In the Hot Seat with Rudy Numba 4

In the Hot Seat with Rudy Numba 4

For this week’s Hot Seat, the Out N About sat down with local artiste “Rudy Numba 4” just came back from the Netherlands, where he attended the New Skool Rules Urban Music conference after winning the R U Ready competition back in December 2023. The talented musician told us all about his passion for music, his experience at the conference and his inspiration – and shared some motivational words for those looking to follow a similar path.


Please introduce yourself.

My name is Rudolph Lake, but I go by the artist name Rudy Numba 4. I’m a local artiste on the island, and am into music. I started music seriously in 2017. Before that I was just doing it for fun: rapping, freestyling, and was always writing my own music. In June 2021, I made my breakthrough with the “Uhhh Challenge” with DJ King Kembe. A year later, I participated in The Groove [soca competition during St. Maarten Carnival – Ed] and won second place. In 2023, I performed again, and placed third.

And when did you win the R U Ready competition, curated by Darryl York and Jernaldo “Dr. Rum” Thielman?

I participated in the competition twice, actually. In 2022, I came out second and I won first place in 2023. And that is how I got to go to the conference.

Tell us about the conference – when did you go and how was it?

I went to the Netherlands a week ago and the conference took place in Rotterdam. I left the island on Wednesday, May 28, with my manager, to partake in three days of seminars, concerts, exchange programmes, after-parties, speed-dating sessions and more from Friday, May 31, to Sunday, June 2. It is the biggest urban music festival and there were about 50 participating artists, from all over the world. Not only from the Netherlands, but from other places in Europe, Unites States, England, and the Caribbean.

What did you think? How did you experience the conference?

Well, for me it was a great experience. Because, in a sense, I am accustomed to performing for my people. But then to perform for all those other people outside the island, and to see the amount of love they show – it does make me feel a type of way still. Because the people here know me, I grew up with them – these people don’t know me or my music, and they still showed me love.


Yes, it was a great experience for me to see the reactions of the people. Out of all the artists, everybody saw me as a different person because I have a different sound. Usually, you can find someone who sounds like you, but with me, it was only me.

How would you describe your sound?

I’m not going to lie to you, I’m creating my own sound. It’s more world, Belafonte and dancehall, still mixed with soca. The people at the conference saw me perform and liked my unique sound.

Did you learn a lot at the conference? What are your takeaways? Anything you are going to do differently after this experience?

I just learned to focus on my own sound. I used to do a bunch of different music, always working on different genres, but now I realise I should just do what I always wanted to do – and that is focus on my own wave of music. Overall, the feedback from the experts during the conference was good. I did not get bad feedback at all.

I also connected with a lot of artists. I met record labels and music publishing companies, and I have people in the United Kingdom now who are ready to see me anytime. So it’s nice to have gotten the opportunity to get my name out there. In St. Maarten, it’s just a little vision, but being out there and seeing the number of people that are really behind these types of things really opens it up.

How did it feel to represent St. Maarten at such a big music conference?

At the end of the day, when it comes to music, I see myself as the soil of St. Maarten, with my new wave of music. To top it off, I was born on St. Maarten/ St. Martin Day, so I really try to represent the island wherever I go.

Where do you find your musical inspiration?

To be honest, my inspiration is where I grew up and the things have seen. I never really aspired to be like a particular artist, but I noticed that my music is a way to get to people. Instead of having a conversation – if I sing for them, they truly understand me.

Like my last song “I don’t wanna,” which came out one month ago, I found inspiration in a past relationship. I was stressed; we both said we were done with each other, but still ended up with each other. So it’s “If I don’t wanna, you don’t wanna, then why you calling my phone?” – which is very relatable for most people.

What would you advise your younger self? Or others looking to get into the music industry?

For me, consistency is key – and never being afraid to try new things.

And if I could tell my younger self something, I would say “Focus on what you want to focus on – don’t try to do too much at once.” I used to do all kinds of sports, but if I would have known music would be my thing, I could have done more at a younger age. “Mind over matter,” that is what I would tell my younger self.

What else is on the horizon for you this year?

Though I would not enter the R U Ready competition again, so that other artistes can have that opportunity, I might just apply and buy a ticket to attend the conference again to learn and connect even more.

I’ll be coming up with more songs, some for carnival of course. People can look forward to new music very soon. For example, I worked on a reggae song for my father after he passed away, and of course I have some summer bangers coming – so stay tuned.

The Daily Herald

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