Bristol-based hip-hop artist ThisisDA is reveals his new single ‘Control, Shift’, which premiered recently on Afropunk. Listen here
‘Control, Shift’ touches on police brutality, introspection and the human experience as a whole. ThisisDA showcases his captivating lyricism against masterful jazzy production by friend and producer Jakuta. The track begins with a vintage sounding guitar and smooth clarinet sound before ThisisDA enters with his effortless flow, “young man I’m on these words for real, pressure really got me, stuck I emerge and peel”. The track has three guests on it who all add their own intricate touches. The complexities of the clarinet sound, played by Luke Eira – a busker ThisisDA discovered in Bristol – adds a beautifully textured layer to the song, Fenne Lily harmoniously doubles up on the vocals in the 2nd chorus, whilst seventeen year old Gaidaa, who ThisisDA explains “can sing from the soul like no other”, demonstrates her inherent soul on the outro melody.
Speaking on how the track came together, ThisisDA explains, “I was at my boy Jakuta’s place… He played the track and it was exactly the sound I was looking for at the time. I sat with him whilst he continued producing, and structured/arranged it how I requested. His Logic started playing up and the keyboard shortcuts weren’t working – said it’s never happened to him before. That’s when the words “control shift” popped into my head – but as a double entendre kinda thing.”
ThisisDA has already caught the eye of key industry players both nationally and internationally. BBC Radio 1’s Huw Stephens included him in his ‘Best of BBC Introducing’ playlist, Phil Taggart named him as one of his ‘Future Firsts’, and Annie Mac featured him on her ‘FMM’ playlist. He has also collaborated with established artists such as Blu and Lex Records signee, Eyedress.
The rapper has been busy building an impressive and energetic live show, after supporting well renowned names Pete Rock & CL Smooth, Akala, OG Maco and Grandmaster Flash, whilst NTS Radio had him on a joint headline gig with fast-rising wordsmith Kojey Radical. An incredibly versatile artist, ThisisDA has also taken part in a live session for BBC 6 Music’s Tom Robinson where he performed alongside the hip hop collective Sumo Chief.
An inspired single, ‘Control Shift’ is a masterful look into the mind of ThisisDA. His unique blend of jazz and hip-hop is one of the most refreshing sounds to come out of 2017, and when it drops this April, he will undoubtedly be seen as one of the most exciting new artists to emerge this year.