Seigfried Magazine - Spring Issue

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SEIGFRIED We created ‘Seigfried’ as an independent platform aimed to showcase underrepresented artists and connect people from all over the world through music, art and culture. ‘Seigfried’ is a hybrid creative agency devoted to inspiring and uplifting creatives through their work. We are here to connect the dots for artists, managers, brands and labels across music, arts, live events and we always try to create things bigger than ourselves and better the community little by little. Our mission is simple and necessary: to showcase underrepresented talent and to provide a service to independent artiststo help them promote and sell their work. We reject the traditional confines of a label and ensure that artists still retain the authentic voice and creative license of their work, all whilst giving them the platform they deserve to show their talents to the world.

Contents 4




20 P-Nut


System Olympia


Bella Shmruda


5 Must See Music Videos of 2022



Hailing from East London, Mychelle is a rising talent in the UK music scene after spearheading an acclaimed debut offering. ‍ ‘Someone Who Knows’ is her exciting new second EP, releasing on Friday 20th May. We sat down with Mychelle, ahead of her debut headline show in The Lexington.

“I used to sing with my sisters a lot. There’s three of us and I’m the oldest, but it’s good because I got to be Beyonce. They had to accept that...I was really young.”

You have been raising a buzz in recent years.

started going down that route and then decided to

Have you been recognized in public yet?

go on to uni to pursue it properly.

I went to Carnaby Street a while ago and one of

Your EP ‘Closure’ is such a heartfelt, warm and

the girls that work there was like: Oh, I remember

colorful project. You’re really expressing yourself.

your headline shows behind the bookshelf, and it

You’re really letting letting go of, I would say

was in like, 2019. And then that same week as well,

your experiences with someone and yourself as

a guy in Pret came up to me to say he likes my

well. You go in and realising where you might

music. It takes a lot for someone to even come up

have gone wrong, where they went wrong. What

to you to tell you that they know of you and like

was the thought process behind the EP and what

your music. So I really appreciate it!

was it like making the record?

In case you don’t know Mychelle is an incredible

So I wrote the songs a few years before I started

singer, a talented guitarist and a great live

working on putting them out. Three of them were

performer. When did you start making music?

written around the same time. When I decided I wanted to do this project, they made sense to be

When I was really young, I used to sing with my

together. They were written around the same time

sisters a lot. There’s three of us, I’m the oldest. But

kind of relating to a similar theme. I was gonna put

it’s good because I got to be Beyonce. They had to

it out by myself, and I was just about to and then I

accept that.. I was really young.

met my manager, he saw me busking. So anyway,

I did start writing very early by myself, but we wrote

we started talking about like music and ended up

music with my best friend Laveau in primary school

working with him too putting the product together.

as well. At one point I decided that I wanted to do

It was a new experience for me. I’ve never even

music, as a career. I think when I went into college, I

worked with a producer properly before (talking

“I was gonna put out the songs from the debut EP by myself, and then I met my manager. He saw me busking.

about Charlie Jay Perry). It was incredible to see

Did you manage to get it in one take?

how a song comes together from just my guitars and vocals and builds into something big and

I think we did two. It was a nice experience. Very


different. I’m a very shy person and there were a lot of cameras and no audience. I feel like having

What would be your dream collaboration? If you

an audience makes me feel a bit safer.

could, US or UK, it doesn’t matter. What are you working on at the moment? I was thinking about that other day! I would want to do something very different musically, with

I’m focused on music and being better, you know,

someone you wouldn’t think I would collab with.

I feel like that’s just it. Every day, I’m trying to be better than I was yesterday. And it’s hard because

I heard you were on tour with Maverick Sabre,

sometimes you slip, but then it’s good because you

he’s a genius. What was that experience like for

always have something to work towards. That’s


where I’m at right now.

I saw that he was going on tour the day he posted

I’ve always asked God for growth, even in moments

a flyer on Instagram and I said to my friend: ‘I really

when I’ve stepped up to be that it’s a journey. It’s

would love to go on tour with him.’ And then I

not like a definitive moment. That’s not how life

literally met my manager that day. The first thing


he said to me: It looks like you’re going on the Mav tour. I couldn’t believe I was talking about it earlier

It can be just daunting and draining as well. Give

that day. I was so gassed!

yourself grace. Yes, you’ve messed up, you’re acknowledging it you’re aware of it. And now

You also got the opportunity to perform on TV.

just do the actions to be better.

What was that like for you and what did you take away from that?

Yeah, sometimes when I’ve slipped a bit, I’m like (reacts), and then I start to realize: Oh, yes. Okay,

Yeah, I really enjoyed the TV performance. That

I can plan my day out and be productive again. I

was a special day.

don’t know. I just kind of get excited now.


Introducing Cristale: Ascending 20-year-old multifaceted Brixton artist, has a very clear idea of the direction in which she wants to take her career.

What does being from Brixton mean to you?

was thigh-high, that made me do the sexy thing a little bit. (laughter) So when I’m there trying to do

“It’s home init, that’s all I know basically. That’s

‘Bong Bing’ and bending down and I’m like ‘Oh

why I don’t like going out. I was shocked to leave

shit I’m wearing a dress, do you know what I mean.

the country, going to Jamaica to shoot the ‘Bong

(laughter) That’s the only part that was different

Bing’ video. It was all long, it ain’t got nothing to

other than that it was hard.”

do with it’s from the choice at this age, when you’re younger and your mums like don’t go here or there

When’s the video looking to be released?

- that’s one thing but as I’ve grown older, I’ve tried but home is where the heart is.

“I have no idea soon though because the song is doing numbers, right now I think it’s been just over

What was it like in Jamaica, shooting the music

a week since it’s been out, it has 300k streams on

video for ‘Bong Bing’?

Spotify and that is mad.”

“Sick, I got bit by a mosquito though, I think I’m

During your younger years,

allergic to them. “

heavily into poetry. Heard you were a champion,

you were very

you were spinning man from like, years older Were you out there for long?

than you and higher years and all that stuff. And obviously you won two trophies, but they

“I was only out there for a week, should have been

wouldn’t give you the third trophy because it’d

out there for longer. I miss it already, we all went,

be a bit biased.

it was like one big family holiday. It was lit, I even went to a studio.”

“Who told you that? (laughter) They said that to me and they said to my mum, that we couldn’t give it

And the process of shooting a video out there.

for three years in a row, but I thought it’s because I

Would you say it’s different from over here?

messed up, because there’s a point in time where I paused and took the paper out to read one line.”

“It was kind of the same, but the only difference is I wore a dress for the first time in a video. I wore a dress that I would wear out, an off-white dress that

I don’t think so. Do you remember your first

thats me unconsciously showing my personality


through my music. So whenever I’m doing these things, it’s not even on purpose. The more content I

“Yeah, it’s called ‘What It’s Like To Be Young’,

give the people, the more reason they have to keep

and that’s what I’m calling my EP. I wrote poems

up with me, like what’s she doing next? I had done

from a young age, but that was the one I first

‘Militant’ and then ‘Bong Bing’

ever performed and won my first ever slam poetry competition with.”

It was ‘Militant’ that made me go viral on Tik Tok as well. Because of the whole dress-up thing. They

Obviously, fast forward now, Tiffany Calver

thought it was ‘Bridgerton’ and then they realised

1xtra freestyle Abbey Road Studios lineup is

it was ‘Militant’ and they were still paying attention.

strong. And I was talking about this with your mom and Katerina how your sound is so unique.

That wasn’t the first cypher you’ve been on

We couldn’t really compare you to any other

though, you did Charlie Sloth. Which cypher

artists. But more importantly, I feel like your

challenged you more creatively?

confidence when I was watching that video, your confidence was just outshining you were two-

“I would say Tiffany Calver, but only because I wrote

stepping you’re just flowing barring.

fresh bars for one part of it. But the rest of it, what I like to do in these cyphers, I give people a taste of

“It’s mad how that’s projected as confidence

my music that’s about to come out, so the majority

because I was letting the music take me because

of it is songs I’ve already got.”

I was nervous. and I was just getting over a cold. I was trying not to cough. I was trying to regulate my

What do you want out of rap? Where do you

breathing and everything while I was spitting bars.

want rap to take you?

So I just have to get into it and distract myself.” “It’s not even just rap I do, I sing, I had to teach But you were hitting pockets though. You were

myself. Music words I want them to take me to the

doing your thing. But it’s good that you’re very

moon, to a point in life where I’m big enough to

critical of yourself because you always want to

make a change that is positive enough to leave a

be better. And that’s a good thing. So how was

stamp but not just my stamp, a stamp for a positive

that process? Did her team reach out to yours?


