The thespian who won’t sign a record deal

Media captionIAMDDB takes third place on the BBC Music Sound Of List 2018

IAMDDB, a Manchester vocalist whose music is full of intrepid opinion and erotic soul, is at series 3 on the BBC’s Sound of 2018 list.

IAMDDB comes opposite as a fully-formed luminary who’s watchful to step out of the shadows.

Her sound, which melts together neo-soul, civic jazz, hip-hop and RB, is by turns pointy and seductive. That, and her stylistic vision, are astonishingly positive for an artist who only started making waves 6 months ago.

Her outspoken and prolongation talent are fuelled by a extreme autonomy and a single-minded integrity that zero is going to mount in her way.

She forsaken her first lane in Sep 2016 – the same day she quit university, just an hour after enrolling.

The thespian was desirous to pursue her low-pitched and artistic aspiration after a outing to Angola, where her father is in one of the country’s many renouned bands.

Before her African trip, she did make her inroads into music under her genuine name Diana DeBrito (such as this song, with a good video desirous by Dennis Edwards’ 1984 hit Don’t Look Any Further). She was distant from entirely shaped then. Now, she’s prepared to go.


DDB just stands for my initials – Diana DeBrito. I’ve been doing a lot of soul-searching for a while now and we suspicion the best way to bond with people is to show that it’s cold being yourself, and we just suspicion we am DDB. Keep it simple. That’s who we am.

When did you start writing?

I started essay at a very immature age – about 7 or eight. we available my first lane at 11 at my dad’s studio. we done £50. we was buzzing. An 11-year-old with £50! we suspicion I’d won the lottery.

When did you start holding it seriously?

Around high school time, and we did music at college. But when we went to Africa, that’s when we started really understanding, OK, music is actually what we wish to do. we started producing, engineering, training the in-betweens of music, not just lyricism and the beat.

Writing’s always been second inlet – we can write anywhere, under any circumstance. Anything can enthuse me. It feels very healthy to write.

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Why did you go to Angola?

Every lady at one indicate in life practice a bad attribute and we just indispensable opposite energies and opposite vicinity – almost a reset symbol to my whole existence. So we thought, I’ll go to Africa, knowledge something totally new.

We finished up going for 6 months and toured here and there. Did a whole store of jazz. It was amazing. And it really desirous me. we thought, if we can do this in Africa, certainly we can do something back home.

Is your father from Angola?

He is. He’s formed in Angola and he’s in a rope out there – Afro soul, Afro jazz – and we suspicion what better way to overcome the personal issues I’m going by than to bond with music with opposite people?

It was a very big enlightenment startle but that whole outing taught me so much about myself, about us as humans, poverty, oppulance – it was sick. we advise everybody: You must go to Africa at slightest once in your life.

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Was that a branch indicate for you?

Definitely – that was the moment we realised, OK Dee, you wish to make music? Cool, well, the universe is your oyster, go out there and make music.

I came back, tried to do education. we went to uni for one hour. we thought, nope, this isn’t for me. The same day we started and quit uni was the same day we forsaken Leaned Out.

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Who inspires you?

Bob Marley was my series one inspiration. we grew up listening to Bob Marley in the car, in the studio, in the house. Everywhere we went, Bob Marley was always playing. The way we write, the way we harmonise, all is radically desirous by Bob Marley.

Apart from him, there’s a lady called Gretchen Parlato – she’s top notch. People like Jordan Rakei, Tom Misch, they’ve desirous me on this journey.

A South African musician as well, Jimmy Dludlu – that’s when we got into Afro essence and Afro jazz. Sick musician. Please check him out.

How about your dad?

My father was the biggest inspiration. Watching him do it desirous me and done me think, yeah, we wish to do that accurate same thing. He’s upheld me by every decision I’ve done in life. Bless my silent as good – she’s upheld me by everything.

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I’ve listened you report yourself as internally bashful – are you still?

Just usurpation where I’ve come from and where we am in this state of mind and all these transitions that I’m going through, we feel like I’ve embraced that middle prudery and it’s solemnly going divided and apropos this little lady that’s got confidence.

It’s such a blessing to be means to develop and grow, doing what we adore to do.

How critical is being an eccentric artist?

One thousand million per cent. So important. Top of the list. we done certain we sealed myself to myself to safeguard no BS was going to be involved.

I done a guarantee to myself that if we was to do it, it would have to be 100% my way. We all know if you sign to labels, etc, you’re going to have to concede somewhere down the line, and DDB don’t do compromising, we guarantee you, girl!

Why do you wish to sojourn unsigned?

I trust in myself adequate to not let anybody take control of what we do with my art. I’m always up for holding critique that can urge it, but with regards to artistic control, we feel like that’s so essential for any artist to have.

For me, music is my therapy. That’s where we demonstrate myself. That’s since I’m so honest with it. we pronounce about personal issues. we pronounce about other people’s experiences.

Anything we make, we own. It’s so much fun since no matter what decision we make, either it’s right or wrong, it’s done by me, and it’s my career, so since not? It’s my way or no way.

IAMDDB was speaking to BBC humanities party publisher Alex Stanger.

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