Angela Teyade, a.k.a Ayoo Angie, is a highly motivated, savvy, one-woman machine, grinding like many in the Calgary hip-hop scene to build a devoted following and hone her craft, none of which has gone unnoticed this past year:
“ The first thing you notice about Ayoo Angie is her voice. It’s deep and commanding while still feminine and coy, something not seen since Lil Kim was the queen of rap.”
That’s a bold declaration in [Vice’s] Noisey written about the 22-year-old MC earlier this year. Angie’s strong demeanor in her videos and relaxed flow would have anyone believe that this Calgary talent is a veteran in the game, so it can come off as a bit of a surprise to know how humble the young rapper is about all the acclaim she is receiving; a humility that is not at all to be mistaken for a lack of drive.
We caught up with Angie during a break from the 2014 Sled Island Music and Arts Festival where we discussed the Calgary hip-hop scene, industry pressures, and being a female MC.
How long have you been rapping?
I’ve been rapping since 2010, but I’ve only been taking it seriously [this past year].
I was in [University] for two years and took business. I’m naturally a very studious person, but I just wasn’t interested in [business] whatsoever, so it just turned into a situation where I just needed a break from school and I rapped for fun. I was always really into the arts; I used to do quoir and musical theater and dance and all that kind of stuff, so I’ve always been natural a performer.
How would you describe Calgary’s hip-hop scene? Is it competitive?
It’s very supportive; I wouldn’t even say it’s competitive at all. It’s very new and in the last 2 years I’ve seen it totally expand, but its still very small compared to other cities in Canada like Toronto or Vancouver or even Montreal; its nowhere near that level.
I don’t know if you’ve heard of 10 at 10. It’s a local hip-hop showcase that happens once a month on the first Wednesday of the month. It’s 10 acts at 10 o ‘clock and you get a 10 min set. You just sign up – doesn’t matter if you’re a newbie or a veteran – and it’s just a platform for people to perform and network and get to know each other.
How do you handle all the praise you’ve been getting lately and all the comparisons to bigger artists you look up to?
It’s so flattering because I feel like such a newbie in the game and I feel very local and unofficial. I’m very independent; like, extremely independent. For my videos, I get a guy to shoot them then I edit them myself. I fund everything myself too. I don’t really have a management team, but eventually as I get more into it and start meeting more people it’s going to get bigger and better. But to get that kind of recognition when I only have the few tools that I have right now is just amazing; I feel really blessed and really appreciative