I caught up with the Star just last week to get a breakdown of what’s new in her world and to see how the Australian tour has been going.
You were born and raised in Jamaica, give us a run down of what life was like for you growing up?
Lady Saw: Growing up in Jamaica in my district of Gallina was wonderful but then we moved away to Kingston and that was the worst part of my life. Don’t need to go into details but ghetto life wasn't for me.
How old where you when you first realised your musical talent?
Lady Saw: At the age of 13-14 when I was in church, I realised that I loved to sing and people would tell me I sounded real good. Outside of church I would make up songs and remember the words and sing them over and over again. From there I was fascinated with the dancehall scene and started to record music and take the mic in dances and literally clash with men, hence I got the name Lady Saw, cut I would cut the men up on the mic.
Had music always been something you wanted to pursue?
Lady Saw: Yes, even from young age.
You released your first LP back in 1994, did you ever expect that release was the beginning of a brilliant musical venture?
Lady Saw: Yes, but even at that time I never imagined I would eventually win a Grammy (for my collabo with No Doubt) or travel to so many countries around the world.
How do you feel you have developed as an artist over the years?
Lady Saw: When I first came out I was a singer, but I noticed it wasn't getting me big recognition. Once I started singing very slack with sexual lyrics then I really bust big. If you listen to all of my albums you notice that even with the explicit lyrics I still have a soft side when I sing, my music has become more personal over the years as well.
Your style is very much your own and you lyrically bring heat every track! If you were asked however, how would you define your musical style?
Lady Saw: My style ranges from raw and hardcore dancehall to gospel, so it has a range that can't be summed up into one.
The track "Chat To Mi Back" has been a huge hit! Give us a breakdown of what the track is about?
Lady Saw: It's a bad gyal song, instead of getting physical with a girl and fighting it's like saying chat to the hand... but in this case to mi back. It says that I am not one to be messed with so we can still take it there, LOL...
You have worked with some big names during your career, who has been the most interesting person you have worked with since you first started out back in the day?
Lady Saw: Although I have worked with people like Foxy Brown, No Doubt, Missy Elliott and Funkmaster Flex the most interesting artists I have ever worked with is the people we are on tour with right now. They are out of Australia, the Lilypond crew... They really know how to party and have fun and have exotic costumes and a real wild vibe.
Having been in the music industry for over 10 years now you have vast experience and knowledge of who's hot and who's not, who are you rocking to right now?
Lady Saw: I listen to everything and have a love for all genres of music, I like Alicia Keys and mostly R & B. I also listen to my own music most of the time, I have a new song on the Truck Back label on the Gear Box riddim called Lord Lord Lord and while on tour it gives me a lot of inspiration.
You also do song production right?
Lady Saw: Yes, I have my own label called Halls Production and have released riddims.
Right now you are slap bang in the middle of an Australia Tour, how's that going for you? Have you been getting a good response?
Lady Saw: It's going real good, Australia is a beautiful place and the people we are touring with are a lot of fun. As for the fans, the response has been overwhelming. There are long time fans that know all my songs and are very familiar with my music and fans that never heard me before but still come out and enjoy my performance. They have an overall appreciation for music and live performances so even if they don't know of me they still just dance and party while I am working.
Do you have any other tours planned?
Lady Saw: There are spot dates all over from Guyana in May to St Thomas in August that have been confirmed and more in between but as for long tours like this maybe something is in the works.
What can the fans expect from Lady Saw in 2008?
Lady Saw: Well, I have been consistent over the span of my career so fans can expect some more raw tunes and also some singing but I really want to have a baby now so who knows, the sky is my limit.
Lady Saw: To all my fans and friends all over the world that support me and send me love. To my family in Jamaica and abroad, and for anyone that wants to link me, I have a myspace page that I check when I can... myspace.com/ladysaw.
Interview for British Hip Hop courtesy of Underground Promotion UK.