Interview with Shystie on working with Azealia Banks & her new mixtape

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Azealia Banks just collaborated with her, Missy Elliot wants to, and she walked the catwalk at New York Fashion Week recently – Shystie is the next big thing in rap.

Growing up in East London, in the flat above Professor Green, Shystie acted in the film Adulthood, played the leading role in grimy Dubplate Drama, recently created her own version of ‘N*ggas in Paris‘ and toured with Vince Kidd. She’s featured on ‘Neptune‘, a big tune on Azealia Banks’ Fantasea mixtape, and now more recently, with her on ‘Control It‘ for her own latest mixtape (download it free here to get the dirty version).

I spoke to the hot new female MC about working with Azealia, what it’s like to be female in the rap industry, and her new mixtape, Gold Dust: Vol. 2 which was dropped exclusively by SBTV.

How did you get into the business?

Studied what was going on, found a lane for myself, practiced every day, started from the bottom of pirate radio stations and worked myself up to where I am now.

What’s a typical day in the life of Shystie?

Studio, working from morning to night, if I’m not there, then I’m on stage, if I’m not there I’m doing interviews, if I’m not doing that then I’m in studio LOL. Every day is just work for me.

What was it like working with Azealia Banks?

It was nice, she’s really cool and we clicked really well. We’ve just done another song together called ‘Control It’ produced by LzBeatz, which got Record Of The Week two weeks in a row on BBC Radio 1, so that’s a good look.

You don’t hold back with your music, are you always so fierce or is Shystie like an alter ego for you?

Yeah definitely, Shystie is very cocky, witty, fierce, ‘say what I want’ kinda shit, she is my alter ego but she isn’t too far off from my actual self.

What’s been your biggest moment since you began making music?

My biggest moment would probably be Missy Elliott hitting me up saying she wants to meet me and link up. She’s been my favourite female rapper since I started music so to have her reach out to me is nothing but a great thing.

On ‘That Way’ on your latest mixtape, you say: ‘Girls you seriously gotta raise the bar up a little as well / Don’t be interested in all those diamonds and watches and cars that he’s driving / That’s nothing / Make sure he looks after you first and foremost.’ In a male-dominated industry, do you feel it’s important to represent the female perspective in your music?

I think just in general it’s important to represent my female perspective, so I always will. I’m not here to guide anyone down the wrong path or put out any kind of negative messages. I want females to know their worth and don’t take shit from people or shitty guys that treat ’em bad, fuck that. Have confidence in yourself, I’m all about empowerment.

Tell us about New York Fashion Week!

It was dope. I walked for a great fashion designer called StevieBoi who makes sunglasses for Rihanna, Beyoncé and Lady Gaga just to name a few. His show was amazing and VH1 was there filming it live. I’m the first female emcee to model at NY fashion week, so I’ve got nothing but smiles about that, London girl in New York representing.

What can we expect when we listen to your new mixtape Gold Dust Vol. 2?

You can expect me to just kill every track that I covered, and also, I did quite a few originals with my producer LZ Beatz, which we just went in on and smashed, so have your headphones/speakers ready ‘coz I feel like it’s my best mixtape to date.

For live performances, you can catch Shystie at Azealia Banks’ Mermaid Ball at the London Aquarium, on the 13th October. Find her on Twitter or Facebook.

Watch her new video for Gold Gang here:

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