From YouTuber To Musician; A Chat With Ascending Rapper – DTG

Elle Evans

By Elle Evans

Elle Evans

12 Jun 2020

DTG, otherwise known as Deji Araoye, born and raised in Croydon, South London, started his career off as a YouTuber producing content on everything from gaming to football in 2016.

Over the last year, DTG decided to reconnect with his love for music; from a young age he’s been musically involved in Church and Social Choirs. Having put his love and passion for singing and music to the side, he ventured down the gaming route via YouTube where he grew a substantial fan-base and weighted platform. Journeying back to January of last year, DTG shared his first single titled “Theresa”, quickly gaining attention; for the remix he called on the likes of Sneakbo and S1 for the feel-good bop. Fast forward to the end of last year, DTG and S1mba joined forces for what’s now a global hit – “Rover”, with over 7.5 million views on YouTube alone, consecutive weeks in the charts and just under 3.5 million views on the remix, the pair created an undeniable hit!

I caught up with DTG to talk all about his climb to success so far, alongside his latest single “Dem Boys”…

How did you begin your journey in music? I read that you began singing in Church and in Social Choirs from a young age?

Yes, I started singing in choirs as a child. Every school I was a part of I was always in the choir. In 2011 when I was living in Nigeria, that’s when I discovered that I was more than just a choir voice. I started doing covers and performing actual songs. 

What made you decide to turn into gaming for a while before you began singing again? You built a large platform on YouTube specifically from gaming…

I stopped singing when I came back to the UK and focused more on my education. I came back in Year 11 which we all know is a very important year in each student’s life so I put everything else aside. I also felt like the way talent was praised in my previous school could never be matched anywhere else so it didn’t even really feel right to carry on. I’ve always loved gaming, for as long as I can remember. Growing up watching the Sidemen, KSI and his crew, I’d say that was a massive influence on my decision to become a YouTuber creating similar content (Gaming/Football/Challenges).

What was the turning point for you in which you decided you wanted to push your music out?

Well in 2018, a lot of people around me at the time were creating music out of nowhere. It was like a trend that came out of nowhere. I was shocked at first but also a bit excited because I knew that I could make a song if I wanted to, so I did. I put out my first ever single “Never Stop Me” and it didn’t really do well in comparison to everyone else which put me down a little bit and I felt a bit embarrassed as I had higher hopes. I decided that that was it with music and I shouldn’t have even tried. Then a couple months later I heard a beat that I instantly fell in love with and I wrote to it and put it out; That was my second single “Theresa” that did quite well for me and revived by passion.

Did you find the transition from being known as a gamer into an artist difficult? Or was it a lot easier than what you had anticipated?

It’s not easy when people have known you as a content creator for a couple of years, I’m still labelled as a YouTuber today. I’m not ashamed of my come up, even coming up in the YouTube scene isn’t easy, it’s something to be proud of! I just feel like it does affect how people take me in as a musician though, which is really annoying but it’s still early days in my career and already the majority see me as a musician before anything else!

Are there any artists in particular that inspire you lyrically or musically?

I grew up listening to a lot of Lil Wayne, Drake and Justin Bieber. I was a massive JB fan as a child; loved his sound, style and everything really – Musically I don’t really have an inspiration. 

At the latter end of last year you released “Theresa” which took off instantly! I feel like this song really put you on the map. It is a feel-good song, what inspired you to make this track?

Like you said it’s just a feel-good song, I heard the beat for the first time and just thought, “This is the one”. I caught a vibe straight away and just got to writing really, Theresa May was quite popular at the time for not being too honest with a couple things so I took that and some personal experiences with females in the past and combined the two. 

This year has already been a huge year for you with the release of “Rover”, tell us a bit more how this collaboration with S1MBA came about?

One of the most natural things ever! I had a session with my producer RELYT and we were just rounding up a very good session! Funny enough it was the session where “Dem Boys” was created. 

The session had about 10 minutes left and S1MBA and his manager walked in, that was our first ever encounter. S1MBA showed me “Rover” and asked me what I thought about it, I thought it was a good song but felt like it needed a feature for sure. He then asked me if I wanted to jump on it which I wasn’t expecting at all because the feature I thought was needed wasn’t even me. I didn’t have much time so I quickly wrote some lyrics and laid the vocals within 4-6 minutes and heard the full song back – The rest is history!

The song has been in the charts for time now! Congratulations on that! Has the response to the song been a lot to take in?

It’s still mad to think that this is happening, It’s so surreal. We knew it was a great song, but a lot of great music gets slept on, mostly in the UK and to be fair the UK did sleep on it! It took Australia to blow it up first before the UK took it in properly but I guess that’s just exposure for you.

You’ve recently dropped off your brand-new single “Dem Boys”, tell us a bit more about this single? It’s another feel-good tune, would you say this is where your style is heading musically?

“Dem Boys”, like all my music came straight from the heart! It’s literally just a song aimed at all the haters and people who just talk on the internet because they feel like they can. As someone who is out there, I often receive ignorant hate and silly comments online. I don’t really take part in online drama or any of that stuff, I just write my feelings down and hit the studio. I really enjoy making feel good music though, it keeps me going. Life’s full of ups and downs and as a child it felt like feel good music is what kept me going a lot of the time. It’s a sound that can never die.

Can we expect any more collaborations in the future? Is there anyone specifically that you would love to collaborate with in the UK scene or overseas?

Definitely, I have a couple in the bag already but when I make music I focus on finishing the song myself. I don’t really rely on features, but I do love working with other people too. The idea of 2 different sounds coming together is really lit! I’m down to work with anyone that creates good music.

What more can we expect to see from you this year?

A lot of music! 

Keep up to date with DTG via his Instagram here.