INTERVIEW – Red Shaydez: « It’s no secret that hip hop is a male-dominated industry »

You started making music at the age of 7.How did that happen? Were you already into hip hop at the time? 

Growing up I was exposed to Hip Hop at an early age. My father was in a rap group at the time and I was there for all of the groundwork that they put in to make it in the industry. I attended studio sessions,video shoots, and I was with my dad when he would promote their album. It didn’t take me long to fall into his footsteps. I was so captivated by the culture.

Can you tell us about your radio experience and your encounter with MC Lyte?

Yes. This is one of my most fondest memories. I was hosting an online radio show back in 2009 on BlogTalk Radio. I came across MC Lyte‘s website HipHopSisters.com. MC Lyte was one of the administrators of the site and happen to come across my promotional post about my radio show. She liked the topic of discussion and offered to do an interview with me or a radio drop for me. I think she liked the fact that I was so young doing positive things with my spare time. Shortly thereafter, she sent me a radio drop saying my name and I almost screamed. I then put that drop on my mixtape that I released in 2010 entitled, « Take1: Behind The Scenes, Behind The Shaydez » which can be heard here:

You got nominated for « Best Female Rapper of the Year » at the Underground Music Awards 2015 in New York City. How did it help you in your career? 

It helped me by putting my name on the radar in the underground circuit. I have been on a long hiatus from music, so that nomination felt really good to only be back on the scene for a few months at that time.

What do you think of the hip hop music scene today? How hard is it for women to stand out?

The hip hop scene is ever-changing. You have to stay on top of all the latest trends such as new marketing tactics, promotional tools, ways to reach your target audience etc. I personally do not think it’s hard for women in hip hop to stand out because they’re aren’t that many in the mainstream circuit to begin with. It’s no secret that hip hop is a male-dominated industry, so being a femcee makes people automatically pay attention, if the femcee has talent.

On your Soundcloud page, you say “I am the underdog, but everything is temporary.” What do you mean by that?

I mean right now I am under the radar but nothing lasts forever. I’m very patient and I know my time is coming. People are ALWAYS watching.

Why did you decide to make a track called “Serena Williams”? What does she represent to you?

I wanted to make a record that stood out from the rest of the songs out right now. There aren’t too many records that represent strength or that demand respect. I wanted to bring those issues to the forefront. Serena Williams represents strength and power. The write up to my video explains that in depth, « When you hear the name, « Serena Williams, » Excellence becomes an instant thought. Strength, Power. A woman who goes after what she wants and stands her ground, she is the epitome of greatness. Upcoming female rapper, Red Shaydez is inspired by her legacy. Her latest effort, « Serena Williams » is an ode to the tennis star.The commentary on the trailer released for this video has a lot of people inquiring about what this track really means. No one has yet to be on the money. That doesn’t bother Red Shaydez one bit as she is confident that when people watch the visual, everyone will surely get the point.”

Do you consider yourself a feminist? Why?

I wouldn’t say I am a feminist per se, but I do share a lot of the same views. I’m all about women empowerment and women’s rights. I don’t feel like I have contributed enough to the movement to be called a feminist. One day.

What are you listening to these days? 

I listen to a lot of 90’s R&B, 90’s Rap, 00’s Rap & R&B, Trap Music, Classic Reggae, and anything that sounds good.

What are your upcoming projects?

I will be releasing my first project in about 6 years entitled, « Magnetic Aura: The EP« . I am very excited to release this project! I’m expecting a late summer 2016 release.

What do you think about Madame Rap? What should be changed or improved?

I love Madame Rap. Who ever is the scout at this site is really good because when I researched the blog, tons of female artists are on there from all over the world. Seeing how the blog just started in 2015, I’d say Madame Rap is well on its way.

Find Red Shaydez on SoundcloudFacebook and his website.

Éloïse Bouton

Lire l’interview en français ici.