Juice Menace was in a lecture at college when she got the message that changed her life. It was a DM from someone who claimed to be a talent scout at Warner Music UK. She assumed it was fake. She knew up-and-coming rappers could be discovered on SoundCloud, but this felt too surreal, too "random".
After all, why would the music giant be interested in an amateur rapper from Wales? A teenager from Bridgend who was still studying music technology at Cardiff and Vale College, who had only put out a handful of freestyles and remixes online?
And so she ignored it. But the A&R (artists and repertoire) representative was persistent. He emailed her, but she ignored that too. He had also messaged on SoundCloud, where Juice had posted a couple of audios – but she didn't see it. "I didn't even know you could message people on SoundCloud," laughs Juice, now 22.
Read more: The Cardiff recording studio taking Wales' hip-hop scene by storm
After mentioning the messages to a fellow singer, Juice discovered she had been wrong. This was, in fact, the real deal. The talent scout eventually got through to her when she was at college. She had to step out of the classroom to take the call.
"He said: 'I've been trying to get hold of you for ages' and I was like: 'Yeah, sorry about that!'" recalls Juice. "He said: 'I think you have something here – you have a lot of potential. If you're happy to take this seriously, I would like to bring you to London next week and get you in the studio. Let's make this a real thing.'
"For me, having somebody who was actually in a music scene, in a music industry, thinking that I could actually do it. I was like, okay, cool – you don't have to tell me twice. I'll be on the next train. And I literally went to London the next weekend. I'm grateful for the fact he was persistent, otherwise I might not be here now."
"Here" is a hugely exciting time in the young rapper's career. That Warner Music talent scout has since become her manager. She has released her first single, dropped an EP, been featured on BBC Radio 1 and Spotify’s ‘New Music Friday’, and performed at BBC Radio 6's Music Festival, Leeds Festival, Berlin's Splash Festival and Glastonbury.
Most recently, she was asked by the Football Association of Wales (FAW) to write an exclusive track, 'For Her' for the Wales women's team ahead of Cymru’s key 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup qualifiers against Greece and Slovenia.
Juice, whose real name is Destiny Jones, was born and bred in Grangetown, Cardiff, before she moved to Bridgend aged 16. She grew up with music all around her – her mum was a "great singer" who loved R&B – but she hadn't always envisioned she would make music herself. "That wasn't something that came to me until I was older, when I was about 17."
As for rapping, she thought local MCs were "cool" but admits she "never saw myself as being the type of person that was capable of doing that". But as she got older, she developed a love for literature – especially poetry and spoken word – and she started to get more creative in college with photography and visual art.