IF you are looking for an artist who brings…
plenty of power, attack and amazement to music then you do not need to look much further than IAMDDB. She is a stunning artist who first came to my attention with her incredible 2017 E.P., Hoodrich Vol. 3. Songs explode from the speakers and you are helpless to refute the drama and force that is coming through. Standout cuts like Conjouring and Trophy have the authenticity you’d expect from a decades-lasting artist. One might listen to the street-smart and raw vocals of IAMDDB and think she is from The Bronx or the Manhattan. In fact, the brilliant artist is based around Manchester and is one of the finest new talents we have. She was born Diana Debrito and her Angolan father was a musician. The upcoming star has been writing since a child and taking influence from all sectors of music. After a hard relationship split, she travelled to Angola and immersed herself in the Jazz scene over there. Even though she is a new name to many people; IAMDDB has been recording for a while now and is making her way through the scene. Eyes and ears are turning her way and you cannot help fall for her music. One looks at the songwriter and is struck by her beauty and fashion. You are intoxicated by her movements and incredible sounds; floored by the sheer confidence and skill that projects from every line.
I mentioned the U.S. familiarity and how she rivals the finest and freshest R&B/Rap artists from there – she is ours and we are not going to give her up! Her songs are typically one/two-worded and they have a sense of focus and economy that many artists lack. The spits and flows and vivacious; the rhymes and wordplay are amazing and you can hear a wide and eclectic musical upbringing come through in every song. There are Jazz moments and elements but you get a real smack and attack of American Rap and modern-Britain Urban sounds. Although based in Manchester; you know IAMDDB could easily slot into the South London fold or survive over in the U.S. for a few years. Her name is growing legs and I have heard IAMDDB played on BBC Radio 1 and BBC Radio 6 Music. Her 2016 E.P., Waeveybby, Vol. 1 is an early sign of brilliance – songs such as Childsplay showing a rare soul and incredible sense of belonging. There are no nerves – none I can detect – with IAMDDB and you know she is going to go all the way in the industry. We have some great R&B/Rap artists like Nadia Rose and Stefflon Don but, to me, nobody has the same qualities and abilities as IAMDDB.
There has been a lot of talk concerning the young artist: she has not given too many interviews herself and is letting her music do the talking. The video for Drippy is out and is an arresting and alluring video that perfectly supports the song. She came third in the BBC’s Sound of… vote for this year and was interviewed by them. Asked when music came into her life, and when she started writing; she told the BBC this:
“…Around high school time, and I did music at college. But when I went to Africa, that's when I started really understanding, OK, music is actually what I want to do. I started producing, engineering, learning the in-betweens of music, not just lyricism and the beat.
Writing's always been second nature - I can write anywhere, under any circumstance. Anything can inspire me. It feels very natural to write”.
She extolled the virtues of being an independent artist – not having any sh*t from labels and being controlled – and is acutely aware of a certain shyness and where she came from. IAMDDB talked about being independent and why it means so much to her:
“I believe in myself enough to not let anybody take control of what I do with my art. I'm always up for taking criticism that can improve it, but with regards to creative control, I feel like that's so essential for any artist to have.
For me, music is my therapy. That's where I express myself. That's why I'm so honest with it. I speak about personal issues. I speak about other people's experiences”.
It is illuminating and wonderful listening to her create music and talk about her life. Her influences include Bob Marley and why his music is so significant – everything she does is influenced by him and the way he used to move. Although modern artists like Jorja Smith, Jordan Rakei and Tom Misch are important to her; Bob Marley seems to be that icon that is behind everything she does and what she is about. Another interview she conducted (last year) talked about her as a female artist and she talked about having a strong presence and the fact it can be quite intimidating being around people. IAMDDB is not someone who alienated but she has this strong and independent vibe that relies on nobody and comes through with intensity and no crap being thrown in – it is not ego but a self of assurance that might put some off. It is the passion you get from IAMDDB that amazes and fills every sense. She is a genuine artist and true talent that cannot be taken for granted and is set to take the music world by storm. I have not met IAMDDB but she is someone I am keen to interview and find out more about.
There are few who can make Trap/Hip-Hop sounds that have so much spark, colours and energy. Her rhythms are phat and there is sexiness in the voice that draws you in and can take the breath. Someone who has that Jazz-like sound and can seduce; turning into a full-on street warrior who owns the concrete and can take you off your feet…it is an intoxicating concoction that we need in the music industry right now. I have been listening to IAMDDB for a while and wonder whether we will see another E.P. this year. She is heading out on tour and people are falling over themselves to get close to her. That independent spirit means, unlike her peers, there are few collaborations. IAMDDB has worked alongside others and been remixed but, when it comes to her strongest material, there are no other voices but hers. We are hearing of female artists being overlooked and being taken for granted right now. It is true they have fewer rights (compared to men) and imbalance continues to cause arguments and debate. IAMDDB is one of those artists who blows away the argument and shows what amazing music is being made by women right now. She is not one to get drawn into the debates: her spirit is pure and she makes music that feels natural to her; she will succeed and is as strong as any male artist out there. Watch her grow and see the Manchester-based artist conquer the world. Bob Marley may be gone but, strangely, you seem to get embodiment through IAMDDB and some of his qualities running through her blood. However you see IAMDDB; you cannot deny she is an artist who is ready to do things her own way and…
DOMINATE the world of music!