A rapper’s debut song has been played several times on Eastenders – and its music video was filmed in Derby city centre.
The song by local artist Topps, which is called Social, has appeared on the soap opera five times this year.
The music video for Social was released two weeks ago and features several familiar locations – including St Peter’s Street, Friar Gate Goods Yard and the “rainbow bridge” by St Mary’s Church.
Topps, whose real name is Brandon Watts, has a background as an actor and made a small appearance in the first series of the BBC’s Line of Duty.
But the 25-year-old said he wanted to try his hand at becoming a singer and so enlisted the help of his music engineer brother Marcel, 36, to create Social.
He said: “I was very deep into acting but I thought with me and my personality – I’m an all-round entertainer – I should do something different and try a song.
“I wanted to create a project we could be proud of.”
Topps’s family moved from Birmingham to Derby when he was seven and he became a pupil at Shelton Lock Primary School. He later went on to study at the Saint Benedict Catholic School and Performing Arts College in Darley Abbey.
Topps invested his own money into creating the music video with the help of Derby company Goldbox Productions. The video was filmed around the city centre and around Friar Gate.
The song itself was released in August last year but the music video was released two weeks ago. Since the song came out it was picked up by bosses at EastEnders. It has now been played five times on the soap opera.
Topps, who lives in Shelton Lock, said: “That was through a lot of hard work and dedication.
“The right people in the right positions heard it and they really liked the song. I’m happy and humbled that they actually picked it. It’s a massive achievement even though we had no radio airplay.”
The song is about social media and Topps said he chose that theme for the lyrics because it is something that everybody can relate to. He described the genre as Afro-swing pop.
He said: “Everyone uses social media.
“And there are a lot of things that go on, like trolls, bullying, being judged by people. Anyone and everyone can relate to those things.”
The dream for Topps now is to be signed to a record agency and to secure some bookings for performances.
He said: “I’d like to bring some energy and charisma to the stage. And if a record label likes the song, definitely reach out to me.”