We chat shop with the rising Indie four-piece.
London-based AJ X Deno are the teenage rap/singing duo taking the Afrobeats scene by storm. Beginning their musical journeys separately, the duo collaborated leading to the self-release of a string of hits ‘Know Me’, ‘Ride or Die’, ‘Chase’, ‘Coming For You’ and ‘Real Life’. The success of these collaborations have seen the pair play Wireless and V Festival, support Nadia Rose, sell out their own headline show, and get radio support from Mistajam, DJ Semtex, Charlie Sloth and many more.
Their most recent single, London, featuring fellow young-superstar EO, has already charted and reached over 8 million views on Youtube. As we gear up to see AJ x Deno live at their August headline show, we caught up with the pair to discuss their influences, new music and more.
How did you both meet and what made you start doing music?
We met in Westfields at a YouTube link up!
AJ – I was doing music before Deno when I saw him I said we should do something together then it all took off from there.
‘London’ premiered on GRM, has entered the charts, has over 6 million views. Did you expect that?
Deno – Our plan this year was to make sure we bring nothing out which gets less then 1million views. So I went around school showing all my friends and family members to make sure it was actually the one we should go with!
AJ – In the studio with Da Beatfreakz we all knew it was going to do well but never knew it would get 8 million views! Thanks to the supporters
How did the collaboration with EO come about?
Deno – My sister knew EO from before the fame and he always told her he wanted to work with me, then our manager told us he seen a YouTuber who he thinks could blow, then he showed us EO! Then 2 weeks later they did GERMAN then that was it to be honest, went studio caught a vibe with Da Beatfreakz then that was it. BANGER
Your guys music is extremely melodic and embraces the direction of current trends infiltrating the charts. What are some of your music influences and how has it affected your style?
AJ – My influencers are people like Yxng Bane & Not3s, with they laid back Afro swing styles.
Deno – My influencences are Drake, The Weeknd in the UK, M Huncho, Not3s and one person everybody forgets Geko, because he is the reason why the whole scene is here I think
Some big names have given you your props, and you’re strongly on the radar, is there a particular moment or artists that gave you recognition that you can recall being excited about?
Deno – I have had 2 of these moments! The first one was when Stormzy hollered me to be on his album that was like a dream. Another one was when I was sitting in my house on a Sunday afternoon my manager called me up and told me to look on twitter NOW! I was like Twitter is dead I’m not going on those old man apps lol then he called me again saying look on twitter , I went on the old man app and CHRIS BROWN shouted me out it was crazy. My whole family was jumping around the house. Then he twitted again when we put out Coming For You! 2 months after, mad moment.
What can we expect from you guys in the coming years? Conceptually, musically and production wise?
We have a new EP dropping very soon! Watch out for that coming sooner then you think.
The duo are playing their own headline show at London’s Omeara on 6th August 2018 – Get Your Tickets Here !