Unless you’ve been chilling on Mars for the last four years you would be well aware that there is a global change going on that doesn’t involve the Covid 19 pandemic. Or at least, a seemingly non-stop campaign for social change, caused in part by the brutal treatment and oftentimes murder, of a disproportionate number of black people to white, in police custody. I’m talking of course about the BLM (or Black Lives Matter movement) –

a movement that seeks to bring about political legislation to support the issues regarding racial equality, across the entire globe – a global fight against the existence of a racist mindset one that has existed for hundreds of years.

This brings me to the next song presented to you through Urban Dubz which describes some of the issues we all see going on around us but the difference with the context of this song is it offers up a number of suggestions about things that black people can do to help empower their community with a significant focus on protecting black women who are too often overlooked and undervalued.

Tayo D is a young talented rapper/singer-songwriter/multi-instrumentalist, hailing from South London who describes his music as encompassing “the old school RNB sound mixed with more updated elements such as Trapsoul/Afroswing/Afrobeats, Rap/Hip-Hop and RnDrill”. Confidence exudes from the aura of this guy in quite a powerful way especially regarding his own awareness of his ability and he has learned at a young age that this confidence is the key ingredient to being able to set clearly defined goals about what you want to achieve in this most competitive of industries. He talks about the need for his music to be easily digested and high in emotional connectivity with the audience.

This song called ‘Black is Beautiful’ serves as a reminder that our fight is not over and Black Lives Matter is not just a trend for social media. It emphasises the need for black people themselves to uphold the values of self-respect and self-belief and uplift, empower and defend all members of the black community, especially black women.

It has a strong RnDrill sound. It’s Grimey but the lyrical content has a positive provoking message. Not just a track that is solely directed at black people I think the message he is trying to convey is that we all need to exercise respect for each other and set fire to the hate a negativity which is holding us back..

Sometimes we can scream at the Government to change everything for the good, then moan when it doesn’t happen. However, if we can acknowledge the positive change we can make individually as well as respecting ourselves and our neighbours, this can be the driving force to real and effective change.

Tayo in his own words – “As an artist I want to ensure my music exudes relatability, authenticity, and quality.”

We couldn’t have put it better ourselves. Tayo D… A refreshing change.

We had an exclusive chance to interview the artist:

ARN: What is your legal name and age?
Tayo D: I have about 7 but Adetayo is the one that matters, 27

ARN: How did you come up with a stage name?
Tayo D: I used the shortened version of Adetayo which is Tayo and then the D at the end is the first letter of one of my other names.

ARN: Where are you from?
Tayo D: I was born in Nigeria but I’ve lived in London since I was about 2 years old and I still live in London today.

ARN: Why did you first start making music?
Tayo D: Music has always been a part of me growing up. Whether that was singing or rapping, from a very young age I would make my own versions or remixes of songs. I grew up in the grime era in the UK so my earliest proper stuff was freestyles for cyphers in the playground or on the back of the bus. We used to have one person who would play the instrumental on their phone and put it in the corner of the bus so it was amplified and then we’d take turns to rap over it.

ARN: Who would you say inspired you the most, as an artist?
Tayo D: My biggest inspirations would be Chip, Ghetts & Drake. Their versatility and ability to produce high quality across different genres, different tempos, different styles and incorporate wordplay and cleverness in their lyrics is something that is important to me in my own music. I also have to give a shoutout to DDG because he’s navigated this social media era to transition from Youtube to music which has also inspired me and impacted my approach to building and maintaining a fanbase. Lastly, Bryson Tiller because TRAPSOUL is one of the best RnB albums of this generation in how it was so relatable and that also is a staple in how I want my music to make people feel.

ARN: Talk me through your creative process.
Tayo D: I don’t have a specific ritual that I have to follow when it comes to making music, for me it’s all about being in the zone. Once I’m in that zone or mental space I’ll listen to beats and when I find one I connect with I’ll start to write to it. Sometimes I’ll write a verse first but more recently I’ve been focusing on getting the hook down first and letting the verses come from there. But whichever way around feels natural for that particular song. If I really connect with the beat it could take me 30 minutes to have a whole song ready to be recorded.

ARN: Do you remember the first rhyme you wrote?
Tayo D: I wish! I’ve been through so many notepads and so many phones that I have no idea what the first one I wrote would have been! I think it’s safe to say I’ve got much better over time haha

ARN: Where and how do you work best?
Tayo D: Anywhere! I’ve written some of my best stuff in my room, in the studio, in taxis or in the shower! Anywhere where I can get into that zone and really take in the beat and let the lyrics flow. 

ARN: Have you heard the theory that some musicians write their best music while they’re depressed or going through a bad time?
Tayo D: Yes I have and looking at the industry as a whole and my own catalogue I can say there’s some truth to that. I think as people we all go through tough times and those emotions are such a widely shared experience that they’re very easy for people to relate to. And when you’re feeling down music is very often something that people use to self medicate, either to feel better or to take comfort in the fact that they’re not the only ones going through it. Personally when I’m going through stuff music is a great way to release or talk through things with myself and often that realness and authenticity can create something amazing!

ARN: What’s the best advice you ever received?
Tayo D: Happiness is the result of a balance between time and money. Time to do the things you love with the people you love and the money to be secure and to fund that time. Figure out the balance that works for you and strive to achieve that because once you do that’s when you will be truly happy. 

ARN: What is still your biggest challenge?
Tayo D: As a new artist I’m constantly learning and growing. I’d say my biggest challenge right now is building the networks to really make the most of the opportunity I have. Making great music is my priority but just as important is making sure that people hear and see it, so that’s my biggest challenge right now.

ARN: What were your grades like at school?
Tayo D: I got good grades at school, I was always a smart kid. Also, coming from a Nigerian household coming home with bad grades wasn’t an option! Anything less than an A was a serious problem that would require explanation so I had to stay on job.

ARN: What’s the best compliment you’ve ever received about your music?
Tayo D: That it has inspired someone else to grind and go harder with their music. For someone else to hear my music and see my grind and for them to feel inspired and motivated by that is something that is special to me and in turn makes me want to keep grinding and keep pushing to reach new heights.

ARN: What would you have done differently if you knew then what you know now?
Tayo D: I would have taken my passions more seriously earlier on. I let other things stop me from going all out and while I wouldn’t make those same decisions again I am still grateful for the position I’m in now because it feels right and feels like I am where I need to be.

ARN: What do you want your legacy to be? How do you want to be remembered?
Tayo D: I want my legacy to be that I inspired people to achieve their dreams. I want people to see me and feel like anything is possible and to know that no matter your background or current position if you have a goal you can make it a reality. I want to be remembered as someone who helped others and gave them a platform to reach their full potential.