We caught up with singer-songwriter, MC and all round mega babe Jenna Dickens to talk breaking into the industry, being one half of duo Rude Grl and career highlights…
Tell us about Rude Grl, how did this collab come about?
I met Ben years ago & we just really got on, we love the same sh*t / hate the same sh*t lol. Ben helped me out a lot in my personal life getting clean & sober & he’s like a big brother to me… We were always meeting up, playing tracks to each other & then we ended up making a bunch of music that we really love & feel proud of, so decided we would make it a duo… it all happened really naturally tbh over time.
Your new single ‘That’s the way it is (Survival of the Sickest) is out now – what’s the inspo behind the track?
It’s basically like an introduction to what Rude Grl is all about. I was kind of sick of people being so “cool” & PC all the time so was having a bit of a vent sesh with it too haha. The message is like “I am who I am take it or leave it” I guess it’s about being authentic instead of trying to fit in & look “cool”. Cool’s for losers lol.
It samples Run DMC, who else inspires you musically?
I just love anything that pushes the boat out a bit. I love anything that’s bold & in your face with a bit of attitude but still catchy & not taking itself too seriously.
I’d say my biggest inspirations are people like The Sex Pistols, Eminem, Slipknot, Siouxsie Sioux, Marilyn Manson, 2pac, Elvis, The Cure, M.I.A, Missy Elliot, The Clash, The Specials, Gwen Stefani, Tyler The Creator, Nicki Minaj.
What does a day in the life of you look like?
Life of Rude Grl…. Weird… I guess? We must look proper strange looking in on us bouncing about the place smashing keyboards & shouting furiously into a microphone haha. I guess we like to start our day by having a good old British moan about London transport, then a proper nice rant about the planes constantly polluting the air haha! Then we can focus on blaring out drums & samples & shouting at the top of my lungs lol! Finish with a nice cup of tea :).
What’s the best gig you’ve ever played?
I’d like to say something really cool sounding, but actually the best gig was in bristol supporting Labrinth ‘cause the crowd was absolutely mental!
Who did you listen to growing up?
Growing up, my mum’s house was pretty much a party house, so I got to listen to all the 90’s rave, rap / hiphop & dancehall & bashment tunes of the time, along with a lot of Prince & Madonna. I kind of rebelled in my teens & got really into Punk / Post-Punk & Heavy Metal as well as a lot of rap & underground hiphop & grime.
What’s your guilty pleasure track?
Pete Burns – Spin me right round LOL!! What a tune.
What’s the last album you listened to all the way through?
Jay-Z – 4:44, He actually cheated on Queen B!?!?!? lol I was on a real emotional rollercoaster haha… also I was just saying that I love to listen to albums start to finish… I feel wrong just dipping in & out it’s like a movie that’s taken them sometimes years to create so I like to sit & listen through.
What’s been your career highlight/proudest moment?
Probably releasing our new music tbh, It’s the first time I’ve felt this excited about the music I’m creating. It feels authentic & we’ve put everything into it, no holding back. It’s been made while going through & off the back of some of the hardest, darkest times of my life, so it feels like a real documentation of surviving through it all. It kind of went hand in hand with getting through the difficult times, I used it like a sort of therapy. So I’m really proud of it.
Who’s the coolest person you’ve worked with so far?
Obviously Ben lol. I’ll let him have that haha.
Who are you listening to at the moment?
At the moment, I’ve been listening to a lot of Ski Mask The Slump God – his flow is incredible!!! A$AP Ferg also amazing flow, XXXTentacion he’s just such a great all round artist, Rae Sremmurd <3 legends in the making, & Slaves are sick too!!
What advice do you have for aspiring artists trying to break into the industry?
Don’t… Lol. Since I’ve just been concentrating on being authentic & making music that gets me excited & feels right to me in my gut, it’s been more satisfying than just trying to break into the industry. It feels like we have something to share & hopefully to entertain people with, rather than just trying to get something, if you know what I mean.
You can only listen to one album for the rest of your life, what is it?
100% would be Eminem – The Slim Shady LP. Literally got me through so much sh*t as a kid growing up.
‘That’s the way it is (Survival of the Sickest)’ is the first single to be released by Rat Boy’s new label SCUM RECS, amazing! How has it been working with Rat Boy?
It’s really sick to have RatBoy like co-sign our music. He’s definitely doing a lot for the culture & we really respect how much of a master of mischief he is haha! So it really is awesome to have his support!!
Where can we see you perform next?
We haven’t got any performances lined up yet, but I literally can’t wait to get on stage & cause a ruckus!! Lol
What’s on the agenda for the rest of 2017?
We have a video coming out for That’s the way it is (SOTS), Then another track coming out very soon too!! Really looking forward to getting on stage hopefully soon. The plan is basically to get this music out there & make some mayhem :)!!
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Wanna find out more? Follow Rude Grl on Insta @itsrudegrl and listen to Jenna’s exclusive playlist below: