Ms. Dynamite conquered the European music scene last year with her solo effort "A Little Deeper." Coming from Garage roots, Ms. Dynamite solidified herself in R&B/Hip Hop circles as a talented singer/rapper. She's currently working on her second album and launching herself into North America.
MVRemix: Why are you known as Ms. Dynamite?
Ms. Dynamite: It's just because that's the name that one of my friends chose for me. I just decided to become a garage emcee and it's just the same as rapping. No one uses their real name; they all use a stage name. That was just one that one of my friends came up with.
MVRemix: I haven't been back in the UK since October, but I'd imagine that if things were the way I'm used to that our tabloids love you. Have you had many stories and if so which have impressed you the most?
Ms. Dynamite: Erm...how long have you got? Because there are bloody millions of them!
MVRemix: Do you have a favourite?
Ms. Dynamite: They are really, really on my case at the moment. All of them have come up with, one after the other, thousands of stories which are not true. It pissed me off at first, but I've really gotten used to it now. They're just idiots. They sit outside my house, waiting. They follow my Mum out to the shops...I don't know what they're expecting her to do. They're just. I don't know. Pretty sad people.
They've thought of the craziest stories. The last one was actually really out of order and that was in the "Daily Sport," I think. You know [the interviewer is English] that's a real "Women with their tits out" paper. I went into the Newsagents (Corner Store) and I was on the front cover with my head and a stripper's body with the biggest tits you've ever seen in your life! Sprawled out with her legs open, but with my head on the picture. You can imagine...I'm standing in the middle of the Newsagents and I started laughing my head off.
I looked at the woman at the counter and was like "Look, that's me!" in my excitement. She started laughing too, because she knows me and it's not me. But the picture was really funny. Then, during the rest of the day I actually got quite annoyed about it. There's always something in there.
MVRemix: See that's a weird thing, which I found about while living in the UK compared to living in North America where I am now. We tend to tolerate it but in North America, the second something like that comes out, it's simple. They sue. But...we don't usually do that in the UK.
Ms. Dynamite: I know. Because, unfortunately for us I think, we have a system which really supports the tabloids. It doesn't support the people. In some cases, with some celebrities, I have to say if I'm really honest that...Not that they deserve it, but some people kind of "ask for it" a little bit. They constantly sell stories or personal tales to the paper or they use the media to exploit stuff when they want it exploited. I don't think you can pick and choose.
I think for artists like myself; I've never done an interview with a tabloid newspaper. I think I did one in the very beginning with the "Daily Mirror" and that was because my record label had advised me to. But once I'd read what the woman had written, which was really far from what I said to her. I said, "That's it! I'm never doing a tabloid interview ever again."
I don't use the press. I'm not the type of person that goes out and wants to be seen in all the hot spots with all the celebs and all that. I really try to keep myself to myself. But for people like me, I think it's really unfair because they're really out of order.
Recently, they've put a picture of my house and my address and everything that surrounds my house. The local schools, there's a local cemetery and the closest road to my house they've put all of that in a [news]paper. This one I really am gonna try to take to court because that's mine and my family's safety. I'm not really that hopeful about it, I don't know. Like I said, we have a system that really supports the press unfortunately.
MVRemix: Press in North America has compared you to the likes of Lauryn Hill and Missy Elliot. Now, they're a far stretch from one another. Who would you prefer to be compared to and why?
Ms. Dynamite: To be honest with you, I really do not mind. I love both of them for different reasons. I really love Missy because she's very original, she's different. She's always changing her style and giving herself a bit more edge. Plus, she doesn't use her body or her looks in any way to try and sell her record. She does it purely off of her talent.
For Lauryn Hill, I love her lyrical content. The topics she chooses to talk about. Again, because she doesn't really do that whole thing of using sex to help her sales. I like both, I think it's a huge compliment to be compared to them.
MVRemix: How did the George Michael 'Faith' performance arise at the Brit Awards?
Ms. Dynamite: The whole thing with George Michael was basically done through the Brits. The Brits had asked me to perform at the ceremony and I'd really wanted to do a cover of 'Faith.' But, I'd planned originally to do an R&B version months ago. I just thought it would be a really cool cover to do. When the Brits came along, they were trying to think of a good collaboration. One of my A&R's said "What about 'Faith'? The whole idea you had with re-doing it?" So he contacted George who was totally up for it. I re-wrote my part of the lyrics and that was kind of it really. We did that whole thing.
MVRemix: Can you explain your feelings on the recent/current situation in Iraq?
Ms. Dynamite: I think it's deeply saddening. I'm glad that everything seems to be kind of over or the whole "shooting and bombing" ordeal seems to be over. I think it's really sad that so many had to die; the civilians and the soldiers. Hopefully, there's a positive outcome to come from this. I hope though, that in the future we can find different ways to sort out our differences where lives don't have to be lost.
