We chatted to Dope Saint Jude about her song ‘Grrl Like’ and what she misses about SA

dope saint jude interview

South African musician Dope Saint Jude has created a stir overseas with her tracks. She has toured Europe and the US, and recently her song Grrl Like was featured in the trailer for Hailee Steinfeld’s Apple series Dickinson about Emily Dickinson and the trailer for Netflix’s new South African original series, Blood & Water

Dope Saint Jude is now based in London and has worked with international artists like MIA as well as brands like H&M and Nandos. She has also performed at the Cape Town International Jazz Festival and Afropunk.

We chatted to her about her explosive success and what’s next:

Firstly, how excited were you when you heard that your song was going to be used in the Dickinson trailer?

I was absolutely THRILLED. Of course, it felt validating to know that my music is of the standard where it can be used for an international campaign. It was a great pat on the back.

What inspired you to write Grrl Like?

I had just left Cape Town for  London and I was missing my friends back home. The song was written to celebrate the things  I love most about them, their badassery.

You mentioned in your tweet that Emily Dickinson was a big inspiration to you growing up, what about her inspired you?

I was in love with the poem ‘Because I could not stop for death’ as a teenager. That poem encapsulated a lot of my feelings as a teen. I was also just inspired by her defiant character, being a woman poet in a time when that was frowned upon.

Who would you say your biggest musical influences are?

I would have to say, Alanis Morissette, Tracy Chapman, Lauryn  Hill, Tupac Shakur, Nicki Minaj and Kanye West

Tell us about your background in the drag king movement in Cape Town?

I had always been involved in the queer scene in Cape Town, so for a short while I was a drag king- I created the first documented drag king troupe in the country. I owe a lot of my success to the queer scene in Cape Town, they taught me about performance and entertainment in a very big way.

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Blessed 💫 📷: @nicrawhani

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Where did the inspiration come from for your stage name, Dope Saint Jude?

My second name is Saint Jude, so I just added the ‘Dope’ in the beginning to make it sound more hip hop.

Do you think the hip hop industry around the world has improved for queer artists?

Yes, definitely. I am excited about artists like Lil Nas X, Kehlani and others who are in the mainstream hip hop space and queer.

If you could collab with one artist, dead or alive, who would it be?

That’s a tough one. I would love to collaborate with 1997 Alanis Morissette. 

What do you miss most about South Africa?

I miss my friends,  my family and of course the weather. If I could choose, I would stay in SA, but it seems my audience is on the other side of the world.

What is next for you?

I am releasing a few singles in the build-up to my debut album. Look out for it!

Watch the music video for Grrl Like:


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  • In case you missed it, #TheBachelorSA ended with Marc choosing Marisia and they look super happy 🥰🥰🥰
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  • The first pics from @netflixsa ‘s first South African horror film,8.

8 tells the story of an unaccomplished William Ziel (Garth Breyetenbach) who returns to the farmhouse he inherited from his estranged father with his wife, Sarah (Inge Beckmann), and their adopted niece, Mary (Keita Luna). Soon after moving in, they meet a mysterious local outcast Lazarus (Tshamano Sebe), who carries with him a dark secret that will put everyone at risk. Lazarus persuades William to hire him in spite of Sarah’s reservations and successfully forges a kindred bond with Mary, who, like him, still aches for her lost kin. But among the locals, Lazarus is an unwelcome menace who carries a dark secret in his sack: a demon reincarnation of his deceased daughter with an insatiable appetite for human souls. In his pursuit to calm her nag, he facilitates several deaths and killings in the village, drawing the circle closer to the Ziels. .
8 will be released on Netflix on 19 June 2020.
  • new on the blog: we chatted it @dopesaintjude whose song ‘Grrl Like’ featured in the trailers for #BloodandWater and #Dickinson . *Link in bio*💕🙌🏽
  • Okay but have you guys seen the trailer for Netflix show #BloodAndWater (you can find the link in our bio). We are obsessed! 🏫📚

At Parkhurst College, a prestigious inner-city school for Cape Town’s elite scholars and academic overachievers, we’ll follow the exploits of the intelligent, proactive and impulsive 16- year-old Puleng Khumalo, as she engineers her transfer to the school to investigate the 17-year- old cold case of her abducted-at-birth older sister she’s never met.
Images by @neobaepi @byjono.mov @tegansmithphotography @appster and Miss Hlope