New Delhi, Nov 15 (IANS) UK rapper Lady Leshurr plan to shoot a music video in India during her maiden visit to the country for a three-city tour this week.
She will be in the country as part of beer brand Bira 91's new hip-hop focused campaign called FreeFlow. For its first tour featuring Leshurr, Bira 91 FreeFlow will visit Mumbai (Thursday), Bengaluru (Friday) and Delhi (Saturday).
Asked if she has planned anything special for her first tour in India, the rapper from Birmingham told IANS in an email interview: "I am definitely going to shoot a music video out there because it's not every day you get a chance to go to India."
"And I really love to show, shed light on a part of the world that most English people never do see in their life. Even Americans - so many of them never even leave their state."
She is yet to finalise the location.
"I am hoping to ask people when I get there, what are the things I must see or where I should shoot the video," said the rapper, who shot to fame with her "Queen's Speech" YouTube series.
She will be accompanied on the tour by Delhi-based rapper Prabh Deep.
"I haven't heard his music, but hopefully we will get a chance to spend some time in a studio and try something," she said.
There are very few women rappers across the globe. Why is there a gender gap?
"I think it's always going to be like that. For some reason, everyone always thinks that there is only female, there can only be one female, and that's it. There have been a few female artistes that have been on the charts and are doing the impossible basically.
"There are a few of us female rappers that are actually getting their shine on. It's always been the media and the listeners of the artistes who pit the artistes against each other and make it seem that there could be only be one."
People look at them differently, she says.
"They will watch our videos. They always comment on how we look before they hear what we have to say. For male rappers, it isn't like that. There's a massive gap because there are hardly any females in the music industry, it's a male dominated space," said the "Where are you now?" hitmaker.
She finds rapper Nicki Minaj "pretty cool".
"She has opened so many doors for up-and-coming female artistes. She wasn't one of the first female rappers out there, but she has done so much more than a lot of the other ones just because of the she was marketed, her talent and the people she has around her," said Leshurr.
"I only have love and respect for her because she has acknowledged me in the past. She showed love for me and she doesn't have to do that. And that goes a long way because she is one of the top five rappers, male or female, of all time. Hopefully, there will be a collaboration soon on the cards. I think she is coming to the U.K next year. Fingers crossed," she said.
Leshurr, whose freestyling combines mischief with wit and a good comic timing, has also worked with Grammy Award-winning American record producer-rapper Timbaland.
But her journey in the industry was not always smooth.
"It hasn't been easy for me. I moved to London and away from my family. It's a sacrifice that I just had to make.
"The shows were coming in real slow at the start and I just had to create my own brand, draw the attention of people who had never heard of me before."
Then what changed?
"I think the reason why I started getting a lot of shows was because I was doing a lot of covers. I was known for doing a lot of covers, rapping over other people's beats and that's basically what got me the shows to begin with," she said.
Talking about her best project, she said: "'Queen's Speech' Episode four because that was the song that changed my entire life. I bought my mother a house after that."
It turned her into an online sensation.
"Battle rap videos really inspired it! I used to watch a lot of battle rap videos and think why these guys aren't signed by someone or bigger than Jay Z because a lot of them are really incredible.
"That was one of the ideas behind 'Queen's Speech', I thought about doing a freestyle with actual song, melody. I wanted to do something fun, something different."
(Natalia Ningthoujam can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)