Poni Capri (because she rides riddims – get it?) has a story which reads like a Netflix series set in downtown New York or Los Angeles, yet her remarkably cinematic life began in East London. You might be quick to point out that much of London is a parallel to New York in terms of crime but to read tales of Poni’s early life in and around the gang culture of London still feels oddly creepy, with deaths, murder and jail featuring prominently to people she was close to.
Determined to escape the cycle and launch her own musical career, some ingenious detective work led to Poni finding where 50 Cent and D12 were staying when performing in town, and hand-delivered her CD to every member. The ploy worked and she ended up befriending many of the team, leading to her working with the Shady Records team and flying to America. Poni’s music spread and got interest from the team working with Jay Z, recording in Roc the Mic Studio NYC at the same time Beyonce was recording in the next room. However, the move to America for a proposed record deal fell through at the last moment, leaving her homeless and broke in NYC, leaving her to rely on the kindness of strangers, sleeping on couches and floors. Ironically, it was after Poni decided to return to the UK, she got a call from someone who saw her in Jay Z’s studio and told her Lil Wayne wanted Poni on his record. Having recorded the vocals in England, he then released it on his Public Enemy mixtape.
Moving to Atlanta in the hope her luck improved from her New York experience, she met her now husband, an upcoming producer. Building from the ground up, they started a graphic design business together, whilst Poni was also in regular demand for modelling jobs too. Experiencing at first-hand the corruption in the music industry, with music moguls bribing her with promises riches and fame if she slept with them, only made her desire to succeed on her own terms even stronger. Her latest EP, Dark Candy, is out now.