Afrobeats All Day
Name: DeeVS AKA Dee Versatile (Derrick Abaitey)
Where he’s From: Accra, Ghana/London, England
When He Started: 2006 (with Vibe Squad)
Genre: Dance pop/Hiplife/R&B
Sounds Like: Never coming down
Born and raised in Accra, Ghana but making his mark in London, DeeVS earned a reputation as a master of festivities with Ghanaian/Nigerian group Vibe Squad. The group’s first hit, the West African accented R&B track “Whine Pon Me” won them a following in the UK and Africa. Starting in 2009, their hot Afrobeats and azonto bangers garnered them both headlining gigs and slots opening for Nigerian and Ghanaian stars like D’Banj, 2Face, R2bees, Tiffany and Castro.
Now, the young vocalist and rapper (and pharmacy student) is striking out on his own with “Shine,” the first single from The Journey, his much anticipated debut EP from HT Records. Made for dance floors and radio singalongs, “Shine” is an African pop epic that builds on Vibe Squad’s positive spirit and youthful energy while announcing Dee’s independent identity in a big way. The vibes reflect a little bit of influence from Lagos, Accra and London and that international flavor is a major reason why we expect his EP to make an impact when it arrives in early 2013. Out for just a few weeks, the track is getting some very warm buzz on Ghanaian and Nigerian music sites alike.
Watch for a video and other good things from this inveterate entertainer soon. For another little insight into what’s coming, listen to “Adonko,” his cover of Sauce Kid’s “Carolina.” But most of all watch out for The Journey. DeeVS told MTV Iggy that it will combine African instrumentation with modern dance beats, adding that the songs will “explain how long I have waited and how much work I have put in throughout the years.”