Unrapped: British Songstress Lolene

Lolene has a penchant for pancakes and she’s unapologetic for her craving. “It’s well-deserved,” she admits. “My trainer kicked my ass this morning.” As the latest imported talent hailing from the U.K., the singer with the spiraling, cocoa-colored curls has her own high-energy kick to deliver in the form of her debut single “Sexy People.”

Besides writing songs as a young girl in Bristol, England, Lolene, also known as Miss Foo Foo (“Like Beyoncé plays off her Sasha Fierce ego”), received the privileged opportunity to sing backing vocals on Rick Ross’ J.R. Rotem-produced track “The Boss.” She’s also lent her talent to artists ranging from Eminem to Christina Milian (“Diamonds”). Lately, the songstress has dedicated her writing skills to her debut album, The Electrick Hotel (Capitol/EMI Records), due out in early 2010. “I decided [on that title for] my album because I am the Electrick Hotel,” she says with a fit of laughter. “I’ve got many rooms, many different vibes. So ‘Sexy People’ is like the penthouse party.”

Though she’s worked with some of hip-hop’s elite, Lolene cites her musical influences outside of the genre: Grace Jones, Debbie Harry, and Rick James. “I actually adore Rick James,” admits Lolene. “I love his showmanship, I love his bravery, and his pimpness.” Calling on her own feisty nature, Lolene takes notes from those artists to create a fusion of retro-pop as heard on one of her earlier tracks, “Boujis Baby.” So does the busy pop star tend to partake in any “boujis” self-indulgences during her downtime? “I love massages and like to get pampered.”

–Nadia Chanté