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TrueMendous talks all-female tour & her latest EP

TrueMendous carefully intertwines the art of storytelling with ear clenching wordplay, bizarre punchlines and in detailed poetry to narrate her work towards her audience. We sat down with her to find out how ReBalance has helped shape her path within the industry and her latest all-female tour.

For people who haven’t listened to your music yet, how would you describe yourself?
I’d describe myself as unpredictable, humorous and thought-provoking. I gain pleasure from challenging my listeners. This varies from experimenting with various complex flow patterns or unusual beat selections to pitch changes throughout my verses or hidden messages/double meanings within the lyrics. It’s my job to make the listener not only think, but provide them with substance that they may be able to relate to.

How has joining the ReBalance programme helped you?
The Rebalance Programme has provided me with a platform to further expand my knowledge on the business side of music along with allowing me to create a lot of new content for another project. The programme has introduced me to new valuable contacts and put me in several positions to perform in front of wider audiences. I would recommend the programme for any upcoming females seeking a helping hand in their career.

What struggles have you faced within the industry and what advice do you have to those going through the same things or trying to get a foot in the door?
Though I still wouldn’t classify myself as ‘in the industry,’ generating a large core following has been a challenge and is still an ongoing process. The scene is over saturated and I personally feel if the subjects I spoke on were more sexualized and simplified, more acknowledgment would have been given. If I chose to wear more skin revealing outfits I know a lot more people would have shown interest, however, these are not the people I want my fanbase to consist of. Though this is frustrating I’m very aware there are a lot of people still seeking substance and empowerment through music. Though the direction I have chosen to go is longer than most, it is also the direction that long-term will bring loyalty and longevity. This coming without me losing my integrity or having to sell myself short.

In order to get your foot in the door, you need to maintain consistency. It’s hard to ignore someone who’s always there. Remaining persistent regardless of how many false promises and ‘opportunities’ seem to pass you and always delivering your work to a high standard. Self-disciple, focus, belief in God and self-belief in the end destination/goal will always be the reason I continue.

Who has influenced your sound?
Artists who were never afraid or apprehensive to go against the grain helped me find my sound without being hesitant to try new things. These include musicians such as: Frank Ocean, Missy Elliot, Lauryn Hill and Kendrick Lamar.

Who are 5 female/female identifying artists who you think will be the next big thing?
I can give 6, Myself, Little Simz, Summer Walker, Ms Banks, No Name and Nao.

Where do you draw your inspirations from?
Inspirations present themselves from various elements such as conversations I participate in, situations I am a part of/witness, relationships, articles, films, songs. Life, in general, will always trigger inspiration.

You recently took part in an all-female tour called Queens of Art – can you tell us a bit about that?
The opening show launched in London at Camden Assembly and successfully sold out prior to the performance date. 150-200 audience members attended the show and the love and support shown and reciprocated was immense. The crowd was energetic and respectful to all the performers closely listening and taking in the messages within the lyrics/poetry throughout the entire event and the BBC supported and filmed the show. The purpose is to push and align multiple female musicians. Providing a pedestal and allowing them to collectively be at the forefront unified as opposed to against each other.

Shay D (the curator and headliner) has done a great job organizing the tour. I’m looking forward to the rest of the shows.

You just released your latest EP, ‘P.S. This Is Your Father Calling’ can you tell us a bit about the writing and recording process?
I am happy with the response to my latest project. It consists of 5 very different tracks which intertwine storytelling and poetry over hip hop, trap, neo-soul, grime and afro beats. Funnily enough, a lot of the lyrics were written beforehand in segments only meant for 60 second Instagram freestyles which I later expanded into full songs. I recorded a few of the tracks in The Roundhouse’s studio facilities in London then went back to Birmingham and re-recorded a few I felt I could deliver better; then I had my engineer in Birmingham mix the tracks again. In total, I think we went through around 3/4 mixes per song before we got to the end result.

What’s your favourite lyric you’ve written so far?
I have many favorites throughout the content I have created over the years. The first one that comes to mind is ‘sorry that my legs aren’t shaved, sorry that my hair ain’t laid, sorry that my nails don’t slay, sorry that my rent ain’t paid and sorry that my rent ain’t paid…again.’ Though I have more clever and intricate lyrics in my catalogue, it’s more so the response and reaction from that line that I love. I also know the majority of people (especially women) who listen to my music relate to it.

Where would you like to see yourself this time next year?
God willing I’m still here, I would love to be getting booked consistently for more international performances across Europe and the States.

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