MVRemix: On your album there wasn't any garage material and as you said, you were more so known for that as you were coming up. I read in an interview that you said you'd like to do some but you'd have to have it diluted if you were to because of where you are [in terms of the mainstream]. Would you consider putting out white labels and doing things on an independent level? So as not to "tarnish" your reputation...
Ms. Dynamite: Well, it's not even about tarnishing my reputation but that's exactly what I plan to do. The thing is, I couldn't care less at all. If I was to put garage on my album, it wouldn't be because I would think "Oh no! The mainstream are not gonna like me anymore" and they're gonna think that I'm something that I'm not or anything like that. I don't mind what people think of me, what it really boils down to is being able to cross over and touch a wider audience. Garage doesn't do that at the moment. I'd prefer to sing in terms of the mainstream because I know my message is going to be heard by a lot more people.
But, in terms of doing the garage stuff - I love it! That's exactly what I plan to do. Continue to put stuff out on the underground on white labels. Just to have it there. To keep my name as an emcee alive and bubbling. It's something I really enjoy doing.
MVRemix: I heard a rumour you turned down a production offer from Dr. Dre. Is this true?
Ms. Dynamite: No...That is such a lie! Who would turn down production from Dre?!? Haha. No, I'm not stupid. No way, that is not true. That was basically when I came out there at Christmas. There was an Interscope party that I was invited to. I think it was their end of year party. Obviously I'm pregnant and I was very, very sick and I couldn't go. That was all it boiled down to. I don't know how the press here found that out or how they twisted it into being about producing and me turning him down. Specifically directing it at him and me - it was nothing like that. It was a big party, which I didn't go to because I felt sick. Nothing to do with Dre or anyone apart from my poor little baby! Haha. I'd love to work with him and I definitely wouldn't be turning him down if he asked me to.
MVRemix: Now we're roughly the same age. I'm trying to get into the movie industry through scriptwriting, and my material is "less than appropriate" for my age group. I write about things, which I obviously couldn't know about. Or so I'm told. I've found people very condescending with regards to knowledge and experience with regards to age. With 'A Little Deeper' and your introspection, how do you feel that has been received from older age groups?
Ms. Dynamite: I feel that there are people twice my age that haven't experienced half of what I have. And that there are people half my age that have experienced triple the amount that I have. I do believe that age is simply a number. It's a number given to you for how many years you've been upon this earth. It's totally insignificant. What really determines your age, in terms of your mind, are the things that you experience in life.
I'm not really put off by people that say, "You can't really know about love because you're only twenty two years of age" and blah blah blah. Because if I feel it, then it's real. That's all there is to it. If I experience something, it's real and I will continue to write about it. Other people's opinions or perceptions never put me off because I'm a young person.
MVRemix: If you weren't making music, would you go back to anthropology? Or would you follow another profession?
Ms. Dynamite: If I'm really honest now, I'd probably do anything I could to become a teacher. I'd definitely love to be one, still. I don't know if I'd still go for a degree in anthropology. I think I'd do a degree in something a little easier like art or something a bit more creative.
MVRemix: Do you have many non-musical aspirations?
Ms. Dynamite: Yeah, firstly I'd love to have my own record label to be able to help up and coming talent. To put some real talent and real music back into the music scene over here (England). I'd also really like to write. I don't know which type of writing...poetry, a story. Maybe even scriptwriting or something, but I really love that. It's a big passion of mine. All the stuff I'd love to do is creatively related, but also to involve the community. I'd love to have a really big gallery. Get loads of young talent showcased and maybe auction their work...
I have too many ideas every single day; I could go on forever.
MVRemix: There's a phrase I've had used towards me a couple of times and it's "Could you die today saying you'd lived?" Do you feel that you're now able to "seize the day," now that you are where you are. Or, does your popularity now prohibit doing that?
Ms. Dynamite: Although I do what I want to do, my life is very much dictated at the moment. It doesn't matter that I have this job and it's "really important." Nobody can really tell me what to do. If I don't want to do something, I'm not going to do it. Then again, I'm not stupid. I want to succeed and I want to be successful so I end up doing most of the things I'm advised to do because I know that it's going to benefit my career.
My life is pretty much dictated by my determination to succeed at the moment. That doesn't always work in harmony with what I actually want to be doing. If I died today, I've had a great life. But I don't think I could say I've lived. I could say I've survived and I'm almost living. But I still think I've got a while to go. I think when I'm able to really help other people and I'm in a position to offer opportunity to other people. Then, I'll be able to say that I've lived.
MVRemix: Aside from having and soon to be raising a child, what else are you working on?
Ms. Dynamite: Well, I'm going to start working on my new album because obviously, over here we've done quite a lot of singles. I'm gonna start trying to conquer America and see how my album and how Ms. Dynamite does over there. I'm just really working on getting myself into gear and balancing the future as well as I can.
MVRemix: Do you have any last words or comments for fans/potential fans that will be reading this?
Ms. Dynamite: I'd just like to say that I really look forward to coming and seeing all the people in the US and performing in front of them. I just hope that they enjoy my music.
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