Amsterdam born, globally renowned: Lady Bee is unavoidable right now. Whether it’s her recent single Drop Down on All Trap Music, her recent free downloads on Trap City, her powerful blend on Diplo & Friends 1Xtra show or her seemingly nonstop tour schedule, the Dutch artist has 2016 lit and locked in a major way. So much so, Diplo reckons 2016 is going to be her year.
“I feel honoured Diplo said that,” she laughs. “The year’s started really nice and there’s a whole load more coming real soon. Last year I had some big releases but not as big what’s happened in the last two months. It’s all going the right way!”
To know where she’s going, we need to know where she’s come from. Her discography dates back a decade and her career goes back even further. The hard work paying dividends, here’s how she got to where she’s at…
She started as an MC…
“I listened to a lot of garage and two-step growing up so my first release was a two-step track with Sidney Sampson. At the time it was just my voice on the record but I knew I was going to take it further… I played the guitar as a child and my father has his own band so I grew up with music. I knew there was more to life than being an MC. I did it for nine or 10 years, get fed up and started exploring production and broadening my horizons! Anyway, my voice is too fucked up to be an MC now. When I play I grab the mic and hype the crowd, introduce myself and see how people are doing but it’s not like I was back in the days”
The Lady Bee sound is rooted in UK garage
“Everything you hear in my music comes down to what I love and all that bass you hear certainly comes from garage. What I love about electronic music in the last five or so years is how house went took on EDM influences and how hip-hop took on trap influences. In between all of that I found my own combination and started developing the Lady Bee sound. The basslines from garage, the hip-hop attitude and the poppy hooks of EDM. All my favourite bits from all my favourite genres.
“I think you could hear it straight away on my first proper release – Murda Dem, a moombahton release on Mad Decent. Listen to it and you’ll hear all my influences but translated at a different tempo. The other song was a cover of Sweet Like Chocolate. I wanted to cover it but tailor it in a new jacket. Now when I listen to it I think ‘ah man this drop is so soft!’, though…”
She’s 100% Amsterdam
“I LOVE my city! It’s unbelievable how much talent there is in Amsterdam. I don’t know why, it’s such an inspirational city! We’re a small country and we’re all connected I think we keep each other on toes and influenced. Maybe that’s why?
“ADE is also huge. It’s the biggest event of its kind and everyone is here for that work, working together and making things happen. I’ve hosted my own party there for four years and it sells out every time. Two of my biggest releases happened because of ADE last year. All Trap Music hit me up at ADE, two weeks after Drop Down was signed. My next EP which I made with TWRK and Ape Drums was all made during ADE when they were in town. There’s no other event when you can make shit like that happen!”
She’s 100% original…
“Not at first! My earliest productions were actually bootlegs of pop and hip-hop songs. I managed to get hold of Diplo’s email address through my brother Marc Benjamin. I was sending sending sending but no reaction at all! Then I made Murda Dem and Sweet Like Chocolate and just sent them to the Mad Decent demo email… And I instantly got a reaction! You want to hear those bootlegs? Good luck – they’ve been deleted! Will I do more bootlegs again? Maybe… But why bootleg when you can be original?”
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