How best would you describe yourself as an artist and musician for those who may not yet have been introduced to your sound?
I think it's difficult to categorise myself. That has never been the goal. As a melodic poet my work grows from how I feel, from events around me and the musicians I am working with. It's about great energy for me, and my sound reflects that. You'll see when my EP is released, there are some really diverse sounds. Music is art, and I really felt like it was time to become much more creative and enjoy the process of creating.
When in your life did you realise that this business was one you wanted to work in?
I feel like I have always known. I used to rap before I knew I could sing, and that element will really shine through on the EP. I think it is important to show where I've come from, and how far my music has grown. I have only ever known music, there is no plan B.
How difficult would you say it is to carve out a career in this industry?
The music industry will always be difficult to break, for several reasons, but one of them being the fact that there are so many talented musicians and artists out here at the moment. That is a fact that will never change. There are certain experiences that you just have to go through to really understand what the industry is all about, you can't cut corners and expect longevity or to really understand what it is all about.
You've worked with some other big names in the business to-date, what have been some of your favourite experiences?
I've taken something from every experience. I am so grateful to have worked with the likes of Wretch 32, Tinie Tempah, Ray Foxx, Sasha Keable and Alexandra Burke because every experience taught me something new or helped me realise another element of music that I love. Working on Chill Chase with Wretch has been a highlight this year, because the creative process was truly epic. But the year is still young...
Do you have definitive aims and goals for your career going forward?
I just want to make great music and have fun, enjoy it. That is really what it is all about. My goal is to allow myself to be as creative as I can, explore the places that music can take me and never lose focus. I look forward to working on an album, and pulling together everything I have learned and experienced in the last few years and making something incredible.
Your new collaboration with Wretch 32 'Chill Chase' focuses on the realities of domestic abuse, what was the creative process behind this song and why did you choose this as a topic to focus on?
I actually watched 'Murdered By My Boyfriend' on BBC Three, and there is something about the honestness of the film that lingered with me. My work is largely influenced by what is going on around me, and that is just something I couldn't forget. The debates that began as a result left me feeling that I needed to express my views, or at least create something that was relevant to the topic. Music should reflect people's lives, and unfortunately domestic abuse is a reality for more people than we'd like to think. I can't pretend to be an expert on the topic, but as a creative and as a person, it's not something I was able to ignore.
The great thing about the song is that Wretch 32 understood the message, and contributed in an incredible way. With some crazy production by Blinkie, it felt as though we were all in tune with what the other was thinking. The music reflected the emotion of the topic and helped build the journey that the lyrics described.
How important is it for you as an artist to maintain creative control over your work?
I think for any artist that is a must, it is why we're in the industry in the first place. Well, I guess I can't speak for everyone, but that is the case for me. Creativity is the base and foundation of my love for music and the industry.
Who would you like to work with going forward on new material, and why?
It's not a case of who. I am pretty open to working with all types of creatives. My musical tastes are so diverse, that it's so exciting to see how endless the possibilities are. I wouldn't like to limit myself, and great music really is the goal, whichever shape or form that comes in.
What should we expect from you in the coming weeks and months?
My EP, 'Est. 1990' will be released in the next month. I'm really looking forward to sharing what I have been working on, and I think it will definitely surprise a few people. I had so much fun creating, and I think it shows in the work.