|Sidney Royel Selby III|
May 3, 1997 |
Brooklyn, New York, U.S.
Sidney Royel Selby III (born May 3, 1997), better known by his stage name Desiigner, is an American rapper, singer, songwriter, record producer, record executive and actor. He rose to prominence in 2016 after the release of his debut single "Panda", which reached number one on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100. In February 2016, rapper and producer Kanye West (who sampled "Panda" for his seventh album The Life of Pablo), announced Desiigner's signing to his GOOD Music imprint, under the aegis of Def Jam Recordings.
Selby was born on May 3, 1997, in Brooklyn, New York. He is of Afro-Barbadian and African American descent, and is the grandson of blues musician Sidney "Guitar Crusher" Selby. He grew up in the Louis Armstrong housing projects in the Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood. He began practicing vocals at school choir and church. At the age of 14, after being shot, he embarked on his music career.
Desiigner embarked on his music career under his original moniker Dezolo, before he began putting out work on these tracks under the alias of Designer Royel, especially with Royel (his middle name). His sister convinced him to drop the "Royel" part and then keep the "Designer" part as his new stage name, doubling the "I". On December 3, 2015, under his new pseudonym, Desiigner released his debut track, called "Zombie Walk". The song was produced by The Shell God. On December 15, 2015, Desiigner released his commercial debut single, titled "Panda" on SoundCloud. The song released on iTunes within five days later, before being re-released as of February 2016. On February 11, 2016, Desiigner signed a recording contract with Kanye West's GOOD Music imprint, under the aegis of Def Jam Recordings. After signing a record deal, Desiigner subsequently appeared on two tracks -- "Pt. 2" (which features an interpolation of "Panda") and "Freestyle 4" -- that was taken from Kanye West's seventh album The Life of Pablo. Desiigner then went on to perform at the 2016's South by Southwest (SXSW) music festival. In an interview with Billboard, Desiigner confirmed the release of his first upcoming mixtape, titled Trap History Month.
On May 5, 2016, producer Mike Dean announced that he would be serving as the executive producer for Desiigner's upcoming debut studio album. On May 24, Desiigner announced that the title to his upcoming debut album would be called The Life of Desiigner. In June 2016, XXL magazine revealed their annual "Freshmen Class" for 2016, and Desiigner was included on the list with nine other new artists. In June 2016, "Champions" was released as the lead single from the GOOD Music's upcoming compilation album, Cruel Winter. Desiigner made a guest appearance on this track, alongside his label-mate Kanye West, and other rappers such as Gucci Mane, Big Sean, 2 Chainz, Travis Scott, Yo Gotti and Quavo. In the same month, Desiigner made his US television debut, when he performed his single, "Panda" at the 2016's BET Awards. On June 26, 2016, Desiigner released his first full-length mixtape, titled New English on Tidal, following a live premiere of the mixtape on June 22. In July 2016, American pop singer Demi Lovato brought out Desiigner at her concert in New York. On July 21, 2016, Desiigner premiered the track, called "Tiimmy Turner", which was released as a single on iTunes the next day. Desiigner appeared as a special guest on the Netflix series Bill Nye Saves the World. On November 7, 2017 it was reported that BTS will release a remix of their song "Mic Drop" featuring Desiigner and it was said that the remix was made by Steve Aoki. It is set to be released on November 17, 2017 but it was postponed and set to be released on November 24, 2017 instead.
On September 8, 2016, Desiigner and three other people were arrested in New York City, after a 911 caller claimed that he pulled a gun on them. Desiigner was later found in an SUV with four other people and the vehicle was searched. The police allegedly found oxycodone and guns, for which he and the other individuals received drug and weapon charges. They were all detained in custody. On September 10, 2016, he was acquitted of the felony gun charge. On September 12, 2016, it was found that the pills left in his car were anabolic steroids and that they belonged to his driver.
Desiigner's musical style is influenced by southern hip hop, namely trap music which originated in Atlanta, Georgia. His rapping technique and vocals have been compared to that of Atlanta-based rapper Future. When asked about the frequent comparisons, he told Complex: "God gave him a blessing, but he gave me a blessing too. I ain't gonna doubt the man's music. He make beautiful music too. Music is made every day. Big ups to him, big ups to Future. I actually like Future's music. I like his music, you feel me. I'm not a hater or a critic on him, you know, I do me. God bless him, God bless me." 
|2016||Teen Choice Awards||Choice Music: R&B/Hip-Hop Song||"Panda"||Nominated|||
|MTV Video Music Awards||Best New Artist||Himself||Nominated|||
|Best Hip-Hop Video||"Panda"||Nominated|
|BET Hip Hop Awards||Best Hip Hop Video||Nominated|||
|People's Champ Award||Nominated|
|Best New Hip Hop Artist||Himself||Nominated|
|MTV Video Music Awards Japan||Best Hip Hop Video||"Panda"||Nominated|||
|American Music Awards||Video of the Year||Nominated|||
|Favorite Rap/Hip-Hop Song||Nominated|
|WatsUp TV Africa Music Video Awards||WatsUp TV Viewers Choice Award||Won|||
|2017||Grammy Awards||Best Rap Performance||Nominated|||
|iHeartRadio Music Awards||Hip-Hop Song of the Year||Nominated|||
|Hip-Hop Artist of the Year||Himself||Nominated|
|Best New Hip-Hop Artist||Nominated|
|Billboard Music Awards||Top New Artist||Himself||Nominated|||
|Top Streaming Songs Artist||Nominated|
|Top Rap Artist||Nominated|
|Top Streaming Song (Video)||"Panda"||Won|
|Top Rap Song||Won|
Desiigner is 18 years and 11 months old; he'll turn 19 on May 3.