Who is DJ Big Dris?

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.

HHAP Episode 36: Blitz the Ambassador on His Art, Purpose, & Representation

It’s been 15 years since Blitz the Ambassador released his first record, Soul Rebel. Since then he has gone on to produce 7 additional albums, start his own independent label (Embassy MVMT), produce 2 short films, and produced the feature film The Burial of Kojo, which was released on Netflix on the 31st of March, with Ava DuVernay and ARRAY.

This interview took place after he screened his film at the New African Film Festival this past March in Silver Spring, Maryland. It was great to sit down again with Blitz, 12 years after I first interviewed him for allAfrica.com in May 2007. Then, he was among the first generation of African MCs making their presence known on the underground scene in the US. In that interview we spoke about how Pan African his music was, and how lyrically, he blended elements of African and the Diaspora. His music has evolved into a showcase of African and Diaspora influences, including collaborations with artists from across Africa and the Diaspora.

In this interview we again spoke about the Pan African perspectives and sounds that continue to be present in his music. Blitz attributes much of his outlook to his upbringing, the legacy of Kwame Nkrumah’s ideologies, and his experiences in the Pan African Studies Department at Kent State University.

Blitz the Ambassador also talks about his experiences with the entertainment industry in the U.S., and how he has managed to maintain creative control over his music and film projects. In this sense, Blitz the Ambassador is vigilant about the integrity of his work, acknowledging the importance of representation, and of creating your own narratives.

The two songs featured in the episode, “Hello Africa” and “Internationally Known”, as well as all of Blitz the Ambassador’s music, can be purchased here: https://blitzambassador.bandcamp.com

Blitz on social media 
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/BlitzAmbassador/
Instagram:https://www.instagram.com/blitzambassador/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/BlitzAmbassador

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