26-year-old award winning Dololo hitmaker and presenter, Deko Barbara-Jessica Wedi, known as, Rouge shares how she’s making waves in the hip-hop industry and her success tips
For someone who didn’t consider a career in Hip Hop growing up, share with us how you ended up being a Hip Hop sensation?
I have always loved music and my plan was to study musical theatre because I wanted to be in musicals such as Sarafina and Lion King. When I was 19 years old a friend of mine said that I had a great voice for rap, which I didn’t entertain for a long time. When I eventually started rapping I fell in love with it and didn’t look back since.
Congratulations for winning this year’s SAMA Award, how was that experience for you?
It was surreal because I never thought it would happen to me yet, considering the fact that no woman has ever won the music video award for Hip Hop. I felt happy and validated that I was in the right place since I was competing against top musicians.
How did you find your voice as a female artist that’s in a male-dominated industry?
It wasn’t easy because, as you say, it’s a male dominated industry. I stuck to my lane and to my truth. I wasn’t going to be the girl that shakes her booty in front of the camera or compete with other artists. I stuck to things I wanted to talk about and the reason I fell in love with Hip Hop. At the end of the day there’s no one who can do Rogue but Rogue and that’s the mistake that a lot of up and coming artists have. They want to sound like someone else.
How do you define success and do you feel you have reached it?
It’s about being content with who you are and what you are doing. To that extend I have reached it, but now it’s about another level of success I am trying to reach. I feel like my story is finally being heard and the narrative of women in Hip Hop is finally happening with me in it.
What are your long term goals?
They definitely involve being a boss and a mogul. I don’t think I am that far off, I am on the right lane and right path. It’s really about patience, which I have, while preparing myself for that ultimate goal. Things didn’t just happen for me, the work had to be put in and that’s the attitude I will carry throughout.
What misconceptions do you feel people have about your industry?
That it’s easy. Talent is not enough to reach the top, you have to be consistent in working hard for your dreams, and this doesn’t apply to my industry only.
Who would you like to work with one day?
I would love to work with Amanda Black. I am excited that I have worked with Shekinah recently, I’d love to work with Nasty C and AKA as well.
What are your success tips to young people?
You have to prepare, research your field and work hard for your dreams. Don’t make the mistake of giving up, ever.
Catch Rogue on SABC 1’s The Remix on Sundays at 18h00 PM
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