Tracy from South London is a nigerian-born singer- songwriter. Her jazzily embracing vocal cords and poetical lyrics evocates swaying and dancing. Tracy tells us about the power of dance, Instagram stories and how she improvises her music making.
Hey Tracy, how are you today?
I feel amazing!
Did you grow up in London? Or in Nigeria? Where and what was it like growing up there?
Yes, i’m a south londoner. I was born in Nigeria and came to the UK at the age of six. Growing up here has been interesting to say the least. I’ve had my highs and struggles but its made me stronger. Periodt! My biggest challenge was being an “illegal immigrant” for a majority of my childhood. I seriously hate that term because no soul is illegal especially no child. I hope anyone going through those issues doesn’t let that awful label define who they are. You are amazing and you matter. I guess that’s why i love being from south london, because in spite of everything i never felt different.
You recently released the tune Shake It Up (together with Junior XL) along with a music video (with filmmaker LEX)? How was it recieved?
Honestly, i try not to focus too much on how people receive my work. I hope they connect with it and dance to it but it would fuck me up if i concentrated on that. The process is my main focus. Shake it Up was initially a diss track aimed at my day job at the time. Junior XL played a bunch of beats and i was like "i love that one". I just freestyled on the mic and later worked on the vocal production. Then i took my ideas for the video to LEX, who really channelled the energy. I think we all work well together because we don’t put any limits on how far we want to go. However, i did chuckle when a bunch of my friends messaged me saying the video was sooo me. Haaaaaa!
Do you write your own lyrics?
Of course. I don’t usually sit and write songs, i gotta feel the music first. To achieve this, i might create a drum loop and freestyle over it. Or i’ll go to a jam session, get on the mic and just record what happens. I like my words to be raw and in the moment. MR MAN, another track of mine was the first time where i realised this was my writing style.
Do you also dance?
I love dancing and of course i wanna make people dance too. It's just so healing, isn't it? I want you to shake all your troubles away when you hear Shake It Up. I hope its played in clubs, birthday parties, office parties, at the bus stop e.t.c. And you know what, I would love to meet someone who has never danced so i can play it to them too. Like how can you not love to dance, even babies wiggle out the womb sometimes.
Speaking of babies, I watch way too many birthing videos on youtube. Not the “one born every minute” kind but the “giving birth by riverside” kind. I really need to stop, lol. And of course, posting on my instagram stories is another guilty pleasure. I'm addicted and i'll most likely post this interview on there too.
Who are your long-time musical influences?
Badu, 3000, Lagbaja, MJ, Lauryn Hill, Dizzee Rascal, Ghetts, Skepta, Roadside Gs, Nina Simone, Radiohead, Amy, Kanye West, Jay Z and so much more.
Tell us more about your upcoming projects.
My focus is on releasing more music over the next few months plus on my EP project. All of which are introspective, reflecting on romantic love, self love and self-expression. I have a desire to use my work to say what i can’t vocalise.
Is there anything else you’d like us to know?
Just a message to those who read this, keep chasing and pushing!
courtesy TRACY SADA
interview REBECCA LOVGRENS
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