“That was like a whole email chain thing. That’s all

I feel like a lot of the women are really pushing

that was and I was excited to do it, I would have

through, especially in the rap scene in the music

done it anyway regardless of who’s on the lineup

scene. They’re making a stamp for themselves,

because it’s Tiffany Calver she’s a lovely person,

in a field dominated by men. Why is it important

great personality, and everything and it was just like

for you to just stand out?

yeah great opportunity for myself. And the more of these things that I do, I’m just creating more and

“That stuff has been important to me since I was

more reasons for people to listen to me. Because

young because I played football. I was the only girl

as you are saying, rah like i’m doing the two-step,

playing football. I got scouted for Crystal Palace

when I was 14 but even before that when I was in primary school, it was always just me. Being in

That’s a great way to end a career.

those spaces in that environment taught me how

Who’s your team?

to set the bar for my temperament. Being a female, do you know what it is, that fact that I’m accepted


by a lot of the males in the industry. That’s what I appreciate. Because they don’t have to, they can


just treat me as another girl that’s just trying to do the thing. And just begging it, you know, some men

“It’s more of a generational thing. You know, the

don’t like it when females occupy their space.”

first team that I was introduced to when I was in primary school, like my group of friends were either

It goes to show that there’s some decent people

Arsenal or Man United fans. Obviously Arsenal is

in this industry that just want you to succeed.

disappointing that’s why I’ve got so much heart. (laughter) When I finish uni I don’t know how but I

“It’s important to me to be, the fact that people

want to get back on the pitch.”

are associating me with a young, black, powerful wordsmith that’s coming in and you’re occupying

By God’s grace, still new to the game. What

the male space and doing these things. I wasn’t

has the industry taught you already so far? Just

searching for that but now that it’s found me,

setting values, and probably even just how you

I appreciate that title, because it’s hard to get

maneuver how you navigate the space?

even respected, to be respected in this industry at all. It’s hard to be respected as a woman, it’s

“Good stuff and bad stuff, the good stuff is that no

hard to be respected as a black woman, it’s hard

matter what happens, the music will always make

to be respected when you’re black, it’s hard to be

it worth it. All the trials and tribulations the music

respected as a musician. You know, creativity is

is what makes it worth it. Being able to put your

pretty much shunned upon unless it starts to make

feelings into a song, and then put the song out, and


then people can relate to it. And it provides healing for communities to help people that are going

You mentioned football, Crystal Palace, what

through stuff. That’s what’s worth it, it taught me

position did you play?

like I’m actually a person now, a person that people look to, they check in on my stuff, like my posts and

“I got scouted as a goalkeeper!”

care about what i’m into. That’s what being in this game has taught me.”

Wow. Yeah, I would not have guessed that. Is that weird to you? Do you still get surprised “Worked my way forward and when I finished

by that?

playing football, I stopped playing because of sixth form. I stopped when I got to striker, so I worked

“The magnitude of people that I can influence is

my way from goal and then i was a defender for a

weird to me, but the fact that I can influence is not.

bit and then I was midfielder and then both sides

I’ve been doing that since I was in school. They had

and then striker.”

an anger management class, for just young black

girls that may or may not know how to channel their

other day, it came from somewhere I expected but

energy. I went from being in it - to hosting it. From

didn’t expect it. And it’s just like, why would you do

being a mentee to being a mentor. That was in a

that? I slept on it, woke up the next day, it was like a

space of a couple months, it was my age group,

hearsay thing someone said, this, this and this. And

and younger and then poetry learning poetry and

this is gonna happen to you. So the person called

learning how to be a wordsmith to actually teaching

me again and said what are you going to do about

people how to construct their sentences. So being

the situation, I said, who gave you that information,

somebody to look at that’s not necessarily it’s not a

and who gave that person that information? I don’t

foreign area, It’s not strange. But of this magnitude

know, if it’s not anyone that’s relevant in my career,

it’s mad because I literally went from under 10k

for myself, for anything and then the situation dies.

followers at the beginning of the year in December, I didn’t even have 10,000 followers.

