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Oct 27 / Prinza

February 2003: Dynamite To Officially Drop A Little Deeper In March

As a young girl growing up in North London, Niomi McClean Daley kept adaily diary of her feelings and experiences. She also wrote poems abouther Jamaican family and the neighborhood in which they lived. At thetime, she had no public outlet for her private verse, until shediscovered U.K. garage, the vehicle that would transform her from Ms.Daley into Ms. Dynamite.”It was really popular and there were lots of young producers, but therewere no female MCs,” she said last week. “So people encouraged me toturn my poems into garage lyrics and I would MC over these garagebeats.”She almost wound up on the wrong side of the tracks. In 2000, Dynamitestarted her career with the controversial U.K. two-step dance group SoSolid Crew, a 30-odd member ensemble that has gotten in trouble inEngland for various drug and weapon-related offenses. Soon after, whileworking at pirate radio station RAW FM, Dynamite met producer RichardForbes (a.k.a. Sticky) in a London club and he helped focus her dynamicpop approach.”He had some really great beats and I brought some lyrics in and it justtook the underground by storm,” Dynamite said about “Boo!,” her firstsingle. “It had a very dance flavor that the garage did not have at thattime.”The song paved the way for Dynamite’s debut album A Little Deeper, whichcame out in Europe in July and was immediately hailed as a musicalbreakthrough (the record comes out in the U.S. March 11). Straying fromelectronic-based U.K. garage music she was weaned on, Dynamite exploresa variety of pop, R&B and dub styles that sound like Lauryn Hill andMary J. Blige filtered through the British sensibilities of the Streets.”I felt that this one is a little deeper than [anything I've done]before,” Dynamite said. “I’m talking about all these different things:emotions, where I’m coming from, where I’ve been, personal experience,things that I think are important. This is me.”When she was working on A Little Deeper, Dynamite was intent on creatinga passionate disc that reflected her interests in pop, hip-hop andespecially reggae, which is why she worked with Kymani Marley on “SeedWill Grow” and Barrington Levy on the reggae classic “Too Experienced.”"It was really important for me to get reggae artists on there because Ilove reggae music,” Dynamite said. “That’s something that I’ve grown uplistening to. My dad is Jamaican. I feel like it’s in my blood, it’s inmy bones, it’s part of my heritage.”The first single from A Little Deeper is “It Takes More,” which is aboutbeing responsible and positive when confronted with negative influences.It’s a recurring theme on an album that opens with a declaration thatdynamite is “strictly chemical free.” A video for the song was directedby Jake Nava, who in the past has worked with Spice Girls and TinaTurner.” ‘It Takes More’ is a song I wrote in relation to the negativity I seeas an older sister and as a young person who feels responsible for myactions in terms of how people see me,” she said. “I just see a lot ofnegativity – sex, drugs and violence &8212; and that seems to sell a lotmore than positivity, so therefore it’s constantly there and youngpeople are growing up in relation to what they see. I don’t know whetherwe are carrying ourselves right and if we are showing the future theright way

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