Author: Joycelynn Okezie
After debuting last September with her well-received track “Rude Tings“, the Chi-town native “LuLu Be.” returns with anticipated Afro-hop tune “RAINDANCE”. The two-minute jam is nothing short of wavy, eclectic and gives the singer a platform to exude more confidence and creativity in her lyrics and tone. We recently caught up with LuLu Be. to discuss musical influences, her sound and “the journey.”
RAINDANCE produced by Lanre, is now available on all digital streaming networks.
Who is Lulu Be? What influenced your start in music?
Lulu Be. is a hot-headed lil’ Ethiopian girl from Chicago who gets hype off heavy drums, bass, and tongue-twisting bars.
I was always into music at a young age but I never thought to actually make music. I used to rap D.M.X’s verse in “Here Comes the Boom” like it was my own when I was like 5 or 6 years old lol. My mom would hate to hear that but shouts out to my big brother David, who’s about 14 years older than me, for putting me on to all the greats back in the day.
Chicago is the home to many great artists and musicians, how did you wind up entering the music scene?
I really don’t think I’ve entered the music scene yet. Working at the studio exposed me to a lot of Chicago’s music industry but I have yet to really scratch the surface.
Being Ethiopian, does your family support your passion for music?
Yes! They really do! Well, my mom, isn’t really your traditional Ethiopian mom…to an extent lol. She’s somewhat Americanized. She came to America for school when she was 19yrs old and got both her bachelor’s and masters and later became an English teacher. My dad, on the other hand, is your traditional Ethiopian father equipped with a super thick accent and a ” go ask your mom” personality. So they basically balance each other out. So yeah, they’re super supportive of my passion but they’re still learning to understanding the process and road it takes to make my passion my livelihood. They still drop hints about finishing school whenever they get a chance, but what Habesha parent doesn’t.
We love your track “Rude Tings” what inspired that single?
It was literally how I felt at the time. I can’t really say something inspired it, it was just a mix of feelings. It was like me busting out of a cage and really being able to do me. I felt like I just screamed at the top of my lungs in a big ass empty space. It was definitely a release.
What would you describe your current genre/sound as?
That’s always hard for me but I would consider it as world music, even though I know that’s really vague. World music just makes sense because of the elements that go into my sound. I borrow elements from different cultures so it’s hard to pigeonhole that. Personally, rap is just too broad of a genre.
Who is a new artist you would like to collaborate with and why?
To be honest, I really haven’t been listening to new music like that to know who the artist is. Not saying that to knock any artist that’s coming out right now. My focus has just really been on my sound and playing with different flows. But actually, I was JUST put on to ABRA literally last night and I’m definitely a fan. She’s dope AF.
As an artist, who are some of your influences that influenced your style of sound?
My influences are all over the place. Growing up I listened to a lot of old school Ethiopian artists like Chachi, Gigi, and Tadesse Alemu etc. Then I would switch to Busta Rhymes. M.I.A., Ludacris, Missy, Ms. Jade, etc., and then jump to random Chicago juke, Baile Funk, and basement vogue house tracks.
What are 3 key qualities a musician needs to stay focused on their journey?
This is something I’m still learning. But I’d say that they need a solid team. I can’t say that enough. A team that’s not put together only by skill sets but also by genuine, trustworthy relationships, with everyone looking out for each other’s best interest. Having a safe space is also a must for a musician to stay focused on their journey. I don’t know if that’s a key quality but it’s definitely a big necessity. It allows you to talk out loud, be your own diary, and evaluate your present self without outside interference…A MUST. Last but definitely not least, Listen to Your BODY! Take care of your health! It’s so easy to ignore your body and forget to eat…but at the very least stay hydrated. You can’t give your all when you’re not fueled properly. Love yourself.
Lulu Be. follows up her debut track “Rude Tings” with another banger “RAINDANCE,” available on iTunes, Amazon, Google Play, and Spotify.
Lulu Be. cites the short but sweet track as, “A hearty appetizer for what’s to come.”
Listen to RAINDANCE: