Head Down
Steven Bamidele

Released: 22 Aug 2023

Label: Tru Thoughts

“Head Down” is the latest single from ‘Summing Up’, the debut album from singer, songwriter, and producer Steven Bamidele, out Friday 15th September. Following his intuitive impulse to evoke a feeling through storytelling, Steven explores his relationship with his late father, his mixed-race heritage, and his feelings of displacement.

Having moved from Nigeria to the UK at a young age, Steven experienced life as a mixed-race child in a largely white town. “My dad wasn’t entirely sensitive to how I felt, but he did want the best for me and stood up for me when he could. I believe a lot of my insecurities come from that time in my life, and unfortunately some of the things my dad said to me, even though he thought he was doing or saying the right thing.” Steven explains, touching on the influence his dad – who would’ve celebrated his birthday on 1st August – and his advice of “keep your head down” had on the writing of this track.

Steven repeats the title of the track as the main hook creating an anthem for the introverts and outsiders who may feel like they are watching and waiting on the sidelines. Steven’s subtle hip hop inflections on the production of “Head Down” contrast with this message. Adding to the track’s overall swagger, he leans into his braggadocio alter-ego: “I’m in my top 10 / Up there with Curry / What you gon’ say now?” Paraphrasing the renowned basketball player Steph Curry (who won his 4th NBA championship with the Warriors in 2022) Steven’s humility and humour shines through the heavy nature of “Head Down”. “I liked the idea of comparing myself to another mixed-race person who I admire, and who was hugely underestimated and criticised during his career.” He adds, “I absolutely do not think anything I’ve done compares to Steph Curry… I just thought it was a sick lyric.”

During these displaced early years, Steven found solace and comfort in music as a creative output, especially in his most introverted, and lonely moments. As time went on, he joined various bands at school and played in the worship band at his church. After discovering James Blake and Modeselektor, he began to explore the creative potential of electronic music. At that point, music took over and Steven did whatever was necessary to make the music happen, taking on a variety of jobs and sometimes prioritising his creative instincts over the needs of those around him. “It was when my dad passed and then covid arrived a couple of months later that I really started to slow down and accept that other people and things demanded my attention and care,” he acknowledges.