Nach dem süßlichen Pop-Export namens The Naked And Famous und den Jungs von Fat Freddy’s Drop steht mit Ladi6 die nächste Künstlerin bereit, sich mit sonnigen Kiwi-Sounds von der Perle Ozeaniens ins europäische Herz zu schieben. Die Rapperin hat mit „The Liberation Of…“ gerade ihre zweite Platte veröffentlicht und sich erneut für ein paar Monate mit Kind und Kegel in Berlin eingerichtet. Doch statt drückender Großstadt bietet sie mit ihrer Musik eine Befreiung von jeglicher Schwere und Zweifeln. „Jazmine D.L“ gedenkt ihrer verstorbenen Cousine, doch statt düsterer Pianoklänge haut die Dame mal eben einen Groove raus, dass es eine Freude ist. Ihr Debüt „Time Is Not Much“ war da schon weitaus zurückhaltender. Ein Interview über Vergleiche mit weiblichen EmCees, die eigene Verletzlichkeit und Pseudonyme.
What is the difference between living in Berlin and living in New Zealand? How long will you stay in Berlin this year?
There are so many differences it would be the longest list to explain all of them, it is really so very different. We will stay in Berlin this year for another 6 months, then head home to play shows during our summer.
When and why did you start to make music?
It was completely by accident, my dad taught me „Hotel California“ by The Eagles on guitar. So I learned guitar first and wrote my first ever song using that guitar and a poem my sister wrote, when I was 16 and living in Africa. And then, when I was 18, I found and fell completely in love with Hip Hop.
What does Hip Hop mean to you?
Hip Hop is my normal life to me, it is an expression of art, it’s an attitude, it’s a belief and it’s just very normal to me.
Is there a difference between Ladi6 and Karoline Tamati? Why did you choose this pseudonym?
No there is no real difference, perhaps a little in attitude and charisma but..no not really. I picked that pseudonym because Ladi has been my nickname my whole life, and I needed an emcee name, it was the done thing at the time, and it made sense to me.
„Aww she’s kinda Lauryn kinda Erykah, I might be?“ Are you tired of these comparisons to other female emcees?
Not at all, to be compared to Lauryn Hill and Erykah Badu is an honour and a priviledge, I adore it. I meant from that line, that I am influenced by them so much perhaps I am them (channeling them) but I’m also these other things that they may not be, so I am ME.
How long did the recording of „The Liberation Of…“ take?
8 weeks from woah to go, as they say.
You’re using very easily understandable lines. Why do you express your thoughts in such a clear way? Aren’t you afraid of making yourself vulnerable?
NO I’m not afraid of that, but I was. I have grown as an artist accepting that my directness is the way I express myself, and I happen to find some solace in exposing myself like that. But it’s not always me putting myself out there to be exposed, I’m trying to communicate and find a connection, and honesty of feeling and emotion gives me that.
How difficult was it for you to write a song like „Jazmine D.L“?
It was easy to write, I wanted to honour her and give her name some light. I enjoyed writing it and remembering her, it was very hard to record and it can be difficult to sing live because I think of her. I really force myself to think of her and try to manifest her spirit into my heart and eyes each time.
Your music has this lightheartedness. Is this intentional or does it just happen during the process of writing and recording?
It was intentional for this record, we wanted to keep it with this good feeling and energy around it. We wanted to emulate that energy live.
Why is your second album a liberation? And why wasn’t your debut?
My first one was a learning period and a very confusing time in my life artistically and musically.
Why is time not much?
Time is not much was a poem my 10 year old cousin Shaquille wrote. We found it in her bedroom the day after her funeral, she knew all about time and how it’s not much, even at 10years old. I went through my whole life with no one close to me ever dying, and since 2008 someone close to me has died every year.
What was the best gig you ever played? Why?
Probably the first gig I ever did in 98 with my crew Sheelahroc, because I knew that this was it. This is what I wanted to do.
Which unknown kiwi Hip Hop artist would you say deserves more attention?
An emcee whom mixes her rastafarian roots with her Hip Hop. Her name is MC Silva.