2nd July 2021
Bodysuit - Blue Reign / Shoes - Christian Louboutin
Lisa Maffia stays busy. While the past year may feel like a write off for many of us, the British singer-songwriter and former So Solid Crew member has used this time to start up a ton of successful business ventures. From Lyrical UK, a video shout-out service from the stars of the House and Garage scene, to House of Maffia, an interior design company already embellishing hundreds of UK properties. There’s also a new Margate-based beauty salon and some incoming new music. As she prepares to celebrate 20 years since her iconic number one single with So Solid Crew, “21 Seconds”, we revel in nostalgia with the star, chatting about her friendship with Mutya Buena and what 00s’ looks she’s bringing back to her wardrobe.
Hi Lisa, how's your lockdown been?
Lockdown has been quite good for me. It’s the first time I’ve ever managed to get an entire year off to do so many other things that I’ve never been able to do before because I’ve been too busy with music. I’ve seen birthdays and special occasions that I wouldn’t usually see because of the demand of [being abroad or on stage during the] summer season.
You also opened a salon during the first lockdown. How is that going? What made you want to open a salon?
My business partner from Hot Loop LTD, our concierge service in Ibiza and Marbella, and I discussed using the location for so many things but using it for hair and beauty was the one that seemed right. The salon is called SALON 48.
Have you found the past year inspiring for you as a musician or has it been hard to write and create music?
I found lockdown difficult to write music. I’m used to travelling and seeing wonderful things and experiencing things on tour, and that all came to a stop for a whole year. So, it’s been difficult to find inspiration while sitting within my four walls. How many songs can I write about being bored!
Catsuit - Pretty Little Thing
This year marks 20 years since So Solid Crew’s hit song “21 seconds” and the album, They Don’t Know. Are you and the crew planning to do anything to commemorate the anniversary?
My assistant and I came up with a great idea to celebrate 20 years of “21 seconds”. We’re currently on the lookout for brands to work with [on it] and we’re planning some really cool stuff before the end of the year!
You worked on a number of songs for They Don’t Know, which was your favourite and why?
“Skyla” is still my favourite. Myself and another member of So Solid wrote that song. It’s a track that’s very different for me. It brought out that lyrical side of myself and I loved recording it.
We’re living in a bit of a 2000s fashion renaissance. As a lover of fashion is there anything from that era you've brought back to your wardrobe?
I am a leather queen, so I’ve brought back my leather Adidas trousers, and I’m even considering bringing back the boxing boots I used to wear back in the day.
You also have an upcoming autobiography. What was it like to look back and are there any moments in your career you have a particular nostalgia for?
Writing this book has been a therapy session 100 times over, its also been a chance to celebrate my life, where I’ve been so busy for so many years it’s been hard to remember and to even take note of what is really going on when it is actually happening, it’s help me to appreciate my journey and celebrate life, for all its ups and downs it’s still been amazing.
Do you keep in contact with any other members of the crew?
As many of them as I can! Myself, Romeo, Dan Da Man and Oxide & Neutrino work together a lot so I get to see them all the time. I speak to Mac, Face and G-Man on the phone from time to time also.
Jacket - Olli Hull / Shorts - H&M
You won Celebrity Coach Trip with your friend Sugababes’ Mutya Buena. How did you both become friends and do you think your experiences as women in the music industry in the 2000s impacted that?
I’ve known Mutya for so many years. I can’t even remember where we originally met but we’ve been on the same circuit for years. She’s an absolute diamond! I think Mutya and I had different experiences in the music industry. I was surrounded by boys and came from a heavily male-dominated industry, being with MCs. Mutya came from a very girly background so I’m not sure we went through the same things, but I do know that we’ve both had really incredible careers thus far!
From the looks of things you have an exciting summer of concerts and events. Are you excited to be able to go on stage and perform again?
I literally want to burst with excitement for all the shows that have been put in so far [for this summer]. I’ve missed it so much! I’m so grateful to each and every promoter that has booked me again.
Can we expect any new music from you in 2021?
I’m currently working on some music in the House and Garage scene. I can’t wait to show everyone. It’s not long now!