, he was wearing some random trainers which no one had ever seen. That was when I was like “What are those?!”. So then from there, I thought to myself, “I should put this on a tune!””
Away from music, what’s your favourite thing to do?
“Recently I love exercising. Health is wealth now!”
Are we talking muscle work or cardio?
“Both! It just all relaxes me and keeps me focused, but I love going for runs and keeping active.”
On that note, what is your favourite spot for jamming and unwinding with your friends?
“Well there’s a nice place in Finsbury Park called Rowan’s. It’s a bowling place, with an arcade and a bar, it’s kind of like a mini-club in there still.
We’ve seen positive examples in the scene right now, where people are making progress without getting signed. Are you seeking a record deal?
“I think I would have to cross that bridge when it comes to it. If I have an offer, of course that would be amazing, but at the same time it’s about finding the right deal for you.
“I like to be very creative. Me and my manager do all my videos and come up with all of our ideas ourselves, so we are very creative and hands on, even with the music. I think if I did sign a deal, it would be nice to still have that flexibility. But obviously being signed also has other benefits in terms of money and funding, because right now it’s all coming out of my pocket.”
OK last question – there’s a lot of talk in the media right now about the Black Lives Matters protests. Do you think music is a powerful enough source for black people to express their frustrations on what is happening?
“Yeah, definitely. I think music is an expression in general. It’s always been a way of expressing what’s on your mind. If you want to get something off your chest, music is a way of doing it. I think that’s what hip-hop and grime is all about, it’s all about expression. So whether the emotion is happiness, love or anger, it’s definitely a channel you can use.”
Wise words. Thank you Lady Lykez all the best for the show later