Lay-D Shelz talks 9th Illy, new projects and more [Interview]
Ottawa, ON – At first glance, Lay-D Shelz comes across as a high maintenance woman, rocking stilettos’ so high she’d make Michael Jordan feel like a midget. Her very presence commands attention and after stepping off stage everyone seems to gravitate towards here.
Lay-D Shelz has been performing and writing rhymes since the age of 16. Because of her drive and determination it came as no surprise when she entered the Independent Music Production Program at Seneca College and graduated with a musical engineering certificate. She then became an intern at YBM Studios until its untimely closure.
Fast forward to 2009 where Lay-D Shelz decided to take Ottawa by storm rocking stages, hosting shows and opening for a ton of artists including Beenie Man, Bizarre (D12), Stone Love, GZA, Eternia, Maxi Priest, Shaggy, Bun B, Mavado, and more.
All that buzz led to newspaper and television coverage on Rogers Cable 22, A-Channel, The Ottawa Citizen, Caribbean Calendar, and a hall of fame nod from Ottawa’s Hot 89.9 after 5 consecutive wins on their weekly Battle of the Beats competition. She was also approached by I.D. Artisan to represent the real-life character of Kama Sutra from the 9th Illy: The 9_4 Kronicles online comic series. Click the jump to find out more about that and other projects in the works.
Lay-D Shelz: Q&A
Interview conducted by The comicbook rapper
HipHopCanada: Where does the name Lay-D Shelz come from?
Lay-D Shelz: My real name is Shelly and people would always call me shelz for short. Plus, I am a lady. I chose to spell my name like this because it was more unique and original.
HipHopCanada: What do you hope to accomplish and who, if anybody, influenced you and your style?
Lay-D Shelz: I hope to bring back the days when female MCs like Salt-N-Pepa, Queen Latifah, MC Lyte, Lauryn Hill ruled the scene with their strong sense of empowerment, entertainment and, yes, even their dancing skills.
HipHopCanada: Many people in Ottawa have labelled you as “Queen of the City.” Where does that stem from?
Lay-D Shelz: I think I deserve it because of all the shows, collaborations, and giving back to the community that I’ve done. Plus, my sound on the mic was, and still is, unmatched.
HipHopCanada: Some say you are a feminist? Do you agree?
Lay-D Shelz: I wouldn’t say I’m a feminist, but that term has always been associated with me because I have extremely strong lyrics and I often put women on a pedestal. I would also like to add that I think it’s time for women and men to take control of their destiny and that will be reflected in my upcoming solo mixtape.
HipHopCanada: Talk a little about the voice over work your doing and why you decided to branch out into the comic and anime world?
Lay-D Shelz: I’m the voice of a female battle-rapper-turned-pop-icon (Kama Sutra) on the soundtrack to a digital comic book series called 9th Illy: The 9_4 Kronicles. The last chapter in the first book of the series will go live on HipHopCanada.com on October 26th and this chapter is all about my Kama Sutra. I decided to branch out and try something different to expand my fan base, and maybe have people hear my music who wouldn’t necessarily even listen to hip-hop.
HipHopCanada: What other projects are you working on?
Lay-D Shelz: I’m working on a solo mixtape , a joint mixtape with 9_4 called Best of Both Mics and a short film based on the 9th Illy comic as well as the accompanying soundtrack.
Interview conducted by The comicbook rapper for HipHopCanada
9th Illy: The 9_4 Kronicles
Lay-D Shelz as Kama Sutra
Kama Sutra is an ex-underground female battle rapper who got her record deal based on her worldwide fan base, pop star appeal and all around good music. She wears the Rosary Cross red gold chain and is promoting her first album.
Audio: Kama Sutra – Kama Sutra [MP3]
Download MP3 (PC Users: Right-click and select “Save Target/Link As…”)
Welcome To My World
Look at that! We’re more 30 weeks in! If you’re new to 9th Illy: The 9_4 Kronicles, we’d like to say welcome! Click the image below to start from Chapter 1: Week 1. You’ll be caught up in no time! Generally, minus a few exceptions, you can expect a 9th Illy update every Friday. Let the 9_4 Kronicles begin!
Don’t forget to follow @9thIlly and @IDArtisan on Twitter. You can find Lay-D Shelz at @LayDshelZ.