D-Saro is pretty on the nose when he suggests in his new single ‘Conundrum’ that he ‘ain’t your average joe from London’. He has previously worked (under a different artist name) with grime collective Roll Deep, alongside the likes of Wiley, DJ Target & J2K, as well as supporting The Game and Flo Rida. However, he soon became frustrated by the red tape and politics that are endemic to the urban scene and decided to set up his own label with a friend, catalysed by a brush with death in 2016 when he suffered from a heart attack related to a rare heart condition.
‘Conundrum’ is his third release as D-Saro, following on from his salvation-themed ‘Save Me’ and the touching, celebrity-backed (Stormzy, Harry Kane) charity single ‘Fight Like Micky’, written to raise money for a local youngster struggling with a rare form of leukaemia. ‘Conundrum’ has a lighter feel than previous releases, tapping into the current musical zeitgeist with an upbeat and bouncy afro-beat sound. The track is produced by Term, celebrated for his work with Skepta, Devlin and Maverick Sabre and has amassed over 7.6 million views.
The single tells of a ‘conundrum’ that will be all-too familiar for many London-based nine-to-fivers: how to make enough money to finally escape from the urban dungeon. This is a track for real people, going about their real life with as yet unfulfilled aspirations, and ‘Conundrum’ is a perfect example of D-Saro’s motto in action: ‘true stories, deep lyrics, real life, no gimmicks’.
The song features island style-instrumentals and a funky bassline, alongside what might perhaps be the catchiest chorus to come out of the London music scene for years. ‘Conundrum’ incorporates elements of the dancehall and reggaeton vibe associated with Yxng Bane and Shakka, although D-Saro’s MC style is more reminiscent of the stark realism of grime artists like JME and Stormzy. This is a track that has a clear cross-generic appeal: there is as much for the casual pop fan as there is for those already deep into the dancehall and afro-beat scene, and we just know that you’ll be trying to solve D-Saro’s ‘Conundrum’ whether you’re sat on the Metropolitan line into Central London or at the club on a Saturday night.