London-based DJ/producer, DJ Chillz returns with ‘Keep Me Safe’, the second single to be released from her expertly crafted, ‘Adebowale EP’. Leaning into a more Afro Electronic Chilled sound, ‘Keep Me Safe’ showcases Chillz’ more mellow side; drawing influences from her distinctly unique blend of house, RnB and Afrobeat; as well as her Nigerian heritage. DMCWORLD grabs a world exclusive…
Tell us all about your new single ‘Keep Me Safe’ and the creative process behind this.
It was the 3rd of May 2021 and we were still in lockdown here in the UK. I had just finished a kemetic yoga session and I was feeling really connected to my family history and African heritage. I don’t remember the whole process but I do remember glimpses of starting with the guitar and building the beat around it. The lyrics just flowed really and it was a one time recording as I tried to record or change the vocal and lyrics it just didn’t fit. I have recorded demos with my voice before but the difference this time was that I was inspired to write certain bits in Yoruba. Also, the structure of the track is very different. It’s only 2.22 secs long. Again, I tried to change the structure to fit the standard and it just didn’t flow.
You’ve always been known for your unique fusion of Afrobeat, House and RnB – where did this journey began and how did it lead you to produce withinthis genre?
The journey started out whilst DJ’ing. I was initially taught how to mix House music first and then with that as a foundation I started adding different genres to my sets. So when it came to producing, I would take elements from each genre that I felt would work to make a song. For example, my previous single ‘Blue Skies’, I used RnB chords and added Afrobeat elements – the tempo is on the more upbeat housey side.
The single is taken from your forthcoming Adebowale EP and signifies a change in your sound also – what inspired the EP and your shift in direction toa more chilled Afro-Electronic genre?
The name of the EP is called Adebowale which is also my family name, it means the crown has come home. I wanted this EP to reflect my exploration in music, especially the emotional side. I have brought back all my experiences in music and poured into this EP.
Are we seeing enough female artists in this realm of music? Do you think the industry is changing or is there still a way to go?
The doors are finally open more to female artists and just diversity in artistry in general which is amazing. I am actually grateful to be part of this moment in history where there are no rules to releasing your music. Your track could be a 1 min viral hit or an 8 min epic cinematic track. I believe it’s a combination of the internet, social media and just the mindset of this generation and the industry had to adapt.
You’re no stranger to a live night, being the owner and founder of Riddim Nights and Zanku Vibes London – when did you start creating these events and how did covid impact this area for you?
I started Riddim Nights first, November 2018 in Croydon. My friend who was a promoter had a venue and wanted me to bring a nightlife aspect on a Friday night to the area. At the time I was pushing Afrobeats so I created a night combining Dancehall and Afrobeats music. After a year I built it to the point where I had Rampage sounds and various Afrobeats artists came through. I then came up with the idea for Zanku Vibes, a night solely based on Afrobeats and Afrohouse. Covid affected my event in a bittersweet way as the pause gave me time to work on the EP so now I have time to come back in 2022 full force with events.
Have you found a rise in the popularity of Afro-Electronic music in recent years? What do you think has contributed to this rise?
Yes I have definitely seen a rise in the popularity of just afro sounds in general. I think it’s a mixture of things again, definitely thanks to the African disapora, the internet and social media but most importantly time. Over the years more and more tracks and artists have gotten into the mainstream. Now Afrobeats and the sound is becoming mainstream.
Apart from your music productions, live nights and DJ sets you’re also the founder of the syndicated Eclectic Sounds Radio show – has radio alwaysbeen something you’ve had an affinity with as a DJ?
I have always had a radio show whilst being a club DJ, it’s something I learned from the older DJs that mentored me. I also noticed that the radio show brought a more personable aspect to playing other people’s tracks. I could actually talk about why I like the track and have conversations with the artists as well.
How do you manage to balance the numerous parts to your career?
Erm I don’t actually know! But a huge thing that has helped is meditating and trying not to control the outcome so much. Just enjoy the moment and experience.
Who are the main Afro-Electronic artists you’d recommend keeping an eye out for in 2022?
Deep Aztec , Thandi Draai and T.siza check them out.
When can we expect the full Adebowale EP?
The beginning of March 2022. The EP is done. I can’t believe it every time I say this. I want to release the final single with the EP in March.