It wasn’t that important. you know the phrase the devil makes use of idle hands, when people’s hands

Now I’m on like 33k. It’s crazy. If I post the video,

are idols, it’s like they’re bored, things are a lot more

the likes and the views actually add up to how much

drastic and make people panic a lot more when

people follow me, and that’s really crazy to me,

they’re bored. This whole thing taught me just to

cuz I’m like, hold on, all of you’re actually paying

do your own research and ask more questions to

attention to me. So I’ve got to make sure that I’m

get facts, Stay prayed up. I’ve been staying prayed

doing God’s work even though I’m kinda greezy

up. Every morning, every night, before I eat. I say

in my songs. I’m not greezy in the way that I’m

God please cover me in the blood of Jesus, the

promoting it. I wouldn’t say I’m a violent person.

body of Christ. I rebuke any bad spirits. The minute

But if I was to get into a fight I’ll know how to handle

you get sucked into the honey, in this industry, and

myself, but all the weaponry and stuff like that, I

you dont give thanks it affects you.``

don’t do that. So that’s why I made sure that when I’m doing my songs, I’m talking about that stuff. I

I know you’re very excited about your debut EP.

make sure that I’m using nouns and verbs and not

So I’m just gonna throw these questions: how

he, she because they need to know it’s not me.”

many songs are on the EP?

We talked about the positive things, but

“Seven songs on the EP, seven is my number and its

what were the disadvantages? What were the

my mum’s number too”

negatives that you learned? So tell us about the EP What are you going to “Sometimes people are just out to get you, you

take us through? What are you going to give us?

know. And I haven’t experienced it in any way, where

What can we expect?

my career is on the line. But it could be somebody, that’s close to you, it could be family, they could

“This project will give everyone an insight into

put in words like try and feed you information

certain things that happened when growing up,

that can make you make a decision that could

nothing too heavy, more playful stuff like fights,

potentially tarnish your career. If you don’t ask the

arguments, trials, tribulations. So my seven-track

right questions, you won’t be able to poke holes in

EP, you have Morgan, Militant, Maryland, Damage,

their theory, or their plan. Something happened the

Hold and Squeeze, 13 going on 30 and Braids.

Braids is a freestyle. It’s not like a song. But I’ve

I hope it heals and people can relate. I make music

got three freestyles on there. Because it’s just like,

for myself, I don’t really make music for anyone else.

these were the first three songs I did when I first

But the fact that people can relate- it’s a bonus.”

kind of found my sound. Morgan, Militant and Maryland and there was another one named Flu, but I kinda moved that to something else. It’s to emphasize fluidity, and when you’re growing up anything kinda goes.

You have structure. But sometimes the structure doesn’t mean anything. But you can have the best parents in the world. But we spend 80% of our time in school. Whatever happens at school, ain’t got nothing to do with whether your mum’s put a good dinner on the table. It’s just literally like if you spend 10% of your time at home, 10% extracurricular activities and 80% at school. If you get in a fight every single day at school where moms cook dinner every day. There are no fights at home, but you’ve had to fight every day at school. That weighs up and you spend how many hours a day at school and how many hours a day at home.

In the song ‘Militant’ I just want to tell young people that when you’re angry you’re angry at yourself, at the world, at God, at your parents.- It’s okay, because you don’t know why you’re angry. It’s about acknowledging your pain and expressing it, then figuring out how to express it better. Do you feel like you do that through your music? Acknowledging your pain and expressing it in your music?

Yeah, but I still have normal reactions like I’ll cry or laugh, I’ll get upset. I’ll have panic attacks, I’ll do all of these things. But then when it hits and I hear the beat (sometimes there’s no beat or sometimes there’s no song and just a beat) Interviews and stuff like this will help people realise my song is not just a song. Not that it’s a story or anything like that, but


Let’s start from the beginning. When did you

Linkup TV, and spelt it wrong. So I just left it at

start making music?

that.” Have you got tracks with Carns Hill?

“I can’t really tell you because I’ve been into music from a young age, growing up my mom was

“Yeah, got a whole EP”

playing music. If it wasn’t Garage, it was SOCA or Dance and my dad was the same. So I was always

Is that ‘Cognitive Behavioral Therapy?’

interested. I was singing or rapping, but mostly

that’s all from Carns Hill?


singing. I think I swapped over to rapping I would say late primary school as well. Yeah. So year five

“Yeah. And then obviously bits and pieces of what

or year six.”

I’ve written over the years.”

