RCA-signed rapper Leikeli47 is as known as much for her skills as a rapper and beat maker as she is for her ever-present face mask, an item of adornment whose mysterious aura invites people in as much as it frightens them off.
Not ones to shy away from the provocative, French magazine CR Fashion Book zeroed in on both the stage name Leikeli47 and her decision to wear a mask as focal points of a recent editorial, asking her what the meaning was behind both.
On her name, she responded, “I will say that it’s special to me, but I don’t need to share the reasoning behind it. I’m a big believer that the focus should be on the art and I don’t want the meaning of my stage or real name to stand in front of me expressing that. Art, after all, is what I’m here to do.”
She added that the nom de plume and the mask have enabled her to overcome stage fright, explaining, “It’s a beautiful thing because together, the name and my mask have allowed me to overcome all of these personal obstacles whilst protecting my inner, shy self. They make me more talkative and excited to meet people. Without them, I’m just an introverted homebody, too afraid to ever perform on stage.”
On her overall look, she explained, “I like to think that I’m the chicest tomboy out there, but I feel like we woman have so many hurdles and my biggest goal in this universe is to serve my purpose as a musician.”
The feature includes some interesting backstory, including childhood memories of singing in a church choir and being discovered by Diplo and Skrillex and performing with them in Madison Square Garden (!!) in 2014, all of which is noteworthy because she has been notoriously reluctant to conduct interviews and information about her background is sparse.
The spread features a wickedly cool editorial shot by Andrew Dosunmu, in which she sports custom masks created by designers Matthew Adams Dolan, James Evan and Shin Murayama.