Suave Deboniar has been making music for quite a long time– how long? Let’s just say that he was recording his first bars on cassette tapes. “Though that was probably [because] we didn’t have a computer rather than that shit not being invented yet. I didn’t necessarily know that music was the thing I wanted to do I just knew I didn’t [want to] sit at a desk plus I’m bad a building stuff so a trade was not going to work for me. I always had a big mouth though; the rest just fell into place,” explained Debonair.
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Hailing from Littlehampton in the United Kingdom James Dillamore originally went by the name J-Dilla before changing his stage name to Suave Debonair. Unfortunately the name J-Dilla was already taken; “I used to go under the name J-Dilla because for real that’s the closest to my ‘real’ name. My family that know me from way back still call me Dilla but I got pissed off explaining that I wasn’t trying to bite off one of the best producers Hip Hop ever had so needed to change it. I wrote a track called Kid Genius around the time I was thinking about changing the name and that stuck so I rolled with it for a while and got some exposure playing on pirate radio.” Later when he changed up his sound he changed up his name and now he is Suave Debonair.
The stage is the proving ground, at least that’s what Suave says, “you might sound tight on record but if you can’t get your swagger on stage then you aint doing it. My DJ T-Cuts and singer Kate White have been on the road wherever and whenever we can be. We’ve played to packed clubs as well as gigs where it’s us the sound man and 10 other people but we still rock it cos we love doing it. If someone tells me after the show that they thought it was fucking good then I’ve entertained somebody by doing what I love to do and nothing beats that, when you see a person in the crowd react to a bar you wrote you catch that smile that’s what playing live is about. That and breaking stuff.”
Every musician wants recognition for their work, Suave has been mentioned in numerous publications and websites, most notably Hip Hop Connection. “All the UK heads that liked Hip Hop in any way read [Hip Hop Connection]. I grew up reading that magazine and to be in one of the last ever issues was a huge thing for me. I can remember putting up the posters of Big Pun and Biggie in my room when I was a kid, I had no clue that years on I’d be mentioned in there that’s still crazy to me. Shit the article was tiny too haha!
Suave’s sound is definitely not run of the mill, his influences come from interesting artists that most rappers wouldn’t admit to. When asked to describe his sound he says; “I’m just a dude telling people what I see, what I’ve been through and what I think about shit. I was listening to some Michael Macdonald today that’s the original Eminem right there, his shit is super tight. With the Suave Debonair sound it’s a lot of storytelling stuff mixed with big sounding club smashes with a more live sound. Look out for the Donny Osmond samples bitch.”
Debonair’s songs definitely do tell a story, most of his songs actually have a plot. “IT Dave,” for example, tells the story of an anti social IT guy who eyes the office hotties by day and writes code by night.
Suave Debonair – IT Dave