Shystie is probably a name you've heard if you're into grime- the independent female rapper counts 50 Cent, Azaelia Banks and The Streets as artists she's worked with - and is back on the scene following her latest release "Let Me Go" back in late 2014. We caught up with the first lady of grime ahead of her next EP "Exhalation" dropping early this year.
COZY MAG: So to kick things off, aside from your music, some people may not know that you're also a professional actress, how has being on screen helped you develop creatively?
Shystie: Acting allows me to play other people and tap into different emotions. You also become really vulnerable on set filming in front of other people, these things help me be more open as a recording artist.
CM: Coming from East London and being part of the original grime movement, how do you feel about the resurgence of the genre? And do you think it’s perceived differently now to when it started?
Shystie: I think it's great. I was birthed from grime so to see the resurgence of it is really good. There's a whole lot of new young kids coming up in the scene with such good energy spitting about their life, struggle and dreams and that's the best part of the music for me. I'm not sure how much it's perceived differently but at the moment it's on the tip of everyone's tongue and that's always a good thing.
CM: Being able to diversify your talents is key and sonically you’ve always been able to reinvent yourself throughout your career. Was this a conscious move or more of an organic shift?
Shystie: It was a bit of both. I watch a lot of documentaries and biopics to help better myself and I watched the Madonna one where she constantly reinvented herself to stay current. That inspired me, and I think that's important- You must always grow as a person let alone an artist and I won't be one of those artist that gets pigeonholed or just known for one thing, you must always keep moving forward.
CM: In 2014 you released ‘Stop’ which got serious love from many of the scene’s gate keepers. What does the track mean to you and how did it come about?
Shystie: It's just a inspirational song, I mainly wrote it talking to myself and close friends really. I didn't have any expectations for it, I just tapped into myself and the outcome was great. I did it with a producer called deanyboy - who worked on my latest record too.
CM: Yeah, ‘Let Me Go’ has already been highly touted by some of the biggest DJs on BBC 1xtra and Capital Xtra, how does it feel to keep the momentum rolling so strongly into 2015?
Shystie: It feels great! Having momentum is always good. It's just keeping it going is the big challenge. But I know right now I have DJS, listeners & the stations ear, so me and my teams job now is to just keep putting out really good music and don't stop- and that's what we're doing.
CM: What can we expect from your EP ‘ Exhalation’ coming later this year? And when will you be bringing together your fans at an event?
Shystie: My new EP will be dropping first half of this year and myself and manager will be aiming to put on some Shystie tour dates where I'll be headlining, so all my supporters can definitely come out to that!
Listen to Shystie's latest release "Let Me Go" here: