The Scotsman Sessions #121: Lotos

Welcome to The Scotsman Sessions. With performing arts activity curtailed for the foreseeable future, we are commissioning a series of short video performances from artists all around the country and releasing them on, with introductions from our critics. Here, rapper Lotos performs some a capella improv from the outskirts of Edinburgh

It is a truth generally acknowledged that up-and-coming rap acts are most likely to found in council estates and community centres, high streets and home studios. Hayfields on the outskirts of Edinburgh perhaps not so much. But this is where rapper Lotos has chosen to deliver her a capella contribution to the Scotsman Sessions – sans backing track but embellished with some digital fireflies swarming around her quickfire improv which takes in locking down and rising up, slavery past and present and the politics and simple humanity of migration.

“It was nice to do something off the cuff, unpredictable and different to my usual polished, meticulous work,” she says. “Life is real and I wanted to do something that was no frills. It was a combination of all the joy, fear, ambiguity, certainty and uncertainty we are all feeling. We have all been through so much in 2020.”

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On a purely professional level for Lotos, this meant the cancellation of photo and video shoots, live dates in the UK, Europe and US and a full run at the Fringe. But it also meant the opportunity to help out with essential deliveries in her local community.

“I decided to turn something very negative into something positive,” she says. “I only started writing again as things started to ease and I incorporated all of the new optimism into my new music.”

Lotos stands for Last of the Old School – and that’s about as much information as this masked rapper is willing to divulge at this stage, beyond punting the release of her recent single, Home, inspired by US civil rights leader Marcus Garvey, looking forward the follow-up EP, Last of the Old School, which she hopes to have out in early November, and teasing a Christmas day single “featuring a host of top celeb talent”.

Find Lotos on Twitter @LOTOS_MUSIC

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