Interview: Introducing Lemzi (@lemziartist)

photo credit: @muzikalseductiom

photo cred­it: @muzikalseductiom

I am Hip Hop Magazine’s Lana Bell catches up with East Lon­don based soul­ful rap artist Lemzi to talk beats, rhymes and life!

When did you get into hip hop and what attrac­ted you to it?

From the age of 9 I was addicted to Eminem — Lose Your­self. Eminem was such a pre­val­ent fea­ture on music chan­nels, radio and through­out the media, so he was my intro­duc­tion into hiphop & rap music, closely fol­lowed by 50cent and any­one else asso­ci­ated with Aftermath/Shady. Aside from them you had rap­pers like Jay‑Z, Nas & Ja Rule who’d all suc­cess­fully broken the main­stream bar­ri­er and before I even knew their dis­co­graph­ies and char­ac­ters I was into some of their songs. Later in life I did a lot of study­ing and have listened to artists from MF Doom to Ghetts to Queen Latifah.The flows, the pas­sion and/or aggres­sion, beats and hon­esty (from most) was what really got me into the genre.

What do you tend to rep­res­ent and com­mu­nic­ate in your music?

Whatever I feel like. It has to be some­thing I feel, not neces­sar­ily some­thing that has happened to me or I’ve per­son­ally exper­i­enced. I try and uplift people and get into people’s minds with ideas of prosper­ity and push­ing for­ward whenev­er I can, I’ve come from a good back­ground so it’s only right that I pro­lif­er­ate the same vibe. When fail­ing that I at least try and accen­tu­ate per­son­al or soci­ety’s issues in the hope what I’m say­ing res­on­ates.

In your track in ‘Fire In The Streets’ video, what was the inspir­a­tion behind the story you lyr­i­cise ?

This was com­pletely fic­ti­tious, for me. But I KNOW there’s enough people suf­fer­ing from Domest­ic Viol­ence or people that at least care enough to feel some­thing when the notion is presen­ted to them. I cre­ated a 3 part story called World­li­ness that reflec­ted a few dif­fer­ent issues, such as bul­ly­ing, domest­ic abuse and aut­ism on my mix­tape, “Lemzi­Free­Bies Vol: IV — A Few Words (All For Won)” designed to present situ­ations that’d affect people emo­tion­ally and think about top­ics they may not ever have to, des­pite them being factors in every­day life for oth­er people. The track I per­formed in the ‘Fire in The Streets’ video was “No Place Like Home” which has it’s own video on my you­tube chan­nel. Aside from the beat by Blazo, I was inspired to write this by some of the things I heard in the world at the time.

What do you think about the hip hop scene in Lon­don and where it is going?

We’ve got such a heavy pres­ence in Lon­don let alone the whole UK, some of the most tal­en­ted artists do hiphop music, but we haven’t been able to estab­lish a lane along­side oth­er pop­u­lar urb­an music like grime, trap even drill music here is argu­ably big­ger! So in terms of tal­ent, there’s no short­age, hiphop (in the sense I’m think­ing of; atmospheric/mellow, con­cep­tu­al, storytelling & intric­ate lyr­ics) just needs to flour­ish like its rel­at­ive genres. I always feel there’s a void in our scene, Grime, UK Rap, Trap­frobeats, UK Drill & Con­scious rap all have prom­in­ent fig­ures and have made sig­ni­fic­ant strides, the inbetween sound I typ­ic­ally do just needs to catch up.

In your recent EP, Autum­nal Aura, how was the pro­cess of mak­ing this EP for you and what do you hope your audi­ence will take from this EP?

It was actu­ally pretty spon­tan­eous. I looked at my sound­cloud and was­n’t too happy because it was dis­or­gan­ised and I barely used it. So there was a week or two I had a lot of time to listen to music and explore sound­cloud. I came across all the beats (except the bonus track prod. By Adim pro­duc­tions) on sound­cloud and lit­er­ally just vibed. Without sound­ing too artsy fartsy, they all spoke to me in a dif­fer­ent way, the beat for “Word Vomit” just said RAP, I barely wrote any­thing for Import­ance, I knew Tells was a per­fect fit to fea­ture on Strivers etc.I hope people get an idea of the type of artist I am and how much I love music, par­tic­u­larly this style of hiphop. I touched on a vari­ety of top­ics and everything about this EP was close to home (no pun inten­ded). Police bru­tal­ity is an issue — let’s talk about it. Love & rela­tion­ships are real — let’s talk about it. Self aware­ness, per­son­al and extern­al per­spect­ives affect people dif­fer­ently — let’s talk about it all.

Music­ally, what can we expect from Lemzi in the near future?

I’m just doing as much as I can, push­ing my ideas and range of con­cepts, son­ic­ally and ret­ro­spect­ively. I’m col­lab­or­at­ing with a lot of good artists, such as Inferno, Boy Nash, Kemi Sulola and more, so I recom­mend every­one pay close atten­tion and just wait and see what we all pro­duce.

Check out our review of the Autum­nal Aura Ep Here. 


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Lana Bell

Lana Bell

Author / Poetry Edit­or at I Am Hip-Hop
Lana Bell, is an eight­een year old Lon­don­er who is based in Bris­tol. She is an emer­ging Spoken Word Artist, and the Poetry Edit­or for I Am Hip-Hop Magazine. She has been writ­ing for a dec­ade; though she has only been per­form­ing on from the age of fif­teen. She got into Hip-Hop music at four­teen, and she found a massive interest in Old Skl Sounds and the out­let that Hip-Hop music offered her.

About Lana Bell

Lana Bell
Lana Bell, is an eighteen year old Londoner who is based in Bristol. She is an emerging Spoken Word Artist, and the Poetry Editor for I Am Hip-Hop Magazine. She has been writing for a decade; though she has only been performing on from the age of fifteen. She got into Hip-Hop music at fourteen, and she found a massive interest in Old Skl Sounds and the outlet that Hip-Hop music offered her.