Rouge, whose real name is Barbara-Jessica Deko Wedi, entered the rap scene when she was 19. A decade later, she’s a multiple award-winner signed with one of the best labels in the business, Warner Music South Africa (WMSA).
Her journey started when her friend convinced her that she had a voice for rap.
“I didn't believe him, but he convinced me to try, and everything is history after that,” said Rouge.
A decade later and post pandemic, the “No Strings” hitmaker says it’s become difficult to manoeuvre around the changes for event protocol and even sound change.
“I'm still finding my footing as a completely new artist post Covid-19. Thankfully, I have an incredible family who keeps me grounded. And when I lose my way or lose motivation, they remind me of my purpose and we do a lot of praying,” she shared.
Motivated by American singer Lauryn Hill, the Pretoria-born rapper became the first rapper to win a South African Film and Television Award (Safta) for best micro-budget film in 2018.
She won a South African Music Award (Sama) just months later. Rouge trained in drama before becoming known as a muso.
Now the rapper is famous for her lyricism, sharp tracks and various collaborations.
She’ll be celebrating Youth Day preparing for her music festival, which aims to uplift up-and-coming artists. She will divulge more information closer to the time.
Her advice for talented youngsters, “Take your time, take opportunities that make sense and just get through the noise.”