Happy birthday Ms Dynamite!!!!
Everyone make sure you wish Ms D a happy birthday on her twitter @ms_dynamite
A decade after winning the Mercury Prize, Ms Dynamite is carving her own niche once again with socially conscious hip hop and propulsive club sounds, writes Bernadette McNulty.
With the annual music prize shifted back to November, the witching month, there may be more cause than normal to worry about the curse of the Mercury.
An accolade that set out to celebrate the year’s most exciting new album, is now freighted with a reputation for cutting down fledgling careers. For every Dizzee Rascal and Arctic Monkeys, there has been a Klaxons or Speech Debelle who has wilted under victory’s glare.
Under a stage name that read like a two word CV, Niomi McLean-Daley seemed built of hardier stuff when she was the first black woman to carry off the prize a decade ago.
Oozing street-smart confidence, softened with girlish enthusiasm, and sweetening the underground sounds of garage and grime with old-fashioned reggae and soul, the country seemed charmed by the call of “Ms Dy-nami-tee-ee”. The Mercury was followed by Brit and Mobo awards as Daley was held up as an ambassador for a British riposte to US R&B.
However, after a break to have her first son, the decision in 2005 to bring in American names to make her follow-up album was perhaps unwise. Mixing serious social commentary with glossier production failed to connect with either her old or new audiences, and Daley seemed to fall into a tabloid script of nightclub fights and reality television.
Wisely, then, the 31 year-old has been making her latest return not with an explosion but quiet persistence. Reconnecting with her roots, Daley has been collaborating with younger stars like Labrinth on well-received singles and has an album lined up for next year.
A heroine to the dubstep generation of Katy B and Magnetic Man, Daley seems to be enjoying the ground they have covered in forging an urban British sound that Americans have been keen to copy.
I watched her support another young fan, Maverick Sabre, at Brixton Academy recently, mixing up her socially conscious hip hop with propulsive club sounds, and Daley looked much happier having carved out her own space rather than standing in the spotlight.
As we detailed earlier, an amazing night is happening in London this week to celebrate the launch of Xbox’s new Forza Horizon game and Last.fm are very proud to be teaming up on it. DJ Fresh, Ms. Dynamite and Skepta will team up for a night of potentially epic proportions! (Please note that entry to win tickets to the event is now closed).
Last week we looked at the current state of Skepta’s scrobbles in the lead up to the event and this time around we will look at Ms. Dynamite. As with Skepta, Ms. Dynamite also hails from north London but started her career in 2001, as opposed to her male counterpart who kicked off in 2005. The singer and rapper launched into her career in the best possible way – scooping the Mercury Prize for her debut album A Little Deeper. The popularity of the record has been reflected on Last.fm with it being her most popular release by some length, showcasing 67,389 unique listeners and 346,801 total scrobbles.
Unsurprisingly, her most popular song across her career on Last.fm comes from that album. “Dy-na-mit-ee” has been scrobbled a total of 242,557 times and continues to pick up well over 500 unique listeners a week:
Despite not releasing music since 2011′s single “Neva Soft”, Ms. Dynamite’s scrobble stats have stayed strong – keeping ahead of 1,000 listeners a week throughout 2012, peaking with over 1,300 in mid-May.
I RECKON Ms Dynamite could be a much bigger pop star if she wanted to be.
She sings Gold Dust on my album and I wanted her to sing on more tracks. But I knew she wouldn’t – because they’re too pop for her.
She’s very conscious of what’s cool and what’s underground, and she’s keen not to be seen as part of the mainstream.
I really respect her because she stays true to what she likes to dance and listen to.