“It’s About Painting The Picture For People To Know The Lifestyle Us Footballer’s Live” – An MM Interview With Dide

Harvey Marwood

By Harvey Marwood

Harvey Marwood

10 Oct 2023

Having created traction for himself after releasing debut single “Thrill’ and announcing his status as a professional Premier League footballer, rising rap artist Dide just over a week ago unveiled a brand new 8 track EP entitled ‘Who Is Dide?. Yet to announce his identity and covered up behind a unique mask – lots of speculation as to who the Premier League footballer could be has been thrown into the air for many months – with Eddie Nketiah and Alex Iwobi amongst a handful of names in the shortlist. The new project remains truly impactful and sits filled with substance – a slow unveiling of his true personality and character inside and outside of the football world. At the start of last week, here at Mixtape Madness we had to opportunity to delve a little bit deeper into Dide’s personal life and the inspiration behind the brand new EP, and here’s how it all unfolded.

First of all, before we enter the music talk, I’d love to know a little bit about your childhood and your background? Where did you grow up?

I grew up in London.

And how was your home/school life? 

School life was pretty boring to be honest. From a young age, it was full focus on football and my dreams of becoming a footballer.

What did a typical day in the life of ‘Dide’ consist of throughout your youth? 

The morning was school of course, then straight after I would go to football and once that was done I would be finishing off the last bits of homework that I didn’t do prior. That was my childhood really for the majority of time. 

What music was played around the household when you were younger and were there any standout albums or projects that had a major influence on your life? 

The music played around the household varied. I wasn’t always at home because I was always playing football on the streets, outdoors or at training. But the few times it was played, it was the greats – Michael Jackson, Jay Z, 50 Cent and a lot of RNB music. Thriller was definitely the most influential for the family. 

What made you want to start making music? 

Honestly, I’ve always liked music. I think it just became more of a therapeutic way of relaxing once I finished training or had spare time to chill- and it has now progressed into what it is today. 

What age did you start writing / go to the studio in order to put in in action?

I started writing probably about a year and a half ago, but at that point it wasn’t serious at all – just random freestyles with my guys if we were bored. More so just for banter. Same with the studio, I’d never been often. One or two times with the boys but always just for fun. Never anything serious. 

Having arrived on the scene with your debut single ‘Thrill’, the reaction surrounding the masked ‘footballer’ identity caused a lot of noise in the scene as well as the quality of the track itself; what do you make of the reaction to your first single and was it received how you imagined it would be? 

I think the first single done well in terms of an introduction which was all it was really meant to be. I think the main question on everyone’s lips is who it is which is cool and part of the mystic but a lot of the comments were about the quality of the track and that was nice to see people appreciating and relating. 

Your brand new mixtape comes out at the latter stage of this week – can you talk me through the creative process of it and what do you hope will come as a result of the project?

Yes my first EP. I’m super excited for you all to hear it. It was made pretty much over the holiday period when the season finished. Few verses and stuff have been changed recently but I guess it’s just about painting the picture for people to know the lifestyle us ballers live and who Dide is & what he represents. Parts of the journeys we go through within the football industry. Off the pitch. The good and bad times. An insight into my perspective. 

Derby Day seems very reflective of the current direction you want to take your music; from the first three tracks it’s evident you have an ability to keep storytelling at the forefront from music that can be viewed commercially. How did you go about making ‘Derby Day’? 

Derby Day was made with the sole concept of living through the footballers perspective on the day of a big game. Derby Day – from waking up to stepping foot on the pitch. The adrenaline you feel just like the tempo of the beat. The punchlines to further explain the potential scenarios within the match itself. All while making it creative. 

Going forwards, what is the big aspiration for you / end goal as such?

Going forwards my main goal is to inspire people to believe in their dreams and find motivation from the music I’m creating. If that can be achieved then I think that would be my way of viewing success within the music industry. 

What is the inspiration for your mask, and do you plan on revealing your identity in the future? 

The inspiration behind the mask comes from the meaning of rose which to me is to continue to rise. To keep going. Keep dreaming. Keep working. In the future, maybe even near future there could be a reveal but the main focus isn’t on me but on the message I’m sending out to the world and the music. I’d like that to be the most important part of me in the future. 

Have you got any dream collaborations and if so who would you like to work with? 

My favourite rapper for a long time has been Drake. I’m a big fan of Kanye West, Kendrick and J Cole also but I listen to all types of artists so would be hard to pin point one. I’m probably most inspired by artists who make classic music. Through albums over the years or singles that never get old. 

It would be impossible to do an interview without talking about football, although I’ll try and keep it music related. That being said, what sort of music do you listen to in the changing rooms before games?

Before a game I listen to more current music, rap and hip-hop; stuff that will get me pumped for the match. 

What are your three go to songs for motivation pre-match?

3 go to songs are hard but most likely they would come from Lil Baby, Drake or Travis Scott currently.

In the gym, what sort of music could we expect on your workout playlist? 

In the gym it’s all motivational type tracks… Meek Mill. Some drake. 50 cent sometimes. 

Do you have any pre game rituals? Whether that be music related or not, it would be interesting to find out more if you do. 

I don’t really have any to be honest. I’m usually quite relaxed going into the games. I do my prayer just before I step onto the pitch and I’m ready to go. 

How relevant currently do you think music is with the football world? 

I think it’s fairly relevant but can be more. Most footballers love music and most musicians especially in the UK are big fans of football so the two can definitely be more connected. 

From your experience behind the scenes, how in tune with the music industry are you?

In my opinion I feel it’s hard to really understand or know the music industry without being in it. Having now been in that space the past couple
months it’s definitely far from what I assumed it was like but a new experience for me and one I can learn on as this all progresses. 

What is your opinion on social media?

I think social media is a powerful and great tool if used correctly. A special way to interact with people all around the world but unfortunately some people use it in the wrong way and it’s often a platform which allows people to create abuse and pain online.

What is your opinion on the UK music scene?

I think UK music scene is in a great place. It’s becoming more appreciated worldwide which is good to see and the artists are doing crazy numbers with tracks and albums which can only be a positive moving forward. 

Tell me something a lot of people don’t know about you…

I’m the best player in my club at EA sports FC 24. I will challenge anyone to a match hahah.

Are there any big mistakes you’ve made in your life and if so what and how did this impact you?

Nothing life changing. We all make mistakes of course and there’s been some I’ve made in the past which I can’t change now but it’s how we respond from that and keep going stronger. 

To finish off with, what is the meaning of life to you? 

To me, life is a gift and I’m very grateful to be here doing what I love and giving back to the world in whatever way I can. Whether on the pitch or off it. Inspiring those around me and supporting me and being there for my family and friends. 

With the new project creating noise in the scene having been out for just more than week, be sure to run up the new project and see what all the hype is about.