How did Norwich band Rope Store end up being featured on Beyoncé latest adidas x IVY PARK Kids advert? Gemma, one half of the band, explains all!
How did Rope Store come about and how would you describe your music?
I was helping at Jason recording studio in exchange for studio time and after a few months we started talking about doing something together. I have this vague memory of me standing in the main room holding Henry the hoover, he was sat on the sofa with a guitar – and he played a little melody and asked what I thought of it. I remember thinking, ‘YES! That’s it!’ and once we recorded that, I don’t know, there was nowhere else to go but forwards. We’d found this sweet spot we both wanted to keep tapping in to. I have no idea how to describe our music – some of it is 60s inspired, some is a bit more soul…All I know is that it’s always real. There’s no gloss and we don’t follow any rules.
What happened next – did you go your separate ways and pursue other things?
We parted ways musically for a while just because it stopped being fun. In the studio it’s just me and Jason but when we converted it to a live set up so we could gig we needed a band of at least seven people. I think we had more sometimes! There was a lot of pressure on Jason to have to teach everyone the different parts to the songs, organising practices for that many people who all work full time and/or have families too – it just got too much. Jason’s Mum passed away, I separated from my kids Dad. I think we both just needed to go and scream into our pillows for a while. I moved to London; Jason moved to a new recording studio where he started a solo project Grandbaby. I think we both knew we’d work together again when it felt right.
How has the past year or so been for you?
I think both of us were in a state of frozen panic. My day job was travel writing so that went up in flames almost overnight and Jason runs a recording studio. He makes money by having people come in and record! So that dried up too and probably like all the other people who weren’t on furlough, spent months freaking out about how the hell we’d pay bills. By September last year I’d taken a job as a housekeeper just to get some income and Jason was busy selling equipment. For me personally, being forced to stop reminded me how much I missed making music and how that was still a huge part of what I wanted in my life. In between lockdowns we got back in the studio and recorded a couple of new songs and decided to reignite Rope Store as a recording duo again. Just for fun. That seems to work out for us…
When did you first realise Beyoncé had used your song in her latest adidas x IVY PARK Kids ad?
Someone in America had approached Jason about it so we knew it was a possibility – but nothing was confirmed. Then I got a message on Instagram from a guy in Brazil saying he’d just heard our song on the Ivy Park ad and where could he download it! It was such a surreal moment. It’s still weird. Not sure it’ll ever feel real! But safe to say we’re both super happy and grateful for the opportunity to have our music heard by such a massive audience and be placed by such a huge icon in the music industry.
How do you top that? Where do you go from here?
We’d already decided we were going to get back in the studio and make more music so we’re going to stick with that plan but maybe keep it less of a secret and spread the word a bit more. We need to get better at doing that. He has a studio in Scottow – an old bunker on the RAF base. I’m in London but still spend a lot of time in Norfolk.
As for how do we top that? Like maybe we could do a gig with her or something! If Jay Z sampled it my mind would be blown because that’s something we actually joked about when we recorded the song. Isn’t that weird?
Is Rope Store open for business again, so to speak?
The Rope Store is very much open for business. We’d like to get a record deal. We’d like to play gigs again. We’re open to all possibilities. I mean this is proof that you never know what’s around the corner and to just keep doing what you love with a pure heart. Guess who’s the hippy of the band?!
Visit Rope Store, Facebook and Instagram. You can download the track, Get Me Out here. The adidas x IVY PARK Kids Rodeo collection is available from August 19, and select stores globally from August 20. To watch the video featuring Rope Store’s track, Get Me Out, visit adidas Originals (@adidasoriginals) or IVY PARK (@weareivypark)
Featured image picture credit: Richard Shashamane