julie adenuga is spreading the sound of british music to the world
JME and Skepta's little sister, Julie Adenuga, is the new sound of radio on Beats 1.
Julie Adenuga, 27, was poached from her popular Rinse FM show to become the London anchor of the newly-launched and hugely-hyped Apple radio station alongside Zane Lowe (in LA) and Ebro Darden (in NYC). "I never used to listen to radio," she confesses. "I didn't enjoy someone telling me what to listen to, which is jokes." Julie has also previously admitted that she "didn't have a clue" about making a radio show when she joined Rinse. "People think I know what I'm doing, but I don't. I mean I have some knowledge," she jokes, "but I want to listen to more music, play more genres and just learn more."
Her role at the station requires her to take that London flavour to the rest of the world, and even though it could be tricky broadcasting to 100 worldwide territories who might not get the British references, Julie is rightly unapologetic: "It took me two or three years to figure out what Eminem was talking about, because I don't know Detroit or American culture. It's the same with my show, I'll see Tweets saying, 'What is that?' but I think that's the fun bit — people learning and understanding. It's nice for people to hear it purely, rather than me trying to teach them. I used to print out lyrics, read them and learn about all these new things."
Beats founder Dr Dre called her a "superstar" when they first met, but then she watched him do his show [on Beats 1], "and I was like, 'I need to go home and make my show better!'" But you suspect it's her fresh, freewheeling approach that Apple wanted to tap into in the first place - she's bringing youthful energy, chat and tunes, whether it's grime or Miley Cyrus. "At the moment grime is everybody's favourite flavour of Ribena," she says, and there's no point hiding the fact that her brothers are MCs Skepta and JME, currently riding the genre's second - and far bigger - wave of success. Did she hit the raves with her bros back in the day? "Nah! I tried to be everywhere they weren't. I didn't want to be in a party with my elder siblings - it didn't feel right. Unless I wanted to get in somewhere for free! And this was very short-lived, but I used to go to these dressy, heels-y kind of nights, before I realised I hate wearing heels. Then I was like, 'I'm only going where I can wear a hoodie and trainers.'"
Growing up with three brothers (the youngest is 23-year-old Jason), Julie says she was a straight-up tomboy. "I didn't do the girly thing for ages. I didn't wear make-up until my 21st birthday. Even up to now, I don't see gender a lot. I'm not a gender-y person. I wouldn't walk into a room and think there are more men than women. I'm more into the energy and passion of the person. That for me is the deciding factor of where an interaction will go." If the energy is wrong, she says, her interactions can go badly: "If I'm around an energy that I don't like, I'll kill the whole vibe of a room," she explains, cold as ice. Which brings us to her "bad advice" for any women looking to make it in the music industry (or indeed life). "My family are all very stubborn. We don't like to learn things unless we're ready. And because of that, I've only done what I want to do. So my advice is only do what you want to do. Be stubborn, but be passionate." Looking at the raging successes of the Adenuga kids, it's probably advice worth heeding.
Text Stuart Brumfitt
Photography Olivia Rose
Styling Bojana Kozarevic
Make-up Rebecca Wordingham at Saint Luke using M.A.C Pro.
Julie wears coat Canada Goose