Get To Know: ArrDee
This week we’re getting to know Brighton’s finest: ArrDee
19-year-old rapper ArrDee shot to fame on Russ Millions & Tion Wayne’s ‘Body’ remix which became the first Drill song to hit No. 1 in the UK.
Since then, he has gained fans across the UK with his cheeky chappy demeanor and unique flow. ArrDee’s latest track combines the two while sampling iconic tracks ‘Flowers’ by Sweet Female Attitude and ‘Say My Name’ by Destiny’s Child.
ArrDee’s cheeky one liners have us all hooked and we’re sure we’ll still be singing “Is it me or the lifestyle, sweetheart?” into 2022 whilst we watch his career grow!
1. For those who don’t know about you and your music, tell us a little bit about who you are and where you’re from…
My name is ArrDee, from Brighton which is a town on the south coast of the UK, south from London and yeah, party boy. ‘Litty for really’ is normally the token that we go for, so I’ll give them that – litty for really.
2. Who/what inspired you to start a career in music?
Music has always been big in my family in terms of just listening, and my mum sings, not properly but she's always sang to me and my brother, and we would sing in the car. I got into rap music when I was about eight years old. I was listening to Eminem, Lil Wayne and 50 Cent. Those three mainly, so just American rappers and then Year 6 summer holidays ‘German Whip’ came out, which was an introduction into UK rap music. Obviously, I'd heard the pop rappers like Tinie Tempah, but I mean Grime.
So, from Year 7 I went back and looked at all of the Lord of The Mics clashes. The main one I saw first was the Skepta vs Devilman one. We used to have our own clashes in the school music room with all my boys. Then eventually my friends just weren’t on it anymore, so I’d kind of be the middleman, I'd be the ‘Jammer’ for example. And they were like “You should actually write bars, you’re hard”. And from there I just believed I could do it, and I'd always been into it. It just made sense. It wasn’t even like I said to myself, “I wanna be a rapper”, I said “I’m gonna be a rapper”.
3. Who are your biggest musical influences?
Eminem was one of them, then UK-wise Chip was a massive influence, I grew up listening to a lot of Chip. There's some cold rappers UK-wise that I listened to – Potter Payper was a massive one. I used to relate to not everything, but a lot of what he rapped about. Lil Wayne is another one, he dropped a video on YouTube, and it's called like '10,000 bars'. Basically, it's like half an hour long and you can hear him turning the pages by the microphone. He's getting rid of all his bars, so after that video dropped, he's never written lyrics down since. He just goes in the studio and vibes. But yeah, it was crazy just loads of beats for half an hour long in one take.
4. Tell us about the writing and recording process of your new release…
We’ve gone to this camp in Bath called Real World Studios, one of the biggest studios in the UK, if not the biggest. It’s massive, surrounded by a river, it’s a massive complex. We’ve got there now, and I made this one tune with a mad sample, it’s got a Prodigy sample in it. It might get released, it might not, who knows? But it was a big, heavy hitting tune. That was the first beat that got played in the room. And me, as soon as I hear a beat I like, I'm writing to it and I can get a track done in 20 minutes. Lytek and YJ, big up the boys, they’re the two producers from Manny, absolutely killing it.
So they were just flicking through beats kind of messing around and he played that one. And they went to go off it and play something else after and I was like, “no, no, no, one back”. I'm listening and I'm thinking “yeah, this is the one”, because I grew up with that tune being around at parties, and my family. I also had a concept straight away of, in this day and age, everybody talks about toxic relationships in songs, but not from the point of view of the toxic person. Apart from Tory Lanez, he claimed the whole kind of toxicity in himself.
But yeah, I said the first line almost as a joke, like “I don't give girl flowers”. I left it for a bit, and obviously the next line is “I’ll give you good **** though”, but I let it breathe. I wanted to catch people’s attention, so I said it, and my manager heard it and said “yeah, that's the line!” And then we moved on to “I still make you say my name”. I originally was going to say it twice, but someone in the room said to say it three times so I did. And then once the hook was catchy enough, verses were put together fast. I wrote the whole song in like 25 minutes. I wrote it so fast that it was actually a pain getting it mixed and mastered because we forgot to add stabs, adlibs, etc..
