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Introducing… Arinola

If you’re looking for a slice of UK rave nostalgia, look no further – Arinola has got you covered. Hailing from North West London, the 20 year old multi-talent – she’s a producer, singer/songwriter and pianist – is aiding the resurgence of UK funky, jungle & drum and bass, as well as tapping into Amapiano and House to provide the perfect backdrop for her celestial R&B vocals…

Earlier this year, Arinola released ‘Love Story’, a tale of unrequited love and a glance at what could’ve been. The dreamy, kaleidoscopic track has subtle tinges of drum and bass running through its veins. She successfully put on a single release party at Doña for ‘Love Story’ and it’s been on our playlists ever since. 

Arinola takes inspiration from a range of empowering female artists from Mariah Carey and Emeli Sande to Missy Elliot and the UK’s own Katy B and Ms Dynamite. She’s an independent boss babe too who can make music all on her own, from start to finish. Just like her iconic influences, she’s focusing on making music that can stand the test of time – tunes you can play in the club now all the way into the future, stuff that still bangs when the DJ presses play ten years down the line.

As an established producer, she’s worked with the likes of Dr. Martens, Nike, Native Instruments and GRM Daily on a various array of projects throughout her journey. She also taught music production in a secondary school. In 2020, a couple of her beats were featured in the BBC Three show, Rap Trip: Underground Scenes Uncovered. By 2021, her music had featured in an adidas X Footlocker campaign. Amassing over a million views on her TikTok, she’s proactive when it comes to promoting her own music. She’s allowed people to see more of her personality by tapping into the niche of The Sims – which is something the people at TikTok Music really advise, tapping into the niches of your hobbies in order to grow your audience. As you can see, Arinola’s list of achievements continues to grow and undoubtedly make her an artist on the rise to keep your eye on. 

UD: How did you start producing professionally?

Arinola: It was just bespoke work where they wanted me to produce tracks and adverts, between 2020 and 2022. Mostly just through networking and having creative friends on social media because they’ll usually post like stories that they needed a music producer for X, Y and Z but they can’t say what brand for, and I just always applied for them and had really good luck with them. There was no specific platform. It was just like having random friends from there – actually like people that I’d followed on Instagram that I’d found on TikTok.

UD: How do you feel like your debut differs from your forthcoming single?

Arinola: The first one’s [got] drum and bass, Jungle influences, lots of R&B – R&B vocals are carried throughout all of my songs. My new one is very UK funky, soulful, Soulful House, Amapiano, R&B influences – very different.

UD: What and who inspires your music?

Arinola: Any sort of House, I’ve been listening to so much Beyonce, went to see her, very much in my house bag – anything House – Amapiano, Funky House, Soulful House, I’m there. That’s what inspires me. And all the females that brought up with the amazing voices too.

UD: How have you found the UD Incubator programme?

Arinola: Amazing. I love that UD are not afraid to push and celebrate Black talent and Black music. My confidence has grown so much and I’m really thankful for the opportunity, and all the mentors were sick. All the people were sick. Good people, man.

UD: What advice would you give for any upcoming artist looking to take part in the incubator program in the future?

Arinola: Put your best foot forward. Ain’t nobody know you, so just go there, do your thing, be confident, take everything in and have a good time.

UD: Tell us about your new single

Arinola: There’s a slight interpolation just in the first verse of Black Coffee’s song – can’t remember what it’s called now. Very soulful house vibes. Everyone should enjoy it. Support me!

Arinola, Incubator 2023 Showcase, Talent House.

UD: How would you describe your sound?

Arinola: Soft, airy vocals. Vibes. Old school revival. 

UD: What have you learned about the music industry in your journey so far?

Arinola: It’s not easy and it’s not for the week and I can see why so many people give up. You have to really believe in yourself and you’re gonna have to put a lot of hard work in, and the same amount of hard work that you put in, it’s the same amount that you also need to rest and recharge. It’s not an orthodox path, so there’s not really a one size fits all. Just make loads of connections and enjoy the journey. 

Arinola ‘Thought U Might’ will be out soon. Follow @arinola_offical on TikTok for updates 🙂 or follow Arinola’s journey on Instagram.

Find out more about UD’s Incubator Programme and apply for 2024 HERE.

Words: Kat Friar
Photography: Saadiq T
Videography: Hyabel

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