Buzz interview with rap artist Iggy Azalea
Iggy Azalea (Amethyst Kelly) is an "in your face", dynamic rapper hailing from Australia. Signed to Def Jam and Mercury Records while working alongside industry heavyweights plus being the first female to grace the cover of hip-hop's XXL Magazine have all enhanced Iggy's on and offline presence. Her anticipated debut LP The New Classic is still set to release with much buzz surrounding it especially after Azalea's addictive debut single "Work" and followup hard hitting "Bounce" jams dropped. To get to know a bit more about this rising artist ShawConnect chatted with Iggy about everything from her earlier days to landing the record deal she always hunted for. What is it about hip-hop that really draws you in? "It's not a logical explanation in my mind it is just about what speaks to you I feel. I can't stop thinking about it you know? I love rap music and I love knowing the songs, knowing the lyrics and what they are trying to convey. I feel the music and lyrics are more powerful and aggressive. I just want to be part of it all - the entertaining, becoming a character and kind of dressing up and I really think rap is one of the biggest character styles of music." Was rap/hip-hop really popular when you were growing up? Do you think there is still that same style of rapping? "I think it changed for a while and maybe still. Probably when I was 12,13,14 it was super popular. There were the Missy Elliott's, Gwen Stefani, Eve - they were making rhythmic records. And then there was Dr. Dre, Eminem, 50 Cent - it was everywhere, all kinds of stuff and yet it was still Top 40 too. Pop and urban together that was danceable. Then electronic became more prominent. Back home it basically took over. Even when I'd go to festivals or shows and see a DJ it didn't click with me the same because I love lyrics and electronic doesn't really have any, I suppose I never really gravitated towards it, but a lot of my friends did though. Rap is the most lyrical of all types of music and that's why we pride ourselves on what we're saying. I was so in love with all that stuff in the 90's too, but I would definitely get ridiculed by other people that were more 'electro'. " What was your strategy on getting into the rap scene, did you lay low and observe? "I don't think I ever really lay low haha, I had so far to go. I was always going so hard, breaking into it because you don't know how to get in, you don't even know where to go to be honest. I was also a teenager and not a business savvy person. Kids have an idealistic view of how things work and in actuality that idealism takes a long time to spin into success. I used to always say 'it's my year this year, I just have to do this or that and I'll have a record deal in 6 months'. But then it all happened, after 6-7 years of wanting and waiting I eventually got what I wanted." Check out the 'behind the scenes' video for "Bounce". [youtube id="yar2KXM3uqw" width="600" height="350"] How important is it to find the right people to work with, do you have to be friends too? "I think it is about having genuine friendships with people that you can sort of feed off musically. When people show parts of themselves that they don't show the rest of the world then you let them in and let them see you, the best of you. You let them see your vulnerability and then you can get to a point where there's that circle of people you can trust. Doesn't mean I listen to what they want me to do all the time, it's an option, but I typically want to do it my own way for my own personal reasons. That's why even with T.I. he may have suggested when I should put things out or how I should do stuff, but he supported either way, even if I said I didn't think that was the best for me. He'd be like 'if you want it I'll help, but do your thing' and that's something special." What about your own reality show, is that something that's ever been on the agenda? "I've sat in meetings with companies that've tried to convince me to do a reality show or something and I sat there out of respect, but I didn't want to do it. I already feel I have so much to share and I don't want to share every moment of my personal life or every failure. I think that's unfair. " Are you open to recording in other genres of music or is rap solely your vision? "I've supported other people in different genres and worked with them, but that's because I'm friends with those DJ's or whatever, genuine friendships again so I'd work with anyone that I have that bond with. Any style of music that I love like recording with a rock band - I hope I get to do that. I don't consciously think about what will sell so I'm open to testing out different styles." Cooker or cleaner? "Cleaner, I wish I was a cooker! I didn't have a mom that cooked a lot thought (sorry!) we did house cleaning, cleaning people's places. It was disgusting the things I saw, like you wouldn't believe how bad some people are." One word you use too much? "f***. I don't even realize I say it all the time until I see it transcribed. I think it's cause I'm Australian - we bloody swear like sailors." Favourite spots in LA? "Well my friend is a stylist downtown so I go there a lot - it's called Vertigo. I go there all the time actually and sit and pretend I work there, ha. Then there is this taco stand next door - it's so good. I really like going to Vertigo cause we can just hang out and talk and I can look at cool stuff ha. I also like Hugo's Tacos - it's awesome, all organic ingredients. I seriously go there every week." What's a typical day for you in terms of leisure? "I go hang out with friends, go to the store, do recordings. My friend has a studio and it has a garden and ferry lights so in warm weather it's incredible, we'll make dinner and talk." [youtube id="cI1A405jBqg" width="600" height="350"] Pre-order the "Bounce" EP available on iTunes July 7th.