Rejjie Snow: Inside the mind of hip-hop’s most intriguing prospect

If there’s one rule in music, it’s that you don’t say no to Madonna. Unless you’re Rejjie Snow, that is. The Dublin-born rapper was handpicked to support her on tour in 2015, but initially declined. “I didn’t want to do it because I didn’t have any big enough singles out,” he says. “But then she gave me a call and said, ‘We really want you to come to Prague.’ I was like, ‘What the f**k? I’d be an a**hole to turn this down.’”

Madge isn’t the only one who’s fallen for the rising star. In the last four years the 24-year-old has gigged with Kendrick Lamar (“incredible”), lunched with MF Doom (“my idol”) and shot a music video with Lily-Rose Depp (“amazing”). An impressive roll call, but music wasn’t always his career choice. Alexander Anyaegbunam was born in Dublin, where he was spotted for his nifty football skills. Picked out by US scouts, he was awarded an athletic scholarship by a Florida academy at 17. He went on to study film and design at a top college in Georgia, but dropped out. “I didn’t feel happy there,” he admits. “I wanted to pursue music and it didn’t make sense to be at school.” He moved back to Dublin for six months, but still felt creatively stifled.“It was hard. I was networking, figuring out how to do my thing. But there wasn’t much around so I moved to London, which was a real eye-opener,” he says.

Sleeping on indie hero and now-pal King Krule’s sofa, Snow spent the next few months meeting people and perfecting his woozy brand of electro-hip-hop. Finally everything clicked and in 2013 his jazzy, self-released debut EP ‘Rejovich’ hit Number One on the iTunes hip-hop chart, dethroning Kanye West’s ‘Yeezus’ in the process. Things went up a notch in 2015 when ‘All Around The World’ – his first official single – racked up half a million YouTube streams in its first week. He signed a record deal and a sold-out UK tour soon followed.

Complacency isn’t an option, though. Debut album ‘Dear Annie’ is expected this month, and he’s constantly working on his sound. “I want to explore more genres. I grew up listening to all kinds of music and it’d be a shame if I didn’t investigate those too,” he says. “Maybe I’ll write a great pop song next.” With a track record like his, you wouldn’t bet against him nailing just about anything he puts his hand to.

From: Dublin, Ireland
Social: @RejjieSnow
Buy: New single ‘Virgo’(feat. Pell) is out now