Listening to your music and dissecting your sound

He’s a great producer to have as a friend. So

you come across very confident. Even how you

what were your early influences in music?

attack your songs as well. It’s always boisterous. It’s always confident. You know who you are? Is

“When I was working with Carns, I was working

that something that you’ve always had from a

with hella guys. But I think it’s more because of

young age? And if so, how did that even come

my dance and singing, and I’ve always been that


person so when I see music videos on MTV Base and stuff. I know the dancing and the videos off by

“I will say I’m confident and I’m shy, but you

heart. I’ve always wanted to dance and be in that

wouldn’t know I’m shy. Unless maybe it’s like a one

world with people like Missy Elliot, Erykah Badu

to one or, an intimate group or something. But I

Lauryn Hill. Then you have the men: I love Michael

guess I’ve always been a wild child. I think that’s

Jackson, 50 Cent and Snoop Dogg.”

what made it better for me in terms of I’m gonna do this - I’m gonna do that. Even though I do have a family telling me that maybe I should do business

Tell us about your creative process. When you go

or do this or do that. That always diverts me from

into a booth, what’s your process like, do you

music. But then I always come back. It’s like guys,

need to have a finished track first? And then you

leave me alone.”

can lay down rhymes or sometimes the rhymes come first and you just have to create a beat

Who is P-Nut. How did that name come about?

that will kind of match the vibe with what you’ve already written?

“I got this name when I was 17. And I put it as my BBM name. And then everybody ran with it. And

“It depends. I can write there and down or if

it was actually spelt p e a n u t. But then I think

the beat is getting made, which mostly has been

in 2017, Carns Hill uploaded one of my songs on

happening for a good couple of years now, so I

don’t really remember what it feels like to go on

were collaborating and making music.

YouTube to look for a beat. But if someone’s making a beat in front of me and i’m waiting to write lyrics,

“I’m so happy I met her. I don’t think you

I’ll wait until I’ve heard the first beat drop, so I can


see what direction you’re going to take in and then lets me know if I like it or not, because I’m quite

Tell us about the story about how that song came

picky with beats. And then I guess it just depends


how I feel and what comes to mind.” “Okay, so obviously, she found me on Instagram, Do you experiment with your sound?

we spoke a bit and then she sent me the song. And I’m not even lying. It took me a sec to record

“I’ve got my house song. I’ve got a 70s song as

that song because I kept dancing to it. That was

well, the majority of my freestyles are on like old

it. Every time it was like, Yo, let me try. I just kept

hip hop beats. I have even freestyled to a Kylie

dancing to the beat, until after I was okay. You

Minogue song and a Britney Spears song I just

take it on now. And I had to complete it. I went to

didn’t bring it out. I think with me, if I feel like

the studio to meet her as well and EBO was there.

I’ve missed a certain time for me to do something,

And he helped to engineer and put some ideas

it gets forgotten. Until when I go back, I’m like

together. It was a good session man.

mmm? should I bring it out should I leave it?” Funnily enough when it comes to ‘Falling in Love’, Are you a bit indecisive when it comes to

just before I released it, I showed it to someone

releasing music?

and showed them the video. And they thought it was a bad idea to release it (under my name)

“I’m kind of indecisive, especially because it’s me

because people are used to seeing me doing a

making all the decisions. And I don’t really preview,

certain type of genre, even though I don’t just do

I don’t show my music to anyone. So now, it’s like,

one genre. Maybe I might confuse people or they

you get it when you get it”

might not like it. But this song was the only song that’s really making me money."

Is that something that you’re looking to change, though? I’m sure there’s been demands and

Don’t listen to people.

wants from your audience? "I didn’t listen. I love the song. It took me like two “I don’t know, I live in my own bubble. I don’t

months to write it because I kept dancing to it. "

really pay attention to what’s going on outside of it, though. I can’t really tell you what’s on the

Is there an EP that’s going to be coming out with

charts. I can’t tell you who’s popping. I can tell you

the both of you? Is that something that’s going

none of that. What I know is what I’m doing. And

to be released this year?

I’m doing it tomorrow and next week. So if people are asking me what’s happening, I’ll tell them yes,

“I can’t tell you that because I don’t know.”

it’s been a while I’ll be coming back soon. But then I go back to that, do what I need to do and then

In terms of your own, solo career, what’s next

plan that way.”

for you?

