- Words Louis Rabinowitz
- Photography Meredith Watt
Rising Afrobeats R&B star Drewmula discusses his new love-themed project, creating in isolation and much more.
Drewmula has built his name as one to watch by working heavyweight venues such as XOYO and Birthdays in London, and now finds himself centre stage, releasing music that is proudly and distinctively his.
In 2020, he put out his debut EP ‘Chemistry’, telling a cohesive and thoughtful story of a tumultuous relationship. Though the COVID pandemic put paid to many of his live endeavours, Drewmula kept working away at elevating his sound and finding new collaborators to share ideas, and he’s ready to put the results into action.
His new EP, ‘WITH LOVE’, is a direct product of the lockdown experience. Drewmula observes, “I began to see the effects it had on people. Rich or poor, it didn’t matter. Being around your loved ones became paramount for virtually everyone. A lot of people I know got an eye-opener as to what it truly means to be alive. There was a shift in focus and direction to life and how to live it.”
That keen observation has become the foundation of a collection of tunes that pushes Drewmula’s sound to the next level. To celebrate his release, we sat down with him to chat about inspiration striking, the joy of live performance and his cinematic fascinations.
- Cardigan Lazy Oaf
- Hat, Bag & Jacket Lazy Oaf
What was the experience of releasing your EP ‘WITH LOVE’ like?
The release of ‘WITH LOVE’ felt different, but in a positive way. I wanted to create a project that people could sit with and never get bored of, no matter how many times they press play. It’s definitely been a surreal experience, especially at the listening party with Lazy Oaf, seeing all the ideas and collaborative efforts with the team, spring to life. That felt really cool.
How do you manage downtime between projects?
I generally tend to approach music as a form of therapy, so more-time, I’ll be out with friends exploring and experiencing life as much as I can. I prefer to gravitate towards creating when I feel the need to, and this new found balance has definitely helped my creative process so far.
What inspired you to get back to the studio and start work on this new project?
I am really lucky and blessed to be surrounded by amazing creatives who are very dedicated to what they do – I use them as a source and vessel of inspiration to create in a way that I am comfortable with. The timing to create a new project, felt right too. My last project ‘Chemistry’ was released back in August 2020, so a new project was definitely overdue.
What was it like creating during lockdown? How did isolation affect your ideas/production?
Looking back at life during the lockdowns and having all the time in the world to focus on areas in my creativity, I decided that creating a Love themed project would be the perfect concept for me to delve into. With everything happening at the time, I wanted to create a body of work that would leave a positive message behind for the supporters, as well as, making sure that I was being authentic to myself within the process.
How would you summarise this new project for listeners?
The new project is about exploring and touching on the different types of emotions that we experience with Love – but in my way, whilst also navigating through some of the different genres I’ve grown to love and create in.
- Co-Ord Lazy Oaf
The EP’s lead single “Candy” features Dark Damz. Why did that feel like the right collaborator?
I’ve been a fan of Dark Damz music prior to creating CANDY, his melodic tone and catchy hooks have always drawn me in. Whilst on the verge of completing CANDY, there was still a missing piece to the puzzle that I knew Damz would be perfect for. The first time we met, was in the studio, and he was able to bring that missing spark and vibe to the song in under an hour.
Have you been able to get back to performing live? What did you miss most about it?
In the past year, I’ve been lucky enough to perform around London alongside Junior. A highlight for me was being able to perform at the O2 Academy Islington, for Vic Santoro’s headline show. The atmosphere and love shown from the supporters was a surreal experience..
Do you have a dream collab in mind going forwards?
I used to have a dream collab back in the day when I first began making music, but nowadays I’m all for collaborating with anyone, as long as it feels right and is authentic to me. At the moment I’m really enjoying being able to collaborate with friends, and bringing those ideas to life as a unit. It’s a beautiful feeling.
What’s inspiring you outside of music right now?
This may sound random, but I’m a massive fan of A24. Their movies and TV shows have been keeping me up, as of late. I think it’s so cool to see an independent entertainment company carve out a massive name for themselves in Hollywood. Inspirational stuff!
What are your plans for the rest of 2022?
My plans for 2022 is to continue doing more. More shows, more music, and more purpose-led projects!