Rude GRL, explain the meaning behind the name and the spelling?
I’m really inspired by the whole rude boy / girl revival, 2 tone music… the original skins & mods & punks & riot grrl movement etc. Also, I’ve always been called a rude girl (for a range of reasons lol) & have always mentioned it in lyrics. So I feel like the name pretty much sums it all up.
Growing up in South Wales, what was the music scene like what artists were influencing you?
It was pretty dead when I was growing up tbh haha. It felt decades behind. My mums house introduced me to a whole range of music. My house was a party house in the 90’s so I got to listen to a huge range of music. My mum had a lot of yardie boyfriends too so I got to listen to a lot of ragga & hiphop. She was also a huge Prince & Madonna fan & later a raver. In my town people most listened to happy hardcore & trance music or classic rock music haha. So my house was a bit different. I wasn’t stuck in a box. I learned to love different styles for different reasons. Like the word play & flow in rap, but the passion & poetry in punk & heavy metal, & the melodies & chord progressions in 80s pop. It all taught me so much.
How was it like to be only 18 and signed to Mercury Records. And how do you feel about the whole experience in hindsight?
It was really confusing. I grew up with a lot of abuse so I guess I felt really out of place all of a sudden with people licking my ass haha. On a serious note… It’s a very different world & where I’m from we don’t get taught how to handle something like that. In hindsight I’ve learned that I didn’t have the right kind of support for a place like that. It’s very important to have people close to you that you can really trust.
In your upbringing, you were raised by your mother who has mental illness. Life struggles and personal tragedies must have had an effect on yourself. Did this impact your decision to make music?
I suppose it did. Unfortunately my mum didn’t get the right kind of help for herself growing up. So my house felt very unsafe. There wasn’t any other support outside of my home either so that’s how music became my crutch. The artists I listened to taught me life lessons in their songs. & I learned to have a voice through music & it helped me channel a lot of my hurt & rage in a more positive way than I saw in my house. It was an escape.
What are your own views on music and mental illness going hand in hand?
I think that any form of artistic expression is a great therapeutic tool for healing emotional & mental illness. There are loads of articles on the healing power of writing. I also think in my opinion the greatest records are ones that push the culture forward, by an honest look & fresh perspective on what’s going on in the artists world they live in. & I’m pretty sure that’s what we try to get when in therapy. It’s no surprise some of the greatest records come from a place of pain, a lot of us won’t dare to look at ourselves until we really can’t bear the pain anymore & really have to face it all.
In one aspect Hip Hop and Post-Punk, certainly Rock & Roll, are similar in that they are a channel for aggression and rebellion against the establishment. What are you channelling in to your music?
Yeah! Aggression & rebellion are my middle names lol! I suppose under anger there is a lot of hurt & pain. & it’s the safest way to express those emotions. It’s what really drew me to it in the first place. I had all these strong emotions with nowhere to put them. & music gave me the tool to be able to release some of them. It’s like my medicine.
So how did you come to be a fan of and fuse influences of both Hip Hop and Post-Punk in your music?
There was a yardie drug dealer my mum was dating for a while growing up & he introduced me to hiphop & ragga around age 7/8, I was already writing poetry & was really amazed how they brought their poetry alive on a beat. I fell in love with punk & post-punk in my teens. I was first in to heavy metal around 9/10 when I was glued to watching Kerrang on TV. There were a lot of different people in my house with different music tastes. & also local people in pubs & bars & bikers who would introduce me to different punk & post-punk records. I connected to the energy in both. So I guess it was only natural for them both to collide somewhere down the line.
How did you come to meet Ben Langmaid, and how pivotal was he in the creation of the new single ‘That’s The Way It Is (Survival Of The Sickest)’?
I met Ben yeeeeaars ago, & instantly got on. We’re into the same music & have a similar way of thinking about things. He’s a great friend & a kind of big brother to me, he actually helped me get clean & sober first of all. I don’t actually know where I’d be now if I hadn’t have got the help I needed back then. I wasn’t really doing any music & we would just meet up & play tracks we were excited about. Then after a few years we got back in the studio & just really went for it to get some of that pent up anger & hurt out inspired by a track we made years before. Ben’s a great producer, he’s a fucking wizard with sounds haha. The sound of Rude GRL is 100% both of us together & couldn’t be achieved another way & I wouldn’t want it to be either.
Apart from Ben Langmaid, you’ve orked with Wiley, Bless Beats and Roll Deep, Sub Focus and Basement Jaxx. Are there any DJ’s, Producers or vocalists you’re eager to work with?
Yeah, I reckon it would be sick to have / do some collabs with people. I’d love for us to do something with Slaves one day I reckon that would be pretty interesting. They’re sick. & M.I.A is the don. The dream would be Missy Elliott & Timbaland… But I reckon it’s always more exciting when it’s not what you expect.
Signing to Mercury and coming close to winning BBC 1Xtra’s ‘Battle of the Nation’ rap battle (only 12!) are just some of the highlights in your career so far. What would you choose as your personal best moment and why?
Haha that was a great day trip! Best moment so far has to be touring… That’s where it’s at for me. I love the studio so much, but getting up on stage & releasing all that energy with a crowd of people all wanting & needing to do the same is the best buzz in the world. I legit can’t wait to get back on it.
What are your plans for the remainder of the year. EP/Album, live performances maybe?
The plan is to make some mayhem. There’s a new track coming out really soon. We have loads of tunes to drop. So keep a look out ;). & I definitely want to get on stage asap.
And when you look back in a years time, where would you like to be and have achieved?
In a years time. I’d love to have our debut album out & be working on the next one!! I want to keep it going & have some fun with it.
Lastly, where can people find your music and socials online?
Music you can find on Spotify, Amazon, iTunes, Apple Music etc. Im on insta, Facebook & Twitter as @itsrudegrl I’m mostly ranting on twitter haha so come join me lol
Get the debut single from Rude Grl released via SCUM Records here: https://awal.lnk.to/MPGji
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