UK Garage - the sound of the future, defo!!!! If last year you weren't dancing around to "Bodygroove" then you may as well have been dead. Next week we see the release of the long awaited follow up "Show Me The Money". We got on the phone to talk to Nana about Napa, UK Garage and grannies dancing to their music.
Q: The new single "Show Me The Money" is out March 26th. Its a female empowerment song apparently?
A: Yeah. Its just about spending your money on a woman. I'm not asking for them to pay my bills - its basically a case of "spend your money or I'm off". I hope it does well because I think its a good follow up.
Q: Do you think it will do as well as "Bodygroove"?
A: I don't think it will do as well as "Bodygroove". This could go to number 47 for all we know and then we'd just have egg on our faces. Its hard to say because there so many people who like this better than "Bodygroove" and then you get other people who are like "Bodygroove was tops, mate!!!!". I don't go out that much anymore so I haven't even got a clue how its doing in the clubs.
Q: You guys are one of the few UK Garage acts that have got that underground cred alongside the mainstream success?
A: Its fantastic, yer know. Somebody asked me the other day which I would prefer - To have just an underground following or a mainstream following? I thought what sort of question is that because I'd love to have the both. I'd be lying if I said it was just about the underground because that's bollocks. You want to be able to pay the bills and you want your music to appeal to everybody.
I've had grannies come up to me and say "Your that lady who sang that song and I really like it". Its just hilarious because you don't think that somebody's granny would like that kind of music. But music is music at the end of the day. That's the kind of thing that bugs me when people don't want to put tunes on the radio because its too this or too that - let the public decide!!!
Q: You started from the underground though. What do you think of your mainstream UK Garage act like your Craig David's and co?
A: I think he's fantastic and flying the flag at last. All the people who said black artists don't sell and aren't marketable..blah, blah, blah...Craig David, there you go!!! If other people look at that and say OK it can work. He was marketed well, he's got good songs and he's got a fantastic attitude.
Without the Pirate DJ's I don't think the mainstream would have known about us. The underground is real. If they really like they'll build you up but if you're shit you're shit.
Q: So are you getting used to this whole media frenzy then?
A: Yeah, it cool. To be quite honest I don't know what everybody moans about when they get interviewed. God, I bet I get quoted on that in about 10 years time when I'm being a big rich superstar and I'm like "I don't do interviews, darling". If people want to talk to you its cool.
Q: Do you think UK Garage is here to stay because we all can remember drum & bass being hailed as the new sound?
A: Drum & bass was always different. More moody and it always had that underground appeal. I never thought that it would have gone mainstream. Garage is so many different things, i see all the vocal stuff as R&B on Prozac. And you've got reggae garage, happy happy garage and the thuggish garage where everybody is nodding there heads and looking real tough.
You can't place it. There's loads of things that come out and your like "What" but its still got that garage flavour. I don't think its going to underground at all and if anything it can only get bigger.
Q: Did you do anything else before garage and the Architects?
A: I've just done backing vocals for a loads of people. I've done writing for loads of people, just upcoming artists. I wrote with Karl Mackintosh and if I named all the people I'd worked with I'd be here forever. All those people that I worked with kind of influenced the artist I am now - some were good, some were bad - but they were all learning experiences.
I've known the guys 6 or 7 years now and I've always worked with them. it was just natural for us to be a group.
Q: The album "Music Beats Life" is coming in the summer. What can we expect from that?
A: Its not going to be just a 2-step album. I think people are going to really surprised. There's loads of flava's on there and were just trying to cram so much onto the one album that things are going to end up getting chopped. The guys are fantastic producers and have got so many ideas; I've got so many ideas and they let me put my ideas on. We all sort of scream and shout and in the end I always get my own way.
Q: Are you doing Napa?
A: We have to. If you don't go to Ayia napa then you're not a Garage act. I loved it out there, some great shops out there. You go abroad and in some places they've never seen black people before, but in Ayia Napa they didn't bat an eyelid. To go into other countries and its quite daunting because you don't know how people will take you - even though its the year 2001 some people still aren't very open minded.
There does seem to be some racial divide between Napa and Ibiza. The white kids go to Ibiza and the black kids go to Napa. I don't know why because I'd love to do Ibiza and make a load of noise over there as well.
"Show Me The Money" is out March 26th