It is quite something special to find a young emcee who knows exactly what he wants from life! In this era, many people choose to conform just so they can “fit in”. Djamben is a French rapper, and stable mate to Yonea at Eighty-Eight Music.
At just 18 years old, Djamben is already in the process of recording his third album, and is looking to adding to his expertise by acquiring smarts and enhancing his skills through formal tertiary education. Lavatory Records had the opportunity to speak to this ambitious young man about his aspirations and much more.
Lavatory Records: How would you describe Djamben to people who don’t know you?
Djamben: For those who don’t know me, I’m a young rapper. I’m 18 years old from the region of Vosges in France. I’m signed to the Eighty-eight Music stable, and I’m preparing my third album. Music has rocked my world since I was a young boy, from rap to pop; but I’ll let you discover me through this interview!
LR: When did you get into music?
Djamben: I’ve been into music since childhood. I started singing before I could read. In fact, I’ve taken singing lessons for 10 years. In those years, I had the chance to get a very good scenic experience, by some multiple concerts.
I actually used to be part of a duo, and wrote lyrics with a friend of mine. Unfortunately, things didn’t work out, then I decided to go solo as a rapper. This has turned out well, as since going solo I’ve had the opportunity to perform with some great local acts. Step by step, I have built some musicals projects.
LR: Describe your style of music?
Djamben: My style can’t be described by a simple word! Sure, I’m a rapper before everything else, but I explore few musical landscapes between pop and reggae, from an urban perspective. So I’m a real diverse artist.
I have some “commercial” tracks but that’s not why I do music. I do what gives me pleasure, I try to be “happy” on my lyrics and musical vibes – for the most part! Putting a smile on people’s faces is really my ultimate goal, especially because of everything that’s happening in the world!
LR: Who were your favourite musicians while growing up, and which artists influence your style now?
Djamben: I’ve always really loved a French rapper called La Fouine, till this day I still like his work.
I used to listen to some “hardcore” rap, which was violent lyrically and musically. I have since mellowed and now enjoy “conscious” rap with inspiring lyrics. I like that Kery James , Medine or Brav.
I also enjoy “alternative” rappers who are quite different from everyone else, such as Seth Gueko.
LR: How did you join Eighty-Eight Music?
Djamben: I joined Eighty-Eight Music almost by chance.
Yoann Michel, the founder of this label, and I live in neighbouring towns. So we had some mutual friends and we were in contact on social networks. The whole dynamic was natural and spontaneous.
He asked me to join the label and I accepted without hesitation! He is a very motived person who takes his work seriously, and completes his projects. I liked his work ethic. So he’s always been the kind of person that I wanted to work with. I’m looking forward to helping him grow his organizational structure as much as I can.
LR: What is the music industry like for you? Do you like it? OR Is it easy being an artist in France?
Djamben: Having been in the scene for some years, I feel I have acquired some solid experience in the music industry here in France. In November 2014 I independently released a street-album (mix-tape) called Avant-premiere all by myself with limited resources.
Soon after I went back to the studio to record my second project, which was produced by Eleven Studio in Paris. This project, available in digital or physical format, was released in February 2016 is Sans Modestie where one can get to hear a feature by a famous French rapper named Zifou.
I’m about to finish my third album, which is inspired by various musical influences, but still keeping it strictly rap.
LR: When can people expect a new music of you?
Djamben: As mentioned earlier, I am working on some new music, which will be available very soon! We’ve just finished and submitted my first official video, for a rap/pop track which is doing well. This track will be available in September and will be the first single off my new album.
LR: Apart from music, what can you tell us about yourself as a person?
Djamben: Apart from the music, I hold a bachelor’s degree in Economics and Sociology. I’m also furthering my studies in BTS (Patent senior technician) MCU (management of commercial units).
Although music takes up a lot of my free time, I also try to spend time with my family and friends as much as I can. They are very important to me and have given me so much support.
LR: Where would you like to be as an artist, in 3-5 years’ time?
Djamben: I would like to be a bigger artist with more success, making more albums and music videos. I want to remain humble and just keep my feet on the ground. I have dreams and aspirations to grow bigger as an artist.
LR: Are there any people you’d like to send a shout out to?
Djamben: I really want to shout out Yoann Michel, my manager, friend and, also Eighty-Eight Music’s founder. Shout out to Mustapha Aitalla, who gave me the chance to perform with some of the biggest French artists!
Shout out to my DJ Paolo Dolci! We are going to do great things together!
A special thanks to my family, who allow me to do all the things that I do.
And finally, shout out to Lavatory records and Thato Keikelame for this interview.
A huge thank you to all my fans who have supported me from the beginning up until now. I’m nothing without you. You keep me encouraged. I can only promise you amazing things to come. See ya!
Also don’t forget to check out his latest music video entitled Pourquois!