Paigey Cakey (Credit: Adama Jalloh)
Part of a new wave of female talent within UK rap...

Meeting at West London’s Metropolis Studios on a typically British rainy afternoon, Paigey Cakey is taking a breather after recording a live session of her latest single ‘Hot Tings’ as part of Ellesse’s new music initiative, ‘Make It Music’. The coming-of-age tale allows her to show off her talents as both a rapper and singer. “It’s just about me chilling with the same people I grew up with and not necessarily having enough money,” she says. “But we can all still make it out and make something out of our lives.” Bursting with energy and charisma, it’s easy to see why Paige is so popular.

Since 2011, the charismatic 24-year-old East Londoner has been juggling work in both music and acting; she’s released five mixtapes, starred alongside John Boyega in 2011 cult movie Attack The Block, and appeared with a reoccurring role on BBC drama Waterloo Road. Right now though, she’s firmly focused on her music career, having released ‘Red Velvet’ at the end of last year, which blends her love of rap, trap and even a sultry song.

With an army-like following on Instagram, Paigey’s strong and loyal fans have been an undeniable force in her rising trajectory. “I find it great that young girls look up to me and are confident to approach me in the street,” she says, smiling. “Same with parents. I get a lot of parents coming up to me to tell me I’m a role model to their kids.”

Her ‘Hot Tings’ video is a great example, with the part of her younger self having been cast after a parent sent Paigey a video of their daughter performing one of her songs. “I was walking down Finsbury Park and this man came and told me his daughters love my songs, they’re always singing them,” she recalls. “The day after he sent me a video, and I thought, ‘Wow, they’re perfect for my video.’ I got in touch with him and asked if he could bring them down to the video shoot.”

While the UK rap scene still remains heavily male focused, Paigey isn’t phased by being outnumbered to men: “I love the fact there’s so many of us [females] now,” she says. “When I came into the scene all the females were leaving, and slowing down. MCs like Lioness, Shystie and A Dot were stopping. Don’t get it twisted, it is a male dominated scene and sometimes it’s hard for females to be seen and be taken seriously, but the fact we now have females signing huge deals, like Stefflon Don, that's incredible. That keeps me going too.”

Words: Kamilla Rose
Photography: Adama Jalloh

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