Your first EP “Sianna” was released in March 2015. How did it go when you first met Warner Chappell and signed with them?
I first met my two managers Mohand and Seven, who introduced me to Sandrice Runser, my publisher. We immediately got along and shared the same vision. She was Diam’s’ publisher and was looking for a female rapper when I met my managers. I call it fate.
What is the hip hop scene like in Beauvais, Picardy?
The hip hop scene in Beauvais started to grow three or four years ago. There are many great rappers. I follow and know most of them. I’m more familiar with the Oise scene though. But there are some talented MCs and thanks to the Internet it’s easier to stand out as an independent artist. And I talk about these local artists on the social networks.
In your lyrics, especially in “Ainsi va la vie” and “Incomprise“, you talk about your Malian origins and how you experienced racism. Would you say the French society is racist?
French people are not racist. The media fool them and make them believe wrong things, which generates hatred. Racism is stupid. No one is born a racist but they become one by listening to silly things and not thinking by themselves. There is discrimination everywhere in the world, and not only against Black people. For me, all of this is nonsense.
Rihanna is the second artist I loved when I was a child. I’ve been following her since she started out as an artist. I really like what she does even though there are some things I don’t agree with, but it doesn’t bother me because it’s not about my image. I’m glad to listen and watch the part I like about her. Like with all the other artists I follow. I don’t rage when I don’t like something, I just don’t listen to it.
Which hip hop artists inspire you?
I like Jay-Z a lot, even if he hasn’t been very active for the past few years. He never bores me because I think he keeps breaking ground with every new album. He sounds different from everything I usually listen to. In France, I’ve been listening to Booba and Niro for several years. They surprise me and somehow inspire me I think, although we make different music. And also Maître Gims who I respect very much.
What are you listening to these days?
I’ve been listening to Khelani, an American artist I discovered last year and that I immediately liked. And also some independent French hip hop. It had been a while. I also listen to MHD, L’Artiste, Niro, SCH, Ninho … I listen to all kinds of stuff.
How being a woman has been an asset/a drawback in your work?
It’s been a great asset because there was no women in the game. But it is also hard to be accepted by men and the audience who are not used to seeing women rap. Apart from Diam’s, no woman has really succeeded on the French rap scene. It’s out turn now!
Do you consider yourself a feminist? Why?
No. I think that this word allows women to take advantage of rights they already won years ago.
What are your upcoming projects?
I’m finishing my first album, and we are getting ready for its release and concerts. I’m really looking forward to seeing how people welcome my album.
What do you think about Madame Rap? What should be changed or improved?
It would be cool to interview male rappers about female rap from the entire world (Laughs).