Having started off as a stylist, then a model, Essex born and bred Becca Dudley has managed to cement her feet in the entertainment industry as a notable DJ and presenter.
The 26 year old DJ and presenter Becca Dudley is known for specialising in dancehall and reggae music having being brought up on the genre. It wasn’t until she began to DJ that she realised the lack of knowledge for reggae in popular culture and has made it her mission to bring it into the mainstream
1883 caught up with Becca to talk about her journey so far and future plans.
How was your 2016?
I had such a crazy year last year, one of my busiest to date! I covered at least 10 festivals - DJ’ing at Glastonbury was a highlight as well as zip wiring over 80,000 people at Rock In Rio Lisbon! And hosting the live backstage show at the MTV EMAs was a great moment for me. I also started two new TV series!
You’re heavily influenced by music as I know that you come from a musical background. Did that influence your decision on your career path?
There wasn’t really a decision that I’m going to going to music because that was what I was bought up in. Sometimes when you’re really passionate about something it just becomes your career I suppose. I studied fashion and I was doing styling, and I guess that was the path I was going down. But music has always been my life. I was bought up on reggae and everyone just playing instruments. It wasn’t like a decision, it was something that was just always there. And then I realised that it could be involved in my work as well and I can cross between music and fashion, then I fell into presenting and realised that actually that is what I loved to do; especially if it’s anything to do with music.
You mentioned reggae. Why’s that the genre that you specialise in?
That’s what I’ve been bought up on. My mum’s half Jamaican and I’ve got a lot of Jamaican family. So that was just the music that was in our house. I didn’t even notice that was a weird thing for someone that looks like me to like and enjoy it until I got into presenting. And I guess it was until I got into the public eye, people were like “Why do you like reggae? Why are you doing reggae?” All that kind of thing. That was when I realised that actually that’s not what everybody listens to. I just thought that was the norm, I didn’t really like choose to get into reggae. But then actually after I went to Jamaica for the first time, I kind of fell in love with the whole culture and dancehall. And when I started DJ’ing years ago, I started playing hip hop and then was like “Why am I playing hip hop? When reggae and dancehall is like my thing.”
I know that some DJs often go down the path of making their own songs, making music and collaborating with producers. Is that something that you thought of or that you plan on doing the line?
I mean yeah, I’d love to make music I’m so fascinated by anything to do with music. For the moment I’m just going through a phase to talk about, I want to play it, interview people, I want to make it, like I play instruments. I want to do anything Music basically. So yeah, producing would be in my sights for sure. I don’t really have time right now, it takes a lot of time to be always on it, always making tracks. Whether it be at home or in your bedroom. It takes a lot of time which I don’t really have at the moment. I’m trying to do too many things at once basically.
So what are the many things at once that you are doing at the moment?
I’m doing some radio. I’m a DJ on Beats 1, I present for MTV I do about six or seven shows on there. I’ve got some really exciting cool projects that I can’t yet speak about. I DJ and I recently started up a music platform called DEADLY, the idea is to show the link between the UK and Jamaican music scene through events, radio, live sessions and interviews. So far I’ve shot sessions with Chronixx, Jesse Royal and Christopher Martin and next I’m shooting some of my favourite UK grime and dancehall artists. I want to help spread Jamaican music to new audiences and make it more accessible, by highlighting its links with genres from jungle to grime and hip hop. We’re linking up with Protoje for our first party on May 12th - all the details and sessions will be at www.deadlyofficial.com and we are @deadlyofficial on Instagram!
How did presenting come about?
I kind of just fell into it weirdly. I was styling and modelling part time and I was working in personal shopping as well in that point. My modelling agency were like “You’ve got a screen test for MTV next week!” I was like “What is a screen test? I have no idea what that means.” I hadn’t done any presenting in my life. Anyways, I just kind of went and didn’t have any expectations and I thought I was really shit. I remember calling my mum telling her “That did not go well.” And I just got a callback like a month later, I just came in for a chat and they gave me a job. Literally, it was that simple. From then on I started off doing MTV News, that was for the first year and I got promoted to a new show and I started doing more and more shows. I started doing radio and DJ’ing, but I started DJ’ing before I did presenting, but it never really picked up. Then everything just kind of came together from there really.
Have you ever felt like it’s all going wrong and you wanna pack it all in?
I’ve never wanted to give up because I love what I do and I’m determined to reach all my goals. Plus I feel like I’ve developed a very thick skin by modelling for 4 years! There are absolutely times when things go wrong and you question yourself, but it’s important to remember that everyone goes through the same thing and that’s the stuff that makes us stronger! Plus I’ve witnessed one door closing but another opening every time.
What are your party starter tracks for DJ’ing?
Stefflon Don is killing it at the moment. Her song ‘16 Shots’ really gets people hyped. I have a Sean Paul dub that gets people to go crazy whenever I drop it. ‘Bruk Off Yuh Back’ by Konshens. I have a couple remixes I do that goes down quite well, like I’ll have a basement song and put like a dirty hip hop beat on the background.
Becca is a host on MTV, Beats1 London DJ and Founder of Deadly (deadlyofficial.com). For her latest news follow her via @beccadudley
Interview Mbolaji King
Photography Elliot Kennedy
Styling Jheanelle Feanny
Production Toyosi Osifeso @ Messy Village
Hair and make up Samantha Coles using Mac Cosmetics and Kevin Murphy
Styling Assistance Anna Guellard @ Messy Village
Location The Looking Glass Cocktail Club