Are you pleased with the new material?
Love it, it’s the best body of work I’ve done in a while.
How has your transition been from the UK to the US?
It’s been pretty fun and the reception has been good. The transition itself has been pretty crazy, but very dope.
I’m signed to the US version of Atlantic records, John Legends label Homeschool Records. It made more sense for me to be out here, instead of making phone calls at 12pm at night or 6 in the morning because of the time difference.
How did you first meet John Legend, we heard it was through Kanye West?
I bumped into Kanye at a restaurant in LA and he was sitting there and I said I'm a big fan, where’s John Legend! He then said I’m meeting him later actually and he invited me to the studio. I was like ‘oooh’, so I went to the studio, hung out for a while and that’s how it all happened.
How would you describe your music?
Hip-hop soul, just real talk, real music, real lyrics. It just me being me 100%. 100% flawed and 100% perfect and 100% happy.
How did you get started?
Bum rushing every single stage I could manage. I started singing when I was really young and then gave it up for a little bit. I tried to go to work, but that didn’t work for me because every time I tried someone would call me up and say come to this, come see this, come sing on this and I did. People were like your really good at this and I got a buzz from it.
Then I thought maybe I shouldn’t be a 9-5 person. Things kept happening were it was like I’m meant to be doing this. So I decided to stop fighting it.
Who has been your favourite artist to work with from the new album?
We had so much fun with Wyclef and spent so much time together, almost like family.
He’s really cool, he’s a mad genius; he just comes up with things and puts them down. I just kept saying ‘oooh’.
What was the best ever gig you have played to date?
Kanye West at Brighton actually it’s a tie between that and John Legend at Brixton Academy. It was after I came out after ages away and we had just started working on the new album.
Do you have a pre-gig drink?
No, I drink a lot of water and tea. I gave up drinking as I started to feel crap and I was only drinking because it was there and that leads to alcoholism!
Tell us 3 things you think people won’t know about you?
My first job was stocking shelves at Marks and Spencer’s and I still see people now that used to work with me.
I’ve been in the industry for the past ten years which is a pretty long time but it has also gone by so quickly. It’s pretty mad to think about all the things I've done in the past ten years.
Lastly, I’m border line OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder); I can’t see things out of place in the house, I have to put them back. I’m like that with a lot of my personal items. If my blackberry goes off I have to answer it, I can’t just leave it.
I think I have a balance though, because I can let things go in my head, but I like to be in control of my physical surroundings very much. It’s terrible; I was up until three in the morning yesterday doing the same thing.
Are you a fan of the smoking ban?
Yes because I’m not a smoker, I think extinguish all cigarettes - get rid of them today. I am happy about it.
What are currently your favourite band(s)/artists?
The Fouls or Kano. I just bought Kano’s album. I know I should have bought it the first week.
The Fouls are totally ridiculous, they have a strong following on tour already and I think they’re definitely going to do it (make it big). I’d be really happy to see them do it.
I’d also really like to work with them, they’re just amazing to watch, the main singer Janis reminds me of Prince so much. Kind of to the left but super dope.
Who is your all time favourite artist/band?
Oh that’s hard, there’s so many. Maybe LL (LL Cool J). Actually, maybe Mary J Blige and Stevie Wonder, but I don’t really know.
Are there any acts you love to hate?
I don’t like artists who are contrived and are told just to sing this. There are a lot of people out there I could start slagging off but I don’t really want to and everyone can grow and change and let me leave like that. They could come out with great music in the future and have an epiphany.
Have you bought or downloaded an album recently that’s disappointed you?
Yeah, I downloaded the latest Ghostface Killer album and I was pretty irritated. I normally buy his albums on stat, it’s not even a question, I just download them straight away. But I listened to this album and I was like, really Ghost really, then I was bored. I was a bit depressed.
Although, there is one song I really like, with him and Method Man, something killer its called.
Can you recommend any club nights in hometown London?
Sunday for Kosher Comedy Club at Corks Wine Bar 7-11 or late, it’s so funny and it showcases the best comedy in the UK- all races, all types of people sometimes they bring over Americans, like Dave Chapelle. Movida is fun and Saturday Umbaba - that’s house music all night.
Which other celebrity would you like to be trapped in a lift with and why?
There are a few guys I’ve discovered out here that the British folk won’t know like Columbus Short, one of Britney Spears’ ex-dancers and he’s an actor now. He’s in the new film with Chris Brown called “This Christmas”. Or Common, wow. He was on the Kanye tour and I had to do all I could to stop myself from dribbling. He’s gorgeous and such a nice person.
Where was your most enjoyable holiday?
Miami about 3 years ago, I went away after we did a lot of work. I went with two of my singers. Ended up getting drunk for 4 days straight and lying on the beach. I’ve never done that in my life and I probably never will again but it was nice and we went down Collins Avenue and just spoke to lots of different people, it was just fun.
Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
I see myself on my fourth or fifth album; actually I should say 6th or 7th. Running several of my brands and several other brands and making sure its popping. Making sure the music is still doing its thing; probably have some kids and a husband - probably.
Big interview...she comes across really well in her interviews!!!