LayFullStop is Manchester’s next eclectic soul star

Photography by21stcenturytribe

LayFullStop is one of the most exciting emerging artists that the UK has the pleasure of watching blossom throughout 2019 and beyond. Since releasing her EP Colour Reaction last year, Lay (real name Laynah) has grown from strength to strength, finding new ways of perfecting her eclectic sound. Born and raised in Birmingham until she was 16, Lay continued her musical journey in Manchester and from there she was encouraged to work with a wide range of creative people within the local music scene, all of whom helped her realise her true potential. 

With the highly anticipated wait for her new releases, this soul artist continues to spread her message by collaborating with the likes of Children of Zeus and Woddy Green, as well as being a member of the homegrown music collective Roots Raddix. The city of Manchester has truly recognised that LayFullStop has arrived and she’s here to stay.

Lay’s established a cheeky and boyish style of expressing herself in previous music videos, but today she has flipped the script of conforming to a specific standard of what it means to be strong and sexy as a woman. In her brand new music video for the latest single ‘Cherries’, premiering exclusively on gal-dem, she has an aura of confidence, edge and grace.

I met up with LayFullstop for some herbal tea and a catch-up to talk about the latest video.

gal-dem: How does it feel to have a new project out?

LayFullStop: With any release and for any creative, you just feel a sense of relief – but at the same time a little exposed. I think because the music represents my personal journey, there’s also a bit of that journey I can let go of now with some closure and understanding. Although it’s only a piece of music that’s being released, I also think the whole aspect is beautiful because I can gain closure on that part of the book. There are good fruits and bad fruits, there are teachings from the bible that helped me understand this.

We have a brand new video for ‘Cherries’ being premiered on gal-dem, tell us a bit about the magic behind it?

Well, if there’s any place my video could be premiered on – it would obviously make sense with gal-dem. I’m ecstatic. We’ve been planning this video since last September. It’s been a long process – we’re talking nearly a year of consistently being on something. We actually ended up shooting this video a couple of times, in terms of the look and concept the team and I were going for, we wanted to execute it perfectly and that didn’t come around first time. But then the video (hopefully) mirrors the feminine and fun aspects of me as an artist. You’ll see the colour theme is heavily purple and red. 

A bit exciting, sexy and vibrant? 

Definitely. One of thing I love most about that video is, I’m wearing a t-shirt in one of the scenes which says “emotions” with the colour pallet on it, and that’s probably one of my favourite t-shirts now. It was so perfect – if you know me, you know how I base my stuff on emotions, and the song itself is very emotional if you read between the lines.

“Sexy is how empowered you feel when you wear something that makes you feel confident”

You switch outfits quite a lot during the video – not only do you have the “emotions” top, but you also have this cool purple jumpsuit. Does each outfit change show a different side of you?

Yes, I just wanted it to be something that I loved. Down to the material of the items and clothing used in the video, it’s all been pre-meditated beforehand by me and the team. These are all aspects of sexiness which I didn’t really want to show back when I was learning about what I thought was sexy. And now I do feel sexy – sexy is how empowered you feel when you wear something that makes you feel confident. Mainly because of the colours, texture and materials of an item of clothing I’m wearing; this is what I like, and what makes me feel sexy. I styled myself, and initially I was thinking, ‘how do I want to portray myself?’, you know – there’s a left lane and a right lane to go. I went with my instincts. The video is just one aspect of it, but then when you see the photography, graphics and artwork, that’s the bigger picture for me.

There are so many different elements to the video base around movements. I spotted some streamers, how did you incorporate this?

Even from the beginning scene, with the furniture coming in, it’s a slow process. It’s a gradual process to paint the picture, some people may not understand it. All they’ll see is a sofa and a footstool, but some might see a whole living room. It takes those aspects to make a picture. I wanted to show with the ribbons as the natural flow of the music. We wanted to show the idea of a softness of feminine energy in the moments of the items used in the video.

“We’re always thinking about the next thing, we’re never in that present moment to digest what we have achieved”

Do you get time to celebrate your wins?

Even down to the end of the video, there’s this celebration moment. But then it’s back to me, back to myself because there’s always a moment for celebration. We’re always thinking about the next thing, we’re never in that present moment to digest what we have achieved. I emphasise journey, journey, and journey because that’s the most important part. I feel like for any person, it’s great to celebrate to celebrate with everybody else, but take some time out to be with you because it’s not all about validation. When everybody has forgotten about it, when everybody’s moved onto the next big thing – it will be you who has that piece of art that you want to be proud of for you. Nobody else.

Follow LayFullStop on her Instagram page.

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