Deno says 2021 will be the year he drops his most music yet.

Speak­ing to Chuck­ie on the latest epis­ode of JD’s In the Duffle Bag pod­cast, sing­er-song­writer Deno revealed it’s going to be a very big year for his music, told all on Stormzy’s influ­ence on his style and even hin­ted that he’s been col­lab­or­at­ing with Amer­ic­an artist Roddy Ricch.

Deno, 18, said on new mater­i­al: “This is not mix­tape stuff, I’ve got big Amer­ic­an fea­tures (Roddy Ricch) on my mix­tapes though.

“When I say I’ve been work­ing on this mix­tape Chuck­ie, I’m not lying, I’ve been work­ing bro like I genu­inely from the bot­tom of my heart feel like this mix­tape that I am about to release has got some of my best work on it.

“Obvi­ously, I release the EP (in) 2019 (Eye 2 Eye) that was like my first little pro­ject, I just feel like I put a col­lec­tion of songs togeth­er, I feel like with this mix­tape I’m telling a story,

“When you hear the name of the tape and everything and the way it goes I think you your­self are going to be yeah you came prop­er, it feels like an album bro.”

Born in Brix­ton to Erit­rean par­ents, Deno has had a met­eor­ic rise over the past five years. From his tal­ent being noticed as far back as year sev­en in school, to his star­dom with Cadet and fea­tur­ing along­side artists such as Charlie Sloth and Stef­flon Don.

With big plans for 2021, Deno revealed to Chuck­ie Stormzy’s influ­ence on his style as well as try­ing to make “mean­ing­ful music”: “(It) takes time drop­ping music — this year com­ing is the most I’ve ever dropped.

“I’m not someone who just drops so much music out of nowhere (although) I feel like this year com­ing might be the most I’ve ever dropped.

“Com­ing into the game, I’ve been intro­duced to artists like Stormzy and stuff so I’m watch­ing their pro­cess of work.

“When I met Stormzy, he was off social media, he wasn’t releas­ing music, he was work­ing on his debut album, so I’m look­ing at that and I’m so inspired by the fact that everything they’re try­ing to do they’re try­ing to make everything so per­fect before they release it.

“I’m not try­ing to be like here’s a song, here’s a song, I’m not try­ing to do that I want to prop­erly make mean­ing­ful music.

“I feel like music changed a lot nowadays so I’m just try­ing to come with prop­er songs, obvi­ously you’ve got singles and stuff like that — I’m just try­ing to come prop­er with it.”

Deno admits he coped through lock­down bet­ter than most, in part down to the music he was pro­du­cing, he added: “Yeah like I was mak­ing (music), obvi­ously in like a Cov­id-way fin­ish­ing my mix tape and stuff, which every­one has been wait­ing for so that should be out soon but just fin­ish­ing my mix tape, (I’ve) got a lot of singles ready.

“Right before the lock­down star­ted I made the song with OFB and I knew when I heard it ‘this was the next single’.

“I would have released it much earli­er but everything got delayed, every­one was just get­ting used to how to manœuvre around this whole pan­dem­ic so we just had to leave that one for like a month or some­thing and then we finally released that one.”

Apple Pod­casts Link: In the Duffle Bag

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Rishma Dhaliwal

Rishma Dhaliwal

Edit­or / PR Con­sult­ant at No Bounds
Rishma Dhali­w­al has extens­ive exper­i­ence study­ing and work­ing in the music and media industry. Hav­ing writ­ten a thes­is on how Hip Hop acts as a social move­ment, she has spent years research­ing and con­nect­ing with artists who use the art form as a tool for bring­ing a voice to the voice­less. Cur­rently work­ing in TV, Rishma brings her PR and media know­ledge to I am Hip Hop and oth­er pro­jects by No Bounds.

About Rishma Dhaliwal

Rishma Dhaliwal
Rishma Dhaliwal has extensive experience studying and working in the music and media industry. Having written a thesis on how Hip Hop acts as a social movement, she has spent years researching and connecting with artists who use the art form as a tool for bringing a voice to the voiceless. Currently working in TV, Rishma brings her PR and media knowledge to I am Hip Hop and other projects by No Bounds.