Listening to Dope Saint Jude is an experience, because her lyrics are dope (excuse the pun) but they also look at issues most of us can relate to like identity. In this QnA, I quizzed Catherine Saint Jude Pretorious, better known by her stage name Dope Saint Jude on everything from her locs to her latest EP, Resilient.
1. This is just a comment really: I think your dreads are really dope.
Thank you! I have had them for almost 10 years!
2. Let's talk about the differences between your EPs. Where did each project find you within your creative life?
My first EP was my very first attempt at a musical project. I was in a really roar creative space. With this EP, I am more developed as an artist, a bit more mature and I have a clearer understanding of my musical direction.
3. You have described Re-Imagine as the unintended tribute to your mom, but also a project that has taught you about your strength. Tell me more about where Resilient finds you.
Resilient is about celebrating getting out of difficult circumstances. I lost my mom shortly after releasing my first EP, so this period has been one of growth for me. This project celebrates growth, personal development and triumph over tough times.
4. I am often intrigued by hearing other people's accounts of their own identities. Please tell me how the song Inside was conceived and if my sense of it, that it's about identity is correct. What themes does the song explore?
The song explores how my sense of self, as a kid, was shaped by other people's perceptions of me. As the song develops, and I grow up, I start to develop a stronger sense of myself. The track explores hair politics, feminism, discrimination and my own experience with poverty, queerness and self discovery.
5. Keeping in mind the success of your previous EP, how do you hope this one is received by a) your followers but also b) by people who may experience Dope Saint Jude for the first time through this project?
I think this EP is musically a lot stronger than my last one. I hope my followers grow WITH me and that new listeners appreciate the personal nature of the music.
6. Your work is mostly self-produced. Is this the case with the your latest work as well? (If this is, why is this important to you?)
This EP was produced by Pete Boxsta Martin and Dantae Johnson in London. This is my first time working with other producers on a project. It was necessary for my artistic development to work with other producers and create something completely new.
7. Let's turn our attention to Afropunk for a bit. They have as a brand shown lots of love for you and your brand. What do you make of them? Why are you comfortable with associating your brand with their brand?
I like that Afropunk supports black artists and gives them a wide platform. It's great to have the support from a big entity that specifically supports black artists.
8. You are one of the acts that's on the line-up for this year's Afropunk Joburg. What can lovers of your music expect from your set?
They can expect a big focus on the new music, a vibrant show and lots of fun. I plan to have a good time, this is my first Afropunk.