Four years ago the UK’s Lady Sovereign signed a five album deal with Universal Music and was then added to the Def Jam roster under the presidency of Sean Carter aka Jay-Z.
After much hype and fanfare things soon turned pear shaped for the young emcee. The endless touring and promotional activities (WORK) began to get to old Sovereign and she went on to have a very public meltdown live on stage one night. Then she promptly disappeared.
But now she is back with a new single So Human, new album and her own label – Midget Records (oh dear… smh).
In an interview with Digital Spy Sovereign explains why her union with Def Jam Records crashed and burned.
This frustration, from what I hear, built up while you were promoting your last album in the US. What went wrong?
“I just kept doing the same thing. I had this great album but the label only wanted to promote one song, which was ‘Love Me Or Hate Me’. I got fed up with basing my life around this one song. It just wound me up and in the end I was refusing to do things. I know it’s really clichéd to say it, but I felt a bit like a slave. Now I’ve got my own label I feel so much more relaxed.”
Did you fall out with Def Jam?
“Um… a bit, because I’d just go into hiding and pull sickies all the times. They did get the hump with me. They could clearly see that I was burned out but they still wanted me to keep going. They kept booking in all these unnecessary interviews. People were expecting me to do new stuff at my gigs but I didn’t have time to write new stuff because I was constantly doing promo. It just got me really self-conscious in the end.”
What was the low point?
“One night I just broke down on stage and let it all out. I was like, ‘F** this, this is what America’s done to me! I hate America, I hate myself and I’m going to be homeless soon!’ That last bit was a lie, but I was just so frustrated at the time. It’s on YouTube somewhere if you want to see it.”
What happened next?
“I just literally went into hiding and got on with a normal life. I didn’t want to make music. It took me about eight months to want to make music again. It also took me a while to come out of my shell again. But when I did get back into it, I was on a roll. I made my album in about a month or two and I was so f**ing happy!”
How did things end with Def Jam?
“I mean, I walked away from it but they was letting me go at the same time. A few people stood up for me in meetings – Jay-Z said to them, ‘You can’t let this girl go’ – but by then I’d had enough anyway.”
“Don’t go there! I’ve banned that question because I got asked it so much before! There’s not that much to say really. We weren’t bumchums or anything – I only met him a few times.”
I saw all this coming a mile off. The Lady Sovereign and Def Jam union was a DISASTER just waiting to happen!
Still I wish her the best luck with going it alone.
Categories: UK Music