We first heard about you through someone,

“I think what I’m going to be doing for now is just

who’s also been featured on this issue, System

releasing singles, because it’s been a while. So I

Olympia. And she spoke so highly of you. You can

need to build back up the momentum. But also

tell that she felt that connection when you guys

when I come out with visuals, I can’t put a time

stamp on it. But soon, because this year is already

I’ll say she’s more rapping, also maybe something

going fast.”

from Snoop Dogg, and I’m really loving Key Glock too.”

Can you tell us why it’s been a while? Cognitive Behaviour Therapy came out in 2018 “Because I took a break from music for one.

with 10 tracks, and two features: what’s your

And during that break, my EP came down So I

favourite track on there?

had to bring that backup. And then I released a house song. So my EP got put back up last year.

“Heartless it’s got SDG, he wanted me to do the

And then I released the house song in July. And

verse again.”

then, I guess, working on myself and my private life and trying to match it. Because when you’re

Why? Your part was hard.

doing music, you don’t really have time for other things. And then when you’re making money and

“I can’t remember why. I can remember I definitely

stuff, you don’t really have time for music. So you

liked that song. And I do like, ‘Came From Nothing”

have to try and balance it. I kind of get lost in my personal life sometimes, especially because there’s

How did that come about?

no one behind me saying “Where’s the music?”. It’s just outsiders saying it. It’s not as much of a

“If I’m not mistaken, 2018, 67 wasn’t really about

push as I need.”

that year, I was quite good at hooks more than my verses. I could always swap. And I think Monkey

You should take them seriously.

wanted my hook. Both me and Carns. said No. And Reeko Squeeze wanted the hook too, and I said

“No, I definitely do because I don’t want to lose


the people that actually support me and listen to me. But then again, I don’t want to rush anything

So we’re waiting for this new project. We want it

and come up with crap. And another thing is I

to come out, which will be when?

don’t feel like I’m in competition with anyone, so I feel like my spot will not get taken”

“I know, but you’re gonna have to wait for the singles. I can’t bring out a project all in one

What’s your theme song?

because I feel like it will go to waste. So I have to bring out the singles first. Funnily enough, in 2020

“This is hard. I don’t know who to pick so many

I went to Paris and made a whole EP. It was meant

songs flying around in my head. But I’m gonna give

to come out in 2021, but the producer in Paris was

this one as an answer: Azealia Banks - Along the

taking so long to mix and master and send it back,


I only got it probably at the end of last year. Now I just don’t know what to do with it, it’s a totally

I’ve never heard that song before but I do see

different sound, me trying different adlibs, I’m just

her in you.

not sure whether I should bring it out or not.”

“Please google it and listen to it” Do you like her as an artist? “Definitely. She’s very outspoken. I don’t know why I didn’t say her name when I said influences. Because I’ve been rocking with her for 10 years.



System Olympia was born and raised in Calabria, then she spent her teen years djing clubs in Rome, then moved to the US to follow her music dream to then reallocate in London. Since we’re big fans of her productions, we decided to have a chat with her.

Tell us a bit more about yourself. Firstly, I was

“I just started buying records. I had a lot of friends

thinking about this. And I was like, wow, System

that were DJs and music collectors. So when I

Olympia It sounds like it has a band name. So I

was in my late teens I started buying records,

just wanted to know the origins of that name?

and then when I was at uni, the first year of uni, I

And where did it come from?

was working in a bar, and I was like, I can do this. I’d love to DJ. So I tried and I just loved it right

“Yeah, you had a really good guess. When I was

away. So I just bought turntables, and I started

picking a name before, I was in a band called

buying more records. And then I just kept going,

‘Royalty’, and then I wanted to do a solo project.

I never stopped really. I started playing Hip Hop

And I was thinking of a new name for myself. At

instrumentals in the club. And everybody was

first, I thought the name I wanted should sound

like why are you playing instrumental music in

like a band. Because I didn’t want to reveal who

the club, especially the ones going slow, no one

I was. (Yeah, such a good guess). You know, some

wants to hear that. But then I went to LA and I

people don’t say who they are. Especially, as I

realized that there was a whole scene around that,

didn’t want people to know that I was a girl. I was

the instrumental hip hop that eventually became a

in a band before and it was produced by me and a

whole thing with a flying lotus, all the death scenes

guy. And I always felt like people assumed that all

just basically started from playing instrumental

the music was done by the guy because you know,

music at the time.”

girls do not usually [produce] and there are not as many female music producers. There’s a bit of a

You lived in the USA for quite some time. How

stigma around it. I don’t want people to know that

long were you there for? What sparked the

I’m a woman producing. Just a one-woman band,

inspiration to move to London? I feel like the

which it is. Which is actually extreme, because I

USA is very music-oriented. They’ve influenced

do everything myself. I record, I am in a studio, I

us as well over here, especially in the late 90s

write myself, I mix my songs. I do everything by

and 80s. So yeah, what was it like in the USA?

myself. So it actually sounds like a band, but it’s an extremely personal project.”

