Singer Tanya Lacey has been grafting in the music biz for some years now. If you don’t know about this talented young lady, don’t worry – you’ll soon be hearing her name everywhere.

She featured on the Tinchy Stryder track ‘Spotlight’ and more recently on Loick Essien’s chart-topper ‘How We Roll’. She has a knack of effortlessly blending Soul, Reggae and Hip Hop with a small dose of Pop to create an explosive, versatile sound the UK music scene desperately craves right now. Maz speaks to Tanya about her debut album and plans for the future…

What have you been up to lately?

Recently I just wrapped up recording my own album. I’ve spent a lot of time in New York, working with a lot of Roc Nation guys. I’ve also been working with Labrinth in London; so I’ve just been going through the recording process. I’ve also been writing for other artists and speaking to producers… Just staying involved.

Was writing for other artists something you did to get your name out there or is it something you wanted to do?

Personally, I think I am credible by myself without writing for other artists because of the authentic way I entered the industry. But I do actually enjoy writing for other artists; it’s a different kind of feeling when you’ve put a song out and the artist puts their own spin on it. I write so many different types of music, they don’t always fit the genre I am going for. A great song is a great song, and if it doesn’t fit my style, then I’m happy to write for other people. I just love making music; it has always been my plan to work with other artists.

Who did you write for?

I can’t say, I’m afraid!

Aw, spoilsport. Describe Tanya Lacey’s music in three words.

Soulful, honest and vibrant.

You’re Bristol born and bred – what’s the music scene like there?

Where I’m from, it’s like the Brixton of Bristol. It’s very multicultural and there is a lot of talent. There are a lot of youths who want to do positive things, and they do make use of what they have around them to try and get somewhere in life. There is a real sense of community. Unfortunately, the thing is with areas like that is they are perceived as quite rough. So it’s really important for me to show that it doesn’t matter where you’re from, it is where you are going that counts. Bristol reminds me a lot of south London, with an Old Street/Dalston kind of vibe; everyone has their own individuality. Music in Bristol is a lot rawer: you hear a lot of drum and bass, although there are a lot of great soul and gospel singers. Ultimately though, I would say the music is predominantly influenced by hip hop.

Growing up, did you always want to sing for a profession?

In my mind, that was always what I was going to do. But I like a lot of different things. If I wasn’t singing for a profession, then I would be doing something creative. I am really into art and things that are hands on.

What separates you from other female artists in the UK?

Versatility is one of my strong points. I used to struggle with it because I didn’t know how to use it; I can do the ragga thing but I can also do the punk rock thing too. Now I know how to use it to elevate the song. Also, when I perform live, I go wild! I know you haven’t seen me perform yet, but I am very impulsive and my shows are high in energy.

Who would you like to collaborate with from the UK?

I have had the pleasure of working with some people already. I would love to work with Emeli Sandé again; we did some stuff which may be on my album. I would like to work with Delilah. There are a lot of females I respect: Ms Dynamite, Lioness… I’d love to get in the studio with them to cook something up!

You said you were in New York – how was it?

Oh, I love it. It feels like my second home. It has such a vibe; it reminds me of London and Bristol. I love the hustle and bustle of New York. Growing up, I was always inspired by old-school hip hop, which came out of Brooklyn and Queens – it was the music I wanted to make. Lauryn Hill and Mary J are my biggest influences, so to have the opportunity to go over there and soak up the culture was amazing. I felt very welcome over there as a British artist: the UK is coming out with some great music and the rest of the world knows it.

Are you into fashion? Artists are very funky in their dress sense these days.

I love fashion. My fashion is schizophrenic, depending on how I feel. If I am going out to get some eggs in the morning, believe I am gonna look rough in my hoodie! But when I do make time for fashion, I love boots: cowboy boots, sky-high boots, Dr Martens… I’m a boot girl! I like to get involved, have fun with it and do my own thing.

So you keep it real. A lot of girls dress very provocatively and almost the same, leotards are like the norm now. 

You know what? People like that are not artists, they are just singers. We all have our own mind and identity – you shouldn’t let your stylist force you into clothes that aren’t you, you should be comfortable.

What can we expect from your debut album?

It is definitely inspired by old-school hip hop. The texture that my singing voice brings shows elements of soul, it isn’t a clean singing voice. There will be some reggae influences, a kind of Fugees/Mary J Blige/Lauryn Hill influence. It will still be vibrant and young though; I’m still young. There are a few energetic and fun tracks. There is also a little dub.


Follow Miss Lacey on Twitter @tanyalacey or visit for more.