We sat down with Stacey Kay who has a unique and powerful voice paired with her machine-gun rapping style. She speaks about her up bringing as a child and how it formed her to be unapologetically herself.
Why did you write the song I’m Not Adele and what’s it about?
When I first moved to Toronto I sat down with these 2 men who were “artist consultants” for a big label. They were going to teach me how I could become famous. At first it was going great, but then the advice they gave me was to lose 100 pounds, work on getting a space in between my legs, change my hair to a normal colour (my weave was pink at the time), STOP rapping, and wear less make up. They said “just sing nice slow songs like Adele” and proceeded to slide a magazine across the table with a BEAUTIFUL “perfect” girl on the front, and said “if you don’t look like her, you have to change your approach”. I remember being so frustrated at the time because I thought to myself “there already IS an Adele”. I love my wigs, I love putting on my lashes, I love dancing hard on stage to up-tempo songs, and I LOVE rapping faster than everybody else. I remember they also told me since I was now going to be more like Adele, my audience was going to be the nice, middle aged, adult contemporary crowd because that is where I would be more successful. I remember the thing that put me over the edge was when they said “there’s no money in drag queens being your target market”. I’m sorry, WHAT? That’s the exact audience I was hoping for?? So I stormed home, my thick thighs with no space beautifully rubbing together, wig on tight, watched an episode of RuPaul’s Drag Race and wrote the song “I’m Not Adele”. I made sure to rap, talk about being curvy, and remind them that Adele can’t quite bust a move like I can. PS… I love Adele so much.
Why did you write the song Alll Dat and what’s it about?
Imagine the beginning of a Beyoncé concert: The lights are down, dancers are frozen in a silhouette, the big video screen flickers on. A video of Beyonce’s plays. It’s some sort of art piece with shots of her childhood. The tension is building because we know we get to see the REAL Beyoncé soon. Then, without a doubt... BOOM! The drums and instruments hit some sort of crazy beat and she rises up from underneath the stage, her fan blasting, surrounded in smoke. Ugh! The beginning of a concert is ALWAYS my favourite part!! That is why I needed to write a “moment” for myself like this. The beginning of my album starts like a Beyoncé concert! When I do my own shows, I always start out with my song “Alll Dat” to give me that pump up. I wrote the instrumentation of the song, but it is voiced by one of my best friends and favourite singers, Tafari Anthony. He improvised the whole speech on the spot, which is why it’s so special to me! I just let him GO OFF in the studio! This is why I am so happy this song is the opening of my album… it’s the pump up of my dreams!
Was bisexuality talked about when you were growing up?
Fortunately, my Dad is a counsellor. This meant we could talk about anything and everything in my house. (Sometimes, it even got annoying to be so open!) From a young age, my parents explained sexuality to my sister and I, and my whole family was very accepting of everything. My parents were supporters of the LGBTQ+ community and taught me to be accepting of whoever people choose to be attracted to. As I was growing up, I always thought I was attracted to boys only. Although it was such an open conversation in my home, I didn’t discover I was pansexual until later in life. This is something that is interesting to me because I have a long term boyfriend, but I have now realized my attraction is not limited to men only; I am attracted to people no matter how they identify. I realize now, it was easier to understand how I was feeling because it was talked about as I was growing up.
Did your parents talk to you about sex?
My parents talked to me about sex, safety, and relationships. Having a dad who is a counsellor made it easy to have the conversation. My dad has to talk to multiple young people about sex all the time, so it wasn’t a big deal in my home. My parents have always been very open, and the first time I had sex I told them right away. If I ever needed or wanted to talk about it, they were (and still are) always there.
Why do you think it’s so uncomfortable for parents and kids to talk about sex? Does it have to be?
It does not have to be uncomfortable, but I think it’s also okay if it is uncomfortable sometimes, and you shouldn’t feel guilty for feeling that way. My parents made me realize sex was a normal thing, and I could ask them anything I wanted. My mom and dad explained the pros/cons, how to be safe, how to make sure I actually wanted to have sex, and the pressures that come with it. They didn’t ever judge me, and always made sure I was safe. To say talking about it is easy? That’s not always true, and I think that’s okay. I have an extremely open family who talks about everything. But did I love talking about sex with my parents? No, because I also enjoyed the privacy of it (also because I am an immature child at heart, I DIDN’T enjoy picturing my mom and dad having sex). There was nothing wrong with my mom and dad being sexually active, but I think it’s also normal to not want to get in too deep (pardon the pun). I preferred to talk to them about what I needed to talk about, I chose to not be too detailed and leave some things out because I would rather have some things be private. Anytime I had a question or concern I would go to them though. I am forever grateful that my parents made me feel comfortable talking to them about sex.
You’ve performed and recorded with some big names in the music world - who have been your favourite to work with?
I have to tell you about my favourite moment of all time. I didn’t exactly “work with” this person… but I’m going to pretend this counts! So I get a call from “Glamour Magazine” asking to do an interview. At first I thought it was a prank call because it was GLAMOUR MAGAZINE… but after a couple minutes realized it was legit. They asked me to do an interview about one of my YouTube covers of a FERGIE song. Since high school, I have always been a die hard Fergie fan. I love that she was in a cool band, that she is a powerful female, and a sassy singer AND rapper. I love her so much! Then they start asking me questions about Fergie, and after that, they surprised me with a video of FERGIE WATCHING ME SING. The video starts out with her saying “Oh! Stacey Kay, I know her”… um excuse me?? Fergie KNOWS ME??? She then goes on to give me wonderful compliments, and even says “WIG SNATCHED”. It was the best moment of my life!
What are you currently working on creatively? I decided to start a new chapter in my life and I’ve started a PODCAST with my best friend in the world, who also happens to be my sister! Our podcast is a comedy called “I Have To Call My Sister”. We talk about things like body positivity/ what it’s like to have body issues, anxiety, depression, relationships, the music industry, being on a reality TV show, the LGBTQ+ community. Our discussions on the podcast are always honest, relatable, and we tell really embarrassing stories. We hold nothing back! You can find the new podcast on Apple Podcasts and Spotify! Our website is www.ihavetocallmysister.com :)
Spotify: Stacey Kay
iTunes: Stacey Kay
Apple Music: Stacey Kay