Hailing from Birmingham, UK, Sherelle Robbins (aka Lady Sanity), is without a doubt one of the youngest most exciting prospects the city is currently witnessing.
Her musical interests developed in her teenage years but before long, Sanity had received positive responses to her 2014 debut mixtape, Construction, performances across the region including slots at Glastonbury and Boom Bap Festivals and continued support from the BBC. This encouraged the emcee to release two more EPs since, Summer in September, and most recently, The Graduate.
Recently joining forces with EQ Recordings, Birmingham’s own grassroots label, Sanity broke down her music, her views on the scene and what’s next for her.
Your last project, ‘The Graduate’ you made your lyrical ability and conceptualisation evident, what do you hope to develop with your upcoming projects?
“I’m working on carrying more emotion through my words and tone of voice. I love working on projects that revolve around a certain topic or situations that aren’t typically discussed in music; so I’ll continue to do that and give the love songs a miss, for now.
The aim is to just get music out that I enjoy and people can relate to.”
We’ve seen a number of artists from Birmingham blow up in recent years and the number seems to be increasing, of course, Lady Leshurr is one, does she influence you?
“She’s shouted me out on an interview and that acknowledgement was more than enough.
Her drive and passion inspire me the most; you just see her working non-stop. I’ve been listening to her since I was in secondary school, and her flow and punch lines would just keep me watching. Just generally seeing someone from the city smash it the way she’s doing so makes me proud.”
“Birmingham is hugely overlooked in the music industry.” Sophia Carter, Founder at EQ, reassured the scenes’ shared emotions. “There has been next to no interest in artists at the early stages of their careers. Musicians from Birmingham have been picked up much later in their careers and become successful after all the years of grafting at their music. The actual development of those artists has been here in Birmingham. What we want to do is be able to pick an artist up early on in their career and develop them and nurture them and let the world know who they are.”
With the recent founding of EQ Recordings, their mission and the young promising talent on the roster, the potential for the growth of infrastructure in the city has yet to be more promising, not to mention the tonnes of artists independently grafting away at their craft. Elektric, Call Me Unique, Elle Chante, Barbella, KLOW, Vital, Madi Saskia, Trademark Blud, Synikal, Christian Deveaux, Ashley Zeal… (Just to name a few handpicked by Sanity herself) Lady Sanity also offered her thoughts on this.
There’s obviously talent here, but what do you make of the current infrastructure in Birmingham for music? Is it enough?
“ It’s a bit of a strange one, you’ve got events that do so well like Talented Tuesdays and various bar open mics for artists, but for the amount of talent I don’t think there’s enough going on and I don’t think enough people are coming out to support these nights either.
I’ve only really been doing live shows for just over a year now, but when you compare it to other cities, I think we’re seriously lacking. The artists/musicians haven’t got enough to go to but then the venues and promoters rarely get a decent turn out so I don’t even know the answer to that one; it’s a frustrating circle.
I think Birmingham can be really reserved, I myself have started trying to network more with everyone I can that’s musically active in the city, show up to more events, launch parties etc. I know it can be daunting just showing up at events where you barely know anyone but it’s the best thing I could have done for myself. It’s a big topic to get into, but I just hope Birmingham starts taking a more pro-active attitude. ”
It’s obviously early days for both this promising young talent that is Lady Sanity and EQ, but neither are to be underestimated. The progress of EQ has been clear as they take their first steps to establish themselves in this market. Creating a co-operative style business model with their artists and team is innovative, but perhaps the only way to do it in this climate. Marinating this momentum and continued growth is the next challenge for the group and artist, but with their vision and abilities, the ‘new kids on the block’ have got it all ahead of them.
EQ Recordings’ next event is in March, lining up some of the best female voices in Birmingham. You can check their Facebook for more announcements.