Poni, the Lyrical Ryder, has released a new single called “They Wanna Know.” The song describes some things about the hip hop fusion artist that listeners might not know, like why her name is Poni. Cliché was able to to sit down for an interview with Poni and talk about her musical journey, her albums, lyrics, and what makes her unique.
Cliché: For those of us who don’t know you, how would you describe your music?
Poni: It’s a fusion of UK hip hop [and] pop with a slight reggae flare. I call my sound Trap Pop.
How does your music differ from other hip hop artists out there?
No one quite has a sound like mine; my music is influenced by my surroundings and culture. I am a Londoner, so the raw sounds of the east London accent is heard through my songs over traditional hip hop or pop beats. I switch from complicated and intricate flows to laid back, more melodic sounds. My music really brings out my personality. I’m not scared to say what I really feel on my songs.
Who’s been your favorite artist to work with, and who would you like to work with in the future?
I really enjoyed working with Steelo, who is a British House singer on my record called Are You the One. It was a lot of fun coming up with the melodies and working in the studio together, creating new harmonies. I would love to work with Drake, as he has really interesting concepts and I love his storytelling ability.
What central themes do your songs touch upon?
My songs generally have an uplifting undertone that urges people not to give up and know that tomorrow will bring a better day.
Are any of your songs based on personal experiences?
All my songs are based on my personal experiences. I started writing music as an outlet to get my innermost feelings out. My notepad became my diary, so my music is me sharing my diary with the world.
Out of all the songs you have recorded, do you have a favorite?
I have a few. One of them is a song called “Peace of Mind” on my Everlasting mixtape. It’s about no matter how much or little we have in life, we all want the same thing, and that is to have peace of mind.
Is the song “They Wanna Know” your introduction to the world? If so, what else do you want us to know about you?
That was just a teaser song. I was having fun in the studio with the producer and thought I’d drop a few facts about myself for people to know [since people have] their own outlandish opinions about me. I’m a strong lady who’s been through a lot. I have a sensitive side and a caring nature. I’ve been quite blessed, but am hardworking; I had to work for what I’ve achieved. I love traveling. I’ve been to almost 20 countries. Lastly, to keep me happy, just give me a bowl of popcorn. I think I am slightly addicted to it.
Tell me about your studio session when recording the song “They Wanna Know.”
DJ Limelight is a radio DJ for BBC. We’ve wanted to work with each other for a while, so when we got into the studio we just vibed and made the beat, and I wrote the song there and then. He had a particular sound that he was going for, so we created that. It’s a strong but laid back feel.
What was the most exciting part of shooting your music video?
My music video was actually shot at a photoshoot for my first official calendar for 2014. It was really exciting! I shot 13 different looks. I love multitasking, so it was great doing both things at the same time.
Photographed by Paul Weaver