Born and raised in Denmark’s Christiania, Mercedes plans on putting the fun back into hip hop. Taking pop sensibilities and the sounds of 80’s stars like Salt n Peppa and the Beastie Boys, she has created a fresh sound for 2013. I caught up with the airwavehustler to discuss her inspirations and what it was like growing up in the notorious Christiania.
Who have been the main inspirations in your life and music career to date?
I would say my brother, because he is an all-round good guy! Biggest musical inspirations have been acts like Salt n Peppa, Roxanne Shante, Beastie Boys and Neneh Cherry.
Are there any particular themes you like to explore in your lyrics?
Life experiences and random thoughts.
What is it about the sound of the 80’s that resonates with you so much?
I like the fun party vibes of some of the 80’s artists. I enjoy the feel good factor!
You’ve worked with a lot of different producers instead of just sticking with the same one or two, why is that?
You get different feels from different producers. I’m signed to Warner Chappel as an artist/writer so they’ve also been involved with setting up a lot of sessions for me. However, MNEK has produced the majority of my tracks.
The past year has seen more female rappers breakthrough. Do you think this makes it easier for you to gain attention or is it still a struggle?
It always gets easier as more women get through. Obviously artists like Missy Elliott, Miss Dynamite and Nicky Minaj have paved the way for so many female rappers.
Why do you think there are not as many female rappers as male, even in 2013?
I think there are loads of female rappers out there, maybe there just not as mainstream.
If you could collaborate with any artist, who would you choose and why?
Slick Rick because he is the ruler of all things smooth…
You grew up in Christiania in Denmark, when I went there last year it seemed odd but also inspiring to me that a place as free as that could exist in today’s world. What was it like growing up there and how do you think it has affected your life and music?
There was a lot of peace, love and unity man, and as a result I’m definitely cool with nudity! Growing up there meant I got to see a lot of big artists, like Metallica, Old Dirty Bastard, Beastie Boys, Portishead, at a very young age performing in really intimate venues, which has given me a very diverse taste in music.
What are your plans for the rest of the year?
I will be releasing my next single ‘Full Tilt’ and working on some pretty exciting new collaborations.
Written by Charlotte Pearson