VIDEO: Dyo - Arena (prod. Jay Weathers & Parker Ighile)
You’ve probably already heard the voice of Dyo (real name Dayo Olatunji). As the best kept secret in the songwriting world, her talent has effortlessly created some of the top hits of the last decade. You've likely screamed her lyrics, danced to her vocals and listened to her on the radio. Dyo has been the chameleon of the music world. Now she shines more colourful than ever with her debut single, ‘Arena’.
Previously known as Ms D, she first leant her vocal to Chip for his chart-topping single, ‘Oopsy Daisy’. She then earned kudos in both co-writing and feature vocals on Wiley’s hit singles of his 2013 album, The Ascent. This includes the number one song of the summer, ‘Heatwave’. Racking up credits that year, the East London dynamite songstress also had a hand in Iggy Azalea’s track, ‘Bounce’.
In 2016, Ms D was reborn as Dyo and was welcomed to international critical acclaim. It was after a trip to Sweden that she met producer, NEIKED. Together they became responsible for 2016’s naughtiest pop track, ‘Sexual’. Earning her an Ivor Novello nomination for Best Contemporary song, the track went platinum. Maroon 5’s interpolation of the track picked her up a BMI award. Whilst writing for Fifth Harmony on their third record, she also penned tracks for M.O, Jacob Banks and Luis Fonsi ft. Stefflon Don.
Dyo found increased popularity in Nigeria in 2018 when collaborating with Adekunle Gold on his About 30 album.
- Listen to Adekunle Gold's "Down With You" ft. Dyo.
Making her solo entrance with ‘Arena’, it’s the perfect melting pot of the artist we recognise. “It instinctively felt right,” Dyo explains, “I tried to keep my options open but it’s the song that I kept coming back to.” Featuring her signature effortlessly cool vocal backed by joyful afrobeats, it is the gateway to a good time. A high-pitched hook wiggles into the subconscious as an inescapable intake of happiness. Brushed with a sun-tinged melody, the track leaves you feeling on cloud nine and ready to commandeer the dancefloor.
With a wistful air to it, Dyo is nostalgic but looking forward, ready to take on the world. "‘Arena’ is a celebration of love. It’s a beautiful show you can watch." she says, and the video perfectly complements this. Set during the flow of a house party, the guests are dancing to their heart’s content; feeling themselves and the love with the people around them.
The track was produced by the dream team that is Jay Weathers (Mr Eazi, Not3s) and Parker Ighile (Jessie J, Ariana Grande, Nicki Minaj) who reunited to work with Dyo having taken off together with their collaboration on ‘Oopsy Daisy’. ‘Arena’ also features guitars from AOD whose collaborated with Jay Weathers on Mr Eazi & Not3s tracks, again showing that this elite group of producers/musicians have come together to create something special with Dyo.
‘Arena’ is the first release from Dyo, but certainly won’t be the last that we hear from her now that she has had a taste of the freedom. “I’m super pumped and ready to release all of this music that I’ve been holding on to for so long. ‘Arena’ is just the beginning, as I’ve been focusing on putting together an EP. The experience has been a welcome and exciting change as I had gotten so used to writing for others, and now I’m able to use my own voice for my own music.”
Now standing beneath her own spotlight, Dyo can truly shine in her own glory. She’s cracked the code, crowned the charts, and is armed with all that is needed to make a pop hit her own - it is time to really listen to Dyo.