Motherhood, 'Mob Life' and 'Monsta': Miss LaFamilia on a mission to show "people what real music is"
Starting the year off with the beautiful, British rapper, Miss LaFamilia has been my highlight of 2022 thus far. From our first encounter at the 2021 GRM Gala, to now, having a sit down with her for PWR's first issue of the year, Miss LaFamilia's warm nature has not changed one bit.
She is one of the biggest artists to emerge from Birmingham, working hard to not only put Birmingham on the map but also paved the way for younger talent to establish themselves in the music Industry. Our favourite Birmingham born rapper from the area of Winson Green surprisingly didn't have a thick accent, possible as she’s moved to London for better music access. However, in her music, her accent, parts of her upbringing are projected through. She had made the decision to move herself and her son, who she says is the one person she cannot live without, to London to “make her dream come alive musically”. She shares that she's aware of the different opportunities artists have in London compared to Birmingham, saying, “the music scene in Birmingham is definitely growing. I think it differs from London because London’s sort of the place to be. With the access to producers and studios, there’s not a lot of this in Birmingham. But I think that’s about to change, if people keep at it the way they are in Birmingham, we will keep putting the city on the map”.
As she reveals a bit more about herself and her journey as an artist, we start to learn about her drive as a woman in industry. Miss Lafamilia does not let her career as an artiste interfere with her role as a mother. She makes it clear that she finds it quite easy to balance motherhood and music, and when everything is aligned the way it should be, it won’t seem so difficult. Although, naturally, as we all do, Miss LaFamilia has her off days too. She comments, “I am not a robot, I am human so I do feel, and experience certain things that will intervene with my work and lifestyle. I will never let it fumble my bag or affect me or anyone around me though. I believe in good energy, vibes, and positivity as well. I feel like the minute that you start to be negative, you let off energy that effects people around you.”
Even during our conversation and the whole time she was on set, she gave off good energy, essentially embodying her philosophy on life. Her positive, upbeat energy can also be experienced in her music. “My music is an extension of myself, as its different vibes and genres." Every single we received in 2021 from her, are not only reflective of who she is as a person, but also motivating, encouraging others to enjoy life and feel like a boss. "I'm an artiste. I wouldn’t call myself a rapper or singer, I would call myself an artist. Music is an energy for me, I give people my energy and they receive it well."
On the day, Miss LaFamilia requested Trap music to play in the background to catch a vibe. Interestingly, her musical influences differ from this genre (Trap) very much. She "grew up listening to a lot of Mariah Carey, Alicia Keys, Whitney Houston, Celine Dion. I love all the old school R&B, Ashanti”. Whilst, she has aligned herself with rap music thus far, she shared a preference for vocal singing as opposed to rapping. “For me being in the studio, doing the melodies and making them come alive is my favourite part of music. I do music because music is a passion of mine, and I can’t see myself doing anything else now. When it’s your calling, you have to step up to the plate and do it. I do this for the love of music, to give my son a better upbringing than I had. And to put Birmingham on the map properly, as a city we get drowned out by London.”
Her desire to sing will emerge a lot more this year, in her era of change. Miss LaFamila disclosed that she will be exposing a whole different side to herself musically this year. Speaking passionately, she said, “I can’t wait to release the stuff I have been working on and show people my versatility. There’s a lot of people that like me rapping, but I know there are a lot that like me singing as well. So, it will be exciting to mix the two and give people a variety. A bit like a Drake album, you know you got the heartbreak Drake, the vocals, and then the rapping. He will switch it up. That’s the vibe I'm trying to come with in the UK, to cover all basis”. We were lucky to hear a few of her unreleased music towards the end of the shoot, and I must say, Miss LaFamilia will be spoiling us this year, and she is not holding back!
As an artist, you are often exposed to a lot of new challenges and public opinion. Miss LaFamilia's resilience in her calling all come down to the "two P’s" that she applies to herself. “A wise man said to me, 'the two P’s’, Perseverance and Patience are essential. If you rush into something, sometimes you’re not doing yourself the favour, and don’t execute it the way you should. Sometimes you have to stand back, breathe and look at the moment. Perseverance covers a lot of things, like people getting onto you, no matter what gets thrown at you, you have to persevere. It’s not their dream, it’s your dream. You can’t allow people to stop what you’re doing and from you getting to your goal. If you look into people like Lord Alan Sugar, or the one that owns Virgin, what’s his name?”
She looks at the team and I for answers, which we all simultaneously blurted out several answers too. Laughing, we concluded that the correct answer was Richard Branson, which helped Miss LaFamilia continue with her sentence. “People like that, if you look into their stories, they weren’t always rich, they didn’t have generational wealth. They had hard work, perseverance, patience. Having the door being shut on them many times, they still continued to rise and stand. I have had that my whole life, even before music. So, for me, that was my training, for this industry. And now I feel like I'm having to use my perseverance and patience. For this industry, you have to find the balance of wanting to fulfil your dreams, and the perfect timing. It’s all timing.”
2022 is the perfect time for an evolution and we know, based on all she had shared, that Miss LaFamilia's year will be special. She concludes by giving us a hint of what to look forward to, “people will be expecting a very different side of LaFamilia, a very soft side. But still incorporating where I come from. There'll be lots for features, international, I want to cross the water and show people what talent the UK has. And I feel like 2022 will be year of the talent and not viral TikTok songs and dances. I want to show people what real music is.”
And we are ready for when the timing is right Miss LaFamilia.
Words by: Anu Kehinde
Interview by: Nisha Landa