We spoke to dynamic rapper and actress Rouge to find out what it takes to stand out from the crowd. Here’s what she had to say.
COSMO: What do you think makes you stand out from the crowd?
Rouge: Other than my red hair, it has to be my positive energy and unapologetic attitude towards the fact that I believe that I am capable of competing with anyone in my industry.
How can people build their brand?
Knowing yourself and what you stand for is the start of building. Remaining consistent in what you are proud to share with the people around you, but also continuing to be a scholar in the industry you are in. Your core values keep you grounded. One thing that has been beneficial for me is aligning myself with a branding team whose specific job is to co-create and amplify my brand for me. This helps ensure that I align myself with the people and brands which match my values and creative spirit.
Why is body language so important?
‘Actions speak louder than words’ is a quote that will always remain relevant. How we behave says way more than what we say. It’s a lot easier to read someone by looking at their body language. In any event, you want your body language to be positive, but BOLD and commanding. You want to make sure that your presence is felt.
What would you tell somebody who needs to impress, but is filled with self-doubt?
Self-doubt will not aid you. It’s important to be sure about yourself because if you believe it, people are bound to do the same. Until you can do that, it’s going to be hard to set an impressive tone.
How do you embody self-confidence?
It starts with presence, giving off an energy that you are certain of yourself. It’s about being present in the moment. It also requires talking with conviction and owning what you say. But don’t be afraid to take your time with this process. Explore your growth and make sure you know what is happening around you – be it politics, economics, your industry or social issues.
Why is being a rap raven something you feel you can own?
Much like Raven the Superhero, I plan to empower other women with the same challenges females face in the hip-hop music industry. The comic hero, Raven, can heal herself and others almost instantly and can travel through dimensions, the atmosphere and out of space. She has superhuman hearing and sight. And she can fight in her astral form. Where I end up going, I only wish to take other African female hip-hop artists with me. There is a seat at the table for us all. I plan to be the Raven hero that helps take us all there.
Have you ever experienced stage fright? If so, how did you overcome it?
Yes, I have. I even ended up forgetting my entire rap. I have always been well prepared after that. I honestly just practice and have also made it a point to perform as often as possible so that crowds no longer scare me. My team has told me that I speak well in front of a crowd. This was really new to me – so clearly I am moving in the right direction. Practice makes perfect! We are a work in progress, always.
What’s been the hardest lesson you’ve learnt in your career?
That not everyone is going to understand you or like what you’re trying to do. However, it is key to stick to your guns. It’s important to lead when called, or you will remain a follower forever.
What role do you think self-reliance plays in being successful?
It’s probably the most important role in life. Once you understand that you are in control and hold the key to your success, the likelihood that you will make it happen is very high. You will do whatever is necessary because you realise no-one wants you to win more than you do.
How can people play an active role in effecting change in their own lives?
- Reflect and meditate on what you want to achieve
- Try and rid your life of as much negativity as possible. Trying times will always be there; use them as stepping stones to do better
- Build a great support system: family, friends, professional team
- Be kind to others but, more importantly, be kind to yourself
- Make it happen and be consistent
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