Funky DL for many years has been considered somewhat of an anomaly in the UK Hip-Hop scene. As an enthusiastic teenager hailing from Hackney, East London, his early endeavours saw him respectively securing a five- album record and publishing deal with Almo Sounds and Rondor Music Publishing back in 1997. In the same year, DL would end up winning a MOBO Award for Best Hip-Hop Act with his debut album “Classic Was The Day” (subsequently being nominated for the same award in the next two consecutive years). From therein, his focus began to shift towards becoming an international Hip-Hop icon, directing his music to audiences in Europe and Japan.
After recording with the likes of UK Hip-Hop’s pioneers Rodney P, Skinnyman and Blak Twang and remixing records for Missy Elliot, Keith Sweat and Adina Howard, as well as many tour supports for acts such as The Roots, Eminem and Destiny’s Child, DL went on to secure multiple licensing agreements in Japan and toured there extensively; touching down in cities such as Tokyo, Osaka, Mito, Hamamatsu, Wakayama, Utsunomiya, Fukuoka, Kyoto, Sapporo, Gifu, Nagoya, Okayama, Yokohama and Akita.
His releases were outselling some of the biggest names in US Hip-Hop and DL committed himself to a slew of album releases that would eventually cement his name as one of the most consistent artists from the UK to release quality music. In the early 2000’s, DL teamed up with the then up-and-coming Japanese Producer Nujabes to record a series of tracks, which would later go on to become household anthems within the Japanese Hip-Hop scene.
Not only was DL a keen MC, but also as an avid producer, he would eventually release some unofficial remix projects as free downloads, namely his Funky DL samples Amy Winehouse “Back To Frank / Back To Rap” project and his Funky DL remixes Nas “Jazzmatic” series. Both would garner large audiences from every corner of the globe who were now intently following DL’s audio exploits with hundreds of thousands of downloads to follow. What was so unique was that DL was growing his audience like never before whilst simultaneously going to University to study for a law degree, subsequently graduating in 2014.
Funky DL’s journey is remarkably impressive and encompasses 18 studio albums to date, with 2019’s “Def” being the most recently released. The depth of DL's storytelling ability fused with his personality, added to his illustrious sound for production truly makes for highly compelling listening.
The frightening thing about this all is that DL always treats his career as if… this is only just the beginning…