TrueMendous is succeeding where many talented British MCs have fallen short.
Carrying the rare ability to make genuine connections between wordplay and sound, her playful use of language is hard-hitting, with impactful deliverance that’s getting the attention it deserves. Her lyrics are insightful, clever anecdotes that stay with you through to the next song. Simmering with talent and originality, she uses her creativity across multiple platforms, but also for the stage.
Meeting in Birmingham, she tells me of a play she co-wrote focused on two black slaves, where the diction is replaced by a “soliloquy of rap”. These verses express conflict and are a poignant reminder of a history she feels deeply connected to, having Jamaican roots herself. Through successfully being submitted onto the Roundhouse Programme London, TrueMendous has taken the opportunity to enhance and shape her creative skills. Taking the time to attend networking events, and branding talks from ASOS, she has shown both her passion and drive for success. As a direct result, TrueMendous has been snapped up to perform at UKYA: City Takeover: Nottingham.
TrueMendous believes that music: “Carries substance and depth, the ability to make you feel, reflect and re-energise your soul.” She confesses that performing makes her feel alive: “I don’t have to be stuck in the rut of a normal 9-5 retail job, don’t get me wrong I don’t condemn anyone who does that, I’ve worked in retail myself and have a lot of respect for those who do, but to do something that you don’t want to do every day is crushing to any artist. You’re waiting on your big break, becoming exhausted and eventually give up on something that might have been just around the corner. I’m glad that I’m able to perform in London, Busking gives me the chance to see something new every day.” She jokes about her nerves when she first started busking: “I stood around with my mic dreading turning the music on, knowing all eyes would be on me, but eventually I did it and I haven’t looked back since.”
Our conversation turns to the climate of the music scene in the UK, I ask her what she feels are the biggest problems facing UK music, her answer is delivered with an eye roll: “repetitiveness. Artists see what other artists are doing and mimic and copy, because they find it hard to be original, because in this generation being original isn’t something that guarantees success. You could just play a bunch of rappers and it’ll sound like one long song.” I nod in agreement, and shout “skrrt!”. We both laugh – be warned her laughing is contagious. She stresses her annoyance with mumble rappers but acknowledges that there is a sense of change happening. She talks about the rise of Afrobeat’s in the UK and admits that there are certain rappers who aren’t getting the attention they deserve. We talk about her music career, focusing on being a woman in rap: “it’s an advantage being a woman in the rap game. There are a lot of talented women rappers that I know in Birmingham, all with their own style.” TrueMendous remains humble, when I instinctively tell her that she’s one of them.
We move conversation on to London, where TrueMendous has been living for a year now. “I moved to London, because I felt I had outgrown Birmingham, I had done everything that I had wanted to do there, whereas in London the opportunities for development are limitless. I’m still settling in, learning new things, and I really feel that 2019 is my year, I know how cliché that sounds, but I can really feel it you know.” I ask her if she has any new-year resolutions? She adopts a more serious tone. “Yes. I need to say yes to more opportunities. This is a 1 in 100 interview – I never normally say yes. I’m doing so many things, song writing, poetry, rapping that I sometimes forget to pause and check my emails. I’m always looking in a forward direction, so when one day passes I can’t look back on it because I want to reach my goal, and to get to that goal I must keep moving. I want to see myself doing more gigs, I did a headliner at Reading and really enjoyed that.” TrueMendous held back on being overzealous and it wasn’t until the end of the interview, when pressed, that she talked about her winning the MOBO trust fund, who recognised her as emerging artist.
When asked she began eagerly talking about her time in Atlanta, Georgia. She won funding from PRS who covered both flights and accommodation, noting how “it was a really big experience. But I don’t want to settle in America, I’ve always imagined myself in Europe, somewhere like France for example. I was the opening act in Georgia for the A3C festival. I also got narrowed down into the final of the rebalance programme out of 200 plus artists that were competing. I felt happy about that, the programme is dedicated to pushing gender equality within the music industry. I’ve headlined over most of the UK from Newcastle to Brixton, I also performed at the LoveBox festival, King’s Jam Festival and many more. To be Honest, it’s easy to forget when you’re doing so much.”
Shortly after she performed at “King’s Jam” festival, the Birmingham flyover show and supported Hip Hop’ Monie Love, a collaboration between TrueMendous, Jazz legend Soweto Kinch and lyricist C4sey was also released. She has featured on multiple radio platforms from BBC 1XTRA, Radar Radio to Trevor Nelson. TrueMendous has a brand-new project, her E.P., with its release due in the coming months called ‘PS: This Is Your Father Calling.’ Its guaranteed to make waves.
Meeting her definitely made an impression on me, and I’m sure her music will leave an impression on you. Check it out below:
Discover More CategoriesHip-Hop