British rapper Lady Sovereign has opened up about her disastrous departure from Def Jam Records in 2007 - insisting her career meltdown led to a dark period of self-harm and depression.
The 23-year-old star - real name Louise Amanda Harman - was signed to U.S. label in 2005, while hip-hop mogul Jay-Z was presiding over the company.
And after limited success in America, the exhausting promotion schedule and lack of recording time began to take its toll on the star - and she went "on strike", forcing the label to drop her.
And Harman admits her final months as a Def Jam artist and the aftermath of losing her U.S contract were the worst of her life.
She says, "I went on strike and stopped doing stuff, so Def Jam got the hump (became annoyed) with me. I lost the plot a few times. I was cutting myself and stupid things like that. I was tired. I felt like it was just push, push, push. I didn't have a chance to record any new stuff, it was the same old songs.
"My manager rang me and said, 'OK, it's definitely over.' And it hit me. It just had to be done, for their sake, for my sake. It wasn't messy, it was just... gone. I was on anti-depressants for a bit, but that wasn't a good idea. It was the lowest I've ever been in my life."
Harman got her career back on track last year (08), forming her own record label imprint and putting together her second album, Jigsaw, which is due for release this month (Apr09).