Adversity is often one of the biggest drivers of creativity and for musicians, the pandemic has delivered more than its fair share of hardships. Faced with financial uncertainty, disrupted creative processes and isolation, keeping motivated and creating music has not been easy, even for long-established musicians. For newcomers it’s been practically impossible.
One artist who has embraced the challenges is Somerset powerhouse, Kellee Marie.
Kellee has embraced the challenges of the pandemic head on, working three jobs while launching a music career.
Not only has Kellee managed to record her debut release ‘Go Hard Or Go Home’ at the renowned Hot Money Studios, but her music video is also all set for release.
Even before the pandemic, breaking through the urban music scene as a British female rapper was a challenging proposition, but overcoming challenges seems to be Kellee’s specialty.
We caught up with the Yeovil-based, bar-spitting phenomenon to talk about keeping motivated, staying energised and writing bars while delivering parcels during a pandemic!
There aren’t many UK female rappers. How did you get into rap?
Music has always been a huge part of my life. From as far back as I can remember I was writing songs and constantly singing. I’ve always felt an innate need to surround myself in music and creating music has never felt like a choice but something I have to do. It’s a huge part of who I am.
A lot of my friends would write bars and spit so I thought I would give it a go and I just fell in love with it. The energy, the storytelling, all of it felt so natural to me.
There’s a huge gap in the market for white female British rappers and it’s exciting and nerve-wracking going into uncharted territory.
You currently work 3 jobs. How do you have time to work on your music?
It’s definitely been a challenge, but I like to see opportunities in everything. Two of my jobs are as a delivery driver so there’s a lot of driving. I can listen to music for inspiration, write bars and test them out, all in my car.
My third job is as a carer for the elderly. Obviously, that isn’t as flexible and doesn’t give me too much time to think about music but is incredibly rewarding.
Really, I’m incredibly lucky to have the flexibility that I do have. It’s tiring and some days are hard to balance – for instance yesterday my music video dropped while I was doing a 10-hour shift.
How do you keep your energy up?
Music, haha. I listen to my favourite artists while driving for work. Aitch, D Block Europe, Cardi B and Iggy Azalea are who are currently keeping me motivated and energised! I’m naturally quite an energetic person anyway but music has definitely got me through the long hours.
On top of a packed work schedule, we’re also living through a pandemic. Most music production has ground to a halt, but you’ve managed a debut single and music video. How?
Actually, the pandemic has helped me narrow my focus. With nowhere else to go, no social plans to make or days out with friends, I’ve used that time to focus on inspiration, on practicing and creating.
At times it’s been challenging but throughout I’ve received incredible motivation from my friends and work colleagues who have been so supportive and fully invested in my music.