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Get To Know: IAMDDB

From: Manchester, UK

For fans of: Little Simz, Erykah Badu, Levelz

Three tunes: ‘Urban Jazz’, ‘Shade’, ‘Pause’

“I never looked at music as a business,” nods IAMDDB, the part-Portuguese, part-Angolan and ALL Mancunian breakthrough star. “Music is my therapy. It’s my place to express myself however I feel. I never aspired to be anything like a pop star, it just isn’t my sweg. I’m here to make you feel something. I’m here to ignite the fire within and make you realise you’ve gotta wake the fuck up and grab life by the balls same way I am. With music, I want whoever listens to feel like it’s a space of healing and power, self-worth and self-love. I’m here representing the different and nonconformists.”

IAMDDB’s new mixtape ‘Swervvvvv.5’ is one of the most gorgeous, gaseous things you’ll hear in 2019: futuristic yet soulful, loose but tight-as-fuck, catchy but also complex and intricate, right for now but also timeless. It completes a quintet of EPs she’s self-released — including the stunning ‘Flightmode 4’ from 2018, crowning a year in which she was also guest support on Lauryn Hill’s world tour — that have caught the ears of cognoscenti and fans alike. How would you characterise your relationship, in your music, with your listeners?

“We are one,” she says. “I’m not trying to be better than, or talk at them. It’s a relationship blossoming. We’re experiencing life together. It’s almost like I’m my listeners’ guru. I want them to feel like they know me, as my truest form, because my listeners have enabled me to wake up everyday and do what I love — I feel like it’s the least a true musician can do.”

Manchester is full of great music at the moment (Black Josh, Levelz, Mouse Outfit) — does staying there keep you grounded? “Manny will always be home,” she says, “but what happens when you have a global sound in a local space? You either stay and settle, or leave... not to leave forever, but to explore how you can expand globally. We should definitely have more media coverage or social networking events in Manchester, as I think compared to other cities in the UK, we have a lot more substance. However, Manny is lit by itself, and supports one another when the time is right, so if it’s meant to blow, it’ll blow, everyone just has to trust their own process.”

The last track on ‘Swervvvvv.5’ leaves a tantalising hint as to a full-length album in the pipeline. Care to reveal more?

“I don’t like to say too much, I would rather show instead,” she says. “But you can expect a new sound, and a new wave, with features you wouldn’t expect, and a development of urban jazz.” Keep an eye on this genius. She’s going places. 

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