Reppin’ for the ladies in Wales, is the rising female rapper Juice Menace. Having only been in the industry for 2 years, the newcomer has already built a reputable name for herself in the UK Rap game. From opening up for AJ Tracey, to releasing a handful of poppin’ singles including her most recent drop titled “Money Dance”, Juice Menace is a force to be reckoned with!
Sharing her debut single “Fuck Dat Broke Boy” back in the summer of 2018, it was until a year later when Menace released “Hardly” that she began to take music seriously. Travelling back and fourth from Cardiff to London, doing back to back studio time, Juice Menace really began building the foundations of her career. Fast forward to the end of May, the female force dropped her brand new slick and menacing single “Money Dance”. Layered atop of a hard-hitting Drill backdrop, Juice Menace unleashed her fierce prowess, dropping hard bars throughout. With new music on the way, it’s looking like 2020 is going to be a big year for the rising rapper!
I caught up with Juice Menace to find out a bit more about her journey as a musician so far…
First of all, how have you been? We have been living through some insane times, what has been keeping you motivated through lockdown so far?
I think just what everyone else has been doing; TikTok, Triller, writing and home studio! Home studio, I’d say, back to back. I’ll wake up and jump straight on the mic because there’s nothing else to do, but I think it’s been good for creativity.
That’s good that you have access to a home studio, I know a lot of people have been struggling creatively with music!
What three words would you use to describe your sound?
Three words? That’s a bit mad! I would say motivated, sarcastic and aware! I am quite an aware person!
Journeying back to the very beginning, how did you originally start getting into music and writing bars? Which artists did you look up to musically?
I’ve always loved music, so for me, my music library has always been big, I was always that kid with the earphones in. Music started as a joke, I was in college and doing my A-Levels for the second time – it was flopping so bad! I made a joke to my friends “Do you know what, should I just be a SoundCloud rapper”, a year later I was coming back and forth from London and started to really take it seriously around January last year – it sort of just happened!
You fell into it, which I think is nice because a lot of people plan this type of stuff out and sometimes if you just freestyle it, it goes better!
Yeah, it all happened naturally, nothing was forced! I’m lucky that I’ve been able to have the experiences that I’ve had in the past year; even working with producers down in London – it’s been mad!
You have only been in the scene for just under 2 years, with a handful of tracks which have caught the attention of many! Being from Cardiff, did you ever find it difficult to gain the right recognition?
Yeah of course! Do you know how many man laughed at me when I got in the studio and said “Oh what, you’re from Wales?”, I was like “Yeah?!” it was a bit awkward, but I think if anything it made me more motivated. When you’re from London, you take the network and the scene and just generally day to day accessibility for granted. So for me, coming from Cardiff and going to London and seeing access to all these tools and people in the industry, I was like “Okay, I’ve been given a shot in the dark so if I have to work 10x harder as you man for you to just take me seriously, that’s not a problem for me!”. I think it’s definitely a problem anyway, but that’s just because London dominates the U.K scene, but that will change!
Which song would you say really started to change things for you?
Well, I’ve only done 4 singles, when I dropped my single “Hardly” last year. That one week last year, it was my birthday and then “Hardly” dropped and then I did the XOYO show where I opened up for AJ Tracey. I had never performed before so that was my first show, I was hella nervous and I didn’t know anyone! It was the Adam 22 takeover for the Wireless shows, when I found out I was on the line up I was like “Oh my days!”, bare of my friends couldn’t come because they aren’t from London so I took 2 of my guys with me – I had a cheeky Henessey and Coke before I went on stage. I didn’t even know I was opening until he told me and my heart sank!
Yeah it was mad, when I got on stage, from then I knew that this was something that I wanted to do. From summer last year, industry wise, that’s when the ball started moving a bit quicker. It’s so mad to me but this stuff is all really fun to me!
I know you’ve collaborated with Rowe Wrights on “Broke”, are there anymore collaborations we can expect or anyone that you would love to collaborate with in particular?
There’s loads of U.K artists I would love to jump on a track with or even work with to witness how they work in the studio, but I’m actually really scared of the evil eye so I don’t like to talk on stuff like that! But I would love to jump in the studio with loads of U.K artists – definitely some of the girls! Lavida Loca, Shaybo and Teezandos – all these girls are hard, I would love to work with people like that!
Okay, we have got to talk about “Money Dance” – what a banger! Tell me how this song came about? What did you draw from for inspiration?
