Though Deto Black remains a relatively new addition to the music scene — she is undeniably carving her place within it. Her discography includes a collaboration with Skepta on the Franchise Remix, a sex-positive track with Amaarae on Body Count (produced by Odunsi the Engine) and to top it off, she has a new EP titled “Yung Everything”.
Crash landed on earth August 6th — Yung Everything is all about femininity and sexuality — with hopes of empowering those who listen to it to feel “strong and powerful.” Singles like “Tesla” and “Brag” came out earlier this year, with their lyrics being unapologetically kinky and rife with bad bitch energy: “Boy toy, he ride me like a Tesla / Eat my ass then fuck me on the dresser.”
A self-described “rebel,” Deto Black does not attempt to fix her sound, lyricism or style to fit any box. Her experimentations both musically and aesthetically link back to her childhood, where she felt the need to assert herself as the eldest daughter of three sons. “Definitely growing up, having 3 little brothers led me to notice the difference in how I was treated in comparison to how they were. Not in my home though, but in the outside world.”
In an interview with NBGA, Deto Black explains that her home, Nigeria, was not always the most accepting place, especially for a woman looking to establish herself within the music industry. “100% I think I have the privilege of seeing that the way things are done in Nigeria are not necessarily how it’s done everywhere else in the world.” It’s for that reason that her mother is of such significance to Deto Black. She went against the grain of expectation with her career trajectory and has been a major influence behind Deto’s can-do, allrounder energy.
“She’s my role model and is a rebel in a way. She’s a politician and a lawyer so she’s very well educated and is a working woman. She influenced me with her resilience and just going after everything she wanted. When she first went into politics, most people discouraged her. It wasn’t really common for educated people to go into Nigerian politics at that time. There was a lot of discouragement. But she was like, ‘No this is something that I’m passionate about, this is what I care about.’”
Her mother made it a point to not reinforce the stereotypes traditionally accepted by Nigerian society on her daughter. “My mom has always told me, ‘Women are capable of doing anything,’ so I’ve never had that predisposition that ‘Oh, I’m a girl, so I’m gonna stay in a girls place.’”
Deto has carried on her mother’s values into her adulthood and career. She has a degree in Social Anthropology, a Masters in Global Governance and now creates “girl anthems, made to make women feel empowered.” Rather than staying in place and going down the expected route of becoming a “doctor or architect,” she has chosen to forge her own unique path – prioritising her happiness and self-expression over anything else.
Her upcoming EP “Yung Everything” is an ode to just that. “It’s kind of about me being indecisive and not being able to choose one thing, I just love different aspects of everything.” This is certainly the impression you get from Deto’s IG, which is populated with baddie fit pics, music video clips and bestie photo dumps. Perhaps best described as a multi-hyphenate, Deto explains that music and fashion are of equal obsession to her, in addition to bringing awareness to social justice issues and female empowerment. As she expressed, “I was in fashion first, music is the newer love. I’ve always loved music but I never thought it was an option for me as a Nigerian girl, they don’t really tell you that it is.”
Growing up abroad and living between cultures, she explains, opened her eyes to all that was out there for her. Having spent her time in the US, London and of course, Nigeria, meant she was able to see varying interpretations of femininity, and chose to disregard certain social pressures she felt at home. Studying Social Anthropology also highlighted to her that “human beings make culture…I don’t think anyone knows what’s right more than the other. It also taught me about life and gave me that confidence to create and follow my own path.”
Nigeria is where she met close friend, and collaborator Mowalola in primary school. Despite both having grown up abroad, they maintained close contact, with the designer even citing Deto as “her muse.” Now both living between Lagos and London, they have emerged as an iconic duo, well-established within the London scene. Both have collaborated with fellow Nigerian creatives based in the UK like Skepta, Lancey Fouxx and Unknown T. Deto has also worked and supported Nigerian brands like Vivendii, a design collective who creates streetwear and forms part of the country’s up-and-coming Alté music scene with their DJ-ing. Deto is also a part of that scene, being a female rapper brings something new to the already buzzing music scape which Deto describes as “amazing, growing, expanding.”
“Everyone is experimenting with styles which means no one is being boxed into one genre anymore which is amazing to me. That’s always my dream, I just don’t want people to be boxed in or labelled a certain thing. There’s definitely an alternative music scene developing in Nigeria as well and it’s been going on for a few years now but now it’s really getting the recognition it deserves. There are a lot of female rappers coming up. The female rap scene is definitely growing.”
Much like Nigeria’s music scene, Deto Black is growing and expanding as an artist today and within her future lies “hopefully, amazing beautiful things… One thing I’ve learnt from Covid is there’s no like expectations. I’m just going with the flow and seeing where it goes. I’m open to whatever the universe wants to give me, I’m so excited that my fans are excited for the EP! It means a lot to me, and is a special project, so I hope everyone likes it.”
Find Deto’s debut project – YUNG EVERYTHING across all streaming platforms now!