“When I first moved to LA, I didn’t speak good English. It was such a massive change coming from

Thanks for clearing that up for us. You grew up

Italy. I grew up with the myth of America and you

in Italy and you started DJing. Tell us about the

know this fascination for so long when I was there,

early stages of your career. What got you into

I was so excited to just be in Hollywood to me. And

performing? How did it feel to be a DJ from such

at the time being I was being paid for the music

a young age? And just you know, what gave you

that I was making. It was the best place to be. So

the confidence to start performing? And being

I was just so inspired and I met the right people

somewhat a solo artist as well?

at the right time, I was so lucky. I never fully lived


there because I never had a visa. So I would travel

I’d been on a date with some random guy that I

back and forth. I would stay at my mum’s and then

never saw again. He told me he was making beats

head to LA for a few months. At some point, I

and he was in London. I asked him if he knows

realized that I could never settle there because I

any female rappers from London as I would love

didn’t have a visa and I was in a relationship that

to make a song with a female rapper from the

wasn’t working. So I decided to just go back to

UK. The next day, he sent me a list of names. I

Italy. But the actual story is that my flight to Italy

went on YouTube and I listened to all these girls

had a layover in London for like a couple of hours.

and they were all amazing, but only P-Nut really

And from the airport, I called a friend of mine and

stood out from everybody else, because she was

asked if I could stay with her as I didn’t want to

so different. I shared the video on YouTube and

go back to Italy. It’s been many years now. When

sent her a message and she responded. The first

I came to London, I just walked into Shoreditch

time we met was when she came to the studio to

and it felt like New York City. I thought: Can I

record the song. I had never met her before. As

actually get a job here? She was like: Yeah, you’re

she walked in, I was just amazed, she’s very Grace

legal here, you can get a job tomorrow. I couldn’t

Jones-like in person. She’s very confident and very

believe it. So I just got a job right away. I still love

cute at the same time, but serious. She just went

it so much.”

on the mic and we were shocked. We were there for a few hours and she wrote the lyrics in the

You have a very consistent discography and you

studio. Honestly I didn’t expect it to turn out so

tap into many different sounds. Earlier on in your


career, what were some of your influences, and how do you feel like your sound has evolved over

You have a residency with NTS and you often

the years?

play DJ sets all over London. Which do you enjoy more, being a radio host or just producing music,

“I think generally I just got better. Technically my

and making people dance?

sound has evolved. It makes a lot of difference. But other than that, I feel like my sound has always

“You know, it’s different. I think I’m the most

been pretty consistent. The only difference is in the

comfortable in my own studio. Because I just

actual quality of it because of skills and technical

wake up in the morning, I sit there all day, and

stuff and upgrades with gear. I just developed it

it’s my time, you know, it’s comfortable and I love

over the years, but I wouldn’t say there’s a massive

it. Radio, I love it too. So nice to connect with

difference in what I was doing 10 years ago to now,

people on a very intimate radio show. So I feel like

my taste is pretty much the same. I just expanded

I’m able to express myself and play the songs I

my sound. The core of it, I think, is always pretty

love for the people is beautiful. And it’s amazing

much the same.”

getting feedback. The live shows are tiring. Like I just came back from one this weekend. I’m just

The song ‘Falling in Love’ featuring P-Nut. How

so tired. It’s amazing. But I need to stop drinking.

did that collaboration come about?

