Mz Bratt: Blessed, Cursed & Teaching Truth


Cleopatra Humphrey, better known as Mz Bratt is an electro-grime emcee hailing from London. Currently working on her debut album, her name – an acronym for ‘be real and teach truth’ – is a familiar one. Her story, not so much.

Having grown up in a home which housed a recording artist, her father, (MC Scallywag from the 1990’s acid house sound system Spiral Tribe), music was evidently a prominent part of her every day life. Thus describing herself as a “second generation MC,” she attributes much of her current sound to the influence her father had on her.

“I’ve taken elements of him and put them into my music” she explains, describing how she grew up listening to a lot of drum and bass and jungle. This is evident in her musical sound, particularly in one of her most recent tracks, ‘Selecta.’ “It has a very drum and bass vibe,” she explains, attributing this partly to the fact that she grew up listening to that kind of music.

In terms of the content, Mz Bratt also stays true to what she knows best. “Most of my records are based on life experiences or what I would like to experience.” To this respect, there is nothing she deems too personal to reveal through her music. “It’s like a comfort for me,” she says. “I can be as open as I want with music and I don’t feel ashamed or I don’t feel scared of what I’m saying.”

This appears to be recent progress. “I was a very aggressive emcee,” she laughs when discussing how her sound has evolved. “I started making grime music… but now I have a completely different approach.” Having matured as a person, she goes on to explain how she has a message now, whereas before she didn’t have one. “The message is you can go through a negative but you can turn it into a positive,” she says confidently.

This is an ideology that is evidently very important to her. “When I was growing up I was witnessing domestic violence, and as a child I got beaten up and stuff, she reveals. “But you can turn that negative into a positive, your life doesn’t need to go down that path.”

Channeling this positivity into her music, Mz Bratt goes on to explain how a lot of her supporters contact her with their problems, “I cant physically get back to everyone,” she says, “so hopefully making a positive song can help them.” She takes this role as positive role model very seriously, even recently getting involved with MTV Wrap Up’s This Is Abuse campaign.

Although none of her recently released songs are of the particularly insightful kind, she reveals that her next singles will certainly be taking that angle, “I’m mad excited about [that].” She is taking pains not to make her upcoming album too gloomy and sad though. “I want to let people know that this is going on in life… but I also want to uplift them. I want to make music that people want to dance to,” she explains.

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Although allegedly revealing a lot about herself through her music, we don’t really know too much about Mz Bratt as a person. “I like to be private,” she explains, “but I do want people to get a sense of who I am and what I’m about.” For this reason she will be filming a mini documentary on her life and what she gets up to. “I reckon it will be out next year,” she says.

“I don’t want it to be one of these documentaries that you see artists do and they’re just always happy and everything just happens to be going so well,” she’s quick to add. “That’s not what happens in my life. I get a lot of good news and I get a lot of bad news… I want people to see that and the struggle that artists have to go through even though they’re signed,” she explains, true to her motto of teaching truth.

Citing Lioness’ song ‘Good For A Girl’ in which she bemoans being told she’s good for a girl in a genre that’s mainly dominated by males, I ask Mz Bratt for her take on this. “At the time that the song came out I think it was definitely relevant,” she says. Attributing the shift to the likes of Nicki Minaj and Cher Lloyd, she goes on to give the example of current X Factor contestant Misha B who sings and raps. “That wasn’t really happening on X Factor before” she goes on to explain. “Girls weren’t rapping on X Factor… it’s kind of opened up the doors and made it a bit more acceptable for females to MC in the UK.”

And where do her good looks come in? “It’s definitely a blessing and a curse,” she says. “People always think, ‘Oh because you look good that’s the only reason why you’re there’ and then that takes away the elements from music… but then it also allows you to be marketable in terms of label,” she explains. “But for me it’s more of a curse. I’d rather people listen to my music than look at me.”

That said, she does model for Pastry and is set to join Angela and Vanessa Simmonds on their upcoming Pastry tour. She also joins Tinie Tempah on his UK tour this month.

Leading up to her debut album, Mz Bratt’s new single ‘Tear It All Down’ is out October 30 on iTunes via Warner.

Mz Bratt online: brattonline.com / facebook / @BrattOnline / youtube

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