ArrDee: British Drill Meets Afrobeats

Aisha Yusuf

June 29th, 2023

British artiste ArrDee burst onto the music scene when he featured on the remix of Russ Millions and Tion Wayne's hit song, "Body." The track soared to the top of charts in multiple countries, including Nigeria and the UK.

Never one to squander an opportunity, ArrDee capitalized on the success generated by "Body" and followed it up with two stellar singles, "Oliver Twist" and "Say My Name." These releases achieved great acclaim, with "Flowers" even reaching an impressive number 5 on the UK's Official Singles Chart Top 100.

Since then, the rapper has continued to deliver hit after hit, with his latest release being "Home for my Heart," featuring the talented singer Cat Burns. This captivating song debuted at number 36 on the UK Singles Top 100 when it dropped on March 9th, 2023.

Over the years, ArrDee has amassed a considerable fan base in numerous countries, particularly in Nigeria and across Africa. However, he still finds it hard to fully comprehend the extent of his music's reach and influence.

"When I started using Twitter more, the majority, if not all, of my feed consisted of interactions with my Nigerian and African fans," he reflected. "And when I traveled there, I was amazed to see kids who knew who I was and sang along to my songs. It was a surreal experience that made me realize the immense love I have on that part of the planet."

In 2022, ArrDee had the incredible opportunity to perform at Black Sherif's concert, which provided him with a firsthand experience of his Nigerian fan base. We had the pleasure of discussing his fan following, his passion for Afrobeats, potential collaborations, and much more.

TTC: Can you shed some light on how you managed to cultivate such a dedicated fan base in Nigeria? Or is it still somewhat of a mystery to you?

ArrDee: There are a few reasons, but I believe it mostly comes down to the power of music to connect people. And that mention of 'Adeola and wanting to roll with her gees' definitely played a significant role in grabbing attention.

TTC: Speaking of the famous Adeola line, how did that come about? What made you decide to incorporate it into your music?

ArrDee: It's not an elaborate story, to be honest. The original song was already out, and Tion and Russ mentioned Fiona and Adeola. I simply tried to build upon that, experimenting with a few lines before settling on using 'Adeola.' It just stuck.

TTC: Your song "Come & Go" was one of the top 50 biggest songs in Nigeria across all genres last year, and the remix with Black Sherif on the 'Pier Pressure' deluxe album received immense success. What inspired you to collaborate with Black Sherif on the remix?

ArrDee: That collaboration meant a lot to me. I'm not sure if there's an abundance of heartbroken people in Nigeria, but somehow, the song resonated deeply there. Around two months or so after its release, it took off, and I heard it was making waves. At one point, it even reached the Top 20. It was a blessing. In fact, it was the main reason I decided to visit Lagos, and while I was there, I couldn't escape the song—it seemed to be playing on every car radio.

TTC: Your latest song, "Down for my Heart," featuring Cat Burns, peaked at No. 1 on the Hip-Hop genre chart in Nigeria and reached the top 40 on the Official Nigeria Top 10. It's evident that your fan base still eagerly anticipates your new music. Can we expect more collaborations with Nigerian artists in the future?

ArrDee: It's definitely something I've had in mind. While I can't reveal too much, I can confirm that I'm currently working on collaborations with African and Nigerian artists.

TTC: Are there any specific Nigerian artists you're particularly interested in collaborating with?

ArrDee: Buju, who now goes by BNXN, and I might have something in the works. I think we're onto something exciting.

TTC: Just as you've experienced tremendous success in Nigeria recently, Afrobeats artists have been enjoying global recognition, especially in the United Kingdom. From your perspective, what factors do you think have contributed to the massive success of Afrobeats in the UK?

ArrDee: I believe the world is expanding, and social media is shrinking the distance between people. We're more connected now and have access to a broader range of music. Afrobeats, with its positive and uplifting vibes, brings something unique to the table. It creates a joyful and carefree atmosphere that you don't find in other genres. I think that's what makes it so special. People love to feel happy and have a good time, escaping from the negativity, and Afrobeats offers them just that.

TTC: How much Afrobeats music do you personally consume? How often do you listen to music from this side?

ArrDee: I'm terrible at making playlists, so I usually turn on the radio or rely on my friends' playlists. My personal DJ is a massive Afrobeats enthusiast, so I end up listening to a lot of it because of him. I might not know all the song names, but if an Afrobeats track comes on, I'd probably be able to sing along with a smile on my face.

TTC: Let's talk about your experience during "24 hours in Lagos." What was it like, and which places stood out as your favorites? Can you share a memorable moment that ranks among your favorites in life?

ArrDee: It was an incredible experience, and I'm eager to go back. As you mentioned, I was only there for 24 hours, so I'd love to spend a week or two there to fully immerse myself. The show was mind-blowing, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. The energy was electrifying, and seeing the entire crowd, fully engaged and having a great time without worrying about their phones, was truly special.

TTC: Is there anything exciting that ArrDee fans can look forward to in the near future?

ArrDee: Absolutely! I have a significant project in the works, and it will likely feature collaborations with African artists. However, I can't divulge more details just yet. Stay tuned!

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