Shystie: The more female MCs, the merrier
By Errol Anderson
Monday, 7 November 2011 at 11:12 am
Take a bow in the presence of one of the original grime goddesses, Shystie. Chanelle Scott Calica has been in the game since the days of claustrophobic basement clashes and pirate radio sessions. Still at the forefront of the UK movement and with a sizeable aptitude for the stage, we caught up to talk movies and music.
First up, a massive congratulations on getting the soundtrack to the movie, ‘Sket’. How did it all come about?
Basically, they contacted my manager and we got some songs into the film and then I was saying to manager what kind of songs would be good. Then they asked me to write up a theme song for it and I just got into the studio with my producers, Pjam and LZ, and we only had about four days to make the beat. So we made the beat, I done the verse and we got Ghetts and Nolay to feature on it as well and then we sent the guys for the movie and they really, really liked it. We shot the video the following week and didn’t even have long – it was like two days in between – but it came out really good.
So have you ever considered getting back into acting yourself?
Yeah, definitely. There’s been a few roles that have been given to my manager that I’m looking at for next year and a few directors have got some films coming out that they’ve said they want me to be a part of so, could get back into it next year.
Also, you went missing for a bit and then came back with your two mixtapes earlier this year – where were you?
Basically, I didn’t feel passionate about the music I was making and then I was acting, touring and doing stuff behind the scenes. I didn’t really feel inspired so I took a little break and just got myself together again. I was also really young at the time, but now, especially because the scene is in such a good state, it’s all really inspiring. Good things are happening and my whole passion for everything is coming back.
As well as yourself and Nolay, there’s definitely a new breed of female MCs strutting their stuff and doing their own thing. So you’ve got Lady Leshurr, Mz Bratt and even girls like Courtney Bennett who featured on your mixtape…
I think it’s good, the more the merrier. The more females that are good, then I’ve got no problem. I think just because you’re a female and you’re an MC, doesn’t mean you should get rated unless you’re actually good. It just the same as the guys. I wouldn’t support a guy unless he’s good. The few that are coming up, like Courtney Bennett who’s really good, I like it.
What was it like for you, growing up around lots of male MCs?
I think at the beginning, it was pretty hard because the whole scene was and is still dominated by males, so you had to just stand your ground and get really confident. As I’ve come to where I am now, I’ve got a lot more confident and I’ve practiced a lot more as well as having a lot of experience. Now, I feel like I’m alright. I don’t feel intimidated if I have to go on radio or something and we have to go back to back, I feel like I stand up and do my own thing. I just think it’s all about confidence and being prepared.
Was the name ‘Shystie’ one of them ones that originated from the playground?
Yeah, it came from school because I used to be a bit mischievous and a bit naughty and it just stuck with me since then. All the girls that I used to hang around with had their little nicknames and I’ve had that tag since I was around 17; it’s just stuck with me.
What’s the next thing to come from you then?
I’ve got the two mixtapes that I did earlier this year out and I’ve got another one coming out before the end of the year. That’s three mixtapes alone, this year. Its all done in album format as well, not just one minute songs, so I’m just trying to get back and give back to the people that have been waiting on me for so long. The single for ‘Takeover’ from the movie ‘Sket’ is out on 5 December and then next year I’m gonna be working towards an album. It might not be out next year, but I’m going to be working towards it. Then more EPs, mixtapes and as I said, hopefully more acting.
Tagged in: Chanelle Scott Calica, Courtney Bennett, female MC, grime, music, Nolay, pirate radio, Shystie, Sket