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Oct 1 / Prinza


Rock and Pop: TURNING POINT FESTIVAL – Interview with Niomi McLean Daley – Ms Dynamite

THERE’S a movement taking over the Roundhouse – and it’s gathering pace as we speak. From tomorrow, young people will seize control of Camden Roundhouse, mastering every aspect of the Turning Point festival of comedy, music, circus, cabaret and theatre. More than 300 artists have been signed up to take over five stages over the next three days, featuring the likes of Professor Green, Toddla T, Ms Dynamite, Roll Deep and Devlin. So who better to tell us a bit more than Camden institution, Ms Dynamite aka Niomi McLean-Daley. She’s been building up her career again but due to some unhappy interaction with the Press, her management have insisted all interviews be conducted by email – beware an abundance of exclamation marks. So here’s how it went:

RG: What’s so special about Turning Point? 

MD: It’s put on by young people!!! I LOVE THE CONCEPT OF THAT! We commonly talk about young people with such negative and biased views! I’m of the belief that if we ‘as adults/society/the authority’ etc. give young people respect, love, faith, time and tools to grow with the things that inspire them, and a chance to fulfil their passion, they will succeed EVERY SINGLE TIME! I know this gig will prove that!!! 

I love that it’s in Camden and at the Roundhouse, who are absolutely amazing with young people!!! 

They offer SO MUCH in terms of music, media and the arts to young people and I WOULD HIGHLY RECOMMEND AND ADVISE EVERYONE TO CHECK OUT WHAT GOES ON AT THE ROUNDHOUSE!!! (under and behind the shows). 

RG: What can we look forward to from your appearance? 


RG: Who are you most excited to see on the line-up and why? 

MD: I’m excited to see everyone (not a cop out) but I genuinely like all the artists and am happy to be working along side them in ‘this’ particular show! I think it’ll be amazing! 

RG: What do you think of the Roundhouse as a venue? 

MD: It’s amazing, I’ve seen my brother (Akala) and a few other artist, groups perform/act there… This’ll be my first time though, I can’t wait! 

RG: What are your favourite Camden haunts/ favourite things about Camden? 

MD: I LOVE the multi-culturalism of Camden!!! I love the fusion of styles, foods, music, dress codes, ages, energies and beliefs!!! 

RG: Any Camden gripes? 

MD: Camden have the most HASTY, UNFORGIVING, NO LEE-WAY whatsoever TRAFFIC WARDENS I’ve ever experienced! Parking is a complete nightmare!!! 

RG: What’s it like to have a musical sibling? 

MD: All my siblings are musical… I have a younger brother, who goes by the name of ‘Snooze’, he raps, writes, produces, directs, designs websites, films videos etc, a sister named Jessica who has an amazing voice and is an amazing writer and the others are a bit younger (still in school) but all are equally talented in a musical/creative way! 

It’s the nature of our family, we’ve never known it any different, my mum and dad ALWAYS have and had music blasting in the house! 

We used to make up songs and perform for our parents and aunties and uncles as birthday presents at bbqs and parties… When myself and Kings (Akala) look back, we’re just like “how did we ever not see this happening?”… :o

RG: Akala told me he’s become vegan and enjoys eating at Inspiral cafe in Camden Lock. Are you a vegan? Could you ever be? 

MD: I’m not a vegan but am a veggie and can I just say I LOVE INSPIRAL!!! I’d like to become a vegan, but food is still my weakness, my comfort, my addiction & my passion. 

I can’t help but think about ALL the CRAP I’d miss if I became a vegan… But it is exactly that… Crap! And I will get there one day, soon as I get the discipline my brother’s blessed with! Lol! 

RG: What’s the strangest gig you’ve ever done? 

MD: I’ve done great gigs, fantastic gigs, amazing gigs, funny gigs, sad gigs and not so good gigs but never really a ‘strange’ gig? 

RG: The Mercury Music Prize has just passed by, who did you want to win and why? 

MD: Corinne Bailey-Rae… I love her! She’s one of the sweetest, most graceful, ambitious, talented young women I’ve had the pleasure of meeting! 

RG: How has your music progressed since then and what direction do you want to continue in? 

MD: Umm, the turns and twists my career has taken since then would fill this whole issue and more!!! Lol!!! There have been many highs and lows but I’m in an amazing position now, totally recognising and appreciating that the lows made the highs sweeter and that its all been equally neccessary to get here where I am today! :o

RG: What did you think of (winners) The XX? 

MD: Yeah, they’re cool… I like what they did with Aaliyah’s ‘Hot like fire’ and also the ‘Florence and the Machine’ cover (of the cover) they did was great too! 

RG: Do you think the prize helped your career? 

MD: Definitely!!! 

RG: Do you think there’s any truth in the belief that the prize can sometimes do more harm than good? 

MD: Depends how you look at it? 

RG: If you were in an American high school, what clique would you have been in as a teenager? 

MD: No clique… I’ve always been a leader that floated like the wind through different ‘groups’, I had my days with my ‘middle class’ friends, my days with my ‘hood’ friends, days with my ‘grungy’ friends and days with my super-slick friends, black, white, Asian, Male, Female etc etc, we just did our thing. 

I’m me, me has never belonged to ‘one group’ of people and can’t be defined by one style… I’ve always done me! 

RG: What’s the worst trouble you got into at school? 

MD: Oh the list is too long!!! Lol! X 

RG: Lady Gaga, love or hate? 

MD: I’m full of love for ‘everyone’, hate no-one… a more accurate answer would be ‘I respect her hustle!’ 

RG: Tell me something no-one knows about you. 

MD: There is genuinely NOTHING no-one knows about me! I LOVE to talk and am not ashamed to chat my business!… I’d tell any-one anything… Other than obvious stuff! 

If I’m happy, sad, hyper, tired etc. The world knows about it! I’ve always been like that! 

RG: What do you like to do when you’re not making music? 

MD: Be with my son!!! 

RG: Who would you most like to collaborate with? 

MD: Damien Marley! 

RG: What’s it like being a famous mum? 

MD: I LOVE IT!!! :o

RG: You’ve had a bit of a reputation for being political in the past, are you happy with the election results? 

MD: “Yeah, I’m over the moon!”.. Lol! I’ll leave it to your common sense, xx 

RG: If not, who would you like to see as Prime Minister? 

MD: I think a group that represents our society (of young, old, rich, poor, English, African/Caribbean, Asian, Eastern-Europen, Spanish, Japanese, gay, straight, religious, athiest, with disabilities, from conventional AND single parent families etc etc etc) that would govern our ‘world’ with compassion and ‘open ears’… Would be a BEAUTIFUL sight! 

RG: What are you working on at the moment – what direction are you taking musically and what kind of subject matter are you thinking about? 

MD: I’m having fun with music, trying all different styles and directions and am talking about a wide range of subjects! 

RG: Who are you listening to at the moment that you’d recommend our readers to watch out for and why? 

MD: I worked with Katy B nearly 2 yrs ago and am really happy to hear her able to bless the world with her talent/gift! Also Emeli Sandé, I can not wait for her album!!!

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