Despite the waves her music has made in the past years, Leikeli47 is not the one you'd recognise at first beat. You'll know her music though, probably as soon as it comes on. This is largely due to the fact that, as mentioned in countless other interviews, the mask she wears at all times is – while an object of attention itself – a choice the rapper and producer has made in order to let her music do the talking.
The Brooklyn-based musician, with her upbeat approach to hip-hop that has left many of us feeling as though we can't get enough, has left Celine's Hedi Slimane feeling much the same. Thus, she is Celine's latest muse. After early attention from the likes of Jay-Z, Leikeli47 has been tracking upwards ever since. Here, we caught up with the multi-hyphenate visionary on her upbringing with musical roots, what's most inspiring to her, and working with Slimane.
Where are you right now?
I’m in Los Angeles, packing for Virginia.
Can you tell us about your upbringing? Did you grow up in a musical family?
My great grandfather was a music manager and a devoted deacon. My great grandmother was a soloist, choir director, and evangelist. I learned from them.
How would you describe your music?
What have been the most inspiring moments in your life/career so far?
Seeing people tap in to their God potential and walk in their true purpose. Whether afraid or intrepid. That’s inspiring.
What are you working on right now?
Me. all. ways.
Tell us about your new release…
It's me innovating me. A body of work that I’m ready for the people to hear.
What has it been like to work with Celine and Hedi Slimane?
Exciting. Hedi is audacious and chic. Hella cool.
Tell me about the atmosphere on set at the Celine shoot?
He could tell that i was a student at heart, so he taught. He made sure that I was aware that I was delivering, and that gave me even more confidence on set. We had fun and lived in the moment.
What is your relationship with fashion like?
Personal and electric. My styles cater to the moment. Not in the sense of trends, but in who I am; and I express myself from there.
What was your favourite piece you wore on the shoot day?
Everything. The Celine tracksuit is a must have.
Our most recent issue is themed ‘Lust’. What does sensuality feel/look like to you?
Sensuality feels like silence. Like a warm embrace from behind. It’s felt, not heard. It looks like phlegmatic. Everyone owns theirs differently.
What’s next for you?
More. that’s what’s next.