Daecolm is a talent to be reckoned with and continues to withstand this by constantly learning and adapting to the world around him and his legacy. Born in Zimbabwe but raised in South London, the R&B singer thanks his father for helping him discover his sixth sense with influences from the likes of TLC, Michael Jackson, and Boyz ll Men. Amazingly, it could be said that childhood dreams have been fulfilled to some extent for Daecolm as he has gone on to write for our generation’s biggest artists like Chris Brown, Trey Songz, Craig David, Mario, and Ella Mai.
Now, focusing on his own releases, we sat down with Daecolm to find out where he is right now!
This past year has had its challenges, how have you found being creative during this time?
To be honest, with creatives during this time we are still able to create, I can spend a lot of time at the studio or jump on the laptop in my house and make something, you know? But the problem with being a creative is where we get our inspiration from. And for me I was always inspired to do things in the outside world; going out, going to bars and restaurants, or going overseas, just loads of day-to-day things we take for granted. The stuff we put into songs.
How do you push yourself out of that, if you do?
Lucky for me I was born in Zimbabwe, so I was able to return to my home country as a returning resident, so I think that helped massively because I was able to chill and relax with my parents there. So, I didn’t get to experience the burnout from always being at home. From that, I was able to travel to a couple of other places that were legally permitted, like South Africa and Dubai for a bit.
Congratulations on the release of your new single Hot Topic! What can we expect?
It is just a vibe! Like before it was released, we listened to it as if it was not me, and we would try and call it from another perspective, so we’re not biased. But we would always conclude that it was a vibe! I just think it was the right song at the right time, I’ve tried so many different things, but anything in the hip-hop/ R&B world I’ve always loved. Sonically, it fits in perfectly with what I am trying to do.
There is a certain level of vulnerability when songwriting, is this sometimes hard for you when taking into consideration it is the goal to be universally liked?
I think you just have to do it, that fear of being vulnerable. I don’t like it all the time but it is also a way that we can cope as humans, especially during a time like this. By now you can imagine how frustrated everyone is throughout these lockdowns, and for me, the only way to express that is through my music. It is something that helps me. the only way I can offload in a sense is to put it into a song, instead of it constantly cycling in my brain.
You quickly rose to fame with your cover of Dancing Queen, what do you think it was about this track that captured millions of hearts?
I think it was the juxtaposition, I am a mixed-race guy from south London that doesn’t look like he’d have anything to do with ABBA. And I remember telling the guys I was working with at the time to take something so polar opposite to me and reinvent it and put it in my way. Like that song was kind of cheesy to me at the time, it wasn’t something id listen to growing up. But when I did it I found the beauty in it, lyrically I didn’t connect to it. but I could understand why people would love that song at the time of its release.
What were your biggest influences growing up?
Goes without saying, Michael Jackson was a big influence. Boy LL Men, Blackstreet, TLC. These were all timeless in their era, they would have different ways of saying what they wanted whereas nowadays they just say it! all of those songs were such a vibe, even on the hip-hop side, I loved 2Pac and Biggie. Biggie gave me relaxed vibes and 2pac gave me… I’m coming to get you vibes, ha-ha!
My influences definitely came from my dad, he played the riddims and tunes, anything he played is what I really grew up on.
You were born in Zimbabwe and grew up in London, do you think being aware of life in both places has influenced how you make music?
I feel like being where I am from plays a good part in what I do. I think being multi-cultural, helps diversify your sound regardless. But in terms, of the sound that comes from Zimbabwe I probably could have experimented with a bit more, but it is never too late. And I have started to play around and experiment with the sounds of Southern Africa a bit more. As I said earlier, I went to South Africa for a couple of weeks whilst I was in Zim, and I really connected with new artists.
What was your experience like in South Africa? What did you get up to when you were there?
Actually, I went there because I was preeing on my Instagram and my friend was there too so I had to go. Then I decided the next day, my parents didn’t even believe me! I was nervous too because I had to do the corona test, but I got it back and it was fine, thankfully. I went to Johannesburg and stayed there for a couple of weeks with my boy Rymez! And we were just having fun, within our limitations of the lockdown there. But we still managed to have fun and connect with a few different artists. I’m working with an artist called Sha Sha and I even did a song that came out, called “You”, which only came from being in that space.
How did your journey in music start?
I started as an artist, my dad got me into music and when I was about 14 it became a really massive thing for me. my dad was a hustler, so when it came to music, he knew a few DJs and producers. At the time there was a radio channel called, Choice FM and there was a DJ he knew and the following day they played my song on the radio and I can’t lie, I was gassed. But after that, it kind of built up my courage for me to carry on doing music. And fast forward 6/7 years, I then realised songwriting was another part of the craft that you can get paid for.
Then I ended up writing a couple of songs that thankfully went to Chris Brown so that just made me realise songwriting was another means to expand my craft as an artist but also strengthening my pen.
You have written for numerous big names like Chris Brown and Trey Songz, what is it like knowing that your music is being heard globally?
I don’t want to be extreme and say it’s like winning the lottery, but it was like that. He is probably one of, if not the most, influential in the game and he’s been doing it for like 14/15 years so it was an amazing feeling.
How do you feel about everything you have achieved? Would you say you are successful?
I wouldn’t to be honest, I always feel like I can achieve better. in saying that I am proud of my most recent single I have dropped. It is probably one of my most proudest works in terms of music videos. But I am always looking for new ways to expand my skills.
When in a songwriting session, what are the three things you need to have with you?
I need to have my drip, if I’m not dressed right, I don’t feel good! And I don’t mean expensive stuff, I just need to feel good. My phone as well; I don’t type lyrics I voice note them. And my laptop!
Describe yourself in one word.
What is next for you?
I think I need to smash consistency with my artistry stuff, we’ve launched a really good promotion for Hot Topic. But once that is died down to go into the next ones and work on myself as a brand which is important to me right now.