“He’s really quiet. But as soon as the music starts, that’s Timbaland, with his head bopping. And he gets energetic.”
Late last year I watched a video of a rapper in the UK, her name is Lady Leshurr and the song was Queen’s Speech Ep.4. I have a mad obsession with female rappers so I was particularly excited to check it out. That video now has over 33 million views on YouTube, and I’m probably a good chunk of those views because I was instantly hooked.
Back in March, Lady was set to play the Academy. I asked my best friend to come with me but she was away, I asked a work colleague but he was ‘too busy’ (I later found out he ditched me for a tinder date, the nerve!), I asked a guy I had a huge crush on but he was working, I basically asked all the people I wanted to go with but they all were unavailable. So, I had to be my own date, which honestly was absolutely fine by me.
I went to the gig and absolutely loved it.
I caught up with the Birmingham native recently, we talked getting phone calls from Akon and Busta Rhymes, writing with Timbaland and how she got into rap.
Heya Lady Leshurr, thanks for chatting with me. Now I don’t want to fangirl but I’m about to fangirl hard. I’m a big fan.
*laughs* ah thanks man, that’s so nice.
I went to your show in The Academy Dublin back in March… By myself actually, nobody was free to come with me! How was that gig for you if you can remember that far?
Hahaha, no way man that’s cool. It was amazing, I’ve always wanted to perform on a big stage like that, so to do it with all the females was even better. It was amazing.
I was curious about the fact that you don’t swear in any of your tracks. Parents can play it for themselves and for their kids too. Was this intentional?
Yeah it wasn’t something I set out to do, it’s just my upbringing really. But at the same time I used to listen to the most loudmouthed rappers on this earth. And that wasn’t to influence me in any way like that or speak about violence or guns or that sort of thing.
But it’s just my upbringing and like my mum and that really. I just think there’s no need to swear. I really don’t, I think it’s unnecessary.
I heard that Busta Rhymes and Akon called you, I was very curious to know what they had to say?
They just wanted to show love and support and maybe work in the future really… Akon reached out and he’s a lovely guy, I didn’t think he would be funny but he was really funny. And he was just a really lovely guy and he’s kind of my little mentor as well.
They just reached out really, and to give me advice.
I also heard you were working with Timbaland. I won’t lie, I got very excited hearing that news…
He’s a man that has been behind some of my favourite records of all time, Aaliyah’s 1996 album ‘One in a Million’, Missy Elliot’s 1997 record ‘Supa Dupa Fly’, and one of my all time favourite songs ‘Pony’ by Ginuwine (he was behind Ginuwine’s 1996 record ‘Ginuwine…the Bachelor’), but these are just to name a few, I could go on but you’d be listening all day…
Again he just reached out, his DJ messaged me on Instagram, we just had a few phone calls back and forth and I flew over to meet him… And he’s really shy, well not shy but you wouldn’t think it’s Timbaland if you walked into the room… He’s really quiet. But as soon as the music starts, that’s Timbaland, with his head bopping. And he gets energetic.
But we’re just in talks at the moment.
And are you working on the album with him?
We’re not sure yet, we’re just going to record as many songs as humanly possible. If it works, it works.
Is there anyone else you want to work with following your collaboration with Wiley on ‘Where Are You Now?‘
Ummmm, yeah I really like what Stormzy is doing, there are a few people in the scene I would like to work with though, like Miss Dynamite.
You shared a lineup with Stormzy for a BBC Radio 1Xtra show in Liverpool recently. And also Desiigner, Wretch 32 and… Sean Paul. I have to ask what you think of him…
He’s a legend you know, I will always respect his work, you know?
You started out creatively writing poetry, how did that transform into rapping?
I was just writing it really, I needed some closure, and I decided to just express through poetry.
After that I was really into music so I just thought why don’t I just start rapping my poetry to different hip hop beats, then I became a rapper really.
Do your family come to your gigs and listen to your music?
Yeah, my mum came to a gig of mine on Mother’s Day, and that was the first time she saw me play ever! But yeah my sisters come to my gigs on tour with me. It’s all really family involved.
Thanks Lady, looking forward to hearing some new stuff from you!