I’ve dug up another interview out of the NXG Magazine archives – check out what Baby Blue had to say when I spoke to her in January.
Meet the U.K’s female rapper of the moment – Baby Blue.
The Grime scene is definitely a man’s world. Females have come and gone, but ultimately, the dudes have been dominating the scene from day. Thanks to certain UK female artists, things are changing. This inspirational artist has traveled all over New York, collaborated with Estelle and John Legend, and gained respect from her male peers, even collaborating with some of them, such as Sway. Her new single, Paper Haters, is a monster in the music scene and everyone is waiting for the release of her debut album. Baby Blue is here with us today to talk us through her journey.
Hey Blue. How did you find your passion for rap?
When I was younger, I used to listen to Nas and Jay-Z, I have always loved rap. A few of my friends started a crew, but they had no females, as usual! They asked me to write some lyrics, as they wanted me to be like the Lil Kim of the crew. Initially, I thought ‘no way!’ But I gave writing a go and when it came to rapping for them, they said I had something. So I carried on practicing and got better. I felt I had finally found something that I genuinely loved. I then started a college course in film writing, which actually helped me write some raw lyrics.
What was your childhood dream?
I wanted to be a Hollywood actress! But when I got into music, nothing else mattered. I would like to get into acting one day, and I will pursue it when I have the time. I am too in love with music right now, and I wanna put all my energy into my album.
When did you receive your first big break?
I guess it would be when Estelle picked me up in 2005. She took me all around the world, and I was her hype girl on tour. It was incredible. She took me to New York where I met John Legend and loads of other stunning artists. In New York, it was my first time in a proper studio, meeting with real producers… that was the first moment I felt like I was living the dream.
How did you meet Estelle?
My manager sent her some of my material, although I think she had already heard of me. I had wanted to work with her for some time, as she was really doing her thing. When she got back to my manager, I ended up meeting up with her and that’s when I became her hype girl. We spent a lot of time together; it was a once in a lifetime opportunity which has helped shape my career.
How was British Rap received in the US?
It is getting better now. Back in the day, most Americans said they couldn’t understand what we were saying! We rap quite fast in the U.K in comparison to them, so most of the time, they would say that they really liked it, but they simply couldn’t understand it… But now days, a lot of American artists are hopping on to grime tracks and dubstep, it is becoming more popular and accepted across the pond. Just look at Diddy’s grime version of Hello Good Morning featuring Skepta! That was a major step forward in the grime scene.
How difficult has it been for you as a female in the game?
You have to work ten times harder than a dude just to get to the same position as him. A lot of people will not take you seriously, you are criticised on the way you dress and how you appear, as well as your vocals. What I hate is that females often get put in a box. I do not want to be compared with other female artists. The media always have to turn women against each other. All I ever hear is, ‘who is the best female mc?’ I just want to be compared as an artist, not a woman. For me, I just concentrate on putting out hot verses. On the plus side, as a female in the game you do stand out, people listen more. There are so many guys in the game, that as a woman, if you play it right, you can really shine.
Who has been your favourite collaboration to date?
My track with Estelle and John Legend was a massive accomplishment to me, as they are both amazing artists.
Who is your dream artist to work with?
Jay-Z all the way, every day! I absolutely love him and have always looked up to him. I think he’s always consistent, he is a great business man, and he delivers sick bars. I love Nas as well, but my dream collaboration would be with Jay Z.
So what is next on your horizon?
My main task at the moment is finishing my album. I have done a lot of features and mixtapes, so I definitely think it is time my album came out, so I can give my fans some real material. I have recorded so much. I was due to release my album last year, but it has been pushed back to 2011, as I wanted it to reek of perfection…
Finally, what advice do you have for up and coming female artists?
Work hard, be persistent, and do not let the knocks you receive hold you back, keep trying and you will win. Make sure you have a good team behind you, a team that support you and let you make your own choices. Never let anyone steer you away from your instincts, always do what feels right to you.