Words: Joseph Ryan-Hicks; Images: supplied
There’s a lot to get excited about in the world of music in 2022, and Dope Saint Jude’s new EP is one of them.
The South African artist has just dropped the first track from the upcoming EP, which is due out in April, and there’s a NSFW video to go with it!
We caught up with the 31-year-old rising star to discuss growing up as queer in South Africa, building a home with her wife, and learning to not only accept one’s body - but celebrate it.
What was your experience of being queer in South Africa like?
My experience was mostly pleasant. South Africa is the only country on the African continent where gay marriage is legal. I was lucky enough to occupy spaces where, for the most part, my sexuality was not an issue. This was not always the case - when I was younger it was challenging. And still, many South Africans suffer or are unsafe because of their queerness. It all really depends on your circumstances.
You’re now based in London. Are you feeling settled in your new home?
Yes, but I’m still getting used to the weather!
How has the drastic move shaped your creative process?
Having the mental and physical gap from where I grew up has allowed me to get to know myself outside of the context of my upbringing. This has allowed me to explore parts of my creativity that I hadn’t before.
What can you tell us about your latest track, ‘Home’? It’s superb!
I wrote the track during lockdown when I was unable to visit home. During the pandemic, my wife Roxanne and I moved into our first unshared apartment and began the process of building a home together. The track celebrates the many different facets that make up the feeling of ‘home’.
Tell us more about the music video…
The video stars Roxanne and I. It was important for me to capture the essence of our relationship in this video. It has some BDSM elements, some more playful elements, and overall gives the audience insight into the intimacy shared by two women.
Who are your biggest musical influences?
Lenny Kravitz, Kanye West, Lauryn Hill, MIA, Santigold. I appreciate these artists because they each bring something authentic and revolutionary to their genres. They have redefined [music] and made huge strides simply by being committed to their voices.
What other LGBTQ artists inspire you?
I’m inspired by Mykki Blanco, FAKA, Zolita, Zebra Katz, Nakhane, and Young MA. I appreciate how fearless they are about their identities.
I have a major crush on Lil Nas X, too. It would be a dream to work with him!
Why is it important for you to work with queer artists?
Simply put, it’s fun to work with my community. It’s also very important that we amplify marginalised voices.
You’ve been open about your body issues and learning to love yourself. What advice would you give to someone going through a similar journey?
I would encourage you to practice changing the negative voices inside your head into positives. Make a point of complimenting yourself and thanking your body for making it through another day. Do it with intention and emotion. Really reflect on why you are grateful to have your body.
What message do you want people to take away from your music?
I don’t have a particular message, but I would like people to come away from my music loving themselves a little more. In the immortal words of Rupaul: “If you can't love yourself, how in the hell are you gonna love somebody else?”
Watch the video for Dope Saint Jude's ‘Home’ below: