Who the hell is Deijuvhs?

Meet Deijuvhs: the East London breakout star mashing together genres and unapologetically representing the Black working class spirit…

Who the hell is Deijuvhs?
Zoya Raza-Sheikh
Main photo:
Jessie Rose
Portrait photos:
Sara Shots

London-born Deijuvhs (pronounced day-you-VHS) first joined a band when he was 15 years old. There was no plan, there was no real musical ability, just a rag-tag group of mates with a burning desire to get stuck in and make a racket. "No-one could play the instruments or anything," he laughs today.

A lifelong fan of music – finding himself jamming out to everyone from Michael Jackson to Fightstar to Nirvana – his own artistic direction soon veered toward the alternative, and now the hyperactive frontman finds himself rewriting the rulebook of what nu-metal, R&B and alt.rock can look and sound like.

We caught up with the Seraphim singer to hear more about his musical past, plans for the future and why he wants to give back to working-class communities.

Music has been around you from a young age. Do you have a favourite musical memory?
"When I first heard In The End by Linkin Park. I saw that music video on Kerrang! one time, I must've been 12, and I’d never heard that sort of music before. I remember being in my nan's house thinking, 'That's so cool,' and it’s what got me into heavier guitar music. Without that, I probably wouldn't be making what I'm making today."

Your musical style is diverse and eccentric. Growing up, what sort of tunes were you surrounded by?
"My family, my mum and dad, were into reggae and lots of old-school R&B, garage, jungle and all of that sort of music. I never really got exposed to anything else. I remember Gorillaz were one left-field band that came out that I really liked as a kid. I was a heavy Gorillaz fan."

How did experiencing those different genres of music influence your style today?
"I don't listen to many different things. I might get a melody from an old-school garage song but then I'll add some nu-metal in there. I mix them and bind my influences. With some songs I think, 'How the hell did that influence come from this?!' It's probably from some left-field shit and then I put it into my own thing."

Your new single Moonlight Bop is out soon. How did that track come about?
"My boy Mattu [producer] was listening to some Limp Bizkit in the shower and came up with the idea that we need to make something with the same energy. We went to the studio and a few hours later we had a party song. It was good to make something fun and heavy."

You also got recognised by Fred Durst on TikTok. What was that like for you?
"When me and my teammate made Moonlight Bop, we kept saying, on the fly, that Fred Durst is going to hear this. I really believed in it, though. I released my first single on TikTok and it did whatever it did, then he actually hit us up – I can't believe it actually happened! It was weird, but by the power of the internet I feel very fortunate and gassed. Lots of people have been hating on me a little bit, but to get recognition from OG is like I'm doing the right thing."

At the same time, we’ve heard about some unfortunate negativity also coming your way…
"You know what it is – it’s the sly racism. They look at the way I look and think I’m a SoundCloud rapper, but then they see me wearing a black metal T-shirt and they can’t fathom that I enjoy this type of music. Or the fact I’m using a drill flow on a metal song and some people aren’t getting it. Most of the time it’s younger metalheads and alternative people. The older ones like it a lot, which is weird! Even when we play shows, we have older people coming up to us who are nice. But yeah, there’s a little bit of racism because I’m not white."

There’s more of us getting into alternative spaces, but how do you think we get to change this scene?
"We just need more representation. People like me, people like you in the circles. I get a lot of Black kids coming up to me saying, 'We like the fact that you're Black and it makes me feel good.' Even in my band, we prefer having POC. We've got everyone and that was big for me to make sure that my band was POC. It's nice having people onstage that you can relate to in the crowd because you didn't really see that. We need to get more people in higher-up jobs and celebrities and artists who are POC in alternative spaces, but it's happening slowly anyway. It's important that it's something that we keep mentioning. It's important for all of us."

That’s why spaces like your DIY event Hoodstock are so important.
"Me and my boy put on this annual festival. We get a lot of underground artists and some big artists, from all different scenes over the gaff, and we put on a show. All the money we make goes to giving 15 to 25-year-olds free studio time and help with shows. We're gonna put on industry talks so people can get some knowledge.

"I've always needed a little bit of help and I didn't really have any growing up in the music thing. Now that I've got this platform, I need to help as much as I can. The younger generation needs a little lift-off."

So you’ve got new music and big plans on the way. What’s your next big goal as an artist?
"Oh, blimey. I want to buy a bike. I want to buy a Harley-Davidson and I want to get a car with hydraulics. I want to get a nice chain! I've just got to work on my music so I'm alright. I'm stressed that I've got too much music work to do, which is such a blessing. I feel so humbled and honoured to even be in a position where I am right now. Not many people from my area get this opportunity. I feel amazing. I'm not gonna waste my time. I will never forget being broke. I'm gonna stay with a broke brain on my head and help broke people."

Deijuvhs supports Limp Bizkit at Gunnersbury Park, London, on August 13 – get your tickets now. Hoodstock takes place on September 1 at Colour Factory in London.

Read this next:

Check out more:

Now read these

The best of Kerrang! delivered straight to your inbox three times a week. What are you waiting for?