Make It Music: Paigey Cakey
Reading Time: 8 minutes
Paigey Cakey is fast becoming an influential female artist within the UK’s growing hip-hop and rap scene. Fresh out of Hackney, 24-year-old Paigey has created her original style of music using her own bars, rhythms and melodies, and with over 46,000 weekly listeners on Spotify, she’s standing out from the crowd as a British female rapper. Her hit single “Hot Tings” is making a mark in the male-dominated rap scene, racking up almost 250,000 views on YouTube in just two months.
The London born rapper, who cites Skepta as one of her musical influences, played her first gigs this year in London and Birmingham. Paigey’s music connects to her humble beginnings and she’s keen to use her lyrics to inspire the younger generation, showing that you can achieve anything if you’re prepared to work for it. Straight from the Make it Music session, she’s heading to a local primary school to perform for the children.
Not just a lyrical prodigy, Paigey has also landed some acting roles, having appeared in hit film ‘Attack the Block’ and TV drama ‘Waterloo Road’, as well as upcoming series ‘Pick These’.
For her Make it Music session, Paigey Cakey has performed her tracks ‘Hot Tings’ and ‘Boogie’.
WE’VE HEARD ‘HOT TINGS’ – WHAT WAS YOUR WRITING PROCESS FOR THE TRACK?
Well ‘Hot Tings’ is a fun song about chilling with the same people that I grew up with and how my mum gave me no money. I wanted to put a message out there like everyone starts from nothing and we can all make something out of our lives. I’m not even lying when I say my mum didn’t give me any money for food ‘cos she didn’t, she used to give me like two pound; and a meal was like three pound fifty, so I made the most of what I could. I’d get hot wings and chips and that’s what I’d survive on.
IN YOUR MUSIC VIDEO, YOU’VE GOT A MINI-PAIGEY CAKEY – HOW DID YOU FIND HER?
It’s actually mad – I was walking down Finsbury Park and a guy came up to me like: “Yo, my daughters are singing your songs”, so I gave him my email and the day after he sent me the video. They were singing a song and I was thinking: ‘oh she’s perfect for the video’, so I got in contact with him and asked if he would bring them down. He said they would love to come, so he brought both of his daughters down. One of them ended up playing mini-Paigey and then the other played a friend. So yeah, I thought they were sick as they really represented me when I was young, it’s mad.
Usually when people meet me they start acting shy – she was confident. She came to the car window and started spitting my bars and I was like ‘oh my god!’.
TALK TO ME ABOUT THE ‘RED VELVET’ EP.
The ‘Red Velvet’ EP is my favourite body of music. This is the most exciting project I’ve put together; I actually love every song on it. The name came about ‘cos my favourite cake is red velvet and my name is Paigey Cakey, so I’m always trying to throw cake in there! Red is my favourite colour and red symbolises love and passion, so it kind of shows my love and passion for music.
WHAT ELSE ARE YOU WORKING ON?
I’m working on another body of work. I dunno if I’m gonna call it an EP or an album, but I’ve got enough work to do two bodies of work really. I’m gonna release some singles in the summer. I’ve got some really, I’m calling them ‘tropical’ songs, because they’re songs you wanna be in the sun and drink a cocktail or sip some lemonade to. So yeah, I’ve got some nice music coming in the summer and I’ve recently being shooting for a new TV series called ‘Pixies’ so I was shooting that all last week.
TALK TO ME ABOUT YOUR FANS; YOU HAVE SO MANY YOUNG GIRLS ON TWITTER AND INSTAGRAM SAYING ‘OMG, PAIGEY IS AMAZING’. DO THEY FUEL YOU AND YOUR MUSIC?
It’s mad because I used to do music as a hobby and then I kind of made a fan base out of it. I do love that loads of young females look up to me. I get loads of mums coming up to me like “oh you’re such a role model for my daughter” and that really touches me ‘cos I think ‘wow’. I’m always trying to be a role model to all these young girls and young guys. Everyone needs someone positive to look up to, so I try and stay positive and I love the love that I get, it makes me smile all the time. I know I don’t reply to everyone’s messages, but I do see everyone’s messages and I do reply to everyone’s Instagram DM’s with a heart.
WHATS THE CRAZIEST THING SOMEBODY HAS SAID TO YOU?
I had a girl tell me that her mum passed away – she tried to kill herself and she’s depressed. She said listening to my music helped her get out of it and she wrote me a crazy essay. I read it and I was like ‘wow’ – that touched me a lot.
TALK TO ME ABOUT YOUR STYLE AND WHO INSPIRES IT.
I used to look up to Teyana Taylor… I loved her kind of swagger, cos she used to be a real tomboy but she had her sexy days too. I’ve always been the girl that climbs trees, I like to dress like a tomboy but sexy. I like to sometimes wear bra tops, baggy tracksuits – that’s my style that I love. I like comfort clothes. Things like jerseys, jackets and trainers too – I hate shoes but I love trainers! I don’t like going out wearing a dress and heels, but I can wear a dress and heels. I can switch it up but I’m more comfortable like this.
WHO INSPIRES YOU MUSICALLY?
