Brighton rapper ArrDee has added acting to music and fashion on his list of recent pursuits, detailing his debut film role in British gangster sequel Rise Of The Footsoldier: Vengeance during an exclusive interview with NME.
The sixth film in the long-running franchise sees hardened criminal Pat Tate (Craig Fairbrass) rampage across London’s Soho, leaving a trail of bodies behind him as he seeks to avenge his loyal and trusted footsoldier’s violent death. ArrDee plays sweet-talking bartender Stevey, who becomes entangled in Tate’s fight with an international gang.
“It was so much fun for me to learn how all these actors work,” said ArrDee, real name Riley Davies, whose character only appears in a few scenes but makes a crucial impact. “I liked picking it up and learning it as I went along. I feel like I’ve done all right, man!”
ArrDee, a big fan of the action series which debuted in 2007, was first approached to take part in the project via Instagram. “I knew who [writer] Jason Maza and [director] Nick Nevern were anyway, [because of their ongoing involvement in the franchise],” he said. “Anyway I was scrolling through my DM requests and I recognised their names and so I obviously clicked on them to see what they were messaging me about.
“Basically we had a little chat and I said that I was a fan. And they said they were a fan of me and that I was perfect for the role. So we got straight to business!”
When he got to set, it was Fairbrass (appearing in his sixth Rise Of The Footsoldier title) who gave the most valuable advice, said ArrDee. “I had never done any form of acting before… and Craig told me to try and be in the moment as much as possible. Like obviously you want to remember your lines, but you ain’t gotta remember them word for word… He said that when he was talking to me in the scene, I shouldn’t be waiting for him to finish. Because if we were having a conversation in real life it could come off as unrealistic.”
Away from acting, ArrDee has been hard at work on his music career – teasing a “big, big project” coming soon to follow his debut mixtape ‘Pier Pressure‘, released last year.
“My first projects were done off the bat and we didn’t go for any collaborations,” he said. “We’ve got some big collaborations on this [new] project from in and outside of the UK. I think it’s gonna show a different side of me, in terms of the levels of my artistry.
He added: “On my first [mixtape] we had a lot of drill and the sound everybody grew to love. But you might hear some afrobeats on [the new project]. We’ve got some proper hip-hop on there. We’ve got some party kind of bouncing vibes on there. There’s a variety of sound for everyone.”
Currently, there is no release date “set in stone” for the new music, ArrDee said, “because it needs to be perfect” before he reveals it to the world. When asked if the fresh tracks could be a stepping stone to a full-length debut album at some point, ArrDee said: “Yeah, for sure. We’ll get there as and when it’s time, but when I get to my album mode, I’ll be in the mountains somewhere in some little studio like Kanye West – locking myself away for six months and coming out with some crazy work.”
‘Rise Of The Footsoldier: Vengeance’ is released in cinemas on September 15