INTERVIEW: Sirah Talks ‘Cult’; Explains How She Recorded Vocals for Skrillex’s ‘Bangarang’

Ralphie Aversa  —  04/12/2012 — 1 Comment

West coast emcee Sirah semi-jokes that she was dropping rhymes “before it was cool to rap as a small white girl.”

“Now it’s like the ‘in’ thing,” Sirah noted. “I definitely feel like I can hold it down for myself since I’ve been doing it when it wasn’t so widely appreciated.”


But now that it is, Sirah hopes that she can parlay her talents in to a major label deal, of course without sacrificing her artistic integrity in the process.

“I’ve been meeting with people, doing things; but it’s all talk until its real,” she said. “I don’t need anybody to do anything for me.”

The rapper has done fairly well – touring for the past seven years and supporting acts such as Wu-Tang Clan, KRS-One, and Dilated Peoples in the process. But recently Sirah has found new fame with her feature on the Skrillex track “Bangarang.”

“Skrillex has been one of my best friends for probably like, six years,” she said. “We’ve had a few songs together.”

It seems their work comes together spontaneously. The first time they collaborated, Sirah was writing her own music in a downtown Los Angeles artist loft that Skrillex also lived in. The producer simply asked the emcee if she could rap lyrics of the song she was working on in to his laptop. That yielded the track “Weekends!!!”

Then, while Skrillex was on tour, he called Sirah about another track.

“He was like, ‘Hey can you record 16 bars and send it to me,’” she recalled. “I was like, ‘Do you want me to go to me studio?’ He was like, ‘No, no, no. Do it right now.’”

So Sirah grabbed her laptop and recorded the vocals that would be used for “Bangarang.” She did this while sitting in her bed.

“You can actually hear the birds chirping in the background,” Sirah said. “It’s somewhat mortifying to me.”

Still, not only does the rapper consider the dubstep DJ a close friend, but she also places him in an elite group professionally.

“There’s only three people I really like recording or doing things with because I trust what will come out of it,” she revealed. “He definitely put some effects and did some stuff, and some compression [to my voice].”

It probably explains while she feels it’s “unfortunate” that people can find some of her past, more pop-friendly stuff on YouTube. It might also shed light on why despite the years of recording and touring, Cult is her first official mixtape. But timing is everything. Thankfully for Sirah, mixtapes are the new album, and we hear it’s pretty cool to rap as a small, white female these days.

Ralphie Aversa

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