LolaBunz: The WL Interview

Purveyors of: Hip-hop from a female point of view straddling the divide between commercial and street-oriented.

File next to: Recommended if you like Haviah Mighty, The Sorority and Naya Ali.

Playing: WL 785, Friday October 18th @ 254 Lansdowne. Get tickets here!

Nigerian-Canadian rapper, LolaBunz’s name has been ringing bells for a few years now amongst connoisseurs of the local Toronto hip-hop scene. Those who know, know! After seeing her tear down a performance of the track, “West End” during a Michie Mee birthday event at Adelaide Hall in November 2017, months before its 2018 release on her official commercial debut release, the EP Wild Card, Wavelength guest curator, Ian Steaman instantly became a fan. So much so that he invited Lola to become a part of his Different Kitchen blog’s Quinceañera: Marvelous Ish 15th Anniversary compilation. Ian had a chance to finally catch up with Lola and talk to her about Wild Card and coming up as a new rapper in this current Golden Age of female hip-hop in the following Q&A.

A year on from the release of Wild Card what does its release mean to you now and are you happy with it as an artist and the response to it from fans and critics?

The reaction to Wild Card has been really good. It meant a lot to me because it’s the first body of work I put out with all original production and it was a chance for my audience to really get to know me on a personal level through my music. It’s been a very rewarding experience overall.

What have been doing since then in terms of shows etc.? 

I’ve been doing a variety of shows both locally in Toronto and internationally. A few highlights have been SXSW and NXNE in Toronto. 

You just released a new single with AY Lawson and Baba Femi. Can you talk about that track? 

No Destination” was a collaboration with my brothers who are also artists. We come from a Nigerian background so this song was just us giving our audience a taste of the Afrobeat vibe.

Female hip-hop is really having a moment right now from Cardi, Nicki, Megan to Lizzo, Tierra Whack etc. How do you see yourself fitting in that wave and within hip-hop as a whole?

It feels like now is one of the best times ever to be a female artist in hip-hop because the world is finally giving us the attention we’ve been working so hard to get. And the fact that female rappers are not only very present but they are breaking a lot of the records that male artists set is even better! Society follows trends so it’s a great time to shine a spotlight on me. Because my sound and style are very unique and you can see all of these rappers who are known being celebrated for their unique styles and creativity, I definitely fit that wave.

You’re on a bill with Swagger Rite and 730Rarri for the Wavelength October monthly show (WL 785) on Oct. 18? Have you ever played with either of them before? 

I haven’t actually played with either of them but I am familiar with Swagger Rite and some of his music and I started following 730 Rarri right after getting booked for this show. They’re both great artists though and I’m excited to rock the stage with them. 

What can fans who haven’t seen you live yet expect from your performance?

A lot of energy! They can expect variety in the show and they should just know they will be entertained because I love performing and interacting with my audience so it’s going to be a great night. 🙂 

All three of you are Toronto artists. What’s your take on the state of the Toronto hip-hop scene and industry right now?

In Toronto we definitely have the talent. There are so many great artists here but the problem is we are missing more of the industry infrastructure to support hip-hop. We need more labels, more A&Rs, more people with access and resources to help us become bigger and put us on bigger stages and platforms. Only then can we begin to move faster and have more longevity in this game. 

True. Finally, what’s your favorite song right now?

Right now I would say my favourite artist is Summer Walker and her latest album, Over It. It’s been on repeat but I can’t really pick just one song!