Growing up my biggest inspirations were Miss Dynamite and Missy Elliott. Before I was Paigey Cakey, I was actually ‘Hype Dynamite’ because I’m hyper and because I just wanted to be Miss Dynamite. I had both of Miss Dynamite’s albums and I knew all of her words and… I dunno, I just wanted to be her so bad and that’s why I did music! As for Missy Elliott, I’ve always been a crazy fan of hers. She’s one of the biggest inspirations in my life. Her music is what really inspired me to listen to hip-hop and to do hip-hop. I’m not really a grime artist – I’m a rapper and that stemmed from listening to Missy Elliott.
I SAW YOU WERE EXCITED ABOUT DRAKE’S NEW ALBUM ‘MORE LIFE’ AND HOW MANY UK ARTISTS IT FEATURED. HOW DO YOU FEEL ABOUT THE U.S. LOOKING TOWARDS THE UK AT THE MOMENT?
I feel like there isn’t really a gap anymore, there’s a bridge and everyone’s kind of entwining and working together. It used to be just the UK and the U.S. Now that Drake has co-signed Giggs, I feel like the bridge is closing and soon we’re all gonna unite. It’s nice to see a big Grammy artist helping UK artists. No one really does that. You can’t really name any U.S. artists that go out of their way and help UK artists to put them on a platform. The fact that Giggs is on his album twice – that’s dope man. It just makes me love Drake even more. He’s my favourite artist but I love him even more from what he’s doing – he seems really genuine.
WHAT CAME FIRST, ACTING OR MUSIC?
I was doing music as a hobby and just putting things on YouTube. I used to do dance with my dance class and we kind of did a two-week performing arts project in Hackney Empire. While I was rehearsing a lady came up to me like “you’re really good, why don’t you come to my workshops?”. So I went to her workshop not knowing I was auditioning for a film called ‘Attack the Block’ and then I got that film, so from there I started doing more acting. Whilst I did Waterloo Road I started putting out music. Waterloo Road already put me on a platform, so a lot of people wanted to listen to my music and it went from there.
SO WHAT’S THE LOWDOWN WITH ‘PICK THESE’?
It’s a series called ‘Pick These’. We shot one episode for YouTube Red, which is basically Netflix but it’s only in America. It hasn’t launched here yet – I think our project is one of the first projects on YouTube Red and if all goes well then it’ll go onto TV.
WHAT DO YOU PREFER, ACTING OR MUSIC?
I like music to express myself and I like acting to take me away from myself so I can pretend to be somebody else. I don’t know what it is – acting is so cool and so fun but music just stole my soul. I listen to music and I love being a rapper so yeah, I love music a little bit more.
YOU’VE BEEN MAKING MUSIC FOR QUITE A WHILE NOW. WHAT KEEPS YOU MOTIVATED THROUGH ALL THE SET BACKS?
Motivation comes from my supporters. If I didn’t have any supporters and people around me that believed in me then I probably wouldn’t believe in myself. I’ve got a good team, a good set of friends, a good DJ and good supporters. All these people support me and give me positive feedback and they keep me going so yeah. There have been times years ago where I wanted to give up, but I haven’t felt like that in a long time.
WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT THE INCREASE OF ‘FEMALE RAPPERS’?
I’m all for females. I love the fact that there are so many females ‘cos when I came into the scene there weren’t that many. All the females were kind of like Lioness, Miss Brat and then they all kind of disappeared, so the fact that there’s so many female artists in the scene – it’s sick. I’m all for female empowerment, so it’s nice to see that females have actually got a voice now. It’s quite a male-dominated scene, so it’s hard for females to be seen and taken seriously. The fact that we’ve got females like Stefflon Don signing deals now is incredible and that kinda keeps me going – I’m all for it. I support all the females in the scene.
WHAT KEEPS YOU LEVEL-HEADED?
Just remembering where I came from keeps me level-headed. I’m that girl – I’d rather wait in a queue than do all the V.I.P special treatment. I don’t like all that funniness, I like to just wait and stay humble and that’s what keeps me grounded. I just like to be myself, I don’t wanna pretend to be someone I’m not.
IF YOU COULD COLLABORATE WITH ANY ARTIST, WHO WOULD IT BE?
If I could collaborate with any U.K artist, Skepta would be on my list. I’d have to think about who else to collab with… There’s so many artists that I’d love to collab with like MoStac – I’d like to work with him. I’d also like to work with these new rappers from Nottingham called Young T and Bugsy -they’re dope.
WHERE DO YOU SEE PAIGEY IN THE NEXT FIVE YEARS?
In the next 5 years I want to be internationally known on the microphone (laughs). Yeah, I want to be internationally known and I really want to not just do music. I cook as well, so I would love to do a cooking show, get some clothing out there and I just wanna be a massive MC that represents the UK, not just a female MC – I want to help bridge that gap.
WHAT KINDA STUFF DO YOU COOK?
Green Thai curry, Caribbean chicken soup, curry goat, rice and peas. If you’ve got me on snapchat all you ever see me do is cook. I’m not that good at cakes, I’m better at food.
IF YOU COULD DESIGN YOUR OWN CLOTHING, WHAT WOULD IT LOOK LIKE?
It’ll be very trendy so it’ll be things like jerseys, crop tops for the girls, ripped jeans… but it would have a twist on it. It would be the kind of swag that’s out today – bomber jackets and all of that. Maybe the bomber jacket would be inside out, but yeah – I’d put my own twist on it.
If you want to see more of Paigey Cakey live, you can catch her performing on May 18th at The Great Escape Festival in Brighton.