Lady Sovereign Shoot & Interview

"I've still got it!"
Lady Sovereign proves to Clash that she still rules, letting us in on her latest tracks, how she really feels about fashion and telling us just what happened to all her old tracksuits…

Yeah,” says Lady Sovereign decisively, whilst hair and make-up ladies primp and preen her teeny-tiny frame for the final picture of the Clash photoshoot, “I am gonna go to football with my make-up on - fuck it.”

Ms. Sovereign you see, has just become a member of Leyton Ladies FC - two weeks after getting back into competitive football following an eight-year absence, due to y’know, being a worldwide music phenomenon and that. “I’ve still got it!” she grins. We ask what team she’s playing tonight. “I’m not sure… but I think we’ll win.” Well, we wouldn’t expect anything less. As well as throwing herself football spikes-first back into the beautiful game, Louise Harman is also three songs into her third album, the follow up to April’s ‘Jigsaw’.

One of them, you’ll be interested and maybe a tad bemused to know, takes its inspiration from ’90s Britrock icon, Skin. “I’ve been listening to a lot of Skunk Anansie recently,” explains Sovereign. “I completely forgot about her and then I stumbled across it again, and I was like, ‘Oh my God’, I forgot how good she is.” She decided to investigate when a friend name-checked the band in a Facebook status update, even though she admits that it’s the type of music she wouldn’t have given the time of day to when she was younger and feeding her ears on a strict diet of garage and rap. But now, happily, her taste in music had broadened, meaning she’s also giving things like Depeche Mode a chance. “I’d have never listened to that ten years ago, ever, but I think it’s genius now.”

One of the three new tracks also features Sovereign singing, something she started experimenting with on ‘Jigsaw’. “I felt comfortable doing it at home and that was the same way I come across rapping,” says Sovereign, who admits that it took a smidgen of alcoholic lubrication the first time she decided to unleash her inner Mariah Carey down the studio.

‘Jigsaw’ came out on her own Midget Records after she parted ways with Def Jam last year. “Right now it’s just for me,” she says when we ask if she’s considering signing anyone else to it, but she isn’t ruling out the possibility, and tells us she’s keeping an eye on The Binary Kids, an electrosonic party-hop duo she took with her on her recent UK tour.

What with this being a fashion shoot, we feel we should ask Sovereign about her style… “D’ya know what - I just get dressed, honestly, I just get dressed, sometimes I’m like late with fashion or whatever, I don’t really…” she lowers her voice, about to drop a fashionista-slaying bombshell, “care too much.” She does, though, have her “wild days”, but these tend to happen when she’s over in the US. “When I’m in America I feel a bit more loose in the way I dress… I feel like over here people look at you a bit more and judge you, but in America it’s just like they’ll look at you, but they won’t say anything.” When something really needs saying though, Sovereign will step up, including to take to task her old look, when she used to wear tracksuits ten sizes too big. She looks suitably embarrassed. “I chucked ’em away,” she gulps. “I didn’t even give them to charity, I just chucked them away.” At least however, she never wore a Muppet. Unlike Lady Gaga. “That friggin’ Kermit the Frog thing she wore, I’m sorry but it made me just die of laughter.”

Die? Not likely - Sovereign’s heart is evidently beating as hard and fast as it ever was.

Words by Leonie Cooper
Photography by Tim & Bary
Styling by Rose Forde
Stylist’s assistant Sonia Shahid
Hair by Sarah Palmer
Make-up by Sofia Bermudez

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