Dope Saint Jude is a creative powerhouse from Cape Town, South Africa. The rapper and producer, who is a serious advocate of the LGBTQ+ community, wants to empower you with her genre-defying music. With Dope Saint Jude’s Resilient EP out November 2nd, LOCK spoke to the up and coming artist.
How would you best describe your sound?
I would describe my sound as genre-less. I believe that we are moving into a space where it’s really hard to be a musical purist and I believe my music reflects that.
You state that Tupac and Riot Grrrl influence your music, which of their tracks inspired you the most and why?
It’s hard to say. Tupac inspired me as more than a musician. He represented something beyond the music industry and that inspired me. The same with riot grrrl. It’s not just the music, it’s what they stand for. Having said that though, Tupac’s Keep ya Head up and Bikini Kill’s Rebel Grrrl are favourites.
Your music is set to make waves of change for marginalised groups of people. In your forthcoming EP, Resilient, you sing “I’m gonna be equal, I’m gonna be free”. How does it feel to have your music reach so many people?
It feels great to have that platform. I am interested in touching people, so when I have the platform to do that, it excites me.
To quote Adam Haupt, you are “queering a genre that has been predominantly male and heteronormative”. You’re doing it for us girls! How does it feel to be leading the way for young females in the industry?
It doesn’t feel like anything out of the ordinary. It is just a part of my experience and has been since I can remember, so it feels normal. I don’t think what I am doing is special, it is just natural.
Your music allows you to travel the globe, where is your favourite place to perform? Do you miss your home of Cape Town?
My favourite place to perform is probably in France because of the live music industry they have. There is a real appreciation for all kinds of sounds in France. I miss Cape Town, but I am home quite often. I will be back for the summer!
We’re obsessed with your look – your Instagram is insane (@dopesaintjude). How would you describe your style?
My style is super simple. I try to keep it as authentic as possible. Most of what I do in terms of style is motivated by simplicity. I got locs because it was the simplest way to maintain natural hair. I wear lots of sneakers because they are comfy and easy. I dress for movement because I am always on the go and I wear lots of colours because I am colourful!
MIA handpicked you to star in a fashion campaign with H&M which funded the release of your first single, Reimagine. What was that experience like? Did you meet MIA?
The experience was great. It was my first time leaving South Africa. I went to Senegal to shoot the advert. I spoke to MIA a few times and she was absolutely wonderful and supportive. I was so amazed that someone like her would reach out to me.
You were a mentor for aspiring talent in 2017’s Nando’s music Exchange in London. What was it like to support other musicians in that way? What advice would you give young people looking to break into the music industry?
It was great to meet the young artists. I feel like I learnt a lot from them too. I would advise young artists to be consistent and persistent with their work. I am still at the beginning of my career, and I challenge myself to remain as consistent as possible.
What is next for Dope Saint Jude?
After releasing my EP, Resilient, I hope to tour for a bit, release some more music and eventually prepare my debut album.
Watch the video for ‘Grrrl Like’, the lead single taken from the Resilient EP, below.
Stay up-to-date with Dope Saint Jude: