21-year-old multidisciplinary artist Deyaz is, in his own words, a “non-confined musician”. Raised in East Ham, London, and of Jamaican/Syrian heritage, his innate connection to music helped him find solace during his turbulent teenage years. His debut ‘WHY NOT’ mixtape is the result of nearly a decade of self-taught musical education, during which his experiences with homelessness, addiction and mental health crises have given his music unique depth. “For me, music comes from a therapeutic place,” he notes. “It’s about helping myself first and foremost. I don’t have another outlet”. First teaching himself to play his brother’s guitar at age 12, Deyaz worked his way through the canon of rock and grunge, learning to play along to albums by Pearl Jam and Alice In Chains by ear. At 13, he received a handful of formal guitar lessons, helping him connect pieces of what he now calls the “big musical puzzle” in his head. After three auditions, Deyaz earned a coveted scholarship to London’s Guildhall music school, a place he would eventually give up in pursuit of a more organic connection to music-making. By 16, through a combination of conservatoire education and self-teaching, Deyaz had developed a broad technical knowledge of jazz and classical music, and proficiency in piano, bass and drums. Through familial connections to east London’s UK rap scene, he would also work as a studio engineer, honing his production and sound design capabilities. Today, as a result of such a varied and broad musical education, Deyaz’s sound is a unique amalgam; emotive lyrics, soaring topline melodies, complex harmonies and full band arrangements, usually underpinned by his core instrument: acoustic guitar. Since cutting his teeth in Camden’s punk circuit as a drummer, Deyaz today performs to an audience of over half a million followers across his socials, all before his debut EP is dropped this year. “I’m getting to do this full time and that’s all I ever wanted,” he says. “To me, I’ve made it and I haven’t even dropped a song yet”.