Earlier in 2016, Roll Safe took over everybody’s screens and became the most talked about ‘triple-threat’ for a long while. The melodies and crazy 16s on show crazy 16s on show,as well as his refusal to be held down by the system to, tell their own story. They say the man who taught Jamie Foxx everything he knew and RS have never been seen in the same room together, and perhaps for good reason.
Whilst RS is a clever and funny made-up triple-threat who claims to be able to rap, act and dance, Paigey Cakey is, in fact, an actual triple-threat, finding success as a rapper, singer and actress.
The First Paige was her first mixtape which was released back in 2012, and since then, a catalogue of cold raps has followed, attracting numerous features along the way. She has also showcased her ability as a singer more recently in her latest EP, Red.
From featuring in multiple shows on BBC One through to appearing in films, Paigey Cakey has also carved out an acting career for herself which runs parallel to her endeavours in music. All in all, she has chosen to embrace a few different paths and has managed to find success in each one.
So Bespoke caught up with her to talk a few things through.
You have a bit of a mad career path – you’re an actress, a rapper, and also a singer. Which came first?
I was doing music since school. I did GCSE music and got an A in the exam and it kinda just went from there. Then my teacher gassed me up, so I put my song up on YouTube – me covering a Teedra Moses song. It kinda got a buzz, got like 10,000 views in a month and then from there I didn’t put nothing else out, and I auditioned for Attack the Block.
It was like an accidental audition. I was doing a two-week performing arts project, then before I knew it, I was auditioning from Attack the Block, then from there things kinda took off, then it helped my music too. Then I did Waterloo Road.
How long were you in Waterloo Road for?
I did 20 episodes. From 2012-13.
So after Waterloo Road, did more opportunities start coming after that?
I did a few other films. One with Noel Clarke called The Knot, then I did another Noel Clarke film called Legacy. Then I did a BBC Series called Secrets, which features Asher D as well.
Your music is cold as well, but do you feel like people still look at you as ‘cold for a female rapper’ or ‘cold in general’?
There’s always gonna be people that say ‘she’s sick for a female rapper’. It’s annoying, but people are really small minded, but I get love both ways. Some people I say I’m good for a female and some say I’m one of the coldest, so I get love either way.
If you released the same music as a male artist (obviously adjusting a few bars and what not), do you think your music would be perceived differently in any way?
I think it would. I think I’d get a lot more love. I feel like guys are always getting onto females, and females don’t like to support females as well. Females would rather buy a ticket to go watch a guy perform then watch a girl perform.
So do you think there will be a time when female rappers break down that barrier and say ‘we’re here now, we’re level with male rappers’, or do you think that time won’t come?
I hope so, I think that will only come with support. If people start supporting each other, we can break those rules and break the boundaries, then females can get bigger. Same way you see more guys collaborating with each other, you don’t really see too many females doing stuff together.
The last EP you dropped was Red, but you said you were working on a project called Two Pages that was going to be two EP’s. Is Red the mix of them both?
To be honest, I scrapped the Two Pages idea, then just went in with the Red idea. Now I’m working on another project called Red Velvet.
So is that a follow-up from Red?
Red was a different kinda vibe from a lot of your older raps. It was a slower, singing-type vibe. Then at the end, there was ‘Flexin’, which is more like the sound we’d become accustomed to. Are you going to stick with this new slower style moving forward?
I switched up my whole vibe. My latest tracks are Boogie and Pattern, and the Red Velvet mixtape is literally just like that. That groovy hip hop. There’s more singing on this new project as well.
You got fans as young as 7 years old, then fans that are also a lot older. Not many people have that problem of having such a wide set of fans, especially in the UK. Is it hard to strike a balance between pleasing all your different fans?
To be honest, I make music that I like. If they like it, they like it, and if they don’t like, then that’s that. I try to make music that hasn’t got too much swearing in it, because I know that I’ve got a young fan base. I want parents to like my music and kids to look up to me as a role model, I don’t wanna say bad things in my music, so I stopped all the swearing. It is hard to make music for both and older and younger generation.
I can imagine, there’s probably times when you might say things that will annoy one group, but you just have to do it.
Yeah. You can’t really win.
Are you still part of CMAR?
I left Alwayz in 2014. Since then I’ve just been doing my own thing.
So what are you focusing on right now – acting, or music?
Music. Full-time music. I’m currently working the Red Velvet mixtape, then I’m going to Italy this month to shoot my next single. I’m just gonna get loads of visuals out there, then hopefully release my tape by the end of this year, if everything goes well.
You’re someone that’s been consistent for a while, doing well in two areas – music and acting. You’ve been on BBC One, been in films, dropped some sick projects with mad features. That’s a lot of stuff to have already done, and you’re still quite young. So what’s the goal moving forward?
One thing I still haven’t done is my own tour, so there’s still a few things I wanna do next year. I wanna do my own tour, release my own clothing line, get my merchandise out there, maybe work on an album. Maybe do some big collaborations, some US collaborations.
Who would you want to collaborate with from the US?
I would love to collaborate with Drake and Missy Elliot.
Do you think female rappers in America are paying attention to what’s going on over here? Ever get love from any female rappers in America?
Na, never really got love from American rappers, apart from Eve. I supported Eve and Lil Kim on their UK show a few years ago, and Eve heard my music, then I met her, and she was really lovely. She was just giving me advice and stuff.
Get Paigey Cakey’s latest EP – ‘Red’ – here
Paigey Cakey will headline the Dr Martens Stand For Something Tour in Birmingham on Saturday 29th October at Mama Roux’s. It comes amongst the wider Stand For Something tour which boasts headline sets from Formation in Liverpool on October 15th, VANT in Newcastle on November 12th and You Me At Six in London on November 26th. For tickets and further information, head to http://www.drmartens.com/uk/sfs-tour-2016