Lyfe Jennings conducted by Hugo Lunny  

Lyfe Jennings Interview

May 2004

These are the transcipts of an interview with Lyfe. The interview was conducted by Hugo Lunny on May 18th, 2004.

Lyfe was recently signed to Sony after his success as an independent artist. His debut album "268-192" is scheduled to be released this August.

MVRemix: Why the name "Lyfe"?

Lyfe: I write about specific situations, I write about my life.

MVRemix: You sold your music independently prior to being signed. Do you think the days of submitting demo's are almost dead due to the success of the independent market?

Lyfe: You think a lot of success in getting signed is due to selling independent records?

MVRemix: Well basically you've got artists who put out more and more mixtapes which generate considerable interest as opposed to specifically recording demo's.

Lyfe: I don't know if I'd say that there's no point to the demo because obviously people still get signed off of demo's. I guess at the end of the day that's the goal. I think it's better to get your own type of following because obviously you get more money when you become indented with a label.

MVRemix: When were you able to decide to pursue music as a career - what made you feel that buckling down and heading for NY was the right thing to do?

Lyfe: Sometimes you just make a decision that what you wanna do, you're gonna do. I came to New York because I was doing showcases down here - flying back and forth. So it started getting kind of hectic. I decided I'd stay with it and see what happened.

MVRemix: Why is the album entitled "268-192"?

Lyfe: I did some time in prison and that was my number while I was in prison...

MVRemix: Tell me about the album.

Lyfe: It's like a biography. Its got a starting point and its got an ending point. I talk about things in my life that happened in order. There's a lot of specific stuff on the album.

MVRemix: What's your creative process?

Lyfe: I really don't have no standard thing that I follow. Sometimes songs come about by words, sometimes they come about by music. Sometimes by situations. I just try and be a conduit for the music when it comes...wherever I'm at.

MVRemix: If R&B/Soul were a religion who would you deem its god and what would be some of its ideals?

Lyfe: [ponders briefly] I would say Lauryn Hill would be god and some students would be Saint Juste, Anita Baker, Aretha Franklin. I know some of these names are a lot bigger than Lauryn Hill, but I think the reason I say she's a god is because she accomplished all these things simultaneously. On one end of the spectrum you might got a 50 Cent, and on the other end of the spectrum you might got Aretha Franklin. Right there in the middle you've got a Lauryn Hill. God is usually the centre of all things without being one thing in particular.

MVRemix: A lot of R&B/Soul these days feels monotonous. Some exceptions include Van Hunt and Angie Stone, who you've toured with. What separates Lyfe from the genre's monotony?

Lyfe: Number one I'm talking about something specific. I think a lot of people is doing the same old things. I mean I can only hear "I love you," "I love you," "I love you," so many times. The reality is I don't love you all of the time. I talk about the part of it where I don't love you all the time. That's what separates me from anybody else. I'm talking about the flip side of the same thing that they re-iterate.

MVRemix: A la "Fight Club," "If you could fight any celebrity, who would you fight?"

Lyfe: Who would I fight? Lauryn Hill! [Lyfe laughs]

MVRemix: Question is, do you think you'd win?

Lyfe: No! Haha. Nah, but I would fight Lauryn Hill because she's taking too long to come out with this album. I'm hungry for this new album, so Lauryn if you reading this. Come on! Come on, quit playin' man...

MVRemix: Have you been working on any guest appearances/collaborations that we've yet to hear?

Lyfe: Yeah, I'm on Nas' new album. I got a joint with Jin - the Chinese rapper. There's some other stuff that I'm talking about doing, but I really just wanna relax now. I wanna concentrate on my project and get that off the ground first.

MVRemix: How did the collaboration with Nas come about?

Lyfe: They just called me one night. I had a show and they called me like, "Yo, Nas wants you to come do this joint." I came through and did it, and they kicked me out. Haha, that was it.

MVRemix: What's your drink of choice?

Lyfe: Corona. That's all I drink. I don't drink no alcohol or nothin'. I drink a little champagne every now and then but all I drink is Corona, period.

MVRemix: Any thoughts on the upcoming election?

Lyfe: I hope they don't kill everybody. It's like choosing the lesser of two evils all the time. I mean what can you do? Make a decision and live by it.

MVRemix: With regards to your live show, who inspired/influenced what you put within your performances?

Lyfe: [ponders] Angie Stone. Just the way she interacts with the people. The way she come across and even her choice of songs that'll come out real strong and then you can pace yourself throughout the whole set.

MVRemix: Have you been working on any videos? Not yet, but we're talking about doing it next month. We're gonna do it to my official first single, "It Must Be Nice" and we're gonna do the "Stick Up Kid" at the same time.

MVRemix: Predict your next year.

Lyfe: Definitely a couple times platinum. Definitely changin' the game up. Definitely makin' a lot of cats in the game mad because they ain't gonna be able to sell records off of one song no more. There it is.

MVRemix: Do you have any last words to your potential fans that are going to be reading this?

Lyfe: Yeah, I'm running for president this year. It's a secret ballot, haha.

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