Alec Plowman 10/04/2009
Youthful rapper Lady Sovereign is back, with her new album Jigsaw, released through her own Midget records label in the UK this week(6th of April). New GIITTV recruit Alex Plowman, caught up with a more grown up Lady Sov to talk her album, her time spent in America, why she thinks Ordinary Boy Preston is 'a right old prick!' and what the future holds for her.
Your second album, Jigsaw, is set for release this week. How did you find the recording process, and what can we expect from the new record?
You can expect a bit of everything. I sing on there, I get more personal. Talking about…y'know… there's a few club bangers on there, some more down tempo stuff.
It's a development from the fist album in that sense?
I'm not as lairy as I was on the first album. Bear in mind that I'm 23 now. When I recorded the first album I was 19.
So it's a more mature record then?
In some senses I guess. I mean, I've not turned into an old granny with tails or anything. It's still fun, I'm still having a laugh. It's just not as lairy.
Jigsaw is being released under your own Midget Records label. How does working under your own label affect the creative process for you?
Everything is so much smoother, so much better. I know what's going on. I feel more relaxed with the whole scenario. I'm liking it so far, it's less intense and more exciting to be honest.
Previously, you were signed to Def Jam. Is it a different experience to that?
Being with a major, let alone the biggest in the whole world… it was good. It was good times, but a lot of hard work. I don't necessarily want to have to push myself to my final limit. This time around I can draw the line where I want to draw it.
How do you feel that the time you spend in America has affected your style of performance and your stage persona?
It's given me more confidence to be honest. I'm out there more than I am over here, or anywhere. The US is my hub. I'm huge out there. It's good times every time I go out there. It's just made me halt a bit really. When I first started doing this, I never expected to blow up in America or anything.
Your Myspace page lists plans for a tour in 2009. Do you enjoy being out on the road, and how do you prepare for a live show?
I just get drunk (laughs). I make sure I'm all merry and in a good mood. I hang out with whoever is with me backstage and have a laugh. I just go with the flow. I just get on with it, have a drink, have a laugh, get on stage, have a joke. It's all fun.
Do you get nervous before you get on stage?
Sometimes, but not a lot. Most of the time, I'm playing to a lot of people. If for some reason, there's not as many people as I expected, then I get a bit nervous. When that happens, it takes longer to warm the crowd up.
You've done a few TV performances, including some of the big chat shows in the States. How does that compare to playing live?
There's no comparison! TV stuff is a bit daunting, there's no atmosphere. It's not my favourite thing to do. TV performances are the only thing that weird me out.
In both the video and lyrics to Love Me or Hate Me, it seems that you are criticising expectations on women in the media in celebrity culture. How do you reflect on these issues today?
I say what I like, I say what I wanna say. Whatever I'm thinking at the time I say it. People seem obsessed with looks, it's like if you're fucking bare sexy then it's just a golden ticket. It gets on my nerves. I don't really give a toss about that stuff.
Who would you say are your major influences? I know you recorded a cover of The Sex Pistols' Pretty Vacant for an O.C compilation. Are your influences primarily within the scene that you are a part of?
What scene am I part of? You tell me… People seem to think I'm a grime artist. Well, I'm fucking well not. I mean, with influences, I literally do listen to everything. I don't have an idol. I don't look up to anyone like that. I don't try to… how can I say it… I just do what I do. It's hard for people to categorise me. It's hard me to categorise myself, and I don't really want to. I'm Lady Sovereign. I make music. I do what I like.
You did a collaboration with The Ordinary Boys. Are collaborations something you'd want to be doing more of?
I don't force it upon myself. I rarely ever collaborate really. The Ordinary Boys collaboration, well… anyway. I want to do everything myself. I guess it's all down to making friends and being comfortable with the whole collaboration thing. I'm not exactly some fucking socialite who makes friends with everyone because it's good for media, y'know what I mean? If I meet someone and I get on with them and I like what they do, then I'll collaborate. I'm not gonna do it just for the sake of it… like I did with The Ordinary Boys.
Was that a collaboration that you weren't happy with then?
It was all good and everything, but after fucking whatshisface [lead singer Preston] threw a fucking trantrum on Buzzcocks… I just think he's a right old prick! What a wet blanket!
What does the future hold for Lady Sovereign?
Oooooh (laughs). I want to get some great artists on my label. I want to keep making music. But I don't know. I don't like to think too much into the future.
The album 'Jigsaw' is out now.