Mean Lady
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Mean Lady

Newark, Delaware, United States | SELF

Newark, Delaware, United States | SELF
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"Mean Lady debuts eclectic EP"

Coming off the successful launch of Café con Leche, Diego Paulo members Katie Dill and Sam Nobles set their sights on conquering another music genre—Hip-hop.

Trading in Bossa nova jams for sampling tracks and hip-hop percussion, Dill and Nobles' new act, Mean Lady, incorporates a dance rhythm with some of their more signature elements, such as the banjo and ukulele.

"I think it started out with a Hip-hop vibe," Nobles says over a coffee at BrewHaHa! on Main Street. "We had this idea like, why aren't there many Hip-hop songs that are really pretty with that drop in a Hip-hop tune? So we wanted to make very pretty, dreamy music with a beat behind it."

The six tracks available for listening on their MySpace page incorporate catchy hooks, with uplifting lyrics such as "I'm happy, I'm sappy / head in the clouds all the time /like its my birthday everyday / so why do you act like smiling's a crime."

"It was just taking what we already do and making it more readily available to dance to," Dill says. "It's still our aesthetic; it's not someone else's Hip-hop."

She says it has been fun to get a foot into the DJ and Hip-hop world. The steamy basement shows where attendees bounces their heads in tune to the beat provide a rewarding experience and a edgy vibe different from bars and rock venues.

Mean Lady—or ‘me and the lady'—started while Dill and Nobles were at the house of Tyler Holloway, the Diego Paulo drummer, when his dog "Lady" was being particularly wild. On the spot, Dill started singing the lyric "why'd'ya haftabe such a mean lady." The hook was infectious to them and it prompted the duo to write a song around it.

Nobles creates the background beats by combining synthesized drums and bass with live recordings of pianos and other instruments.

"Sampling is a really exciting aspect of where music is at right now," Nobles says. "To use a full orchestra, take a snippet of it, put it into your song so its one track—but that's just one track—and then you can put bass and piano on top of it."

Nobles' mixes inspire Dills vocals, and she is always impressed by his abilities.

"He's an evil genius," Dill says.

The pair makes use of university sound equipment and instruments, and says being students has enhanced their music careers. Nobles says it is a privilege to have access to the university music building—all of the equipment is free to use and the pianos are always in tune.

"It's just been really awesome because most people in the world don't have access to any instrument they want," Dill says.

Since their success with Diego Paulo, the pair has become well known around Newark as musicians.

"Do you sing?" a passerby asked Dill while ordering her drink at the coffee shop.

"Yes I do," Dill says with a smile. Dill and Nobles say these meetings have been happening more regularly, and they enjoy their rise in the Delaware music scene.

"The more we play out, the more we have high energy Diego Paulo and Mean Lady shows at parties, the more people do recognize and do come up and say hello," Dill says. "I feel like we can be rock stars in Newark. Big fish, small pond, but it's a cool pond to be in."

Diego Paulo released their debut Café con Leche in May, and three months later the LP remains one of the best selling albums at Rainbow Records, emptying shelves more than nationally recognized acts.

"With the exception of a couple of weeks in the summer, it has consistenly been one of our top ten sellers," says John Pyle manager of Rainbow Records.

Nobles says they have sold around 600 albums to date.

"It's been getting a lot of local support, which is really wonderful," Dill says. "It's not local support for the sake of supporting something local, it's because people really are appreciative, they like it, they feel they are a part of it."

Dill says it has not been hard to work on both Diego Paulo and Mean Lady, and thinks it would be easy to do shows during which she performs both set lists.

"There are ways to tour together," she says, adding that at times it's refreshing to work on more than one project. "We're all friends, we're all playing music."

Nobles also enjoys having multiple creative outputs and says it is exciting to be able to make a wide variety of music.

Mean Lady's first EP, Kid Friendly will be available for free in Rainbow Records, the Mediterranean Grill in Newark and at Mean Lady shows. - The Review


Discography

Kid Friendly E.P.
Far Away Single

Photos

Bio

Mean Lady is a psychedelic/pop/hip-hop duo composed of Katie Dill and Samuel Nobles. They united out of a shared desire to create hip-hop beats that dropped heavy, but were uniquely pretty with a dreamy air about them. Important to their sound is incorporating catchy hooks with uplifting lyrics. Nobles creates the background beats by combining synthesized drums and bass with live recordings of pianos and other instruments, including banjo and ukulele, while Dill lays her soulful vocals over top of the sonic layers put before her.

Mean Lady—or ‘me and the lady'—started while Dill and Nobles were at the house of a friend, whose dog "Lady" was being particularly wild. On the spot, Dill started singing the lyric "why'd'ya haftabe such a mean lady." The hook was infectious to them and it prompted the duo to write a song around it.

Things have grown from there, with the duo recently recruiting the help of a full band to bring their songs to life, they have quickly gone from playing steamy basement shows to selling out local venues and getting airtime and attention around the world.

They are looking to bring their music to new places and new ears, while spreading the joy that it brings them to make it.