IAMDBBD, an emerging talent from Manchester, is influenced equally by jazz and the new wave of alternative R&B exemplified in the UK by the likes of Ray BLK and Sampha. She defines her sound – crisp beats, ghostly vocals, delicate touches of thudding bass – as ‘urban jazz’. The jazz influence is all over her vocal, which dips and weaves freely around the songs’ melodies, marking her out as a unique artist.
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The 21-year-old is exactly the kind of talented fostered by small clubs and venues, which is exactly why these sorts of venues need to be protected. Yet, according the Music Venue Trust, 40% of grass-roots venues have disappeared in the past decade. This has largely been attributed to a combination of increased rents and prohibitive licensing laws – all we know is that something needs to be done about it.
This is where Music Matters comes in. Launched by Selfridges, the campaign looks to raise awareness of small venues’ plight through a series of shows from the likes of IAMDDB, indie band Ten Fe and south London rappers 67 at Ultralounge, the London store’s 360-degree multidiscipline arts space, with 20% of takings going to Music Venue Trust. As you can see, IAMDDB kicked off the first night in style.