Monday, 13 October 2014


Ralph's been spinning some tracks by London (and Luton) singer/rapper Roadidendren of late on his Radio KC Indie Show as her fresh, funky, funny yet ferocious style never fails to please and favours no small amount of favourable feedback (yes, I know that's a lot of f's) from the listeners.

Her upcoming album, The Empress's New Clothes focuses on and picks apart the trivialisation of many parts of the music industry by its stars and insiders. 

Intrigued, Ralph had a natter with Roadidendren which proved to be candid, incisive and funny!

Ralph: Congrats on signing with See Monkey, how do you see this progressing your work.

Roadidendren: Greatly!  I think it's wonderful to have been found by such like minded, down to earth people considering the nature of the music industry and as such I can't wait to move forward with See Monkey.  The progress I expect will be mostly related to exposure and distribution as they are better acquainted with the industry.  Saying that most of what I have achieved so far is down to my label Other side of the ROAD and our overall tenacious attitude so I cannot forget that.

Ralph: I notice on your Facebook you're pre-empting people asking 'When's the f'ing album out', so - "when's the f'ing album out?"

Roadidendren:  Yes, yes, yes…it will be out in October 2018 judging by my current bearings and posts.  Kidding, I just don't know we're looking to mix and master soon but as I continue to write it's as if we just think…well hold on, that should be on their too.  Saying that, we've broken things down to 10 tracks and several bonus tracks so yeah, as soon as it's mixed and mastered!  Poptarts, Talent Shows, and Talk About are available for purchase however :)  and Radio has just been added to soundcloud :)

Ralph: You've been variously described as confrontational and in your face (mainly by Lily Allen) - is that a true reflection of your personality?

Roadidendren:  Eh?  Coming from queen of the Hypoclits.  She changes to the whim of the penny - one minute she's slagging off black dancers for their part in music videos next minute she's dancing naked to Drake on Instagram then she's mother teresa then she's Belle De Jour taking on new clients…its madness I tells ya…and as such I can't believe one word that comes out of her mouth as just as the pattern above describes she'll probably think I'm the most docile person on the planet at 4'o'clock today.

But to answer your actual question (rolls eyes…honestly, the cheek of it) no, I wouldn't say I am confrontational but I will speak up if I think there is an injustice no matter the climate and I think that's more reflective of my personality and writing style.

Honestly! I think people just say this and the "hater" thing whenever it means they can't continue as they are without getting called out.

Ralph: Toast or Poptarts?

Roadidendren:  Toast!  Without a shadow of a doubt.  Much healthier, Poptarts are sweet and pretty but they'll rot ya!

Ralph: Will the album see you gigging further afield soon? And do you enjoy performing live?

Roadidendren:  YES - I usually wait until I'm invited somewhere - I don't like to impose myself.

Performing live - I get really nervous but when I get my set right, I love it.

By that I mean when I relax.  I struggle with social anxiety etc. so...

Ralph: Your social commentary lyrics are both insightful and funny, how much will the album be expanding on peeling apart the layers of the more vacuous side of the music industry, entertainment and life?

Roadidendren: …the whole thing.  The album is much more focussed than I am.  It's my best bits.  The Empress's New Clothes is probably best described as an expose on things hiding in plain sight.

Ralph: Tom Robinson seems to be championing you of late, how did that come about?

Roadidendren: Oh good old Tom. I love Tom…he was introduced to me by Huw Stephens who introduced me on BBC Introducing in December of last year.  Tom has been an avid supporter ever since.  He nominated me for the Spotify Grant in April this year and he got me my first interview via Fresh On the Net and he recently played Talk About on his Introducing Mixtape show which he wasn't sure the BBC would let him play at first so that was a touch.  Huw, Tom, they're both great and I owe many of my current successes to them.  In fact, Huw's night at The Social is where I did my first gig and where I first met See Monkey!

Ralph: Ralph's Life has explored various aspects of mental health and how it affects musicians (only if you want to talk about it), how does being bipolar affect your songwriting/creativity/life?

Roadidendren: In many ways.  It means I see the polar extremes of everything and can bandy it together into what I feel is a balanced and true perspective on what is taking place within popular culture in this case.  My writing can be incredibly deep and other times it can be incredibly light hearted.  It's Other side of the ROAD that have really encouraged my writing style which is a mixture of my humour and the matter of fact way I see things.

Ralph: Studio or Live?

Roadidendren:  Not being funny…the studio.  It's a chance for perfection plus I'm a homebody.  I like to recharge…the world is a busy place and LIVE I have to deal with social anxiety, any prejudices etc. but I think the style I write in allows me to transcend that and that all starts in the studio…well, the sofa, then the studio.

Ralph: Currently listening to?

Roadidendren:  Bowie, Tina Turner, songs I loved as a child (I was NOT into Backstreet Boys etc.) I'm talking Annie Lennox - "I used to have demons, in my room at night" - songs that really used to have flavour, content, light and dark, texture not just di didi didi di and of course the great voices and writing that provided that. I've been listening to classical playlists too that help me focus when I'm out and about.

Ralph: Education?

Roadidendren:  My mum will love this bit.  I have a post graduate diploma in Psychology - that's pretty much the height of my education.  And where I can I follow the vein of music using things like Spotify and other such resources and usually teach myself a thing or two about the origins of musical styles etc. 

This is not a formal education but heck I'm not a formally educated musician or anything…rap is just something I happen to be good at and am somewhat addicted too…I'm not going to lie but with great passion comes great addiction, right? (she waffled on).

Ralph: I came across your music via a Tweet from one of the Ralph's Life Indie show listeners (Twitter's where I get all the music for the show) . How important do you feel Twitter is in terms of promotion for unsigned (and even signed) artists.

Roadidendren: I think it's a great way to connect with like minded people and it provides a lot of real time reactions to your material which goes some way in promoting your music.  I think however there is a lot of, let's say, Coca Cola out there and you have to keep swimming through it to get some H2O.  Aah, Actually Refreshing.

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