Are you as curious as we are to find out what has happened to some of our ‘long time no see’ but much-loved musical stars? If so, look no further, as once again Flavour has located another artist blast from the past and finds out where they are and what they’re doing now. This time it’s Lil’Mo (no, not the EastEnders character), the R&B singer best known for her classic hit ‘Superwoman’ featuring Fabolous. Lil’ Mo tells us all about taking control of her life, why she loves Amy Winehouse, supporting long-time friend Missy Elliot with Graves’ disease and her highly-anticipated sixth album…
It feels great. I have now been in the music industry for about 12 years, so from all the work I’ve done, whether it’s providing hooks on other songs to working on my own albums, I thought what better way than to come up with my very own title. I am not just a singer, I am also a mentor and I tend to oversee a lot of things, which is mainly the job of a godmother.
You began your career as the ‘hook girl’ due to your well-known feature collaborations with the likes of Missy Elliott, Jay-Z, Fabolous, Ja Rule and LL Cool J. Looking back now, who did you enjoy working with the most?
I enjoyed working with them all, but the person I was more consistent with and who gave me my start is Missy Elliott. Had it not been for her, I probably wouldn’t have met anybody else, so the boost that she gave me as well as putting me on ‘Hot Boyz’ did really put me in the limelight. After that I got in touch with Timbaland, who put me in touch with Jay-Z, and from there it was just like a circle of friends.
Missy Elliott is a long-time friend of yours and was recently in the news after revealing that she’s suffering from Graves’ disease. How is she coping? Have you spoken to her since?
I make it my business for us to talk at least once a week, either by email, text, tweets on Twitter or over the phone. It’s good to keep in touch when you’re dealing with anything, whether it’s an illness or life in general, because sometimes you just need someone to talk to. As far as I know, Missy is in very good spirits. She is doing great and I believe she’s got a new album on the way. From a personal point of view, I don’t believe that God would put anything on you that you can’t bear.
At this point in time, you’re preparing to release your new album, ‘PS I Love Me’. I have never experienced loving myself, but you clearly have, what is it like?
Before you can love anyone, I expect people to love themselves. Within this industry, there are ups and downs, but you really shouldn’t lose yourself. We recently lost Amy Winehouse, a great artist who I personally think did not love herself enough. I was a big fan and what drew me to her is the fact she did an interview a couple of years ago and was asked what sort of artists she likes. Her reply was that she likes people on the underground, and she mentioned my name as well as Faith Evans, and since that day I was like, ‘wow!’ She could have said anybody else, but she mentioned my name and that just inspired me to honestly love myself even more. If you love yourself that extra bit more, then you will realise that it will make you a better person and that’s why I needed to have this four-year hiatus. With that said, ‘PS I Love Me’ is probably one of the most intimate but yet my greatest album to date.
The very first single, ‘On the Floor’, has a completely different sound from your previous records. How would you describe it?
It’s a party record, telling you when you leave the house to go and party, to get on the floor, move your booty and just have fun. Fatman Scoop, who is also on the single, brings loads of energy and a whole new light to the record.
Apparently you are a big fan of Jason Derülo and Justin Bieber – is this true?
[Laughs]… I love [sings] Jason Derülo and Justin Bieber. I think they are both very talented artists, they have albums you can listen to from beginning to end without skipping a track. I’m their number one fan.
1) Who was the last famous person you spoke to?
Ray Rice, who plays football for Baltimore Ravens.
2) What is your ideal superpower?
To be able to make people disappear.
3) Would you ever pose naked? If so, what’s your price?
Yeah, I would pose naked. I am actually doing this interview in the nude [laughs]… If it’s for charity then I would do it for whatever price, but I wouldn’t just get up and do it with my legs open… [Laughs]
‘On The Floor’ is available on iTunes and the album ‘PS I Love Me’ will follow shortly.
Follow Lil’ Mo on Twitter @THELILMOSHOW or visit www.thelilmoshow.com
Interview by Noel Phillips