Brooklyn native Pretty Lyon has fearlessly aimed her ambition at perhaps the biggest prize in music today; the cloudshot plateau of hip-hop nobility like Rihanna and Beyonce and Jay Z. It's a terrifically hard game to play given the phenomenal talent already on the battlefield, but this woman marries some of the hardest-hitting and intelligent lyrical chops to catchy beat vehicles lavishly illustrated with ear-jacking electronic textures. No stranger to the stage, Pretty Lyon has opened shows for Young Jeezy, Trina and Travis Porter, and her award-winning album ‘Good Girl Bad Habits' is rapidly ascending the charts. Reporter Blake Wright recently caught up with the beautiful young artist to learn more about her compositional skills and military-grade rap prowess, and the fast trajectory of her music into public awareness.
BLAKE: When did you first discover your love of music?
PRETTY LYON: I began dancing at the age of five. My mom saw something special in me during my very first performance and enrolled me in dance school. Since then I’ve had a special connection with sounds, voices, and instruments. Music has always been a part of my life. I began to explore other talents and became a rapper.
BLAKE: Your song ‘Can't Break Me’ is receiving a strong listener response on radio. What was your initial reaction when you first heard it played?
PRETTY LYON: I had a feeling of excitement and disbelief. Not because the song isn’t great but because hearing your own sound on the radio shows growth and accomplishment. I am grateful for this opportunity.
BLAKE: What was the inspiration behind your debut radio single?
PRETTY LYON: My inspiration comes from being the oldest girl of 8 siblings and all the things I’ve overcome throughout my life. I am a role model to my siblings and hoped that I could relay a message to them as well as anybody else that needs a few simple words of encouragement. No matter what happens in your life or around you, always think this ‘Can’t Break Me’. Always believe in yourself, stay strong and know your purpose. Once you achieve that, you’re unstoppable.
BLAKE: Would you say that the mood of your other songs is in the same vein as ‘Can't Break Me’?
PRETTY LYON: I have such a large variety of songs! Each song has its own story, whether it’s about having a good time with your friends, girl power, me telling my story or telling someone else’s story. There is a song for everyone.
BLAKE: How would you characterize yourself as an artist/musician?
PRETTY LYON: I would have to say I’m the relatable artist. I am fun, energetic, down to earth and serious about my craft. I am creative and open! I love new ideas, new sounds, and breathe artistry. I am an entertainer.
BLAKE: Did you come from a musical background? Are there other musicians in your family?
PRETTY LYON: My father/manager has always had a love of music for as long as I can remember. I’ve watched him manage other artists, network and create bonds with some of the best legends in the industry. I’ve been told stories of him taking my mom with him to the studio when they were younger. I guess music is in my blood, I was born to do exactly what I’m doing.
BLAKE: What do you find most rewarding about being an artist? What do you find most challenging?
PRETTY LYON: Being an artist, you get to be free and vulnerable. That has to be the most rewarding part of it. When it’s just you, a beat and the mic, there is no limit to where you could go, and once you get to be on stage in front of people, whether its ten or ten thousand you create a vibe and you allow others into your world!
The most challenging part for me would have to be getting other people to understand or grasp my ideas, or my train of thought. Sometimes I have to remind myself that everyone will not always like what I create but if I’m proud of my product then that’s what matters.
BLAKE: Who are your role models in music?
PRETTY LYON: My role models in music are Lil Kim, Foxy Brown, Michael Jackson, J Cole, Salt-n-Pepa, Jay Z, Kendrick Lamar and Beyonce. I could go on and on but the people I named stay true to their artistry. They created a lane for themselves, didn’t follow any specific blue print and came out on top. That’s a real artist to me. Knowing how to be confident in your lane and staying true to that. To me that’s how you gain fans and supporters for a lifetime.
BLAKE: Describe your best or most memorable performance.
PRETTY LYON: I have soooo many memorable performances, but if I had to choose, I would say performing at the Apollo Theater. I was a part of a rap duo (DT DoubleTrouble) and we auditioned and got the opportunity to perform. It was a fun, stressful, crazy, humbling experience all wrapped in one. While performing I couldn’t see anyone in the audience but it sounded like a jungle of animals charging at us. The Apollo can be somewhat of a karaoke sing along for the audience members. If you’re not performing something they are already familiar with, it’s a huge task to be heard. We performed an original song 'Dance 4 Me'--and literally half the crowd tried to boo us--but the roars of excitement from audience members who were enjoying our performance got louder and louder and we prevailed. We came in second.
BLAKE: Do you have a music video for your hit single? If so, what can you tell us about it?
PRETTY LYON: I am in the process of putting together a super dope video. I already have the concept and locations. All that needs to be done is to set a date. You all will be in for a surprise.
BLAKE: What advice would you give to young, aspiring artists out there who are unsure and need guidance?
PRETTY LYON: Never give up. This road is not easy and there will be times when you’re unsure about yourself, about your sound or about your direction. But as long as your passion remains, you will be able to find it. I’ve been doing music for about eight years now and I am finally approving of myself. I still set the bar high and keep standards for myself as an artist, but I love who I am becoming. Don’t be close-minded; it will only hurt you. Last but not least, stay true to who you are. Changes may come along the way but You will always be You!
BLAKE: What's next for you as an artist? Is there a new single in the works? If so, what can you tell us about it?
PRETTY LYON: I have so many projects I’m working on. I have a single that’s being placed in a sci-fi film, I’m working on music videos and visuals for songs I already have as well as creating my second solo project. Let’s just say I have grown as an artist and you will get a side of me that’s never been revealed. Stay tuned!
BLAKE: We will be looking forward to seeing that side. Thank you for your time and wishing you continued success.