Interview: Get To Know SHAY D (@shayduk )

Q. First off thank you for the chance to inter­view you. If pos­sible could you give us your thoughts on our magazine “I Am Hip Hop”?

You’re wel­come. Thank you for hav­ing me in your magazine! I remem­ber run­ning some rap work­shops for young girls in Brick Lane and the arts centre had your magazine in their office, it had Lowkey. I picked it up and was impressed with the con­tent; the UK needed a socially con­scious free mag espe­cially on Hip Hop so big up yourselves.

Q. Why and how did you decide to pick up the mic and start rap­ping?

Dig­ging deep, I guess I star­ted rap­ping as it was  per­fect for being able to speak your mind and express your­self in a way that people would be inclined to listen. Obvi­ously I already loved hip hop and gar­age so back then we would all be MCing over eskimo beats and old hip hop instru­ment­als for fun. But hav­ing that minute or two to be able to get your mes­sage across and get a pos­it­ive reac­tion was really excit­ing for me. Hip Hop has always been about giv­ing the oppressed people a voice and I think that the core of that is the same, if we have con­cerns we want to share them!

Q. Who or what type of music has had an influ­ence over your rap­ping?

Hip Hop for sure. Rap­pers such as Tupac, Foxy Brown, Bizzy­Bone, Onyx, Da Brat and Big Pun have always made me be like “ah that’s a sick line, or sick flow” and it motiv­ated me back in the day. Over time, music from clas­sic­al to trip hop has an influ­ence on my mood and what I feel to write about. So it’s more music­al how­ever, life has been the biggest influ­ence to my bars.

Q. You recently released your first EP Once Upon a City. For people that have not listen to it yet what types of issues do your songs on the EP touch on and what were the reas­ons for these par­tic­u­lar top­ics?

I write poetry too and of course as a human feel so many dif­fer­ent emo­tions. I have always had a love of mel­an­chol­ic stor­ies and love has been a very power­ful emo­tion in my life. Through rap I usu­ally touch on social sub­jects, com­munity, life, the sys­tem, people and exper­i­ences. Once Upon A City how­ever, was a per­son­al pro­ject where pieces of my poetry which were more intim­ate, were sit­ting there and I really wanted to make a concept EP telling a story. It’s a dark fairy-tale of a for­bid­den love, two people that have a deep con­nec­tion and just want to be able to explore it but factors affect them. I think many people have these struggles through mor­als, cul­tures, class, race and cir­cum­stance. I also love lounge music, trip hop style music and the sing­er ‘TheWeeknd’ really inspired me, and I think it has these ele­ments. I was heav­ily involved in the dir­ec­tion of the effects, pro­duc­tion and nar­rat­ive so I loved cre­at­ing it.

Q. Do you feel as a female mc that you get treated any dif­fer­ently from the male mcs?

I get asked that ques­tion and my opin­ion evolves each time. I think that you def­in­itely do, you get judged imme­di­ately as if you are not going to be that great, but then that can work to your bene­fit if you are tal­en­ted. You are some­times shown a lot of respect and then some­times brushed aside. It’s a funny one. I mean we are classed as ‘female’ mcs as if mcs are just men, but then that’s con­di­tion­ing of soci­ety and it just is what it is. When we stop labelling ourselves as female mcs then there may be a gradu­al change, who knows.

Q. As well as a mc you are also a youth work­er. What type of work do you do with the youth and why do you feel it is import­ant to ingrate with the youth of Lon­don?

I run rap and lyr­ic writ­ing work­shops. Young people get to express them­selves through a cre­at­ive plat­form to get their voices heard. The work­shops encour­age young people to col­lab­or­ate and inspire each oth­er and work on their con­fid­ence. It also releases their opin­ions or any issues they have cre­at­ively instead of chan­nel­ling it through a neg­at­ive activ­ity. My job is to inspire and guide them, and give them love and growth through music. It’s vital to integ­rate with the youth of Lon­don, there are power in num­bers and espe­cially if we have pro­gress through a pos­it­ive out­let!

Q. So what can we expect from Shay D in the future?

My Hip Hop EP is out before sum­mer so look out for that on my site I am also part of the hip hop col­lect­ive Lyr­ic­ally Chal­lenged and we run monthly spoken word and hip hop nights so we are work­ing hard on that all the time. I per­form reg­u­larly and hope to do some fest­ivals in the sum­mer. Next should be a world tour – inspir­ing people to unite and pro­duce beau­ti­ful things togeth­er!!

The fol­low­ing two tabs change con­tent below.
Arash Sharifi

Arash Sharifi

Arash has been pas­sion­ate about Hip hop for many years. He believes through hip hop you can teach, edu­cate and empower people to become bet­ter ver­sions of them­selves and help and sup­port their com­munity and oth­ers. Hip hop is more than just music, it can be a teach­er to us all.

About Arash Sharifi

Arash Sharifi
Arash has been passionate about Hip hop for many years. He believes through hip hop you can teach, educate and empower people to become better versions of themselves and help and support their community and others. Hip hop is more than just music, it can be a teacher to us all.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *