Perhaps taking cues from Kanye West, pint-sized British MC Lady Sovereign will follow up her 2006 album Public Warning by attempting to sing on her latest record, Jigsaw, due out April 7th. But don't think about comparing her style to West's. "Kanye can't sing and everyone knows that," says Sov, phoning from her dad's home in London, where she now lives. "There's a reason why some people are rappers to begin with."
While Sov's singing abilities aren't necessarily mind-blowing, she does deliver some hot, club-ready jams on Jigsaw. On the title track, she gets over a recent breakup by singing in a mellow croon, "My heart is like a jigsaw puzzle/ Pick it up and fix it for me" over orchestral flourishes and a deep electro beat. And on tracks like "I Got You Dancing," she experiments with Auto Tune. Still, unlike Kanye's singing-only 808s & Heartbreak, the latter track is crammed with sweaty robo-grooves and cheesed-out Eighties synths. But the clear highlight of the record is "Student Union," a caffeinated pop-punk tune that sort of sounds like a long lost Go-Gos song. "I don't care if my voice doesn't sound perfect," says Sov. "I just really enjoyed doing it."
This album marks a turning point for Sov, who will release the record on her own new label Midget Records. (She recently parted from Def Jam.) Following the release, Sov will work on beefing up her own roster. So what sort of acts is she looking for? "Stuff from across the board," she says. "Whatever I think is worth being signed to my label, I'll snap it up. I can't wait."