Dean Blunt: Every Day is a Lifetime

Some consider him an eclectic genius; others think he’s a terrible trickster toying with the industry. However, if you aren’t familiar, let's take a closer look together.

The highly enigmatic musician, originating from Hackney, produces, writes, and performs sample-heavy music that defies expectations of genre labels. With 13 prolific solo projects and a total of 24 mixtapes/albums, he wields a growing influence within and beyond the UK music scene, all while maintaining an extremely elusive public presence.

Despite the scarcity of information about him, the artist born as Roy Chukwuemeka Nnawuchi is best known for his role as the second half of ‘Hype Williams’ alongside Inga Copeland. The duo garnered attention from experimental music blogs for their baffling music and lo-fi YouTube videos during their establishment in the late 2000s. After their disbandment, Dean embarked on his solo journey with a candid breakup album, ‘The Redeemer,’ followed by his most popular album, ‘Black Metal,’ and other renowned projects like ‘Babyfather.’ Apart from the ‘Babyfather’ album, the ‘Babyfather’ rap "trio" composed of Blunt and two other members, DJ Escrow and Gassman, who may or may not be alter egos of the British artist, released their first album, ‘BBF hosted by DJ Escrow,’ which was named the best album of 2016 by Tiny Mixtapes and Resident Advisor.

Additionally, he collaborated extensively with A$AP Rocky on his album ‘Testing,’ as well as with a diverse range of artists, from Joanne Robertson to Vegyn, Yung Lean, and Panda Bear.

What truly sets his music apart is more openly exemplified in another collaborative venture with Los Angeles band ‘Blue Iverson.’ Their R&B album ‘Hotep’ pays homage to Ms. Lauryn Hill’s career-defining album while sampling and reworking musical genres from past black music into modern collages. Beyond the myriad pseudonyms Dean Blunt adopts for his music identities, it's evident that his tendency to reference and draw inspiration from profound historical artists, akin to an archivist, alongside his deliberate avoidance of genre constraints, solidifies him as the influential creative force he is, whether intentional or not. Through this approach, he captures the enduring essence of a lifetime which is mirrored in his creations and ethos.

On the other side, Dean Blunt carries the reputation of a prankster, often fabricating stories during interviews and vanishing right after his spontaneously announced live performances. To name a few of his obfuscations, he once claimed that he was quitting music to attend wrestling school. Additionally, he trolled the NME Award ceremony by sending his security guard to accept his award. Moreover, the Londoner released the book "cǐroc boyz," only for it to be filled with nightclub receipts, and he sold weed on eBay in a toy car. It’s even rumored that his manager is a persona he created himself, adding to his enigmatic persona as an art-pop provocateur, precisely distinguishing and separating himself from the industry, preserving his enigmatic allure.

His penchant for subversion and mystery extends to his most recent work, which delves into "a more spiritual dimension of the voices of the ancestors" for the documentary ‘Dahomey,’ premiering at the 2024 Berlinale, according to an interview with its filmmaker Mati Diop in Variety.

However, when asked by NPR in 2016 if he is a model to be emulated, he responded, “I wouldn’t ask anyone to follow because I’m just doing my ting, and everyone should do theirs.”
17:11 - 14.04.2024