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lime Music Interview: Donaeo

Lime interview - Music


words by

Semper - Azeez -Harris

Reporter: Semper - Azeez -Harris

What time is it Donaeo? : “It’s Big to the Ben!” Donaeo talks music, aspirations and suffering with ADHD.


Undoubtedly one of the kings of the UK underground scene with the 2008 bangers: Devil in A Blue Dress and African Warrior, Donaeo once again assaults our senses with his next smash, Big Ben, a high octane and aggy bit of UK funky. 

Of late the producer, song writer, singer and rapper has been showing his vocal prowess with a number of U-tube covers where he gets all RnB. “I have always sung” he attests to those of us that are more used to his bars and hooks-"we go party ard!"But Donaeo is at his core an interesting mix of versatility and experimentation which allows Donaeo to “keep pushing the boundaries”. 

With Big Ben out now, Donaeo was surprisingly honest as we talked about his music, writing for artists like Yasmin and suffering with ADHD.  

Before we get onto music I just wanted to ask about suffering with ADHD, how does it affect you?

It just means I am a bit hyper-active and I have to do a lot of exercise to calm me down (but I have never needed medication) -also things and emotions can be more intense for me. When I am making music, I am always searching for that track that creates that intense love for a track.  

It sounds like it actually helps you when creating music

It does but sometimes with the ADHD I can work too hard-I also need to chill-out!

Let’s talk about your single.

Big Ben is the first single from my third album which is coming out in July. There were a few tracks that I could have chosen but my friends wanted me to go with this. 

You seem at home on any genre so what can we expect of this album?

The album will be basically what I usually do- if you want things like Party Hard it will have those dance elements but there will also be a bit of a RnB vibe.

This year you have been dropping a lot of music where you are singing?

I have not really been trying to push the singing more it is just that the listeners have always chosen the more rap dance orientated tracks I do. I have always sung really but I am not that fussed about whether people like me more rapping, I just make my music.

I know you have a home studio how has that helped?

It is extremely beneficial for me right now, say for example was doing a mix-tape and they were like they needed this and they needed that I can do it because I have my home studio I can work until whenever. The other benefit is when it comes to ideas I am in the comfort of my own home which makes it easier for me to be creative. 

It must help with your writing-indeed I noted you have been behind some of the big hits.

Yes it does help me write as well and yes I have helped write tracks like On My Own (20011) and Light Up The World (2012) for Yasmin and What You Talking About? (2010) with Ms Dynamite.

Obviously music is the main factor but how else do you keep yourself at the forefront of the UK music scene?

I think the thing that has kept me at the fore front of the scene is the willingness to experiment. Every underground scene comes and goes and now that funky has gone quiet I am not afraid to make some UK hip-hop very soon- and that is what keeps me relevant. 

Lastly what else have you got in the pipeline apart from the album?

I have a Jack Beats collabo coming out on the 17th May and another collabo with Foreign Beggars and a collabo with Artful Mark [Artful Dodger] as well. 


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