The world is finally taking notice of Idris Elba’s passion for music. As a man of many talents, many have recognized him as an actor, producer and director. His other long-time interests in DJing and rapping are finally getting recognition even though he has been consistent since he was just a boy. Idrissa Akuna Elba was born in London to a Sierra Leonean father and a Ghanaian mother. His father taught him how to speak Krio growing up. In his teenage years, a 14-year-old Elba began helping his uncle with a wedding DJ business. This start soon transformed into him starting his own DJ company. At this time, Elba would perform as DJ Big Driis in nightclubs. He was also known as Big Driis the Londoner. Elba has one album, four EPs and one mixtape. His features on Macklemore & Ryan Lewis’ “Dance Off” and the remix of Wiley, Stefflon Don & Sean Paul’s “Boasty” have both charted within the top 20 on the charts, with the later having over 30 million views on YouTube.
Even though he once said he’s never been to Sierra Leone, Elba evidently uses his platform to spread awareness of his heritage in different ways. In 2014, he starred in a series known as Journey Dot Africa with Idris Elba on BBC Radio 2 where he travels across the continent exploring the sounds he grew up with. In the same year, he worked with UK Secretary of State for International Development Justine Greening to help efforts fighting against the spread of Ebola virus in Western Africa. In 2015, he starred in Netflix film Beasts of No Nation that was filmed in Ghana. Elba also collaborated with artists such as Ghanaian VVIP and Nigerian Phyno on “Selfie”, Nigerian rooted Skepta on “Shutdown” and Nigerian D’banj and Sierra Leonean Shadow Boxer on “Confidential”. More recently, Elba created and starred in sitcom, “In the Long Run” which tells the tale of a Sierra Leonean family who moved to London in the 1980s.