Public Warning: This British femcee is Nothing Nice.
London-born Shystie is like a fine wine that gets better with time. The 29-year-old MC has fermented her talent throughout the eight years that she’s been grinding on the UK’s underground, and now it’s time for Chanelle Scott Calica to show the world how sweet she really is, kinda like a good ol’ bottle of White Zinfandel. The rising rap/fashion icon recently hooked up with Harlem’s Azealia Banks (not to compare hair weaves, like I know most of y’all are thinking) to create two pretty dope tracks in the form of “Neptune” and “Control It.” Now that she finally has the global blogosphere’s attention, Shystie’s new Gold Dust 2 mixtape, and forthcoming Pink Mist EP, will determine whether or not she’s worthy to strut her lyrical stuff alongside the new breed of femcees.
So, who exactly is Shystie, and what does she represent as an artist?
I’m an excessive workaholic, whose pride won’t let me stop until I’ve become globally successful and iconic. I’m here to shut shit down all over the world and be an inspiration to others. I’m the queen, so whoever’s claiming the crown, I want it! [Laughs] My music is like rough sex: hard, edgy, but sexy at the same time, and it’s a fusion of hip-hop, dance, electro and grime. But I grew up on reggae and dancehall, with some of my favourite artists being Garnett Silk, Denis Brown and Buju Banton, to name but a few. They’ve all definitely had an effect on me.
Other big influences would be Missy Elliott, Busta Rhymes, Eminem and Lauryn Hill, who have all – at some point in my life – made me say, “What the fuck! This music is crazy!” I make music to perform to, as I get an adrenaline rush from seeing people go crazy to my music. But, on the flip side, I also make music that can touch the listener and have them relating to the images I paint. Being able to paint pictures with your music is a skill many artists nowadays lack, and end up putting out shit music that will never be timeless. I’m in this for the long-run.
You’ve been getting mad love online recently, a lot of it due to your female-empowered collabs with your new BFF, Azealia Banks. How did that connection come about?
It was just out of the blue, really. Azealia hit me up on Twitter, saying: “I’ve got a track that I want you to jump on called “Neptune.”‘ I heard it and it just instantly hit me! The soca vibe and Azealia’s verse sounded so refreshing. I just blacked out and went all the way in on it. Then, a few weeks later, me and my producer — Lzbeatz — made a really sexy track called “Control It” for my Gold Dust 2 mixtape, and I thought it would sound dope if we got Azealia on it. I sent it over to her and the rest was history. So far, it’s had an amazing response from the supporters and radio stations.
Speaking of your Gold Dust 2 mixtape, what’s the whole concept behind it?
Gold dust is something rare and valuable and, at the time, I didn’t really do covers of popular songs, so the mixtape was basically just me killing a selection of the most popular tracks out. I threw in a few original tracks to balance it and thought, “These are my gems, and I’m giving them away for people to treasure for free.” In the end, it just made sense to call it Gold Dust.
Not only do you talk the talk, Shystie, but you’ve been known to walk up and down the odd catwalk in your time, too. You walked and performed at both London Fashion Week and New York Fashion Week this year, which is a pretty big deal. How were those experiences for you?
I performed and modelled at London Fashion Week last year and got so gassed up [laughs]. I was featured in VOGUE and everything! It was like a dream. When I got the opportunity to do New York Fashion Week, at first, I was overwhelmed. When I got there, though, I just had it in my mind that I was going to just kill it and represent to the fullest, and I did. Stevie Boi, who I walked for, is such cool guy and it was another amazing experience to add to my career. To me, music and fashion go hand-in-hand. There’s nothing worse than seeing a woman with no style and sense of fashion talking all that talk, it makes me shiver! I’m from London, so image and style is crazy important to me. Fashion houses I’m loving at the moment are Ragged Priest, Too Much Posse, Celine, Hannah Marshall, Gareth Pugh and Rick Owens – that’s just a few.
From just speaking with you in this short space of time, you come across as someone who knows exactly what they want from life. It’s actually quite refreshing to hear you be so upfront about where you want to go, and what you want to be. Which begs the question: what’s your plan of action for world domination?
My plan is to let the whole world know that I’m here and give them what they’ve been missing. I just want to be iconic and number one as a global entertainer. My Pink Mist project is dropping very soon, and I’ll also be working towards my album. The world’s got no choice but to be ready, because I’m ready! I know exactly what direction I’m heading in, in terms of image and music style. I’ve been in the industry for a while, but I feel reborn as an artist and everything feels right. There’s no better time than now.
Want to download Shystie’s Gold Dust 2 mixtape? Click here.