Rum and pineapple juice! That sounds bad, I was coming back from L.A, I was so tired! We we’re going to go to the studio but I was like “I don’t think I’m feeling it, I kind of just want to go home”, I went from LA back to Wales the next day, had work because I was still working these times and then it was like boom, back to London! I was so tired, I just wanted to allow studio that day! The initial producer didn’t turn up, so many things we’re going wrong and then I was sent this beat by Dylan James and he’s from LA as well, he does more Pop stuff! He was like “We’ve got this beat for you!”, it was called ‘Oreo’, I was like “I’m not on that, you don’t rate me but that’s fine” *laughs*. He was like “Just jump on it!”, I was like “I’ll jump on it if you go to the bar and get me another drink!”, he was like “Say no more, just do this track and you can go home!”. I started writing the track but got stuck on the chorus, I couldn’t think of it so I just ended up just repeating what I’d said! By the end of it, I was like “Wheeww look what we’ve done boys, it’s been a good day!” – That’s literally how it happened!
The visuals for “Money Dance” are so sick! They gave me proper bad b vibes, what was your intention with the visuals? What vibe were you looking to convey?
Yeah! I love music video’s, I can sit for ages and watch music videos and in the U.K there’s such a generic type of video, that kinda acts as the standard one! I haven’t done one of those yet, I really wanted to do one! *laughs* I wanted the full GRM ting, I want the girls, bottles and all of that! I don’t even go clubbing, I’ve been clubbing 5 times in my life, but I phoned up this club in Cardiff to ask if I could film in there and they said “Yeah! Sure!”. I found a couple of girls to do the video – lovely girls by the way, just thought I’d throw that in there!
I’m very neutral when it comes to my aesthetic and always loved Rap music, because it’s a male dominated scene, you are naturally drawn to the aesthetic around male rappers – rappers are the new rock-stars! I’ve always loved things like that, artists like Future – I am a feminist and I do believe in their rights but people like Future are funny! I wanted to let the toxic masculinity in me jump out and everyone was down for it, so why not?! It was fun, but moving forward I said I wanted to show more creativity rather than just bottles and back!
In the two years you have experienced in the industry, what’s one thing you’ve learnt so far?
Not everyone is your friend! Someone said this to me before; “Being in the music industry is like waking up everyday and finding out that Santa’s not real, but you’ve just got to deal with it” – it’s such a smokescreen for a lot of things. When I started coming to London, I was still 18, so I was still quite fresh and I hadn’t been to London! I think a lot of people thought it was easy to dictate, belittle me and push me around and put me into a corner, it taught me a lot about myself. It taught me that if I really want to do this Rap ting, I need thick skin and to keep my head screwed on tight in the right way and stay focused. It taught me a lot socially as well, one of things I adore about the music industry and it being in London is how fast-paced everything is, because where I’m from in Wales, you don’t have people that want to get up and chase their dream. I’m not saying everyone is like that, of course there is, but generally if you say to someone you want to be a rapper they’ll laugh at you and say “Oh by the way, Greggs is hiring”, I’m like “Okay, but that’s not what I’m on!” – I just love that everyone I meet is a creative. I meet people and they’ve got idea’s and you’ll see a big group of people that are friends and every single one of them is going to blow soon, that’s what I love about the industry!
Do you feel like female rappers support each other in the right ways? I know you said earlier it’s very male dominated, what do you think on that?
It’s a sticky one init! There’s a lot of pressure for us all to act like we’re best-friends and a lot of the time, a lot of us don’t know each other at all! It’s not that it shouldn’t be a unity ting, and we shouldn’t support each other but, let’s be realistic you wouldn’t pick up 10 random male rappers from all different area’s, stick them in a room and say “You guy’s have to be best friends” or “If you don’t like each other that’s weird” – that’s nonsense to me!
When you say female rappers, you are thinking of around 10 people, you’re not thinking 30,40-60 people, “There’s only 10 of you why aren’t you all on a track together!” It’s like “What! Why do we need to be on a track together?!” – I think social media creates a lot of tension between female rappers and a lot of the time people mind their business! When we have more female rappers in the industry, and it becomes more a general thing I think that’s when you’ll start to notice real diversity and real friendships rather than “Let’s stand together at the MOBO’s” – to me that’s not unity, but that’s just my opinion!
What more can we expect to hear from you this coming year?
I’ve got loads planned! I’m trying to follow up with a new single as soon as possible, so you can expect that. I want to keep pushing my creativity, maybe release a project! I want to show people that I have more to offer!
Keep up to date with all things Juice Menace here!