From the 0121 to the 0161, Layfullstop transcends ticked boxes with her hip-hop, jazz and soul-infused melting pot of music that is food for the soul.
Having already received critical acclaim for her recent EP, ‘Cherries,’ the Manchester-born soulstress is back with music that is both vulnerable and more mature. Despite this, Layfullstop’s ability to draw you in with her seamless melding of soul-jazz and hip-hop to create an energy that is hypnotic and magnetic does not disappear. Her single ‘PMT’ is a track achieves just that.
“Inspired by the way that we as females exhibit strength, from our physical ability to our vulnerability”, Layfullstop’s work explores the limitlessness and determination that people display in the face of adversity, regardless of what you’re going through. The artist explains, “day after day, we get up, putting on brave faces whilst juggling our emotions and expectations that we should be ‘doing better’ or ‘feeling better’. And at times, it becomes worse, unbearable almost.”
Seamlessly transitioning from a rapped flow that is witty and effortlessly self-assured to singing with a voice that is smooth and almost reminiscent of Erykah Badu, the artist bares her soul, sharing wisdom that is far beyond her years.
With an appearance alongside Kojey Radical and Shabaka Hutchings in the compilation ‘Untitled’, and already taking to the stage with the Mancunian duo Children of Zeus, we thought it only appropriate to grab Layfullstop as our latest Internet Crush!
Catch Layfullstop at Hoxton Colours on November 1st and at the Lexington for The Great Escape at The Sebright Arms on November 13th.
Are you looking forward to having your next body of work out in the world?
I am excited as it’s in the works but because I’ve just released a project, I’m just enjoying having this EP out as the response has been a lot more successful than I expected.
What is your creative process like when it comes to making music?
I’m a bit of wanderer when it comes to making music. I have phases where I write without any real motive and other phases where I only write when I’m really feeling something. This could mean writing just one song over a period of 9 months or more before I feel like it’s at a place where it sounds like me. I think that’s the thing when creating sounds and songs that are alternative – if not many people are making it, it takes a lot longer to complete – but I’m good with that. I always record my initial ideas at home, which can be annoying sometimes as it can be hard to replicate. But when I do finally lace down the finals in a studio, that’s when everything comes to life, the adlibs, harmonies etc, they can completely change the way that I vibe to a song.
Who would some of your dream collaborators be?
I’ve always said I’d love to collaborate with jazz singer Esperanza Spalding who is an amazing song-writer. I would love to get down with some UK legends like Ms Dynamite, Omar, Marsha Ambrosius – that would be one for the hometown and the family.
How has Manchester shaped you as an artist?
Manchester has truly helped me to come out of my shell. I think Birmingham formed me, but Manchester got it out of me and without that, nobody would know I do music! There is a foundation of support that is everywhere here, creativity and inspiration are never too far away. But we all have real lives and struggles and I think that connection has been the most important.
How did you first get started within music?
I initially started as a poet and I’ve always been a bit of a nerd. Although, when I was younger I never saw myself becoming a musician, I could always see myself doing something that involved words. But growing up, my mum had a taste for gospel, RnB music etc and my dad had a more eclectic taste in music such as your Jamiroquai, Japanese jazz bands and funk music. When I first started making music, it was during my teens and I was pretty quiet about it, no one really knew. It was only when i moved to Manchester (from Birmingham) during my college years that I started to connect with more creatives and decided to be more vocal about it.
What is some advice you would give to your younger self?
Any advice you have been given that has stayed with you?
I think it would be handling criticism. From an early age, I’ve always been sensitive, but being a creative you have to learn to get tougher skin. I was always told by my elders that once you can take criticism and feedback with open ears and an open mind, you’re calm. I think it’s one of the key skills to being yourself at all times because many people don’t show their true selves because they’re scared of criticism. Feedback is a part of life and even though you don’t need to take it on board, it says a lot about character if you’re able to hear views that are different to your own sometimes.
What has been one of the highlights of your year so far?
It would definitely have to be the ‘Cherries’ EP celebration I put on in Manchester, easily one of the best nights I’ve had so far. I wanted a night where I could celebrate with people who have been with me from the start. I wanted to eat, perform and vibe and that’s exactly what I got to do. I felt like it was different because people weren’t just proud of me releasing the EP, they were proud because of everything I’ve accomplished so far and that just meant everything to me.
What else can we expect to come from Layfullstop?
I’d say expect the unexpected. As an artist that puts God first, although I make plans, I’m honestly at peace with just going where he wants me to go. I think for anyone to expect me to go in any particular path or route would only lead to disappointment as I’m just not that type of person. With that said though, I definitely will be focusing on creating more meaningful content and live shows, I want people to really understand who I am and where I come from.
If you could choose one, what is one album that you could only listen to?
At the moment, I’d be more than happy to keep Rapsody’s new album ‘EVE’ on repeat, that Queen just gets me gassed! It’s about the appreciation of black women all the way through and the album is so coherent with it, it’s just nice to hear a project that sounds so solid, I don’t really skip any tracks. In this day, it can be hard to create music that is both meaningful and vibey as the balance is really subjective, but she absolutely smashed it, dope lyricism and dope art!
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