An Interview with Lumidee: On Beginnings, Launching Own Label, New EP 'La Luz'
Uh oooh, uh oooh! Look who we have interviewed! It’s Lumidee! The ‘Never Leave You' singer is still doing music! (for real!) ‘But I don't hear her on the radio anymore' you say? Well, that’s because Lumidee isn't working for a major label anymore, as a few years ago she launched her own label, Logy Music Entertainment. Over the last five years Lumidee has released one-off songs and mixtapes under Logy, and well…although these all have been low-profile projects, sales and exposure-wise, due to her 'independent label' scenario, this isn’t really bothering Lumidee. She feels happy with the way she’s handling her artist brand and the fact she’s fully in control of her music.
What's next for Lumidee? She will be releasing later in 2014 her first EP called 'La Luz'. The first single is the soul-reggae-pop song 'Where I Wanna Be', and Lumidee's intention is to release a video for every song on the EP.
DirectLyrics recently caught with the NYC-based singer and songwriter to discuss her beginnings (including her flawless debut album ‘Almost Famous’) her transition from being a major label-signed artist to owning her own label, or having fans in DUBAI and also we made her choose between Drake and Chris Brown.
1.We read you’re working on a new EP named "La Luz" coming out later this year. What can you tell us about this new project? When is it out? Will you be shooting music videos for all the songs?
Yes. The title 'La Luz' means 'The light'. I named it this 'cause it's where I'm at in my life, I see everything for what it is, my mind is more clear then ever. Nothing better than seeing the light and still being alive...(laughs)...and yes I do plan to drop a video for everything. People definitely are into visuals online now!
2. We definitely like your new song “Where I Wanna Be”. It’s soul, pop and reggae. Lyrics talk about a girl who is looking for real love but can't help to fall for the bad boys sometimes. Does Lumidee like bad boys too?
3. We just watched the “Where I Wanna Be” video on YouTube and it is definitely something you need to watch from start to end. The video takes a tragic twist towards the end, with you ultimately killing the man you were dating in self-defence. Some fans haven't understood the storyline of the video completely, though. Could you explain a bit in detail?
Pretty much it's about being attracted to the bad boy, the mystery and living in the moment even though people around you are like 'nah don’t do it'. At first it seems exciting but it doesn't always end well. Sometimes they're just plain psyco!!
4. How would you describe Lumidee's current sound?
I don't know. I'm just being me. I never put myself in a box. I just do the music I wanna do and always try to step it up so no single will sound alike but still all me....
5. You are now releasing your new music under your own label, Logy Music. For those who don't know what the perks of releasing your music independently are, could you explain? And what has it meant for Lumidee personally?
It means it's 100% my investment so makes it 100% my gain or loss but it's really a great feeling to be able to do what you wanna do, work with the people you wanna work with.... So far I have honestly had more fun on this project than my two other albums 'cause it's not about the success of it, it just feels to do it myself and without expectations....just being able to finish this and put it out myself is a win for me!
6. Is Logy Music your present and your future? We mean, should a major label approach you tomorrow and tell you that they want to sign you, would you refuse the deal?
Yes it is... I do work with major and different companies overseas still, but just singles and license deals. I'm still a business woman, but as far as locking myself into a major contract with a major label, they would have to do something for me that I can't do for myself....but truthfully it's not something I could ever see myself doing. There's no heart there, it's like you're dealing with robots....
7. Lumidee started her career in 2003 with the release of “Almost Famous”, and the monster song “Never Leave You”. At the time you were signed to Universal Records, but then your 2007 follow-up “Unexpected” was released via TVT Records. Why did Universal let you go? Was it album sales reasons or more you not feeling comfortable in the label? We thought you would have a second album with them!
I was under another independent label so I wasn't signed directly to Universal. They had to sign them in order to sign me and there was a lot of conflict and crazy sh*t that went on with them. Too much to explain... but to answer the first question it wasn't about record sales...
8. "Never Leave You (Uh Oooh, Uh Oooh)" is undoubtedly your biggest song to date and the song that has given you everything. However, in an interview two years ago you said that ‘I’ll never disrespect ‘uh oooh, uh oooh’ but I’m just not that girl. I’m definitely tougher than that'. We got a bit confused by this quote. Had it been your choice, would you have recorded something totally opposite to the sound of “Almost Famous”? Or what did you mean?
Good question. No, I love the record, I wrote it ..(laughs), I just feel with the video and the way I was presented to the world I seemed very bubbly and child, like it just wasn't all that I was.... I always was a rapper first, I sang cause I wrote songs. Let's put it this way. the only thing I would change if I could go back would be to spit a verse on it too and not wear that hat in the video ..... (laughs)
9. Many people say, ‘oh, Lumidee should get in the studio and record a “Never Leave You” 2.0’. What’s your opinion on this?
Really they say that? ....hmmmm you never know!
10. We purchased your debut album when it came out and loved it. One of our favourites was “Me and You”. What are you memories of recording this particular song? Did it have any special meaning?
Aw, thank you ..that's dope!! Well I did write 100% of the lyrics and the melody when I was in high school and it's my favorite song on 'Almost Famous'. I felt back then that it was the best representation of me on the album. That was the girl I was...and in a lot of ways still am.
11. After “Almost Famous” and “Unexpected”, you focused on your Logy Music label. You released a few new songs throughout the years, as well as mixtapes. Did the idea of going the independent route ever hit you like something too complicated to do?
It was always something I wanted to do but to keep it real, it takes a lot of confidence in yourself and it's something I had to build up. It can a be scary going out with no back up ...but I believe in myself enough, nothing I do is perfect but it's real...
12. Have you ever thought about parking the LUMIDEE project and test other not-music-related careers?
Yeah at a time I did but I'm not as passionate about anything else. Hopefully I can do music till I'm old and gray and just rocking the stage more and doing some more label and producing stuff .. and bringing out the next superstar.....
13. We read you had gig back in April in Dubai. And that wasn't your first time there. The Lumidee love spreads to the Emirates! That's huge right? And, what are the crowds like there?
They're all rich and they're all happy ...why wouldn't they be right? (laughs) Nah, it’s a great vibe, they like to party and they dress great! I met some good people out there..
14. We know you regularly do gigs in the U.S, but for your overseas fans, tell us, do you have more international shows planned for later this year?
Yes Im always overseas...I post everything on Twitter (@thereallumidee), Instagram (@misslumidee) and Facebook (officiallumideefanpage)
To end, a few quick questions!
15. You are based in NYC. What are the things you love the most about your city?
It never sleeps, you can always find something to do, I like to eat late...(laughs)
16. What are Lumidee’s Top 5 songs of the moment?
There's a new song I'm in love with by Nico and Vinz called "Am I wrong"..... and everything Frank Ocean. I love all his music!
17. If could record a duet with anybody right now, who would that be? And why?
Would love to work with Kanye and Pharell, they are equally great artists and producers but I feel like I might get into a fight with Kanye,
18. If you had to choose one concert to go to tonight, would you go to Drake's or Chris Brown's? What are your thoughts on each of them?
Damn love them both, depends on what I'm feeling at that moment. If I wanna zone out with a drink in my hand Drake ...if I wanna loose my voice and bust a move, Chris Brown.
19. Where do you see yourself ten years from now?
Happy and very accomplished.
20. Thank you so much, Lumidee! Best of your with your new music! Any last thing you would like to share with our readers at Direct Lyrics?
Thanks for having me and check my new joint out now 'Luv to luv ya' featuring chinx drugz video and song ...Peace!