INTERVIEW | “THE PAIN, HURT AND HAPPINESS I EXPERIENCED AS A KID I NOW USE TO TELL MY STORY” INTRODUCING RAPPER SWEET ROGUE

What was it like grow­ing up in Glas­gow and how has this influ­enced the music you make?
Grow­ing up in Glas­gow was rough. There was­n’t many things for kids to do. We were 90s kids with a lot less to deal with than the kids of today, they have the inter­net we had the streets. I star­ted listen­ing to Hip-Hop around the of age of 9 or 10, I remem­ber dis­cov­er­ing Eminem and just being in abso­lute awe of that time in his life. He had issues and I had them too. It was relat­able and I aim to be the same.

How did your exper­i­ences grow­ing up lead you to Hip-Hop, and when did you first real­ise your rap skills? 
Music has always been a go to when I’m feel­ing some type of way. The pain, hurt and hap­pi­ness I exper­i­enced as a kid/young adult I now use to tell my story in my raps. I always knew I could rap to oth­er peoples songs but the beauty to cre­ate your own is truly on a much deep­er level.

Hip-Hop is an influ­en­tial tool for change, how import­ant is it for you to use your music to cre­ate aware­ness or social change? 
It’s very import­ant. When you are build­ing up an audi­ence and they’re listen­ing to every word you’re say­ing it would be very silly not to use it to your advant­age. You can make a big­ger impact if your words are clev­er and they resonate.

As a female rap­per, do you feel that Hip-Hop is a male dom­in­ated industry? Has there been barriers? 
Yes. Its a very dom­in­ated ter­rit­ory espe­cially in the Scot­tish music scene there is only a hand­ful of female artists and if you were to ask major­ity of the men they would say they would­n’t rate them. An example of a bar­ri­er is I’ve been told I would be the female on the line up as there were lim­ited female acts but no lim­ited male acts.

Tell us a bit about the music you have released so far, are there any tracks that are par­tic­u­lar favour­ites of yours? 
The music I have released so far more feels like step­ping stones to define who I’m becom­ing. I tried to keep my first EP as diverse as pos­sible but with no expect­a­tions. I put a lot of things I nor­mally would­n’t talk about in this EP leav­ing me feel­ing very vul­ner­able. Gone Now and Heart­break are def­in­itely favour­ites of mines because its raw and real.

Talk us through your cre­at­ive pro­cess, when do you find your­self writ­ing lyr­ics? What are your free­style skills like? 
I basic­ally just look for beats that I vibe with. I then sit down with said beat, play it on repeat and free­style while writ­ing it down and then switch­ing what I need to switch for it to sound they way I feel that it should. That way its authen­t­ic to that beat and the dir­ec­tion it takes me in.

What have you got com­ing out music wise over the next few months?
I’m now work­ing on my second EP release with hope­fully more fea­tures and an even wider range of Hip-Hop. I’ve also been work­ing with a tonne of artists on their fea­tures so people will not go short as I work.

Who are your biggest influ­ences in Hip-Hop or music in general? 
My biggest influ­ences in Hip-Hop are Eminem, Nicki Minaj, Little Wayne, Joyn­er Lucas and Tory Lanez. I think they all have a big part to play in why I actu­ally started.

What do you want to achieve with your music? What are your biggest goals?
My biggest goal is to reach a wider audi­ence. I want to show Scot­tish chil­dren and people that just because your Scot­tish does­n’t mean there’s lim­it­a­tions. I want to leave behind a legacy.

Where can we fol­low you?
https://linktr.ee/Sweetrogue

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Rishma Dhaliwal

Edit­or / PR Con­sult­ant at No Bounds
Rishma Dhali­w­al has extens­ive exper­i­ence study­ing and work­ing in the music and media industry. Hav­ing writ­ten a thes­is on how Hip Hop acts as a social move­ment, she has spent years research­ing and con­nect­ing with artists who use the art form as a tool for bring­ing a voice to the voice­less. Cur­rently work­ing in TV, Rishma brings her PR and media know­ledge to I am Hip Hop and oth­er pro­jects by No Bounds.

About Rishma Dhaliwal

Rishma Dhaliwal has extensive experience studying and working in the music and media industry. Having written a thesis on how Hip Hop acts as a social movement, she has spent years researching and connecting with artists who use the art form as a tool for bringing a voice to the voiceless. Currently working in TV, Rishma brings her PR and media knowledge to I am Hip Hop and other projects by No Bounds.