Beau Diako chats to Notion about his many musical collaborations, new single, and his production techniques.

Beau Diako is a collaborator at heart – an artist who collects a varied array of artistic voices as an essential aspect of his creative process. It’s a reflection of an artist confident enough to know that his vision remains at the forefront even when other influences are added into the mix. Indeed, he’s been working with the likes of Jordan Rakei and emawk since his very first EP.


His natural curiosity is supplemented by an unusual desire to collect collaborations remotely and work with them on his own, an approach that was surely conducive to a vibrant creative life during the COVID pandemic. Despite that remote interest, collaboration is fundamentally a way of getting closer to the artists he really cares about, creating a connection the results of which are always new and exciting.

Diako has chosen to work with one of his favourite musicians currently working on his new single “Settle Down” – Rad Museum. The tune precedes a full album coming in April, with a surfeit of exciting collabs and guest vocalists all guided by Diako’s uncompromising vision. On the single, he says, “With ‘Settle Down’ I wanted to make something a little more weird with a different mood from the rest of the album. The production is a lot more stripped back, and I wanted everything to build up to the string section in the last chorus that weaves in and out of the vocals, a part of the album I’m most proud of. I wanted to set a dreamy, nostalgic mood, and once the idea started to take shape I knew who I wanted to send the track to.”


With exciting new music on the way, we sat down with Diako to dig into the essence of a great collaboration, his production approach and his creative inspirations.

What does a great collab look like to you?

I think a great collaboration happens when everyone involved is excited and in the right mindset to be able to contribute whatever they want to make a great song. When everyone is able to easily express themselves and input their sound and style.

“Settle Down” is a change of mood for you – why was that important?

With a lot of my previous music (and my life in general) I tend to overthink things, so “Settle Down” was made with the intention of keeping things simple and just trying to express a mood and feeling without too much thought. That feeling with this song is about calming things down and taking time out to just breathe.

How do you go about creating a cohesive sound whilst still making sure there’s variation?

Most of my ideas start with my first instrument which is the guitar, I think that usually helps to gel the project together. I always like to build and layer around the guitars with different instruments and styles, but the guitar sound is always the foundation.

What do you think an ideal guest vocalist adds to a song?

If they’re excited by the song or idea, I find that most vocalists know exactly what to do and how much to add to a song. I feel lucky enough to have worked with so many of my favorite artists on my album, so I was naturally excited about whatever they sent back.

Why did the theme of meditation come to you as a strong focus here?

Rad museum came up with the lyrics which match perfectly with the sound and mood of the music. I asked him for a little quote about the lyrics and he says – “I put a message in this song that it is very necessary for all of us to calm down and have time for meditation. In this chaotic world, it’s very necessary to rest.”

How was it working alongside Rad Museum?

Rad Museum is such an amazing artist, I’m a big fan of his and it’s an honour to make music with him. After sending him the track he asked me if I wanted him to write the song in English or South Korean and I told him to do whatever he was comfortable with. A few days later sent me back a huge folder of his vocals and harmonies and it all sounded so perfect. An extremely talented person.

What role does production play in your planning out of music?

It’s always the first step of the song, once I’m happy with the instrumentation and most of the structure, I’ll be happy to send it out to someone I think could do an amazing job with it.

Do you find yourself focusing more on vocals or instrumentals when writing music?

Definitely instrumentals, I can’t sing at all but I’d love to be able to.

What’s inspiring you creatively outside of music at the moment?

Travelling and getting out of England is always inspiring for me. Discovering new places, finding new food, sights and sounds.

What are you manifesting for 2022?

Music wise I’m going on a tour with my friend Tennyson as part of his band, and we have an album that’s nearly finished, so I’m hoping that will be released soon after. Other than that I’m hoping for as much of a stress free year as possible.

Listen to "Settle Down" with Rad Museum below: