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Lisa Maffia: Still Solid

STILL SOLID: Lisa Maffia

SHE ROSE to prominence as the ‘First Lady’ of the UK garage collective, So Solid Crew, alongside members Megaman, Ashley Walters, MC Romeo and MC Harvey, to name a VERY small few (there were more than 30 members in total).

Together, the male-heavy collective, who some hold responsible for changing the face of the UK underground music, stormed to the top of the charts in 2001 with 21 Seconds and went onto have subsequent hits with, They Don’t Know and Haters.

Although the popular south London group may have since disbanded, well, sort of, member, Lisa Maffia, isn’t done with adding to her list of firsts.

“I want to be able to say I’m responsible for the very first empire in the UK to dominate the music industry,” the singer tells me as she gears up for the release of her latest solo offering, Don’t Stop The Music.

“I don’t know how feasible it is, but with my plans, my team and the artists that I’ve taken on, I’m sure we’re almost half way there,” she laughs. The singer, who has just stepped off a plane from Barcelona as part of her annual summer tour when we catch up, is surprisingly upbeat despite her gruelling schedule.

Well, if one is managing a record label, running a successful booking agency, while juggling her own music career and the demands of being a mum, operating on little or no sleep is a breeze.

She laughs. “I wouldn’t have it any other way.”

“I think your business can be a multi-million pound business as long as you’re organised. In anything you do, organisation is key. That’s how I manage on my own.”

She continues: “I’ve been managing my own record label, Maffia Recordz, for a while now. I’ve just signed Tyler Daley (who wrote and features on her latest track) and a girl called LV and a guy called Shotty Horroh.”

The Music, a catchy, dance-inspired track - with a baseline so hard it’ll shake your core - is just one of the promotional tools she will use to get her artists on the map.

She says that the addition of former So Solid member, MC Romeo, who had just returned from a successful stint in the Celebrity Big Brother house prior to the single’s release, was a matter of ‘great timing’.

He sounds amazing on that track. He brought back the old school flavour, which was the main reason we chose him over other MCs we could have got hold of,” she said.

On his time in the CBB house, she commented: “He did me proud. I was there every night in the
freezing cold. I wanted to support him all the way. A lot of people probably thought that because he was a ‘pretty boy,’ he was arrogant, but no, he’s the complete opposite. He’s such a gentleman.”

MC Romeo, who she affectionately calls ‘Romey’ throughout the interview, is just one of the artists signed to the entrepreneur’s booking agency. She also manages bookings for fellow So Solid stars Oxide & Neutrino and Asher Walters.

Working so closely with former band mates has surely got to spark talks of a reunion?

“We will never say no to the right record,” she tells me. “The one thing about So Solid is that we don’t put out music just to put it out. I don’t see the point in putting out a record that we don’t fully believe in or one just for the current market. There’s always a time for everything. Everyone is extremely busy. Ashley Walters is busy with films, Romeo has been in the Big Brother house, I’m running my record label, Megaman has created a few new groups and is working hard on them. People always say, ‘it’s about time that you put something out now.’ There will be that day. I don’t think we’re finished yet.”

Don’t Stop The Music is out now through Maffia Recordz

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