Rellie, an emerging vocalist and singer, is making a name for himself in the music industry by seamlessly blending Afro-inspired melodies and harmonies with modern pop and hip-hop elements. His innovative approach to tempo and delivery is solidifying his position as a prominent figure in the Afro-fusion genre and garnering recognition through performances across the East Coast and on college campuses.
Rellie has received support from notable names in the industry, such as Teni, and has been building a dedicated fanbase both domestically and internationally, particularly in West Africa and the United Kingdom. He has also been endorsed by Davido’s label DMW and frequently performs live with his US band, Dafidi TMC (The Music Company). His music can be found on all major platforms, editorial playlists, and DJ mixes, and has been featured in various music blogs such as EntertainU and One Africa.
In 2022, Rellie is set to release new singles that will serve as a preview for his debut EP “Afro Boy.” With a schedule of performances at colleges and various venues, Rellie is laying the foundation for the Afro-Fusion genre and positioning himself as a leader in the industry.
We sat down with him in September and discussed his music style, career, and what he looks forward to:
Q: What genre of music would your sound fall into? How did you develop it?
A: You can call it “Afro-fusion” and it’s created by combining elements of Afro-beats, with other genres such as Hip-Hop, R&B, Pop, House, and etc. my sound manifested from my urge to be myself, fully embodying all of my influences and culture(s) in every creation.
Q: What do you think African music needs right now? How is the music that’s coming out influencing the people of the diaspora?
A: I feel as though African music needs more diversity and mass representation. There are many types of identities, and styles of music throughout the diaspora but only a few are being represented currently. Of course we follow what is trending, for example the amapiano “Afro-house” sound. I want all other sub-genres of African music to receive as much attention, and gain just as much traction. I want to see artists from Kenya, Ethiopia, Egypt, Guinea, Mali, Sierra Leone, Cameroon, etc, I could go on and on. These places all have talent that need to be managed and mass marketed. Our people are emboldened and inspired but I think everyone should feel proud and seen.
Q: Being raised in Maryland, do you feel as though your experiences in the US set you apart from from artist in the diaspora?
A: I feel as though certain information may have been easier to come by, when it comes to production and industry knowledge. But as far as talent goes, I don’t think so. I actually feel as though I’d be more versatile, and could embrace my culture in more ways if I grew up back home instead.
Q: What artists did you grow up listening to?
A: When I was a toddler it was 50 Cent, Jay Z, Lil Bow Wow, Snoop Dogg, Lil Wayne. I was a hip-hop head. I got so into it that I started listening to almost every artist that came out from the 90s up until I started making music myself. But at home and at parties, my parents, aunts, and uncles would play old African music and I loved it.
Q: What was your favorite performance up to date? And why?
A: TMC Music Fest last year powered by Dafidi TMC, Davidos Official Tour Band. It was my first time performing with a live band so that was awesome in itself. But the turn out was also incredible. It wasn’t my largest audience but definitely the most interactive by Far. I got to share the stage with some amazing Afro beat artists and musicians, and vibe with them in the studio as well.
Q: What was your favorite collaboration so far? Do you have anymore on the way?
A: My favorite collab was a feature I did for an amazing singer and songwriter Iguocho, it came together effortlessly. That song was also produced by Bunie. I have more songs with him on the way, as well as visual productions with AHJE, features with Laik, and others.
Q: How do you define success as an artist?
A: Maybe my perspective may change the more I grow, but the way I see it right now is: If you can pay your bills, save substantially, and invest into other industries while simultaneously investing into growing your career, all off the income you generate from your art, you are successful to say the least.
Link to newest single “Straight” here: https://music.apple.com/ca/album/straight-single/1641920929
Link to Apple Music here: https://music.apple.com/ca/artist/rellie/1214309309
Link to Spotify here: https://open.spotify.com/artist/72Zwp5kTH6shzPwvfIje6j?si=zDLJx577QdKkEbbf4njYwQ
Link to YouTube Channel here: https://youtube.com/channel/UCAgSMoNRRr6tuouFJpf8TSA
Social Handles: @realrellie