Interview – Lady Emz, A Dose of Soulful Barcelona Jazz

by | Jul 3, 2016 | Spotlight

Barcelona’s Lady Emz is known for her jazzy style and playful demeanor, Beginning life as a dancer at the age of 3, Lady Emz danced her way through life until she was about 18, where she found her passion for singing. Drum ‘n Bass would influence her life to a point that she would push forward and never look back. Her splendid voice can be found on Modular Grid Records, Strictly Nu-Skool, Meltin’ Funk, Confunktion, and many more.

Emz, Thanks for the interview! You’ve been a vocalist for over two decades with a variety of influences. Who would you say drives you most? What was your past in music like? What brought you into drum & bass music?

Hi Bryan! a big pleasure! Thanks to you too for your kind support and your big love for the scene! My earliest relationship to sound has to be cause of my dad, no doubt! He’s always been a real music lover, so I’m truly thankful to him for passing on to me his passion for top quality worldwide tunes right from the start. I have to say, the fact that both of my parents are so open-minded for their generation has always been a great encouragement. They’re big supporters of my music.

I was also a dancer from 3 years old up til I was about 35. I really started singing at about 18, when I moved to the UK the first time; firstly in blues and funk jam sessions… Later in some bands, some Funk… Jazzy. After the Acid House period, I was a bit tired of the electronic scene. I heard drum and bass music and trip hop back in the 90s in London, and it blew my mind completely!!! A whole new musical experience was opening in front of my eyes and ears…I got so hooked!!! Went and listen to big names: Bukem & MC Conrad, Goldie, Alex Reece, LTJ Bukem…And after some time, I started doing some vocal live sessions in The Vibe bar (Brick Lane London) Sundays at noon, with a Liquid drum and bass Dj, a jazz drummer, a sax…Sweet times!!! And things have never stopped rolling ever since! On and off between Barcelona and London…

How would you rate the drum & bass scene in Spain? What big things go on there?

The scene here in Spain ain’t that big really…So many people around still don’t even know what drum and bass music is!! There are some small groups trying to push it forward, but not so much Liquid/Atmospheric/Soulful or deep, which are my favourite ones to do vocals to… There’s a crowd for Ragga Jungle and some rave Jump up sound, but hardly any Soulful/liquid and all that… But we do some small sessions now and then…We find our way.

If you had to pick a top 10 for the drum & bass that influences you, what are they?

My early influences would have to be LTJ Bukem, Alex Reece, 4Hero, Adam F, Goldie…Later on Calibre, Lenzman, Random Movement, Bachelors of Science, Blu Mar Ten, Alix Perez, Logistics & Nu:Tone, Atlantic Connection, Zero T, Spectra soul, S.P.Y., Icicle, Makoto, Marky, Naibu, Calyx… I’m far gone from the 10 list now! Too many to mention…

You release music often, much more often than many. What are your studio sessions like? What’s your creative process?

I usually go into the studio every Monday (Hardly Brez Studio), and record for 4 or 5 hours…It’s out of town, and hour on the train, right by the coast…I quite enjoy the journey, and take the chance to check my lyrics and that…My creative process isn’t too long, I like getting things done really…As much as I can. I get sent the tunes, I listen for a few days and ideas go around my mind… Until I take a pen and try to organise them. Writing lyrics doesn’t always come the same way for me, at times I have a clear idea, something to talk about…Others, I listen to the tune and the idea grows among the notes and melodies… For me, every musical project is a new thing, like a new day or a new conversation, each one asks for something different… I get really inspired when I travel, and sitting by the sea..and my favourite time of the day is at sunset or really late at night.

I usually do three takes in the booth, and along with iLoGiKe (Iván), who’s a super talented engineer and producer, as well as a real good person and friend, we both select and edit the best take and some backing vocals. I then send them individually to the producer, plus a reference track for him/her to see where I sang. Other times, I get together with a person and work hands on. Or I do some collabs with live musicians…Every project is certainly enriching and, despite having been so long in Music, I feel I never ever stop learning…

Who have you worked with? Who would you like to work with in the future?

There are loads of new breed producers I love as well as the big names mentioned before! Some I had the honor to work with… Some I hope I do one day. My very favourite ones have to be along Greekboy (I’m in love with his productions), Muwookie, Platform, Dan Guidance, Elka, Fishy, Woodteckr, Phat Playaz, Mayforms, Jrumhand, Dam’age…among others! once again, too many to mention.

You’re also a dancer. Where has that taken you?

I was actively dancing for many years, first Classical ballet and Jazz dance, later Contemporary, African dance, Theatre dance…I worked in companies back in London, and in a Performance company here in Spain, we did shows in big clubs all over Spain! It was fun and creative…But after a few years, I wanted to concentrate more in Music, and working nights every weekend was a bit too much in the end, it’s a hard life…but do love dancing!!! And has helped me physically, as well as understanding Music and its language much more. It has also been helpful in terms of feeling comfortable while on stage…I did my very first ballet show at the age of 3! do love being up there… Way more than recording really. I feel as if entering another dimension…a unique magic moment.

What is upcoming for you?

I always have various things cooking… Some forthcoming compilation releases with DNBB,and I have also been busy creating some lovely deep ones…Wait and see! I’m also writing tunes with iLoGiKe for my 5th album, a more personal Trip Hop Jazzy side of things, some tunes with a Spanish HipHop band, ‘Malamara’ (in Spanish), others with MarcOFx (France)… Some shows in Barcelona with DjKoldun, Jaukem… I love being busy busy. So I’m truly thankful for all the support and the work I’ve been getting these last few years…I’ve even had the opportunity to travel and to work along really amazing inspiring people. I’m blessed! And I hope it keeps going this way, I wanna share my love for Music above all. Thanks a million to all of you, Music makers and lovers, who are making it possible.

Check out more of Lady Emz  at the following websites –

Beatport
Soundcloud
LadyEmz on Facebook
on Twitter

Content Crafted by:

BhagavateZero

A junglist before he even knew what 'jungle' was, Bhagavate Zero was instantly hooked onto the sound of rave around the age of 10 while dancing around to artists like 2 Unlimited, 2 Bad Mice, Sonz of a Loop Da Loop Era, Cosmo & Dibs, and so many more. As radio play changed, so did his tastes. As 1999 came around though, BZ was slayed by the sounds of AK1200, Dieselboy, Dara, Ganja Kru and DJ Rap, which later turned into an obsession with amen breaks and techstep. With published works hosted by Dogs On Acid, Rinse Mag, and Bassline Magazine; while also writing for the likes of Disturbed Recordings, Guerilla, Blu Saphir, Killing Sheep, Influenza Media, Sublunary Artist Management, and N2O – Bhagavate Zero (then known as Sykophiend) dove into the performance art of DJing, opening for Omar Santana in 2005 at Headstrong 5 (noteworthy part of that set – a mosh pit of epic proportions to Audio & Mackie's remix of Master of Puppets). Known for a wicked selection of mostly 1993-2005 music, he would then go on to play all over California. This headbanging, slam-dancing, screaming maniac will stop at nothing to get a crowd going. Now in 2016, he is a staple writer for Best Drum & Bass Blog, and is focusing on DJ gigs and original production material.