D’Stil basking in the summer sunshine




SUMMER may have come to an end, but D’Stil isn’t quite ready to let go.

The British singer, songwriter and musician recently released Summer Lovin’ II, which is a follow-up to a song he released independently earlier this year on his record label. One of the best-kept secrets in UK music has combined his soulful voice with catchy beats on a song that celebrates freedom at a time when everyone is in lockdown. The terrific track continues an interesting journey for a multi-talented artist on the rise.

Eastern Eye caught up with D’Stil to talk about music, his latest single, hopes and inspirations.

How has lockdown been for you creatively?
I became more creative around the house, more than with music. Yes, I baked and dabbled in DIY. I also refocused on myself, my health and wellbeing, which is equally important. The right mind-set to create is the key to longevity in my opinion. Lockdown gave me time, which is hard to attain when you are balancing work life and music. I’m still a regular guy dreaming outside of his contracted hours. I did some future planning, so not my usual creative flow, but productive so far.

What inspired Summer Lovin’ and the recent follow-up?
Summer Lovin’ was written 10 years ago when I was a student. It was one of the first songs I wrote with my friend Jas and The 107. I have an affinity with summer and tying that together with my feelings of being warmed by love was an easy creation, both on paper and in composition. Within that time my life has changed and incredibly too, so Summer Lovin’ II is a reflection of those changes; how I’ve evolved as an artist and how my relationships have grown. The focus has always been to deliver music in r’n’b and UK genres. The garage/ funky style is a favourite.

Tell us more about Summer Lovin II?
Summer Lovin’ II is a celebration of freedom, something that coronavirus has taken from all of us. But the opportunity to love, live in the moment and make the most of our time with loved ones is what I’m portraying in this song. This has been a surreal summer and I for one miss spending time outdoors freely. I produced and wrote the song fairly quickly because I was looking to do a remix of Summer Lovin’ as a follow-up to the r’n’b single. I tried different versions, which all didn’t sit right and then I came up with this production. I just wrote another song and used part one as a template, but with different melodies, a new chorus and different rhythms.

Who are you hoping connects with the song?
Everyone who loves summer and those who miss making special memories when Britain is basking in sunshine! I envisioned the track to be a song for summers to come. I go about making music for life and not just for a moment, so I hope listeners bring it out next year.

What can we expect next from you?
More singles and I’m planning another EP. I learnt a lot after my first EP By Your Side about the process of releasing a compilation. Having my own record label has taught me so much. I enjoy making/releasing singles, but to put out whole projects with themes and a focus is my passion. Jay (co-owner of Red Side Records) and I are looking for artists to sign to the label, to do more collaborations and provide a platform to enable us to grow as a community.

What is your musical plan?
The plan is to collaborate more in 2021. I have collaborations, which I’ve had to keep hush about and they’re not in my hands to release, so I’d like to plan projects with Red Side. I aim to produce for more artists and hope my r’n’b/UK garage style will become a signature sound people will recognise instantly. I’ve learnt a lot over lockdown and am learning more about all areas of music. I’ve found a new hunger, which has helped my productivity, so the work-rate will continue. I won’t be stopping any time soon.

Today, what inspires you as an artist?
I’ve always been inspired by the effect of music on emotion. We’re going through tough times and music has been a real uplifting force through lockdown. A song has the power to make a change in everyday life, be it momentarily or as a whole movement and that continues to drive me. I’ve been close to giving up making music, but it only becomes energy-consuming if you don’t enjoy doing it. I’ve learnt how to love the process again and this time on my terms.

What music is dominating your own playlist?
UK r’n’b artists like Kadeem Tyrell, Emmavie, Mahalia and Joy Crookes are my favourites right now. Joy’s Anyone But Me is a standout song about mental health and she’s even represented her Asian (Bengali) identity in her music video, which was iconic. My fiancé has introduced me to a lot of Afrobeat artists like Rema and Adekunle Gold. Rema has a track called Woman, which is stupidly infectious. I also have my own playlist on Spotify titled D’Stilled, which is updated weekly on New Music Friday’s and it has a mix of tracks from all genres and cultures.

If you could learn something new in music what would it be?
Since my school days, I’ve wanted to learn music theory and because I’ve always learnt how to play instruments by myself, it’s never been structured with theory. I’ve actually already started during lockdown and aim to continue enriching my skills. I think it’s always important to keep learning, but especially core theories, because they are the basis of all compositions and help understand why certain elements work well together.

Why should we pick up the new single?
It’ll get you dancing wherever you are. The lyrics are uplifting and catchy (so I’ve been told) and it’s the way summer should have been! Everyone loves summer, so let’s give it the send off it needs, until next year.

Instagram: @dstilmusic