Sir Jude Opens Up About Catholicism, Sexual Agency, and Feminism

Sir Jude is a Melbourne-based artist making darkly enticing cinematic pop that plunges the listener into a world of fantasy, experimentalism, imagination, and sensuality. EARMILK, The Independent, and Wonderland have pegged her as one to watch in 2022 and her music has also garnered placements on MTV’s Catfish and The A List on Netflix.

Sir Jude’s latest singles, “Madonna” and “Preach,” serve as a prelude for her upcoming album Revelations, a sonic journey of unraveling internalized misogyny and embarking on self-discovery. “Madonna” is a pulsing catwalk anthem of sexual liberation that Fizzy Mag described as “the best of both worlds: a track to vogue to and a feminist fantasia all at once.” Laden in black-lacquered synth basslines and operatic crescendos, “Madonna” calls to mind Art Pop-era Lady Gaga cosplaying as a Bond girl. And it’s magnificent.

“Preach,” Sir Jude’s newest single out today, is a collaboration with Maxim from the Prodigy that throbs with shuffling industrial percussion, haunting piano chords, ethereal vocals, and poetic professions such as “No more shame, my saving grace,” building on the album’s themes of unapologetic selfhood and liberation.

A Grrrl’s Two Sound Cents caught up with Sir Jude to discuss her upcoming album Revelations and bringing a heavy visual focus to her art.

What is the most important message you want to convey to your audience? 

Live your life authentically. To your own timeline. Chase what makes you thrive. 

How does your current artistic vision differ from the vision you had when you started making music? 

I’m a lot more unapologetic now. The early stages of my writing career was peak “Katy Perry,  Firework”. So I wrote what I thought I should write. At the same time, I was exploring what was to me, a new world of sound, from Nirvana to Daft Punk to Air!

It inspired a lot of my choices sonically, but I didn’t think people wanted to hear it. Now, I encourage that process more; I allow imperfection and experiences to show in my music and it feels more honest, even familiar. 

Because of that, it’s paved a creative path where I get to unravel my passion for visual art in creative direction and music video production. I like telling stories through an obscure lens, and having people interpret their own meanings from it. 

Your art is inspired by Catholicism, high fashion, Baroque art, and film noir. How do each of these elements shape the way you see yourself as an individual? 

Growing up in a Catholic Italian family, the abundance of culture, “drama” and aesthetic are experiences I think I can speak to. 

I grew up surrounded by symbols and imagery that were presented in such beauty, but at the same time stood for beliefs that were detrimental to my freedom and right to grow as a young woman, ie family, marriage etc. 

Through music, I get to challenge those ideals. Fashion, film, and art are just materialised forms of rebellion I guess; a means of expression. 

Your latest single “Madonna” navigates the dichotomy of the Madonna and the whore. How would you describe your own personal relationship to this complex? 

Sexual liberation and body positivity weren’t prevalent or spoken about when I was a teenager. It was taboo, we had no right being sexually free. 

People made up their minds about you. You were either the Madonna or the whore. 

For some reason I found that I was sexualised from a very young age, whether it be because of the industry I aspired to be a part of or because of the way my body looked; the attention I received made me somewhat uncomfortable, and not because I didn’t enjoy it but because I was made to feel shameful for it. As though it was my own doing. 

Making music has been a very cathartic experience in that I get to reclaim my sexuality and my experiences and present myself as I want to, because I want to. 

What are your Top 5 favorite films of all time? 

Ooh this is a tough on! I’ve probably forgotten one.

  1. Drive 
  2. James Bond Casino Royale
  3. Atlantis (Disney) 
  4. Cruel Intentions 
  5. Oceans 11 

What is the most therapeutic part of making music for you? 

Sometimes I feel as though the process of writing music is almost as though I’ve created little prophecies or notes for my future self. I may not always understand what message I’m trying to put out there, but eventually it comes together. 

What is your favorite memory of recording the new album?

I’ve interviewed my nonna (grandmother) for the album. I’ve included an interlude where she speaks to me in Italian about what being a woman means to her. It was so beautiful to be able to capture that. She was hesitant and confused at first, but eventually I convinced her to do it.  

If you could swap brains with any artist for a day (living or dead), who would it be? 

Such hard questions!! It may have to be Alex Turner. I’d write an entire album in a day with that brain. 

Anything else coming up you would like to plug? 

I’m very excited to release the Revelations music video. It’s a little story I’ve created that acts as a visual experience of the album. I can’t wait for you to see it.


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