Interview with Lola Maxwell

Describe your sound as if we were deaf:
My sound is refreshing compared to what’s mainstream and getting heavy radio play. I’m not like any other female rapper out right now nor do I rap about the same topics. Many of my listeners would say I’m easily comparable to MC Lyte and Queen Latifah. I’ve even heard Mos Def and Talib Kweli, which is a huge compliment because Mos Def is one of my favorite artists.

What is distinctive about your sound?
The way I deliver and arrange my lyrics is what distinguishes me from other lyricists. Music has been apart of my life for as long as I can remember and the flow of words usually coincides with almost every single note in the beat or instrumental. It’s all about the rhythm and variations in your voice when you deliver. So, I use those two aspects to keep my listeners intrigued.

What producers, songwriters and/or artists do you see as your primary inspirations?
That’s an easy one. I don’t use a lot of artists from today’s mainstream music industry for much inspiration. My primary inspirations or influences come from the time Hip Hop was at its “Golden Age”, or “old school”. I feel like that’s when the genre had more to say other than the current topics of money, sex, and drugs. More than likely you’ll find me listening to MC Lyte, A Tribe Called Quest, Mos Def, Outkast, Erykah Badu, Common, Biggie Smalls, Lauryn Hill, Kanye West, Lupe Fiasco, J. Cole, Jay Z, and maybe a few others.

What was the main factor for launching your career when you did?
I never saw myself being a rapper or emcee; however, I always saw myself as an artist so I knew whatever career I embarked on was going to be something of the artistry nature. I also love expressing myself in a way that others can not only see but be motivated at the same time. So, with that said I guess the main factor for launching my career was for freedom of expression. Being able to stand as one person alone and possibly having millions of people listen to what you have to say and offer.

Who are some people you would like to work with?
I would love to work with Outkast, Kanye West, Lupe Fiasco, Erykah Badu, Kelis, and Mos Def! They influence my creativity and lyricism so much.

How is the internet changing your craft?
Well, the internet is definitely keeping me connected with my fans and networks. It’s not really changing my craft but more so getting my name and music in the right ears.

Do you feel like what you are doing is important?
What I’m doing is more important for me than anyone or anything else. Music is my passion and it will always be and if I couldn’t express myself you would might as well send me to the insane asylum because I would probably go crazy. As far as the music industry and Hip Hop specifically, I do thing what I’m doing is vital. I honestly feel like people are taking Hip Hop as a joke right now. No one is really putting out any sufficient material. Most of what is being put out, I believe, is just for the money. Hip Hop music is saying something right now but not anything positive. And I’ll just leave it at that.

Lastly, could you talk about any long-term goals or talents you have in mind?
I definitely want to branch out into more musically inclined fields such as videography or producing. Before I wanted to become a rapper I wanted to become a music video producer, that’s why a lot of my fans can see the videos I make and put on Youtube or Vimeo. Of course, I only have my Macbook and iMovie application, but it’s not about what tools you have but rather about what you do with those tools. In due time you’ll be seeing numerous videos created by yours truly.

Photography by: Travis Houze