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Deijuvhs palm trees
Photography Daisy Jones

A day at the farm with nu metal star Deijuvhs

The London artist takes us to Spitalfields City Farm to talk pets, going viral on TikTok and an online exchange with Limp Bizkit’s Fred Durst

TextDaisy JonesPhotographyDaisy Jones

It’s 2pm and Deijuvhs – pronounced “day-u-VHS” – is tentatively touching the head of a giant snuffling hog called Holmes. Moments before, I had been doing the same. His hair had felt so thick and wiry it was like stroking a Brillo pad. “Nah man, that’s nasty – he’s got dandruff,” says Deijuvhs, snatching his hand away. “I like him, but nah.” Holmes snorts, his big snout glistening in the sunshine. He doesn’t care.

We’re spending the afternoon at Spitalfields City Farm, where 27-year-old Deijuvhs – born and raised in north-east London – has been plenty of times before. He likes the peace, the tranquillity and of course the animals. At home, he’s got a Giant African Land Snail called Banjo who eats whole bananas with tiny teeth, plus a cat that he sometimes raps with. He owned three rats once, too, but sadly they all died of cancer. “I’d like to own a tortoise one day,” he tells me, “When I’ve got the money.”

Many of his anecdotes end with “when I’ve got the money”, which makes sense: right now, it feels like he’s on the precipice of something bigger. The day before our hang, Deijuvhs had spent the day being courted by major record labels, each asking him “the same questions, again and again”. That evening, he’d been invited to the Heaven by Marc Jacobs party, which he’d gone to for the free booze (“there was no mosh pit, that was kind of shit”). His track “Seraphim” – a nu metal banger with UK rap bars, released last Friday – recently blew up on TikTok. Limp Bizkit’s Fred Durst commented fire emojis beneath. “I must b valid,” replied Deijuvhs. 

His music isn’t all back-to-back heavy nu-metal. Like so many of the perennially online, he tends to mishmash genres in a way that reflects his scattered interests, from punk to drill to shoegaze and UK rap. “I switch genres because I like music innit,” he says. “I used to go between MTV Bass and Kerrang and Scuzz, from Justin Timberlake to My Chemical Romance and Linkin Park. Then I got into indie and shoegaze.” Some of his tracks, like “Sweet One”, contain 1980s riffs that sound straight out of Disintegration-era The Cure. Then the next moment, like with “Perpetual States of Boredom”, the mood transforms into scuzzy, mid-2000s dubstep. He’s hard to pinpoint, beyond a vague and far-reaching “alt” umbrella.

Deijuvhs started taking music seriously around 2018, although he’s typically lowkey and self-deprecating about it now. He says he dabbled in psychedelic and “ethereal shit” at first, before branching out. Since then, his music’s gotten tighter, more refined and heavier – the sound of an artist slowly finding himself. He began throwing DIY shows, festivals and illegal raves around the city as a way to get his music heard and experienced IRL (Lamesfest and Hoodstock are his most well-known and attended). “I was strategic and smart. I thought ‘no ones going to give a fuck about me if I just put out music, I’ve got to do something else’,” he says. adding: “I had a girlfriend who had clout at the time, too. She really helped me out. She had bare followers.” 

Speaking to ​​Deijuvhs now, I get the sense that I’ve caught him at a significant turning point. He’s still not used to getting widespread attention – he’s relatively shy, speaking in gentle one-liners and sucking on a swirling, pastel-coloured vape, his sentences peppered with deep belly laughs. But he’s also in the process of levelling up from the underground punk and rap scene he came from. Towards the end of last year, he walked for Versace Jeans Couture. This year, he’ll be touring around the UK and Europe, playing back-to-back festivals, and going on a residency to write. He has a headline show on May 12. “Just bare shows innit,” he says, his fingers combing through the grass. “And writing music.” 

We leave the farm with the early Spring sun still seeping through silvery clouds, pollen dotting the air. As we snake our way across the backstreets of Brick Lane, ​​Deijuvhs mentions that Fred Durst messaged him over TikTok recently, saying he wanted to feature on one of ​​Deijuvhs’ tracks. ​​Maybe it’ll pan out, maybe it won’t. We’ll see. Until then, he’s just going with the flow, taking each day as it comes. And with that he’s off, New Rock boots on the pavement, lime-green dreads glinting in the sunlight.

Seraphim is out now