Beats 1 host Julie Adenuga has described her as “the most exciting artist to watch” this year. She came third in the BBC’s Sound of 2018 list. Tastemakers are abuzz with hype for the Manchester rapper-singer IAMDDB. With her fierce blend of soulful hip-hop, pounding trap and swirling urban jazz, it’s not hard to see why.
Born Diana Debrito – hence IAMDDB – her Angolan father was a musician, and Debrito, 21, has been writing songs since she was seven. After a bad breakup three years ago, she went to Angola for several months and became heavily involved in the local jazz scene there. She returned to the UK galvanised and wanting to make her music work here. IAMDDB’s forthcoming tour – four concept shows in collaboration with Red Bull Music, and named Flightmode Live after her forthcoming mixtape – has sold out.
Her last mixtape, 2017’s Hoodrich Vol 3, conveyed an artist at ease with a deeply expressive theatricality. “We all go through intense feelings and experiences and shit,” she said in a recent interview with Crack magazine, “and if my music can help somebody get through something, then my job’s done. I’m just a vessel to make people feel better.”
• IAMDDB’s Flightmode Live tours to Bristol, Birmingham, Manchester and London, 16-19 April