Sisterhood of Hip-Hop is back and with some new and returning faces. Siya, Diamond, Brianna Perry, Audra The Rapper, and Lee Mazin are five talented rappers with their eyes on the prize.
YouTube vlogger Ashley Miller has all the tea for us this season as she will provide weekly recaps of each episode. Watch below and check out this throwback interview with Siya and True Magazine.
Tell me, when did this love for music transpire?
I fell in love with hip-hop when I was seven when I first saw Bone Thugs n Harmony. When I first heard them (Bone Thugs N Harmony) that’s when I fell in love with hip-hop. I actually recorded with Bizzy Bone which was a dream come true.
-Who were some of your musical influences?
Of course Biggie. Jay-Z. I listened to a lot of Aaliyah. A lot of TLC. Lady of Rage. I was just really into female MC’s studying them of course. The older I got, being in Brooklyn build the fab of this. Mobb Deep. Cats like that I was also a big fan of Big L (LL Cool J). I mean the list can go on. I’m just a fan of hip-hop.
-How did you get cast for “Sisterhood of Hip-Hop?” Were you actively looking or did they present you with the opportunity?
I wasn’t looking at all. TI knew about me prior to the show and heard my music. He thought I would be a good fit for the show. He made the call to my team. People from Oxygen fell in love with me. At first I was a little worried being on reality TV but after meeting the crew and the team, they helped put my mind at ease. They let me know that this show was going to actually be something different. But I’m glad I’m a part of it. I’m glad TI reached out.
-Has being on the show changed your life?
Nothing different in my life negatively. All positive. Seeing yourself on TV will do that to you. I’ve matured musically. I’m more aware of my surroundings. My fan base has grown tremendously. I would never say that I regret doing the show. I would definitely do the show if they wanted more seasons.
On the show, there was the occasional argument on disagreement here and there, but you seemed to stay out of it. First season on the show you were like the voice of reason. Tell me, how do you keep that mindset?
I just try to let the girls know (my cast-mates know) we’re all here to reach our goal and we all have the same outlook on the industry. So instead of fighting each other, we should be fighting some of these dudes over records to take their spot. That’s just how I look at it. A lot of the girls come to me for advice. A lot of the girls do respect my opinion. At the end of the day we all love each other and we all respect each other. Just like any other friend or someone that you’re close with you’re going to have moments when you bicker and you argue, but we always try to find a root of it and we come together and keep creating.
-There are many women in the industry who conceal their sexuality. I liked how open you were about it on the show. Last season we saw you touch on labels trying to change your image. Do you think you changing your appearance would change your art and the way people interpret it?
Absolutely. I’m very firm with not changing anything about me. My image. My music. Anything. It doesn’t even matter. I’m very, very comfortable in my own skin. That’s what I preach to the public and to my fans and to the youth who look up to me and tell me that I inspire them. Someone younger than me is looking up to me as their voice so I would never do that (change my image). Not only for them, but for myself. My motto is if you don’t like me that’s you.
-What’s the concept behind your mixtape title “Better Late Than Never” and what’s your favorite track off the tape?
Oooh Better Late Than Never. The whole idea and concept of “Better Late Than Never” is exactly what it sounds like. I am better late than never in this music industry. I am very vocal about my sexuality and about who I am. My favorite record off the tape would have to be “I’m so Brooklyn.” “I’m so Brooklyn” is just me. It’s where I’m from. It’s the city that raised me and the things I’ve went through and the things I’ve seen. And how I’ve gotten so far in life is really because of me coming from Bed-stuy Brooklyn. You know, not fearing certain things which gives me the strength to not fear a damn thing in this music industry.
-What can we look forward to for Siya in 2015?
Siya in 2015. Well I’m working on an EP that I’m hoping to drop in July (this year). I also have a movie coming out called “Deuces” with me, Lorenz Tate, Meagan Good, Lance Gross, Rotimi, Lala. The list goes on. Some big actors and actresses which I’m very humble to be a part of. It’s my first movie. I was handpicked by Lorenz Tate himself. I play the role of this young girl, a California native. Yeah it’s going to be an awesome movie. Jamal Hill (writer and director) the same guy who directed “Brotherly Love” wrote and directed this one. So yeah, it’s going to be a great movie.
-If a young woman approached you and said she wanted to be a singer or rapper, what advice would you give her?
Finish school first. Get your education. That’s the first thing I would tell her. Nothing in this industry is promised. Nothing in this industry is handed to you or given to you overnight. I’ve been in the game over twenty years and I’m just now getting remotely close to where I should be or deserve to be. I would also tell them if hip-hop or music is something that you feel is your calling you have to give your all. Music is the heart for so many people. Music heals pain. Music makes you smile. Music makes you forget about your troubles. Music makes you happy. For me music is life and if music is life for someone younger than me go for it but also be smart about it. Have a backup plan. You never know. Hip-hop evolves every other few years. It keeps going. It’s an evolving door. You never know what will be in or what will be back out.
-Anything else you want to add or say to your fans.
The EP is coming. The movie is coming at the end of the year. Tank is working on “Sex, Love and Pain.” Hopefully that’s coming at the end of the year as well. Visit damnsiya.com. Follow me at @iamsiya on Instagram, @siya on twitter. Much love to my management team. Lulu.
By: Simone Grant