That’s the thing. I need to learn how to do that. I don’t know how to do it. Like as soon as I go to

“I love that song, it gets better for me everytime

the club, I just start drinking so I was talking to a

and people seem to love it too. It started because

few friends of mine who’re DJs as well. I’m like,

How do you do this? Because, you know, they do it


every week, and I don’t at the moment. They do. I have to do this every weekend. They’re like, well,

Right now I think eight, I’m working on it.

you know what? I don’t drink. That’s the only way to be sustainable, long term. So that’s my goal for

And any features?

this year.” “I’m working on it. I’m so excited about it. I’m What’s been your favourite set to do? Do you

gonna take my time with it. And I just released

have any that really stood out for you?.

something. On February 4, my last single and I have so many remixes coming out and compilations this

“The one that I’m proud of is when I played in

month. So yeah, I’m gonna wait until the end of the

Berlin a couple of years ago, I played for four hours.

year, if not early next year.”

That’s the longest I’ve ever done. And I think I did quite well. I’m proud of that one because I was

What would you say is different from the one

opening for quite a big lineup that was like my

that’s set to come out to Delta Venus, the one

dream lineup. I was very proud to be part of that.

that you released in 2020?

So far, that’s probably the one I’m most proud of. But you know, there’s many.” There’s been a lot of controversy surrounding

I think it was the progression, there’s definitely

streaming platforms. What do you think the

those elements, but it’s my progression to more

future is for you on releasing music? Do you have

vocals or speeches. It’s less abstract and more

a different approach on how you want to release

‘synthpop’ I’d say.

music going forward? Was that intentional? “I release my own music on my own label, which is major for me because now I’m in full control of

“I think I wanted to expand my audience, without

what I do and how I put it out. I’m releasing my

compromising the depth. It’s quite abstract and it’s

own vinyl records and I want to continue doing

quite deep still, but also there’s ease and lightness

that. I personally love streaming platforms. I use

that makes it easy-listening to a degree. I want to

Spotify all day. So I’m not against any, I do get

do the same with my next album. I want to have

paid. So it’s okay. But I’m going to be producing

that ease and reach a wider audience. I do love

more, for other people.”

pop music and I do love synth-pop. They’re like proper songs. Normal structure. So there will also

Would you ever do a project solely based on just the woman, the ladies that you have collaborated with? Yeah, I would love to. It’s just there’s so much I try to do and only as much I can do at once. So you know, I’m working on my next album right now.

MARY Did SHOE FOR MAGAZINE you just giveGUAP us an exclusive? How many

be those elements that we don’t have in there.”


Over the years, Bella Shmurda has grown to a mainstream superstar with his insane hits that touch on the struggles of Nigeria, coming from the streets and navigating life around his career. KWAKU ASANTE (2021)

How did you come up with the name ‘Bella

to Wiz for the chance. It was one of my biggest


performances to date, so I’m happy I’m doing good and I’m grateful for it.’

‘Shout to my friend: I got Bella Shmurda from Bobby Shmurda but my real name is actually Abiola

What inspired your latest single ‘My Friend’?

and I’ve gone by many stage names in the past. So, he’s Bobby and I’m Bella and now me and Bobby

‘My friend majorly is about telling people even if

are friends. So that’s the story of Bella Shmurda’

we are not speaking right now and I’m not present I’m still here for them and regardless of being Bella

How did it feel knowing your single ‘Cash App’

I am still me. Currently it’s at No.2 in Nigerian

had gone global?

charts so I’m happy.

‘I was feeling proud of myself and I’ll be honest









before that song came out it took me five months to release it, because my mind wasn’t really

‘Expect music to inspire, make people move and

there at the time. I never thought it would ever

get people dancing. Currently in the process

get this big because I had just released two other

of sorting out my new album as well as helping

songs and I was already working on other things

friends with their EPs so I’m really excited about

and it just got mad out of nowhere but shout out

the future.

to my team.’ What Artists are you currently working with? What was your upbringing like before the music? ‘Currently ‘I was born in Ekodu and went to private school. I



am the last, born of 10 children. I started recording



working just I


working just


Patoranking, hard to

towards keep

Timaya better


and singing during secondary school. Music has always been a part of me and I thank God that I am

One piece of advice to those coming up in the

able to do what I can do and I am able to live my


dream. I’m still moving and it’s a blessing.’ ‘Yes, be prayerful and optimistic about your goals. What artists inspired you?

If it’s your dream, don’t stop and keep going and it will come to you through hard work.

‘Artists like, Fuji, Pasuma, Olamide, Wizkid and

Some things may not go your way, but never give

Davido are a massive inspiration for me.

up on your dreams.’

What was it like coming to London and opening for Wizkid? ‘It was an amazing opportunity for my career, we did have to go through some things but shout out




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