The jack of many trades, Actor, Director, DJ, and Producer, Idris Elba has been one of the busiest men of the industry in 2019.
Just this year alone, the British actor has been featured in new covers of Vanity Fair and British Vogue, episodes of his detective persona as Luther, the debut of his play, Tree, Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw and Cats, and his Turn Up Charlie series on Netflix. And this was just on the acting side of things.
In regards to music, Elba dropped a full-length album – The Yardie Mixtape for his 2018 directorial debut, DJd at Coachella, got featured in Wiley’s viral Boasty remix, and debuted his DJing influenced fashion brand, 2HR Set.
Though most people might see him as an actor, the all-seeing gatekeeper from Thor, and possibly even the next James Bond, musical talent has been flowing in Elba’s veins since his childhood. Growing up in London, he landed his first DJ gig when he was 12 years old and began his own DJ company with his friends at the ripe age of 19.
When asked about his general approach to DJing, Idris went stated “The goal with my sets is just to keep people having a good time. I meander between classic bits that they might recognize and brand new songs that I know are going to be classics. That’s how I build my sets.”
Mainly inspired by Raggae music, The Yardie Mixtape, was his third installment, after Mi Mandela, and Murdah Loves John. While talking about the album, Elba went on to say “I wanted to make a mixtape that celebrated the influence of those sounds in modern music. Reggae music has influenced so many people and styles, and I really just wanted to pay homage to that. For me, making the mixtape was just like playing all of my favorite records in one set. It goes from drum and bass to traditional reggae-sounding records, to grime.” The album came our under Idris’s label, “7Wallace” which received its name from his old address in London. “7 Wallace is the address of my liberation. It’s a place where I lived and where my life changed.” He mentioned. It is also a salute to Christopher Wallace, [The Notorious B.I.G.], who is Idris’s favourite rapper.
In the middle of all of the action, Idris Elba also got married this year to the former model, Sabrina Dhowre. There’s no doubt that Idris has an insanely packed schedule. How does he keep up with new music? “Transparently, I have a team that really keeps me on the zeitgeist. That feels like cheating because I come from an era where I’d be at the record shop choosing my music. I’d know who’s who and what’s what. At the moment, I know who’s who, but I don’t have the ability to find new music in the same way I did before.” Elba also went on to mention that some of his current favourite artists include Drake, Skepta, Octavian, Loski, and Chance the Rapper.