*Even as a journalist with decades under his belt, it still amazing me the diverse array of talented geniuses of African descent that I run across in the act of performing my job. Recently I was gifted with the job of interviewing recording artist and Wavy Award-winner Lachi.
Born to Nigerian immigrants who came to America in the mid-70s, Lachi grew up in upstate New York, West Philly, and North Carolina-where she attended the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Her music runs the gamut from pop, jazz and even R&B, but EDM is where her proverbial bread is buttered.
EURweb.com: Please, tell us about what led to your diverse ar
ray of influences?
Lachi: I think it goes back to the fact that, growing up, I had so many different influences, and was pulled in so many different directions, all of that trickled into my voice. Especially my different moods. So, the experience of growing up in a quote unquote raised white situation, and growing up in West Philly, I have been inundated with different sounds and different styles.
I started with sort of a jazz vocal, and I always try to give a little nod to jazz in all my vocals, but I was pulled to pop alternative, then I was pulled to more an R&B situation, and with that comfort came all my pass musical experiences, that’s why you hear a nod to this genre or another vocal genre, and then I’m also really big on acapella music. When I started in college and through high school, I did a lot of acapella singing and acapella arranging, and so that really gave me strength when it came to harmonies.
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EURweb.com: As a woman of African descent living in America, one who is also blind, dealing with duality appears to be something that comes naturally to you. Is that so?
Lachi: “Duality is a great term, and it’s actually the title to one of my songs that did really well. I really cherish that song because I was felt I had a lot of duality in my life. I’m a raise tomboy girl, I’m a raise “white” black person, I was raised catholic, I was raised shy and now I’m super outgoing.”
“I was also raised non-disabled, and I had to come out in my own time about my disability. It’s not like they denied, but they put in public school, they did what they had to do because I was the sixth of seven children. I go through a lot of dualities and accepting myself for who I am that has really allowed me to push through that confusion and turmoil and say, ‘I am this and that.’”
EURweb.com: Your accolades and accomplishments speak for themselves because excellence is the measure by which candidates are vetted. That’s just bad ass, in my opinion.
Lachi: “To be a co-chair of the Recording Academy and to be a Black female with a disability. Co-chairing the Recording Academy Advocacy Committee in New York, the biggest chapter of the Recording Academy is a big honor because I’m not just representing Black artists, I’m not just representing disabled artists, I’m representing all artists.”
“I’m talking to Congress; I’m talking at the local and national level on behalf of all artists. To be able to receive accolades for RAMPED, which is the Recording Artists and Music Professionals with Disabilities, something I put together, to be able to speak with some of these large music firms, to partner with monoliths like the Recording Academy, to receive recognition in Variety for putting on the first ever all-inclusive self-description award ceremony is a HUGE deal.”
“Because growing up, looking at TV, listening to the radio, on the computer, I didn’t see folks with disabilities doing big things. Folks with disabilities being superheroes, folks with disabilities driving really fast cars or with the big chains, or whatever! Not to be able to see that means you don’t have something to put on your vision board to visualize and look at that as your goal.”
“I want to not only be that person, but to put together a coalition of professionals that have credits, that are out here making things work, that are working with big names or are big names themselves, to show off to that next generation of kids trying to go this path who have a disability. It’s not that there’s nothing wrong with having a disability, it’s that you are you.”
“You’re a person and everybody needs different tolls to survive in life. So, just take that and be what you want to be. Everyone is going to pull you in different directions, it’s not on purpose it just is purpose. I’m not here for the accolades, but I’m not gonna hide a trophy when I get one.”
EURweb.com: Who’re some of the bigger names you’ve worked with throughout your career thus far?
I hope you are well. I just wanted to reach out and see if you can correct this inaccuracy in the article with Lachi: she didn’t specifically work with Cardi B, but she did work on a song of hers with Snoop Dogg, they collaborated. She worked on a song with Apple D. App (Black Eyed Peas), they collaborated with Styles P (Living a Lie). Lachi’s suggested language for this would be ” featuring S
Lachi: “I didn’t specifically work with Cardi B. but I’ve independently composed a cappella remixes of big artists such as Cardi B and LSD, and have put out tracks featuring Snoop Dogg and Styles P. Most recently I’ve done a collaboration with apl.de.ap called “Dis Education.”
“We all put on the personas because you gotta have a whole backstory with your fans. You gotta be real with your fans to show who you are out here on social media. It’s not like you’re fake. When you’re hanging out, you’re hanging out. But, when you’re in the studio, it’s your job. You’re a professional. You come to find that.”
EURweb.com: “Some people get caught up in lyrics and imagery but the ones who are at the very top of the game musically are at the top of their game professionally as well.”
Lachi: “Right, they call if they’re going to be late, nobody’s confused about contracts, nobody has to go searching for their money, and then, a lot of times it’s agents and managers dealing with getting us in the room in the first place. It’s not like I saw Snoop at a bar and said ‘Yo, Snoop! Get on my track!’”
“It’s been a great experience to be able to work with some real giants. The Styles P track is called ‘Living a Lie,” and that and the Snoop track were from around 2017, 2016 and they really start getting onto the scene? And in both situations, I was still very new. That’s why I was like ‘Wow, I was so starry eyed at how professional everybody was because I didn’t know. Now that I’m on the other side of things I absolutely know that you have to be a professional.”
EURweb.com: “The clock is ticking when you’re caught in traffic, the clock is ticking when you’re smoking that blunt or shooting that video. There are a bunch of people getting paid hourly anyway. You end up costing folks bread.”
Lachi: “There’s just too much money on the line. There are people that are getting paid hourly wages, the people who clean up the offices, electric bills, things are going on while you’re late and while you’re smoking a blunt or shooting a video. Things are going on that are costing a lot of money.”
For more on Lachi, check her website.