It has been thirteen years since Donae’O released Bounce (2002) a taster to the talented productive creativity of Ian Greenidge from London.
Thirteen years later and Donae’O reigns as one of the kings of the UK music ‘urban’ scene with a catalogue of certified bangers, think: Devil In A Blue Dress (2002), African Warrior (2008), Party Hard (2009) and I’m Fly (2010), to name but a few.
After a ‘break’ from the music industry, Donae’O drops the new single, Mami No Like a certified banger fusing funky house and afro-beat seamlessly together to create a track which adds further weight to Donae’O being a creative king of the club anthem. With an up-beat video to boot Donae’O is ready to reclaim his crown as the king of funky.
You can’t stop making hits-how important is making music to you?
I have been making music since I was 6 years old after I heard my dad play a track by Kuymo D and KRS 1 in his brown cavalier. I remember lifting my face out of my coat and listening to the music, thinking I want to do this for the rest of my life. After that I remember buying my first album by a hip-hop group called EPMD and becoming immersed in music-for me making music and being in the world of music is all I know.
How do you go about making a certified banger?
My process is always long I have never made a song in one go that has been perfect. I have always had to come back to it and chip away because elements of it might be ‘perfect’ but as a whole track it is still falling short of the standard that I want. So I always start off with drums, then work out a bass-line or melody until I find something that I like. For example Devil In A Blue Dress was just the drums, the baseline came two months later, then the chorus came a little bit of time after that. Once I did that then I started to structure the track and out of that came the track.
So let’s talk about this break of sorts-why the time out?
I needed the break to enjoy just making music rather than putting anything out for people to hear. It was kind of a break but more really a break from the business of music and releasing music. I just wanted to make tunes and just put them out there without this team saying do this and do that.
The business side of it was it too much for you in a way?
No it was not that but the thing is when you start making music you do it from instinct. Once you blow up then everyone wants to get involved, everyone has an opinion and then you can get lost in everyone elses opinions about you and your music and that does not help.
You obviously blew up in a major way-what was that period like for you?
When you blow-up the first thing that happens is people are trying to exploit you but that is natural there is nothing bad about it is just the way it is. Everyone is trying to take from you first and everybody is aggressive in different ways from being overly friendly, to women being flirtatious to get what they want, to people trying to drop a guilt trip on you. If you do have a ‘team’ you need to chose the right people who will not rush you into anything. For me I will not rush into anything I am going to take my time with everything that I do before I jump into a scenario.
So after the break were you worried about making an impact again?
I was never worried about having a break, coming back and making music that people like: making music is like breathing for me I need it. When I produce I know that eventually I will have a banger it is just a question of when. If it is not Mami No Like then it will be another track but I know that I make music that people like. I am not trying to be boastful but music is who I am.
So Mami No Like as your first track (of sorts) since that break-hearing that old funky house vibe with some afro-beat for sure.
Mami No Like has elements of; afro-beat, trap, and Caribbean music in there but it’s a track that really has the club vibe and I think people are going to like it. Funnily enough Abrantee has been onto me about the remix so stay locked for info on that.
And an album soon I am sure.
I am looking to release an album it will have funky in there but then the other parts of the album I just don’t know it will just depend on what is going on in my life but it will be full of bangers.
Actually in a rather nice way to close this interview. Funky house has seen its popularity wane a little -will Donae’O be spear-heading a resurgence of the genre?
For sure, funky did have a dip but I think it is important for people to know that I am going back to making funky house and re-branding it, giving it a new image and standing behind it. I do take it serious that I am at the forefront of the scene and I personally want to make sure it has a comeback for 2015 onwards-it is a genre that is too important to the UK music scene to be left to die.
PRE-ORDER MAMI NO LIKE