In a candid inteview, Yussef open up about his upcoming performance at Echoes of Earth

Purpose is to bring people the rhythms and energy that may be ancient or futuristic, shares Yussef Dayes.

Srushti Kulkarni Published :  25th November 2022 12:00 AM   |   Published :   |  25th November 2022 12:00 AM

Yussef Dayes

UK’s renowned jazz percussionist, Yussef Dayes, gained notoriety on the global stage as one of innovative young drummer and producer as the artiste is known for making music that goes beyond genre restrictions. Today, he blends 70s funk, UK grime and senegalese percussion together but as a boy he grew up playing along to his father’s jazz vinyl collection. Nightrider, Welcome to the Hills, Love Is the Message are some of his famous albums and songs. In a candid inteview, Yussef open up about his performance at Echoes of Earth, back story of his mother and his plans for when he visits India. 

How excited are you to perform in front of your Indian fans with your new ensemble?
I am very excited and blessed to be bringing the Yussef Dayes Experience to India. My mother spent a lot of time traveling India and studying with the great B.K.S Iyenga & becoming a senior teacher in London, before influencing my father to do the same. So It feels like a full circle to bring our music to you! When I studied with Billy Cobham, he had a master Konnakol teacher show us some techniques that could be used on the drums/tabla. This technique has always stayed with me and I'd always beatbox the rhythms in my mind before I sat at the drum kit.

Tell us a little about your team and how challenging it was to bring all these artists together.
I only play with the best musicians to be able to achieve the level of vibes and performance I strive for.
With Rocco Palladino, Malik Venna & Elijah Fox It’s a blessing we’re all playing together in this unit and creating the music we’ve been performing. It can be a difficult challenge keeping a band together but thats part of my job, and ultimately the music is taken to another level when a band is striving for the best.

What pointers did you have to keep in mind while creating a setlist for this event? Give us a sneak peek into the setlist for the festival?
I never want to perform the same show more than once, so I switch up the setlist to make sure we have a new challenge each time. Of course you’ll hear some of my catalogue, but around that expect some new rhtyhms you might not of heard as of yet. And it wouldn't be a YD show without some improvisation so,
expect the unknown.

You are regarded as the UK's most innovative young drummer and producer. How easy or challenging has it been for you to adapt to the latest trends in jazz music as it continues to change and develope?
I don’t follow the trends! My Purpose is to bring people the rhythms and energy that may be ancient or futuristic. I like to think our music is classical in that it doesn't have time stamp. And should only get sweeter with time! I feel that the role of keeping it organic & natural without the computers and electronics will always be the future in Jazz. With the focus being on technology etc etc. I intend to remind the world that the acoustic, and especially the drums is a natural vibration untouched by many. Just like the tabla has been around for a long time, to me it also holds the key to new sounds moving forward.

You have collaborated with various artists that have led to interesting albums such as Yussef Kamaal's album and Welcome to the Hills? Are there any new collaborations in the works?
I’ve been finishing my debut album and I’m blessed to be working with some incredible artists on that. I'll also be sharing some of the music I’ve been working on as a producer in 2023.

What was the idea or story behind calling the ensemble Yussef Dayes Experience?
Inspired by the Jimi Hendrix experince, I felt like this was a way to convey my show as a feeling, as a band, as a unit, the audience being a particpant. The name felt right in that moment.

Besides your performance at Echoes of Earth, what are you looking forward to from your visit to India?
To meet the people of India, savour the incredible food, and learn the sitar!

Rs 2,360 upwards. December 3 & 4. At Embassy International Riding School, Tarunhunse Village