Baker's Dozen

Artists discuss the 13 records that shaped their lives

10. Missy ElliottSupa Dupa Fly

Again, how liberating it is to see a woman present herself in this way. How liberating to see as a kid that there’s more spaces for a woman to be than the one that’s assigned, to not have to present in a way that’s “pretty”. I think humour and goofiness paired with excellence and so much creativity and projecting things that had never existed before. This was life changing. She’s one of the reasons I made music – she made it possible for me to imagine myself making music. The writing, the relationship with the words. She’s so good with words she almost creates her own language around confidence. The vocals are in this beautiful, crazy arm wrestle with the track, but at the same time she has these incredible melodies. It’s an era that made it possible for me to project myself into a place where I didn’t have to choose between being at the forefront musically or making music that didn’t sound like what had come before, but at the same time making music that appealed. My intent with music is to communicate and to find all the others who can see themselves in how I express myself, I’ve never really wanted to make exclusive or cryptic music. Missy Elliott is my favourite example – probably the first example I encountered – of opening up your own lane, whatever it is, and doing it boldly and, at the same time, appealing to a lot of people. It’s being avant-garde in a way that’s rallying the most people around. I salute and thank her for that forever.

Selected in other Baker’s Dozens: Afrodeutsche, Dizzee Rascal, Jessy Lanza
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