Exclusives Interviews 20 July 2023

ArrDee opens up his Instagram DMs & talks Bugzy Malone collabs, connecting with fans & more in new interview

20 July 2023
arrdee instagram interview

At just 20 years young, Brighton’s bright star ArrDee has a string of remarkable achievements under his belt. From headline performances on some of the UK’s biggest stages to viral world stopping moments and chart topping hits, ArrDee hasn’t shown any signs of slowing down since his mainstream emergence back in 2021. 

Now, with the Pier Pressure mixtape under his belt and the promise of a new project very soon, ArrDee has linked up with Meta to detail how he has utilised social media to connect with his fans and line up big collaborations.

Starring in the latest edition of Instagram’s Seen campaign, ArrDee talked about his new single with Bugzy Malone and how he connected with the Manchester-hailing artist via DMs. Using a compliment about Bugzy’s movie Operation Fortune: Ruse de Guerre as an opener, the two got to talking and the rest was history! 

In this fresh interview, we caught up with ArrDee during the shoot where he shared his new single and opened up about not only his day to day but what goes down in the DMs. 

Hi ArrDee, how are you?  Did you have your microwave scrambled eggs for breakfast this morning?

“Nah I didn’t you know. I don’t know how to even do it in a pan and I wouldn’t know where to begin.I don’t understand how it turns into scrambled eggs in the pan. The microwave does it for you, work smart not hard.”

Can you cook in general?

“Oven pizza, chips. I went on a cooking show with Chunkz and my Mum and we had to make meatballs and pasta and my pasta was rock solid because I forgot to boil the water. You can tell how I was raised and that I was the youngest child.

“(Laughs) I can get a chef or something.”

How many unread DMs and text messages do you estimate that have at the moment?

“A day? Probably 150. But that’s just like requests. A lot of them are like, so recently because I’ve just done a show in Scotland, there’s loads that are like, “the show was sick.” 

“Do you know what’s funny as well? I don’t open a lot of people’s DMs but I’m a sucker for always scrolling through my requests and just looking at them but not letting them know that I’ve read them, especially the hate ones. A couple of times I’ve replied to them, someone will be like “you’re shit and I’ll be like “love” and they’re like “ah nah nah, I’m bantering” 

How do you not let the hateful messages like those bother you? 

“Because it’s funny init, because you’re taking time out of your day to DM me to tell me I’m shit. These times you’ve got one photo and it’s you by a wall with a BMX. His name’s like SWavyTooTrappy4.”

Speaking of good DMs though you connected with Kat Burns via DM – who messaged who first? 

“I believe it was me. I mean, like the team had the idea anyway, so I just wanted the relationship to be half organic before we ended up linking up in the studio. I think it would have been me but my Mum’s a massive fan of her as well anyway, which is kind of how the whole idea came about in the first place.”

“Home For My Heart” is a really vulnerable release – what inspired it? 

“Literally the place that I was in, in my life at the time. Ss you can tell a bit of a Mummy’s Boy, so like I was here, there and everywhere – I’m travelling Europe and Australia and if I’m not doing that, I’m up in London and I’m working and if I’m not doing that, then it’s parties. 

“I’m very rarely home and my mom loves me very much and makes that very apparent all the time so I can always tell she’s missing me and that and so that’s what the song means to me anyway, is that I’m away from my heart. I don’t know whether I’m coming or going at the moment. 

“It’s nice to open up to fans who have been listening to me for a good part of two years now. My branding is always “stay lit and cheeky and happy” and that’s not life, you know what I’m saying? It’s not like I ain’t got emotions as well.”

Do you ever DM your Mum on Instagram to stay in touch? 

“Yeah! I send my Mum WhatsApps, Instagram DMs. My MUm sends me a lot on Instagram. It’s always like stupid Facebook Mum memes about how much you love your kids and that. It’s cute.”

Have you connected with any other artists via Instagram DMs? 

“Yeah, I’ve got a big one you know, the American Russ. The song never ended up coming out but we still stay in contact and he interacts with a lot of my posts and I do the same with his. That came literally just from, he DM’ed me and I saw the DM cos I was on my phone at the time and I was like “wow, my man is hella famous!”  and I was I was fresh faced at the time as well, I had just come off the back of “Body” so yeah. 

“A few people actually – Rio Ferdinand had a go at me because I didn’t put them in my ultimate team.”

Are you going to add him in now? 

“I don’t even get time to play FIFA any more to be fair or very rarely anyway. When I am at home, I’m either spending time with my Mum or my entanglement or whatever.”

Are there any other collaborations that you’ve had that were birthed from your Instagram DMs? 

“Oh me and Digga’s D wasted. He was at a point in his life where meeting up in real life wasn’t possible but we could interact through DMs. He had an idea for a song, he had the beat, sent it over, I sent my number over. That all came directly from Instagram DMs. Most of the relationship I’ve got with the kid, I think I’ve bucked him a few times at festivals and stuff, but it’s mainly via Instagram DMs.”

How important are Instagram DMs to you as a tool?

