Rapper DeBe plans next steps following debut festival performance
It’s been a busy few months for DeBe but the Northampton rapper is already busy planning his next move following his live debut at London’s ALT-LDN festival and the release of his latest single Not Cops.
This year, DeBe released his debut mixtape, The Last Breath, which followed a string of well received releases including , including 67 Mustang and Savage.
In recent months, he’s regularly been picking up support by the likes of BBC Radio 1, 1Xtra and Kiss.
Sitting down with DeBe days after his performance at ALT-LDN in Clapham, the rapper’s first taste of the live stage has left him wanting more.
“It was sick,” he says. “We've been waiting for so long to do it as we’ve been in the studio making tunes.
“To share it with people who have been watching me do it on social media for so long was really good. It was my first show as well - so it was special. That show really gave me the buzz to do more.
“For me personally it was also my first festival. I'd never been to one before and I was performing.
“It was nice to have a massive sound system, setup and mad lights.
“Now, it’d be nice to do some more intimate shows.”
One of those intimate performances is almost certain to be a debut show in Northampton which DeBe and his team are currently planning, but isn’t expected to be until the first part of next year.
Last month the rapper made national headlines when the car he was driving was stopped by armed police while he was filming.
The footage, which shows DeBe ordered out of the vehicle and onto the ground at gunpoint, was subsequently used to accompany the video for Not Cops.
DeBe wrote the track earlier in 2021, working with producer Nick French.
“We were shooting the video and the whole police thing happened,” he explains.
“What I’m saying in the track was you don't stop for police - but when they pull you like that you don't get much choice,” he jokes.
“Not Cops is about a point in time where I was living looking over my shoulder.
“I'd be driving around feeling that way – that’s where I was.
“When we were filming, I could see a car following me for about five or 10 minutes.
“I knew I was going to get pulled, but I didn't know I was going to get pulled by five or six of them with guns.”
DeBe, a moniker which originates from the rapper’s tag used in graffiti before he started releasing music, is currently based in Duston but grew up living in both Abington and Kingsthorpe and briefly in Milton Keynes with different family members.
Talking about early experiences listening to music, he says, “I remember being proper young and my mum listening to all sorts.
“My mum's from Doncaster and that ‘up north’ crowd love Bassline.
“The was a lot of old school R&B, Ms Dynamite, Erykah Badu and even Sidewinder sets.
“When I was living at my nan’s, my uncle would spit silly bars at me all the time from really old garage MCs.”
DeBe adds he later religiously listened to Nas albums such as Illmatic, God’s Sun and Street’s Disciple along with mixtapes by Giggs and Roll Deep.
He added: “Music turns over so quickly now, but back in the day, you’d have a couple of albums and listen to them for time. I used to take them in the car everywhere with me.”
DeBe originally started rapping while at school, he and others would take turns writing bars, rapping and beatboxing.
“I remember recording through headphones, plugging them in backwards and using them as a microphone, dumb stuff like that,” he explains.
“Everyone used to spit grime. We’d go around each other’s houses, all pass the mic around and everyone would spit 16.”
It was getting a MacBook as a teenager which DeBe singles out as a “game changer” when it came to making his own tracks, using all of his free time to make music.
Despite this, DeBe was still not releasing music into the wild yet continued to invest more money in equipment and time in writing.
“I'd be at parties and people would say I should put music out,” he says.
“I had a bit of a break and moved to Newcastle and it was around then that I started pursuing things properly.
“I started uploading things to Instagram and Isus (DeBe’s manager) hit me up asking when I was putting things out.
“I sent him some demos and from there I spent the whole year travelling to different studios, we made about 50 tracks and then slowly started putting things out starting with Slow Your Ropes and it’s gone from there.
“It seems a long road that you get on. A never-ending road but in a nice way.”
Since that initial release, DeBe has put out his aforementioned debut mixtape as well as six-track EP The Life Of Reilly and other singles including Farmland and Like Fiddy.
Turning to the immediate future, for DeBe – who currently works out of his home studio - it’s about releasing more music.
“We're planning on keeping it rolling,” he explains. “There’s a bag of tracks I'm waiting to drop and a project I'm working on which I'm slowly putting together.
“I think the plan is to do a couple more singles and then maybe a 10-track project or something.”
Already standing out from the crowd thanks to a series of captivating stills and videos by the likes of Alex Potton, Isus Calmellow and film production company Explore Impossible, DeBe adds, “There’s definitely going to be more videos and more visual as well.
“The main thing when doing the visuals is we get as creative as we can, we like to have fun with it.”
For more information, visit https://www.instagram.com/DeBe