Acclaimed Aberdeen rapper Chef is set to drop up to four “big” single releases in 2022.
The 25-year-old, aka Ola Akisanya, was recently short-listed for two Scottish Alternative Music Awards for 2021.
He was nominated for best Hip-Hop artist and Best Newcomer at the prestigious awards.
After a memorable 2021 Chef aims to maintain the momentum with a series of releases that will further expand his influential sound.
Chef is one of the key artists in a thriving Aberdeen hip-hop, rap and grime scene that is making major waves nationally.
He said: “In 2022 I’m looking to drop three or four big, big singles.
“I don’t think anyone is going to expect what I’m bringing with those releases.
“I’m perfecting the sound that I started over the last couple of years and will present that in those singles.
“I also have the project I’m dropping with Aiitee which I can’t wait for.
“The project is produced by Louis Seivwright (Aberdeen producer) and features myself and Aiitee on every song.
“When me and Aiitee get together it gels so well and I’m really excited for that one.
“Aside from that in 2022 I will also have lots of collaborations with people from Edinburgh, Glasgow and all over Scotland.”
Aberdeen scene set to ignite in 2022
Aiitee was also short-listed for a Scottish Alternative Music Award in the Best Newcomer category.
Chef, Louis Seivwright and Aiitee are part of a thriving Granite City scene that continues to go from strength to strength.
Influential artists Ransom FA, Vagrant Real Estate, Gidd Gamz and Jackill have all delivered ground-breaking releases in recent years.
Exciting emerging talent such as Nafe K, Tru Nature, Bernie, AD, Aiysha Russell and JusHarry are set to ignite the Scottish rap and hip-hop scene.
Chef said: “There are a lot of difficulties coming from Aberdeen when the bigger cities are Edinburgh and Glasgow and a lot more happens there.
“However Aberdeen has so much talent.
“All we need is a bit more infrastructure and support.
“So many of the Aberdeen artists are focused and have great goals for themselves.
“Hopefully with the people I am meeting in and outside Scotland I can do something to help them along their process.”
‘Opportunities are happening’
A new hip-hop and rap platform, HOURS, featuring club nights and recorded intimate sets, was recently launched in Aberdeen.
The aim of HOURS, launched by Vagrant Real Estate (Nick Cronin) and Jackill (Jack Hughes) is to foster the development of hip hop talent in the city and raise their profile.
Chef said: “The Scottish hip-hop and rap scene is growing massively.
“This year there are going to be many people, including myself, on festival stages and getting international bookings.
“We are at the stage where things are picking up and opportunities are happening.
“It’s going to take consistency for all of us all to take it as far as possible.
“We are starting to see opportunities we never have before so I am really happy with that.
“I’m trying to do everything I do but level it up times 100.”
Groundbreaking HANG conference
In the final year of studying for an Economics degree at Aberdeen University, Chef has balanced his music career with studies.
He released acclaimed singles Blessings, Presidential Mistakes (with Aiitee) and The World Is Mine EP in 2021.
The power of Scottish hip-hop, rap and grime was underlined by the groundbreaking HANG conference in Glasgow last summer.
Held at the city’s SWG3 venue on July 31 the inaugural HANG was the UK’s first music industry conference dedicated solely to the hip-hop and grime scene.
Chef delivered a memorable live performance at HANG.
He said: “HANG was massive and the first hip-hop and grime conference in the UK, not just Scotland.
“For Scotland to be pioneering a format that hasn’t been done before is huge.
“Especially when it is focused around hip-hop and rap.
“Hip hop is creating new lanes with the HANG conference which shows all the different things that can be done.
“There are so many people I work with now that I met at that conference
“I shine best when I’m on stage and performing is the most amazing thing.
“The feedback we got from the HANG performance was amazing.
“Just being able to have people see what you do face to face rather than just through a screen was so important.”
Chef on the Aberdeen rap and hip hop stars to watch in 2022
Chef gives the low down on the top hip-hop, rap and grime stars emerging from the Granite City.
Look out for them all in what will be a huge 2022 for the Aberdeen scene:
“Soulful songstress that has been blazing a trail through the R’n’B world.
“Multiple collaborations with myself, two solo EP’s as well as featuring on BBC Radio 1.
“2021 also saw her gain a Top 10 place in the Scottish Album of the Year award.”
“At the tender age of 16 Aiysha has performed on national stages on The Voice UK Kids, the BLM Aberdeen Protest and featured on a BBC iPlayer Documentary.
“In 2022 Aiysha aims to release her first solo production as a vocalist.”
Nafe K (Nathan Dangana):
“Nafe K first featured on my debut project and has been a close collaborator ever since, accompanying me on many live and radio performances such as Resonate and BBC Live.
“In 2022 Nafe is ready to release collaborations with other artists and some solo work of his own. Nafe can sing and rap and featured on BBC 1Xtra Track of the Week – Find A Way.”
AD (Adithya Sripada):
“AD is a new wave hip hop artist who uses his blend of melodic rap and harmonies to create a sound that is new to the North East.
“AD has worked underground as a producer and featured artist with many creatives in the Scottish scene and looks to release his own music in 2022.”
“Afrobeat artist whose releases have seen him garner BBC Radio attention and collaborations with Scottish Album of the Year 2020 Winner Nova Scotia the Truth.
“Bernie spent 2021 honing his skills and is now set to take 2022 by storm.”
Tru Nature (Harris Buyers):
“Tru Nature brings upbeat and energetic vibes to every song he releases.
“His songs have seen him featured on national television and radio such as BBC 1 and BBC 1Xtra Radio.
“Tru Nature is set to release a host of singles with visuals in 2022.”
“Based out of Aberdeenshire, JusHarry spent 2021 releasing a string of imaginative pieces.
“He has gained attention from Glasgow-based powerhouse studio “644” and has been
using his visual creativity and technical wordplay to make a name for himself in the Scottish scene.
“2022 will see him continue this rise and take his art further across the country.”