DESIIRE was born in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and raised in Toronto. At the age of 12, he immigrated to Canada and has always had a love for every aspect of music; creating, writing, and performing. He is a vibrant singer/songwriter with an eclectic blend of R&B, Hip-Hop, Afrobeat, and Electronic music. He has been making music for the last four years and has been featured in Billboard and Exclaim! I had the chance to speak with him about his journey through the music industry, his inspirations, and what is still yet to come from him this year.
What inspired you to get into music?
Coming from a family of singers, music was always around me. I grew up in the church and my sisters were involved in the church choir as well. There was always music playing on the radio or TV. I consider myself a late bloomer to music because I started singing around 12 or 13-years-old, but it was always a huge part of my childhood.
Who are some of your biggest inspirations and how have they influenced your music?
Coming from the Congo, I was really inspired by a lot of African artists. Then there are the R&B giants like Lauryn Hill and Eryka Badu that really influenced me. It’s definitely a mix of old and new school music.
How has being from the Congo influenced your music?
Growing up I was surrounded by a lot of folk music and when I got to Toronto, I was exposed to more of the contemporary R&B artists. With these influences when making music, I wanted to incorporate what started my love for music and what continues my love for it.
If you had the chance, who is one artist you would love to collaborate with?
I would have to say Lauryn Hill. She is such an iconic artist and I remember buying ‘The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill,’ listening and reciting the lyrics to that album on my way to school.
Your latest single ‘One in a Million’ was released back in February, what was the process behind creating the song?
The song was put together really organically. I was experimenting with a denser, more electronic sound. I collaborated with this Swedish producer and we built the track with a dangerous, 80s vibe in mind. It’s definitely one of my favourites as it taps into different sides to my music.
Is there a performance of yours that comes to mind that was so memorable for you?
I would say my first headlining show back in September. It’s something I’ve wanted to do for a very long time and finally mustered up the courage to go through with it. It was great being able to sing my songs in a full set. It was received really well and had such a warm and beautiful atmosphere.
You were a part of the ArtistsCAN cover of ‘Lean on Me’ from the Stronger Together broadcast, what did it mean to you to be a part of that?
It was an incredible experience. As an immigrant during historic Canadian moments, it can feel like minority voices are excluded. So, to be a part of this and sing with musicians I grew up with was so amazing. The process was interesting as we were all in different parts of the world and had to make the song happen through the internet. It was definitely a beautiful thing to be a part of.
You are also a vocal producer on Utopia Falls. Tell me about that experience and how it’s different from your own music career?
It’s so different from making my own music. I think with making your own music and being behind the scenes, you approach things from a personal level. So, being surrounded by other musicians to help deliver vocal performances was a different experience. I learned a lot about dealing and working with other people. I took those lessons I learned and was able to put that into my own music process. It was an incredible show filled with such amazing music and creative and inspiring people.
As we’re all stuck at home and have time to listen to new music, is there any song or artist that is at the top of your quarantine playlist?
That’s a tough one. I listen to a lot of different music but I would say at the moment it’s a lot of Afro-beat. I think that World music is making a comeback and being from Africa and seeing the evolution of the music there from an old school traditional to a more contemporary vibe has been really inspiring.
Some of our readers may be aspiring artists, what advice would you give to them?
I would say to believe in yourself. It’s a simple and overused concept but I think it’s those things because it’s true in every job you’re in. Everything starts with believing in yourself and not being afraid to try new things, explore new sounds, work with new people, and have fun.
What can we look forward to next from you?
In the next two to three months, there will definitely be new music and content. Being in quarantine has given me the time to create music at a different pace than I’m used to. This next phase of my career is going to be about exploring different sounds and not being afraid to share things in various ways. I just want to bring a fun, energetic sound. If we use art, music, and culture to lift us up, we’ll get through all of this.
To follow along on DESIIRE’s journey follow him @DesiireNow on all social media platforms!
Communications student from Toronto, Ontario. A music lover, bookworm, and pop culture fanatic. Passionate about all things entertainment, sports, beauty, and fashion.