THE GUESTLIST NETWORK | OCTOBER 2009
Music’s hottest new talent, Speech Debelle, has the world at her feet. Having just bagged herself the
2009 Mercury Music Prize for Album of the Year and a performance at Glastonbury, she has earned
herself some tour support slots with Mr. Hudson and Basement Jaxx. TGN´s Kamran Assadi caught
up with the lady herself to find out more about the personality behind the music.
TGN: Could you just tell us about your live shows and are you looking enced a whole lot. And then there SD: I’d have to say, just for the first
the origin of your name Speech De- forward to it? are certain rappers like DMX and thing that comes to my mind… Bob
belle - where it came from and how SD: In terms of what goes on for Tupac that have been influences in Marley.
it came about? the live shows, it’s never been my rap style. DMX’s song “Slippin’”
done. It’s never been done to have is my “Better Days”. TGN: Good choice. And why?
SD: I’ve been called Speech for a
a UK rapper with an acoustic guitar,
while - I was trying to find a rapper
a drummer and a double bass. It’s TGN: What artists or bands are you SD: Just because I can.
name. But when I was signed it was
live music. The closest thing we’ve listening to at the moment?
like, “Oh there’s another Speech. had in this country was Jay-Z’s set “Spinnin’“ is out now.
You know Speech from Arrested
at Glastonbury. And that was only SD: I’m about to buy Me’Shell Nde- Speech Debelle’s debut album
Development.” It’s not really a good wi one show. I think that’s what people geocello’s album. I listen to a lot of Speech Therapy is out now on Big
idea to have the same name as
somebody else. It really confuses
come for because it’s never been old school music. Dada Recordings.
done before by a UK rapper. I’m
things. So I had to put something
making history. TGN: If you could collaborate with Check out her website
else to it. I didn’t want to take away any artists past or present, who www.speechdebelle.com
Speech. I wanted Speech. My Gran
enough time to put me in for a nomi-
TGN: It’s about doing would they be and for more news and information.
has a fashion label called Madame
nation then. It would have had to be TGN: Talking about “Spinnin’”, your
something different why?
De Belle so I put the Debelle on
before. current single, what’s the message
and being unique.
the end. And then later on, I found
Now, who and
out that Speech Debelle in French
TGN: I watched the show and your
what would you
means voice of the beautiful one or
performance. When you declared SD: I think the message is about all
count as your
that you were taking the award of the madness going on with the
home, I thought “she actually be- recession and other stuff like that. I
TGN: It just says what it needs to
lieves it” and “well done for repre- talk about it in the song. At the end
say. Now, your debut album, why
senting and being real”. I thought of the day, the world keeps turning
SD: I guess
did you choose the title Speech
that was very courageous and a and things are going to change.
I would say
brave thing to say and admit. That’s what it will always do. It’s like
my mum and Mi-
a circle. It never actually ends.
SD: It was very much a therapeutic
SD: Yeah, yeah. Thank you. I mean
thing, this album. And it was also
that’s what it was. I wanted it and I TGN: After all this, what’s next for
TGN: Who would you say are
a good play on words. It really fit.
didn’t care if people knew that. Speech Debelle?
your songwriting influences
And who would’ve known that as I and have they helped you in
was writing the title track Speech
TGN: Your album is very different SD: Well, next is the tour starting
honing your songwriting
Therapy that I would come up with
from the standard British hip hop next Friday (2nd October 2009)
that title. It just really works.
debut album in that you use differ- and that will take me up until De-
ent music genres mixed together to cember. And then hopefully in Jan-
SD: I guess I would
TGN: So how did you feel about
create your own unique style. What uary, I’ll go back up to Melbourne
have to say Tracey
your album being nominated for
types of music did you listen to again to record the next album. I
Chapman as she
the Mercury Music Prize in the first
growing up? actually have the title. The second
has real honest
album is called The Art of Speech.
and heavy lyr-
SD: Well, we had this meeting and
ics. I suppose
SD: Well, it was something that I
they were like “What do you want TGN: What can we expect from
thought was going to happen. It’s
to do for this album?” I said I
one of those things I had on my
want to be the hip hop Tracy
‘things to do’ list. But not every-
Chapman. So that was one of
the biggest influences on this
album. Coldplay was a big
influence on this album. The
song “Wheels of Motion” was
me trying to recreate “Speed
of Sound” by Coldplay. And
also, Me’Shell Ndegeocello.
Her album was a big influ-
TGN: Wow, that’s eclectic!
How does it feel to be recog-
nised for your achievements
and your music after every-
thing you’ve been through?
SD: It’s like a relief. If you want
to do something and you have
an identity that goes against
what is normally done, it’s dif-
ficult to get people to believe
it’s a good idea. And when
Photo: Ewa Sapinska
you do it and it works, it’s a
relief. It’s like: “That worked. I
can carry on now.” M
thing on my ‘things to do list’ I actu-
ally do. Like I also had the MOBOs
TGN: Yeah, definitely. So
on there and I didn’t get nominated
now that you are a new talent
on the music scene, how do
you aim to stay grounded and
TGN: And how do you feel about
down to earth with all this new
SD: Oh, I just think they f**ked up.
SD: I have good friends who
I’ll get there next year. And it wasn’t
will not let me try to get big-
good timing as by the time I won
headed. They wouldn’t allow V
the Mercury Prize they didn’t have
| Page 2
| Page 3
| Page 4
| Page 5
| Page 6
| Page 7
| Page 8
| Page 9
| Page 10
| Page 11
| Page 12
| Page 13
| Page 14
| Page 15
| Page 16
| Page 17
| Page 18
| Page 19
| Page 20
| Page 21
| Page 22
| Page 23
| Page 24
| Page 25
| Page 26
| Page 27
| Page 28
| Page 29
| Page 30
| Page 31
| Page 32