Mikill Pane talks on writing his most famous song, Little Lady
Ed Sheeran might be dominating the charts and smashing his own streaming records with new album ÷ (Divide), but no matter how big he gets, one of his most loved projects will always be the No. 5 Collaborations EP.
Released back in 2011 and featuring some of the scene’s biggest names spitting with real feeling, alongside Ed on guitar, it’s an EP that really stands the test of time.
Whether it’s P Money’s storytelling, Dot Rotten’s emotional goodbye to his nan or JME’s verses about keeping your integrity, the tape had something for everyone. And the stand-out for a lot of people was Mikill Pane’s remix of the A Team, Little Lady.
The song, which existed in a different form before its feature on No. 5, tells the story of a young girl sent to England by her mum with the hope that she’ll have more opportunity there than in her home country.
But after being sent to live with her uncle, he becomes her pimp, and the story ends tragically on her 13th birthday.
Amazingly Mikill was just 20 when he wrote the lyrics to Little Lady, some 11 or 12 years ago, at a time when he was “really into stories”.
“All that inspired me probably was just a thought in my head about that kind of ill, that kind of evil that goes on. And I thought okay, let me write a story about it,” he said.
The Hackney native can’t remember whether he felt moved at the time of writing the song, but was definitely relieved.
“A lot of the time at that stage of my career, I would kind of be under pressure to get something for a studio session – so I was like fuck I’m glad I finished this song,” he said. Kind of surprising for a song that can put a lump in your throat no matter how many times you’ve heard it.
Before the EP was released Mikill, looking at the other names on the project – which included Ghetts, Wretch 32, Devlin, Wiley, Dot Rotten, JME, Sway, P Money and Random Impulse – considered himself a bit of an underdog.
But when the song, originally recorded over Damian Marley and Nas’ Road To Zion and put out solely on MySpace, began to outsell the others, he realised that the song really “does stick out a lot”.
You know a story is good when it can make you feel something every time, and if you’re on the look out for more of the same make sure you check out Mikill’s back catalogue – he told us that in his opinion, he’s written stories of the same quality in the past.
— MIKILL PANE (@MikillPane) March 2, 2017