We went to see the imitable force that is IAMDDB at The Roundhouse last Thursday.
It’s fitting that IAMMDB chose to name her show “The Volume Experience” considering Manny’s finest has been boisterous and unashamedly loud about her progression in the game. And with good reason too – her performance at The Roundhouse last Thursday (04/04/2019), which traversed her whole discography, allowing her to show off her many hats; jazzy grooves reminiscent of the late 90s were offset by roaring trap numbers, while spacier, more downbeat hits were also commonplace among her setlist.
A certain forthrightness is apparent in IAMDDB’s music: a refusal to bow to any situation, cower to any obstacle. The night saw her begin with earlier moody cuts such as ‘Ease’ and ‘Childs Play’. In fact, the show followed the track listing of all of her projects to date, from Waeveybby, Vol. 1 right through to the latest drop, Swervvvvv.5. The format provided a nice view of her artistic progression, as many of her early efforts lean towards a slightly ambient neo-soul sound, a far cry from the booming anthems she has become notorious for.
“It can often be easy to box homegrown artists such as IAMDDB in, but it’s great to see her carving her own lane, and she seems more than content enough to carry us all along with her”
However, it was plain to see that 808-heavy trap bangers were her forte, and she really got into her stride with ‘Conjouring’, an eerie, hypnotic cut about finessing, with “know your place” a shot at her enemies. By the time that ‘Shade’ had played, the mosh pits had been formed and the entire crowd were in the midst of an all out rave – sauce was dripping from her every gesture, the place was jumping and the party in full effect. Shade shot to international attention as a stand-out from Hoodrich Vol. 3, and its popularity among the visiting contingent was plain to see.
It seemed that even she underestimated her following – visibly emotional throughout, the 23 year old made a point of expressing her gratitude at every available opportunity: be it to her mum (who was also in attendance), her DJ/Manager, or the densely populated crowd before her. However, this didn’t take away from the nonchalance in her performances, which was refreshing to see – her syrupy hooks had the majority in attendance in full voice, and allowed for a very enjoyable set.
She closed out with her latest project, the aforementioned Swervvvvv.5 The longest and most refined of the volumes, this iteration, labelled by herself as “Urban Jazz”, has a better balance between soft, earthier jams (‘Give Me Something’) and bouncier hits (‘Wokeuptoflexxx’, ‘I’m Home’). It can often be easy to box homegrown artists such as IAMDDB in, but it’s great to see her carving her own lane, and she seems more than content enough to carry us all along with her – album mode is next, and it will be fascinating to see what’s up her sleeve.