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Lady Sovereign - conducted by DJ Hyphen & J. Moore  

Lady Sovereign: Sunday Night Sound Session

September 2006

These are the transcripts of an interview with Lady Sovereign on DJ Hyphen & J. Moore's "Sunday Night Sound Session" on Seattle's KUBE 93.3 FM. For more info. on DJ Hyphen click here, originally aired September 2006.

MVRemix: What city are you from in England?

Lady Sovereign: London.

MVRemix: Okay, so growing up in London - what's the music scene like over there?

Lady Sovereign: The music scene is whatever's out right now... I don't know.

MVRemix: Is Hip Hop big over there? I mean obviously you get a little bit over there in terms of waves and stuff. Tim Westwood is all we know over here, what other Hip Hop radio shows do you know in England?

Lady Sovereign: That's the only one that goes to the whole U.K.

MVRemix: How did you first get into Hip Hop then?

Lady Sovereign: It was just there. It was always US Hip Hop and it was force fed to us anyway, but I kind of grew up listening to jungle and reggae and ragga and drum n' bass... House... Garage... Everything. So it's not just Hip Hop.

MVRemix: Who are some of your particular influences musically? From over here as well as over there...

Lady Sovereign: I don't have influences. Just music as a whole...

MVRemix: No specific artists?

Lady Sovereign: See it never happened like that, how I got into it was I was just listenin' to UK garage which is just like instrumentals. I was listenin' to the emcees on pirate radio - I didn't know who they were, they weren't no big names... I got into it through them in all honesty.

MVRemix: So how long have you been rhyming?

Lady Sovereign: Six years [ponders and chuckles]...

MVRemix: So how do the different genres, because you know over here Hip Hop's more straight forward - more Boom Bap, although you've got different sub genres. But over there you've got Hip Hop, at least it seems to me, has more influences with House music, Drum N Bass... Stuff like that. How does that impact your sound and how would you describe that sound?

Lady Sovereign: I can't even describe my sound. I don't know what to call it. It's just messed up man, it's...

MVRemix: Would you consider yourself a "grime" artist? I know you've been classified as that...

Lady Sovereign: Nah, I came from the grime scene, yeah, but that's because I come from the garage scene which evolved into that and der der der der der... I'm not a grime artist and when people hear the album, they'll know that it's not grime. It's just whatever.

MVRemix: The scene is kind of dominated by males, obviously. Even though it seems unfair to you, you're always gonna be seen first and foremost as a white, female emcee. I know you've heard this question a million times, but how did that impact you when you were first comin' out? Were people receptive to hearing you or did they try to push you away?

Lady Sovereign: A lot of people didn't know I was white at first, and as soon as they did it was like, "What? What are you tryin' it for? Who is this girl?" I don't know man, the world is bad like that, but people got over it eventually. 'Cause I was doin' stuff on the internet first, no-one could see my face in the pictures up there. Then I had a video out and it was like, "Oh? Okay..."

MVRemix: Has the perception changed as your popularity has grown?

Lady Sovereign: Yeah, like people are just like, "Oh Sovereign I respect what you're doing and you're doing big things... I'm sorry!" And I'm just like "Piss off!" [chuckles]

MVRemix: Has there been any difference between the fans and the critics in the UK versus the fans and the critics in America? In terms of how you're treated...

Lady Sovereign: See I think people in America are a lot more fanatical. I don't know, they just seem like they appreciate more what I'm doing. I mean people appreciate me in the UK, but in the UK I've had mixed reactions... Straight down the middle. If you like me - good, but if you don't like me and it's like a hatred thing. They're out to get me, websites and all that making things about me.

MVRemix: Have you found it tough at all kind of breaking into this market that we have? I was trying to think of British emcees and the only thing that we have is Slick Rick, I think he moved here when he was 10... Technically...

Lady Sovereign: [It] Don't count.

MVRemix: You're not gonna count him as a British emcee?

Lady Sovereign: Yeah, I would yeah, but 10?

MVRemix: I think Monie Love was born in England...

Lady Sovereign: No-one knows that either, she don't even sound English when she raps anyway.

MVRemix: Have you had any trouble breaking through stereotypes of the Hip Hop scene over here in what we might think of foreign emcees?

Lady Sovereign: Yeah, I've still got a long way to go I think so I can't really say like, "Yeah, I'm the one." I'd like to think I am, but I mean I just think it's time for America to hear somethin' fresh. I'm not disrespecting anything, yeah, but I just think that there's so much from the UK that hasn't been heard yet and it's a shame. 'Cause the UK ain't gonna let people hear it 'cause our radio stations are just shoddy out there. I just think that America will, it's just gettin' out there.

MVRemix: Who are some artists from the UK right now that you're running with, that you click with - or anyone that you're checkin' for on the Hip Hop tip?

Lady Sovereign: There's so many man...

MVRemix: Give us a few names so that we can follow up...

Lady Sovereign: See I'm more into the grime thing so I'm gonna say like JME, L-Man, although I've heard a little American twang in his voice lately...

>> continued...

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"I came from the grime scene, yeah, but that's because I come from the garage scene which evolved into that "