The Wordstress: A Pretty Laidback Lady
I like to watch sports on TV while listening to music. I know it is probably a guy thing. Regardless, I like to do it. For one, I’m not always crazy about the jibberish of some broadcasters. I have my favorites. But, most of them are at times clueless. I’m currently watching the NCAA Final Four Basketball Tournanment and my choice of music at the time is the Jill & Dill Mixtape by The Wordstress. Now, if you don’t know who that is; let me fix that for you. She is a tremendous talent. She has a style that is cool and eclectic. You can tell that she likes to have a good time with no provocations. We kicked it with The Wordstress to see what she was up to. Just as we thought, she is simply living and loving life.
AfroEduc8or: Explain the name The Wordstress.
The Wordstress: The Wordstress is a fusion of the two words ‘Wordsmith’ & ‘Songstress’. I consider myself a writer before a singer so I really wanted a title that expressed that..plus I ‘stress on my words’.. get it? LOL.
AfroEduc8or: I get it. That’s cool. Now, your style is so laidback and relaxed to me. How would you describe your style?
The Wordstress: I am a pretty laid back lady, I hate stress/panic so I’m happy that filters through my work. My musical style varies. I’m a pretty flexible writer. I started off with acoustic/indie folk type songs, but now I’m on more of a vintage hip hop vibe. I don’t box myself to a specific genre/style of music as I want to always have room to evolve as a writer/vocalist.
AfroEduc8or: Who are your musical influences?
The Wordstress: I have so so so many! I look up to artists that create honest music with the power to change. Because I’m a writer, I’m drawn to artists with clever and meaningful lyrics. I study Wretch 32, Emeli Sande, Lauryn Hill,The Floacist & Jill Scott.. they are my Guru’s! At the moment, I’ve been taking notes from Drake, A Tribe Called Quest and Jesse Boykins III.
AfroEduc8or: They are some of my favorites also. Jesse Boykins III is highly underrated. The UK is putting out some great NeoSoul. What is the scene out there as it relates to RnB\NeoSoul?
The Wordstress: I’m not sure the UK has had music of a ‘Neo Soul’ scene since Floetry if I’m honest. There are a lot of emerging artists on trippy futuristic soul vibe/Hip Hop vibe which excites me!
AfroEduc8or: Who else should we be checking out in the UK?
The Wordstress: There’s a super dope guy called ‘Kwabs’ that I’m loving at the moment.. His voice is one given by God. Also Hawk House, Keziah Who, Ego Ella May and a producer FreddyWinter. All dope.
AfroEduc8or: I’ve been checking out Kwabs. He is dope. The Jill & Dill Mixtape is solid. It leaves us definitely yearning for a full album. What was the inspiration for the EP?
The Wordstress: Thank you so much! Firstly, I really wanted to dedicate my first project to my Uncle Jay Dee! There’s something about his work that resonates with me and makes me want to spit bars! I actually wrote my first ever song to one of his beats. I also wanted to experiment a bit with singing less and bringing elements of spoken word.. like Jill Scott did on her first album. In terms of the content, the songs reflect where I’m at right now. I’m over my last heartbreak, content in my singleness, loving the skin I’m in and just about making my dreams happen.
AfroEduc8or: I’m assuming that you are not signed to any label. Are you content with doing things independently?
The Wordstress: I’m currently not signed. At the moment, I’m still preening myself because I feel that I have a lot of growing to do as a recording artist. Writing a song in my bedroom or on the train is a totally different skill to performing it well in the studio. I’m not ready for the the added pressure of a label especially as I’d like to educate myself a bit more on the industry. I graduate this year from my Masters degree so I’d like at least a year to do things independently and find my feet as an artist. But of course, one day I’d love to be signed.
AfroEduc8or: Congrats on getting that Master’s soon. I’m working on my doctorate and I know the pressures of trying to do things musically and do school work simultaneously. Do you write your songs or do you collaborate with other writers?
The Wordstress: All my songs are written by me only but I’ve got a few collabs coming up this year. So, thats exciting for me because I’ve never done it before.
AfroEduc8or: What advice would you give others who are trying to break into the music biz?
The Wordstress: Not sure how qualified I am to answer that question but I can share what I have learnt so far. Don’t be discouraged if some people don’t like your work. Its impossible to be everyone’s cup of tea. Never place yourself in a box for the sake of other peoples expectations. Experiment and be you..and the people that are meant to like your music will like it. NETWORK like crazy and share your work! Soundcloud has been such a great platform to share my work and get attention from other artists & blogs. The internet is a great way of connecting with people who otherwise would never have heard of you, utilise it. Keep positive people around you. Surround yourself with like minded artists/entrepreneurs.
AfroEduc8or: See, I have a different outlook on the music business. If you have put something out there that is creating a little buzz, then it is my opinion that you are in the music business. That is especially true if people are buying your music; even if it only cost a dollar. So. I definitely believe that you are more than qualified to answer that question. Where can listeners catch you in a live performance?
The Wordstress: Performing live is on hold until I finish this degree. I should have some youtube video’s out soon though. Keep an eye on my website.
AfroEduc8or: What’s next for you?
The Wordstress: Graduate, collab with artists and producers for my next project and release it at the end of summer. Hopefully then I’ll start gigging