Deijuvhs isn't Soundcloud rap, he's post-genre actually
“I don’t know what the fuck it is. It’s just new age shit. We live in a generation where we’ve had so many musical genres before us that now everything’s just mashed up.”
23-year-old DeijuVHS has no idea what to call his music. “It’s a weird non-genre,” the East Londoner says. “I don’t know what the fuck it is. It’s new age shit. Our generation has lived through so many genres that everything’s just mashed up.” The tracks we’ve heard so far certainly attest to this – weirdo drill, punk, trap, indie, Soundcloud rap hybrids on which Deiju yells Death Grips-style about having low self-esteem, being broke and his Insta-famous girlfriend. “I’m always chatting about pumpum... my girlfriend’s pum, obviously,” he says, referencing his 2k19 love song, Buffting. “But there’s lowkey a political angle too.” Case in point: his latest single Bust, whose video features Deiju channelling his inner superhero and stopping a ‘Brexitman’ character from beating up his friends.
Deiju has the Om symbol tattooed between his eyebrows. A mark of his spirituality? “When I was young, I went to Georgia with my dad and his cult,” he explains, remarkably casually. “They’d built this place to look like ancient Egypt, we had to do the Om around a pyramid to channel some energies.” The cult was called Nuwaubianism, it was all about black empowerment and ancient aliens and has since been disbanded, its leader convicted of some horrific things. “It was all positive for me though, learning about spirituality, African culture, how to empower yourself… obviously the alien stuff was there too, but how is that mad? We’re aliens ourselves.”
So yes, while it is a mark of his spirituality, he also got the tattoo because “it’s like an anime ting” that looks as though it ought to glow whenever he unleashes his powers. Deiju also has the acronym VHS on one cheek (“VHS tapes are beautiful, man... there’s something about the quality,”) and an Ankh key of life on the other.
Outside of the cult, Deiju was 13 when he discovered Linkin’ Park and began his descent into Kerrang, skating and punk rock. “I started a punk band called King Pleasure, after the Basquiat painting. We couldn’t play our instruments but we were just going for it.” He cites the Gorillaz, Test Icicles and Nirvana as key influences, and “Rammstein at the O2 in 2012” as the best live show he’s ever seen. “They had a giant dick balloon that was spraying foam into the crowd. Nothing else can beat them.” These days he puts on his own DIY shows under the name Lamesfest, which is also a record label. It’s Deiju’s way of shining a light on the music he loves. “It’s just about representing alternative artists in the UK,” he says, highlighting the work of his friends Jojas, Let Kojo Fly and Akai. “Sure, there’s GRM Daily and stuff, but nothing for alternative music. There’s a whole underground scene here that no one knows about. It’s getting overlooked. I just want to change the culture for the better.”
Photography Josh Olins
Styling Max Clark
Hair Cim Mahony at LGA Management.
Make-up Ciara O’Shea at LGA Management using Fenty Beauty.
Nail technician Trish Lomax at JAQ Management using Cnd.
Set design Max Bellhouse at The Magnet Agency.
Photography assistance Jeremy Young.
Digital technician Brian Cleaver.
Styling assistance Giovanni Beda, Joe Palmer, Monica Armario and Gal Klein.
Hair assistance Tarik Bennafla and Rohmarra Kerr.
Make-up assistance Jade Smith.
Set design assistance Miranda Latimer.
Production Etty Bellhouse.
Production assistance Molly Senior.
DeijuVHS wears jacket Dries Van Noten. Tank Vintage Continental from Kool Kats. Skirt Margaret Howell (womenswear). Jewellery, socks and trainers model's own.