Features Interviews

Dyo: Let Them Talk

Passionate, energetic and immensely talented British-Nigerian songstress Dyo, is both sides of the creative coin. She’s an amazing vocalist and a multi-platinum selling songwriter who is not afraid to ‘let them talk’. Her sound is a captivating blend of soulful vocals layered over melodic beats, with jazz, afrobeats and R&B influences. Her talent is a rare gem and her confidence can be felt in her music.

Dayo ‘Dyo’ Olatunji has been nominated for an Ivor Novello award and collaborated with a broad range of internationally renowned names including SZA, Maroon 5, Fifth Harmony and Jacob Banks, as well as penning chart-topping singles for homegrown icons Wiley and Chip.

Dyo has a big 2021 planned with some great collaborations to bolster her previous collaborations with Mr Eazi, Adekunle Gold, Jae5 and many more. ‘Let Them Talk’ is the first release from her debut EP ‘Dyologue’, which dropped earlier this year. It signifies the beginning of a new chapter! Recently she took on the social media viral #BadRomanceChallenge which tests vocal range – Dyo breezed through it, tackling key changes, vocal range and control. Fun fact, music isn’t Dyo’s only area of expertise – she’s also an amazing chef!

Watch the exciting new video for her latest release ‘Let Them Talk’ featuring Nigerian singer Simi. Directed by Ademola Falomo (credits: Tems, Davido, Benjiflow), the storyline see’s Dyo give an energetic performance in a house party setting, contrasted with scenic shots of the beautiful backdrop of Lagos city.

A little background, how and when did your journey with music start?

It’s been quite a long journey, from when I was a little girl always having a passion to sing and entertain, but my official introduction into the industry was in 2009, when I had my first feature on Chipmunk’s single ‘Oopsy Daisy’.

I think you’re a vocal powerhouse! Your songs always have a story. I’m inclined to say your music is a beautiful fusion of soulful RnB/Afrobeats, but that’s me. How would YOU describe your sound?

I would say my music is a combination of all the music I love. All of my inspirations tied into one. I don’t really like to put titles on my music because it’s art and I would rather not be boxed in, but I would say yes, you’re right it’s a fusion of Afrobeats/RnB. I also pull on South Asian influences and everything in between.

How has the blend of your Nigerian heritage and your British identity influenced your sonic style?

My Nigerian heritage has influenced my music greatly in the rhythms I choose, melodies and the overall feel. I’m proud of where I come from, who I am and always want to showcase that in everything I do.

You’ve collaborated & written for some of the biggest names in music. Do you identify more as a songwriter or as a performer? What has been the highest point of your journey as a musician so far?

I would identify myself as both a songwriter and performer. Innately, I was singing and entertaining family and friends when I was younger before I even knew anything about songwriting; that aspect became a part of me as I grew older.

I’ve had so many high moments in my career it’s hard to just pick one. I would say a high moment for me was when I knew that this was it and I was able to do what I love for a living and I was able to see that people actually cared and respected and loved my music – it doesn’t get any better than that if you ask me.

We’d love some insight into your hit making formula; can you break down the songwriting / creative process? Where do you get your ideas? Any tips?

My songwriting formula always changes, depending on who I’m working with. If the song is for me or if I’m working alone generally, I like to start off with melodies and figure out lyrics later. Recently I’ve been writing words down and thoughts and feelings and poems and turning those into songs.

What’s the most fun you’ve had making a record? Who has been the most exciting to work with?

My most fun whilst recording always comes from me working with my friends and people that make me laugh and vice versa. I get the best songs done like that too, when there’s a genuine chemistry between us all. I’ve worked with a lot of talented people so it’s hard to choose a favourite – different people have different qualities. I love working with Tayla Parx she’s just a big ball of fun, lol, and on the Nigerian side Adekunle Gold, Simi, Spellz… honestly the list goes on.

I love your debut EP ‘Dyologue’. You have since been spotted with the likes of LADIPOE, Stefflon Don and more. What collaborations should we be excited for?

Keep the excitement up because there’s many collaborations to look forward to! I don’t want to spoil it lol, I like surprises so just keep your eyes pinned on my insta and socials.

What drew you to Simi as a collaborator for your latest track: ‘Let Them Talk’?

I was drawn to Simi when I first heard her song ‘Joromi’, and I knew yes, I have to work with this girl by fire by force! I knew it would go off. I had worked with Adekunle Gold previously on his album ‘About 30’ and told him I needed to work with Simi. He put it together and that was literally fire in the booth. She’s very talented with such an angelic voice. ‘Let Them Talk’ was our very first session together.

This question is a 3-in-1; what’s your biggest career goal? Dream stage to perform on? Dream collaboration?

My career goal is to inspire people through my music all over the world, help people going through tough times to pull them out, make them feel good, that’s what I do this for – to make changes through the music, provoke feelings in people.

Dream stage to perform on would definitely be Madison Square Gardens. I mean who wouldn’t want to perform there? Dream collaboration hmmm I have a few, it’s hard to pick one! I’ve always wanted to work with Coldplay, Rihanna, Brandy or Beyoncé. That’s quite a range I know, lol.

What 3 hacks would you give to women starting out in music?

Three hacks I would give to women starting out is be firm and stick with your gut – it’s ok to say no.

What is the biggest lesson you’ve learnt this year?

You have to believe in yourself and bet on yourself hard because as cliché as this might sound, if you don’t believe in yourself, how can you convince anyone else to believe in you too?

Lightning round:
Talking or texting?

I’m definitely a talking person

You’re at a Karaoke night. What does Dyo sing?

Celine Dion ‘All By Myself’ lol

What’s your favourite word? Least favourite?

Favourite; honestly, least favourite; bruv

What’s the last thing you watched and why did you choose to watch it?

Bridgerton was the last thing I watched. Everyone was saying it was good so I gave into the hype, lol.

Discover more about Dyo and follow her journey here:

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