5. What has been your biggest career highlight so far?
My life goes a million miles per hour, I can think of a few. Obviously my first ever single that I've released myself being in the charts at number seven and finishing at number six, and staying in the charts for a stupid amount of time. Then the song was in FIFA, a game I've been playing since '09 on the PSP. There are little things, you know, everything can be different. There are some things that you take in, but it's like you're meant to be here. Like this is what I'm supposed to be doing. Like getting massive crowd reactions at Reading Festival. I think at the main stage there were about 90,000 people or something? Again, ridiculous, all screaming my lyrics back to me. But that felt like home, like I was meant to be doing it. And then I'll have Rio Ferdinand DM’ing me that he should be on my ultimate team, and I’m losing my mind. I'm a Chelsea boy, and I had Reece James DM me asking for ‘Flowers’, and I was just going mad. Yeah, I couldn't pick one. Life is going from zero to 100.
6. Who would you be your dream collaboration and why?
I’ll say a really basic one like Michael Jackson, because you see the way he stands on a stage and has people fainting from nothing is absolutely ridiculous. Eminem is obviously a massive one. In terms of UK - I've met a lot of artists and a lot of them are cool, so I don’t want to call it a ‘dream collab’, but me and AJ would sound sick, I’ve got a few ideas for us. Storms obviously. And the first UK Grime artist I’d ever listened to was Skepta so that would be a monumental thing for me.
7. Have you met anyone and been totally starstruck?
You see what my thing is, where some supporters – girls or boys, move a bit mad with me, I kind of shut them down in terms of “you don't need to be like that”, I'm a person as well. In my head we all piss and bleed, so a number on your Instagram page that has no real value, physically, spiritually, or mentally shouldn’t affect how you see people. Obviously, it’s good getting likes or having followers from people that are interested in you, but where I don't feel like that as a person, I don't view other people to have some form of status like that. I mean, if I met Drake or someone, I might lose my mind if, or I met Eminem, I would definitely lose my mind. But yeah, not yet to be honest. A lot of people are cool, I’ve grown up listening to them and then met them in real life and they're just cool people.
8. If you could only listen to one song on repeat for the rest of time what would it be and why?
I’m copping out and saying one of my own. I'll go for the second part of Cheeky Bars, because that’s the song of mine I've heard being played the least. If I have to listen to one song every day for the rest of my life, it’s got to be one that I don't hear every time I walk into a club.
9. What’s on your playlists that people wouldn’t expect?
Good question, I really like Adele's new tune. I feel like that's kind of expected though. But yeah, she's got the mandem looking at the window reminiscing. I like all kinds of music, I don't really have a playlist to be honest. I just like whatever I'm feeling at the time, I'll just search and listen to it. But from anything like rap music and then you've got Guns N' Roses and Bon Jovi, there's all kinds of music like Kings of Leon. Ed Sheeran as well, he's smashing it. I have a variety of music, it depends what mood I'm in.
10. What can we expect from your live shows?
Absolute chaos probably. I got stories on stories. Madness’ have happened, crowds go wild. Yeah, just jumpy. I like to be very present when I'm on stage, interact with everyone, and it goes wild. I've got loads of stories I'm not sure how much my manager would like me to disclose.
11. Have you got any fun livestreams/online events planned for this year? / When can we see you live?
There are all kinds of things I’m trying to start, I've just actually set up my computer, now obviously winter's coming, everybody's going to be getting their boys or girls PlayStations, Xbox’s and all that so we're about to do some streaming, show my personality. I'm actually rubbish at computer games to be honest, but people find me funny so I’m going to do some of them. I'll go live throughout on just my socials anyway; I like to interact with the people a lot. I've got a Discord as well that I talk to people heavily. Then in terms of live performances, I'm sure we'll get some stupid bookings around Christmas time and New Year's. I don't know what I'm supposed to announce in terms of live shows and performing, but I've got some big things coming next year as well. But yeah, if some people don’t like seeing my face about, they’re about to get a whole lot more annoyed.
ArrDee's track 'Flowers (Say My Name)' is out now!