Ayo Beatz is a producer-artist who we know you have being vibing or singing/rapping to one of his tunes recently. Ayo Beatz has worked with the biggest names in the UK scene, including Ms Banks, Ratlin and Fredo, and recent has embarked on a new life (well, kind of) in Dubai. Already, he has connected with a host of Dubai artists out there including Saad Brizzy and continues to keep up with the demand over here in the UK.
His track ‘Burj Khalifa‘ was a hot record that gained Airplay at Radio One and many other UK radio stations. It’s was from this track about one of the tallest building in the world that he became in hot demand in Dubai. Which in effect, has caused him to move to the paradise metropolis.
Ayo Beatz chats with us about his sound, working with SOS Music and loving his new life in Dubai. He also gives us an exclusive about the new talent he is working with in Dubai whilst keeping himself on top of his game in the UK.
1. Not only are you an artist, but you’re also a producer? What made you get into music production?
Basically, just necessity. Not having producers sending me beats in time. Needed more beats, not being able to get them made me go and try it myself. At the time I had a duo with me and one guy. He was making the beats and I was doing the rapping and I ask him ‘Hey, can you show me how to use this software for producing’ and he basically showed me. When I was in the States and I had time for myself (without him producing), I started making beats for myself. The rest of the story is history. People started asking me for beats for them and it became a thing. That’s where the name Ayo Beatz came from because it was just Ayo before until I got a deal, where I had to change my name.
2. How would you describe your new production sound?
I would describe my sound as eclectic and international. It’s just everything that I can get my hands on. Anything I can draw anything from I’ll put it into my thing. Production-wise, I’m definitely inspired by like Kanye West, Timbaland, the Pharrell, the Dr Dres…basically the producer-artists who are known to be producers and artists.
3. So you’ve recently resettled in a Dubai. What made you move to the new modern metropolis?
I wouldn’t necessary say I’ve moved. I’m just floating in the Middle East. I’ve enjoyed it so much and the people have always shown me, love.
I feel like that I’m now in a creative space to do things, to get an album done, put together concepts visually and musically. Even with collaborations I’ve done a few UK collaborations whilst being over there…it’s crazy, it’s mad. It’s just mad that when I decided to dip out is when things started working properly.
4. What made you decide to work with SOS Music?
The story has I had a record called ‘Burj Khalifa’. There’s a place called Burj Khalifa and it’s the tallest building in the world. I basically started promoting it…DJs were playing it in Dubai and it kind of got on Radio One in Dubai. From there, SOS heard of me via that. I heard of them through social media, as I was looking for Dubai groups to collaborate with or Dubai artists – there was nobody.
After I came across them. They were so solid; their packaging and delivery were right, and I was like ‘Yeah, we’re definitely going to gel’. I put together the track ‘Abu Dabbin’ and sent it over to them – they killed it.
Since then we’ve been cool; working on more music. When it comes to Dubai – that’s the gang right there!
5. How did the whole collaboration with the ‘Abu Dabbin’ remix with Chip & Red Cafe come about?
It was crazy man. We put out the original record ‘Abu Dabbin’ – it did crazy with over a million views, and it just spun out of control. Obviously, SOS had a good relationship with Chip, they were like ‘Yeah, we think we’re ready.’ Chip was already supporting the thing as well; he retweeted the video a couple of times to show his support. When it came he was like ‘Yeah definitely. I’m on it’ and he jumped on the track.
Red Cafe…it’s mad because it happened by chance. It was a couple of club meetings where I bumped into Red Cafe. Overall it was a definitely a strong hand of affiliation with SOS and connections with the Middle East that made the whole thing come together because we’re coming from a different angle rather than just being another UK group trying to get an American collaborator. It was a breath of fresh air from everyone on the Stateside and people from the UK.
6. Is it just SOS that you solely working with at the moment?
Well, I’m working with an artist called Saad Brizzy. He’s an Arabic artist and…erm…yeah we’re working on new music material. I have a song that I’, featured on with him called ‘Take Off’. We’re trying to plan the video, which will be released soon.
Over here, I have a record with me, Paigey Cakey, Brandz x Tizzy, Akeile (from WSTRN) and Young Fume called ‘Down’. I think that record is going to blow up really well because it got all our wave, but all on one record — it’s MAD.
I’ve been doing loads of collaborations with Ratilin. What else?…Oh! I’ve done something with Marx (Wiley’s artist). Wiley’s doing a label and he’s got, Marx. Marx is doing his thing, man.
7. There’s been a huge influx of Americans ‘discovering’ new UK Music thanks to Drake. Do you feel that the Americans are gradually becoming receptive to the UK music sound?
In the past, I’ve lived in the States for three years in New York. At times, trying to introduce them to UK Music was hard. I think they’re more open to it now thanks to influential figures like Drake, but I think it’s still in a delicate time where it’s up to the people now to decide. Do you understand what I’m trying to say? Even when you relate it to the American Hip Hop scene, if Jay-Z comes out tomorrow saying ‘Argh, I got this new artist,’ everybody would pay attention, but then they need to feel that artist for them to resonate. If they don’t then the artist will have to sit down and play the Memphis Bleek. Does Ya get me? And then Cam’ron might have to come through and we begin to cop that.
It’s good that American acts are bringing them to the forefront, but I think it’s still delicate. So I think we just need to keep working. Keep building our own thing, because that’s what has made them start to dig it (UK Music).
8. Grime is currently at the forefront, but there’s also Afrobeats thanks to the likes of JHus, Kojo Funds and Belly Squad. In addition to Moelogo, Adekunle Gold and Maleek Berry. Do you think people should also look into this sub-genre of UK Music as well?
Yeah, yeah. I definitely like that sound. It gives it a unique dynamic to it. It’s more of an Afro-Swing almost because it’s afrobeat but the tempo is a particular groove. It’s definitely carving its own lane and it should definitely be built upon, as it has a unique feel. You wouldn’t hear that in Africa, neither will you hear it in America. It’s a UK sound – it’s come from here first.
9.What’s the music vibe in Dubai like?
The music vibe in Dubai is a melting pot. It has a lot of Arabic influence, but it also has a lot of American influence I would say. Primarily because a lot of American artists that come to Dubai so they look towards America. So you can imagine the UK 15 years ago when we were all listening to Nas…imagine that but fast forward to now where they’re listening to the latest Future…that’s where they are. Although, there are taking in the UK now. They’re starting to book UK acts. Dubai has started to take in the whole UK vibes now so now it’s a great time — loads of people from the UK are coming to Dubai.