Ms Dynamite speaks before Barbican Weekender mini-festival with Rufus Wainwright and N-Dubz rapper Fazer

11:00 20 February 2012

Ms Dynamite. Photo by Alex Lake

Ms Dynamite. Photo by Alex Lake

Archant

Ms Dynamite talks candidly about the fall-out from achieving huge success at a young age, ahead of her performance at the Barbican Weekender next weekend, which also features singer-songwriter Rufus Wainwright

At the age of 21, Archway-born Niomi McLean-Daley, better known as award-winning performer Ms Dynamite, had the world at her feet.

Her 2002 debut album A Little Deeper found both commercial success and critical acclaim, spawning the rapper-cum-singer a host of glowing reviews for her politically-charged lyrics and insightful social commentary.

The record sold over a million copies and helped Ms Dynamite pick up a range of accolades, including two BRIT awards and three MOBO awards, not to mention the prestigious Mercury Music Prize.

Since then, nearly a decade has passed and only one more Ms Dynamite album has seen the light of day – she has even gone on record as describing her Mercury Prize win as a “curse” for the unwanted attention it brought.

Talking ahead of a highly-anticipated show with the BBC Symphony Orchestra at the Barbican on March 3, the 30-year-old said: “I was a very angry, hurt and unstable character as a teenager. We experienced a lot of hardship growing up – my family breaking up, I had brothers and sisters pass away – I became quite angry.”

She also now acknowledges the difficulties she had adjusting to her initial fame, explaining: “Being in that position, it was a huge pressure. I guess, in hindsight, I wasn’t coping in the best way.

“I think getting out of music when I did was a blessing because it gave me time to grow as a person and be who I am today.”

The mother-of-one, who used her time off to commit full attention to raising her eight-year-old son Shavaar, is currently working on a new album to be released sometime this year and believes the future looks bright.

She said: “As an artist I’m 100 per cent confident, I’m much more in control. I’ve got a good feeling about everything - I’m in love with making music again.”

At the Barbican show next week, Ms Dynamite will be sharing the bill with Tottenham-born rapper Skepta and fellow MCs Devlin and Fazer, as part of the Urban Classic concert alongside the BBC Symphony Orchestra.

Describing her collaboration with the orchestra, Ms Dynamite said: “I’d advise anybody to come down and have a listen. It’s two different worlds meeting one another and blending and working together – it’s very interesting.”

The evening performance is one of a variety of events taking place at the venue for this year’s Barbican Weekender, titled Urban Stories.

On the Sunday evening, singer-songwriter Rufus Wainwright will be joined by the orchestra for a UK premiere of his rendition of five Shakespeare sonnets.

The weekend, billed by organisers as ‘Shakespeare meets hip-hop’, will involve two days of free events, including performances from Barbican Young Poets and workshops led by the Hip Hop Shakespeare Company, in addition to the evening concerts.

For more information and to buy tickets for the evening performances, visit www.barbican.org.uk/weekender.

Latest Stories

08:22
Makers Cafe has opened in Shoreditch (Pic: Makers Cafe)

The UK’s first 3D printing cafe has opened in Shoreditch, east London.

Read more
07:39
Victim Adrian Young was stabbed to death in Cromwell Road, Croydon (Google Street View)

A murder investigation has been launched after a man was stabbed to death in Cromwell Road, Croydon last night.

Read more
Yesterday, 17:19
Dr. Michael Jacobs, clinical lead in Infectious Diseases at the Royal Free Hospital, is in charge of treating the Ebola patient. Picture: Stefan Rousseau

The first Briton to contract the deadly Ebola virus is being treated with experimental new drug ZMapp, doctors at the Royal Free have said.

Read more

Top Stories

Promotions

Advanced running and training technology for beginners up to elite athletes

If you’re thinking of adding running treadmill to your fitness routine, you’re on the right track! There are several advantages to running on a treadmill versus running outdoors.

Renault-Zoe

The Renault ZOE follows on from the introduction of the electric Fluence ZE and Twizy, but unlike the former, the ZOE was designed from the ground up as an electric vehicle.

When no simple way to find Real Ale was at hand, 4 Ale enthusiasts got together to allow anyone with a smart phone to find Real Ale no matter where they happened to be, this was the birth of the Perfect Pint app.

Quizzes

I'm only going to say this once: Stand. On. The. Right.

James Bond is Britain’s most famous secret agent, and the capital is its most famous city, so it makes sense that 007 would live and work here when he isn’t gallivanting around the world.

Read more
Can you find the animals hiding in London station names? (Photo by Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images)

You may not realise it but there are animals hiding in stations across London? Play our quiz and see if you can you find them:

Read more
Can you guess the Tube station just from the outside? (Photo by Oli Scarff/Getty Images)

How well do you know your Tube stations? Can you guess these Underground stops from the pictures taken outside them?

Read more