“Especially as an artists, it’s the forefront and the beginning and birth of any relationship I’ve got with most artists. Even if I have met them in real life first, if I’m talking to them, it’s going to be on DMs. Aitch, Tion, it’s all over Instagram DMs because we all know that we’re on there the most. As an artist, I know if you text my number, the chances of me seeing that text is next to none unless it’s like my Mum because it’s in my priorities.”

What is the nicest or the most memorable thing a fan has said to you in the DMs?   

“I bought a kid a pair of trainers once. He’s from Wales. He gave me a little bit of his life story and what he was going through and he showed me some screenshots of some texts of him getting bullied about his school trainers and was just saying “ah but I love listening to your music.” 

“Because obviously my thing, who I represent is like all the little chavy kids and that group of people, it just reminded me a little bit of myself. He was just telling me “everyone’s got this kit, I really want them.” Not even saying he wanted me to get them for him but that’s what the bullying was about. He’s like just a reply would be sick. I spoke to Fedora Sneaks another person who I made a relationship with over Instagram, he’s like a stylist and yeah, we set it up and sent the trainers over to him. 

“Yeah, that’s what I mean. That’s another proving point of like, I do see the majority of the DMs I get sent.  I’ll see like the first line and that’s also important as well because if you’re DM’ing someone, an artist that you’re trying to reach out to, that first eight or nine words is obviously the first thing you see in a request so choose them carefully.”

You have over 1.1 million followers. And that’s a lot of people. How do you balance obviously showcasing your life and your career with keeping your personal life private?

“Do you know what it is yeah, I’m not that good at showing, I’m trying to get better at showing off my personal life or my day to day because I’m a very much sociable in real life person live in the moment. When I go to show or a rave, you won’t catch me as one of the people in the crowd with my phone out the whole the time, I’d rather take it in and because I’m one of them people, when I go to show off my personal life or like, a photo dump or whatever, in my head I’m like ‘Does anyone give a shit?” Well, they do like, the people the people want to know but I don’t know, I get a bit conflicted with it all, especially because you have to find that line of keeping up with social media and keeping up appearances because I’m an artist and because that’s the generation and day we live in of influencers and stuff but also just enjoying life and doing things and not worrying too much about social media. It’s hard for me to balance.

“I’m quite an open person, though, you know, I don’t really hide anything from my fans or anything like that. I’m quite open and honest. You kinda take me how I come.”

Who are your favourite people to see on your timeline?

“Lewis Capaldi, my man is too funny. Dan Bilzerian’s Instagram is crazy. My man’s life is sick – Well looks sick. But this is what I’m saying, even as I’ve said that now, my man’s life looks sick, but you don’t know what goes on. As soon as he’s taken that picture or whatever, them girls might leave, you don’t know , do you know what I’m saying? That’s what sometimes cringes me out a bit, but again, that’s the day we’re living in init.”

Do you have a preference between festivals or more intimate live shows?

“It depends what mood I’m in you know? Because there’ll be times like say if I’m doing a festival and I’m on the main stage for example, one not everyone’s there to see me which obviously hurts my ego a little bit because I’m a massive self absorbed attention seeker. But also the show’s run differently, it’s very much reliant, not reliant but like it’s like you and the songs but then the energy and the production and what’s going on on the screen. 

“When you have small intimate shows, you get to connect. I’ve got this one kid that I still reply to when he talks to me and stuff. I met him out in Sweden and we went back to back on stage. I brought him up on stage for “Hello Mate”, he can’t have been any older than 16. Not that I’m condoning this but he told me that he bunked off school. it was sick and that’s a relationship with a fan all the way out from Sweden – he knew every single word to my freestyles I was doing cos when I was doing my European tour, it was a lot of intimate shows and so I was doing a lot more of my lesser known stuff because I knew that they were very much ArrDee fans. It depends on what I’m trying to do, it depends on how much I want to fill my ego on that day or whether I want to just interact and meet people.”

What song are you looking forward to performing the most this year and why?

“It’s one that’s not out so I can’t even say what it’s called and I can’t even say why I’m excited to perform it but it’s very different for me. I feel like the song itself will just blow people’s minds of like, the versatility and capabilities. I feel like it’s a jaw dropping one.”

Describe your perfect sunny day

“It would probably be in Brighton. We have a big promenade by the seafront. Obviously all my school friends, everyone that I’ve known for 10 plus years, we all link up down the basketball courts and have like fruit ciders. There’ll be loads of different speakers everywhere and some people will be dancing near the basketball courts, someone playing basketball. There’s just loads going on, it’s almost like a little mini obviously not as exciting but Miami. There’s loads of different activities and stuff to do. That’s what everyone normally does when the sun comes out where I’m from anyway without even needing to arrange it. You just leave your house and go there and everyone’s there.”

What can fans look forward to that you can talk about?

“Well, we’ve got the big club summer smash coming with Bugzy and a very big project coming in with crazy features from  in and outside of the UK. Ones that you’d expect and want for me, one’s that you might not even ever come up with on your own. I feel like there’s gonna be an ArrDee social media takeover which I know a loads of people are excited for and I’m sure there are some that aren’t as excited, but it’s gonna be there anyway, so enjoy it!”