Fri 23 Dec 11
Some notorious electronic music talents have started their careers as percussionists. And so did Yaya, but his tale is different to all the rest. His new release for Desolat takes a unique, upbeat approach to 4/4 beats: combining heartfelt Benin influences – samples from dialogue and traditional ballads – with the stretched-out tension and release of Balearic and the bubbling pops and stutters of tech house, plus the occasional kickback to a Commodore64 high score melody.Raised in Turin, Italy, rhythm was his lifeblood for Yassin Ligali, also known as Yaya, from an early age. His father was the lead vocalist and percussionist for M’Bamina, a band consisting of musicians from Benin, Zaire, Italy and Cameroon. M’Bamina released eight albums, collaborated with artists like Manu Dibango and Salif Keita, were sponsored by Paco Rabanne and played all over Africa, including a show for the presidents of Senegal and France. Their final show was with James Brown in Paris in 1985 – the year Yaya was born.
Well-versed in his father’s legacy, Yaya grew up playing drums and djembe, and at the age of 15, began performing as a percussionist in Turin clubs. Just one year later, he was already DJing, playing funk, soul, afrobeat, house and garage. Manu Dibango and Fela Kuti found a spot in his crate next to records by Masters at Work and Dimitri from Paris: contrasts of rhythm and structure that pervade his music to this very day.
From playing in Turin discos like Pier and Doctor Sax, word of the Yaya sound spread and he began playing nights at Amnesia, Lime Light and Pulp in Milan, and Tenax in Florence. Pretty soon he was headlining at clubs across Europe: from Fellini and City Hall in Barcelona to Seven in Croatia. Notably, he played at Space in Ibiza – Carl Cox’s Tuesday night party with Angels of Love. There’s something about the atmosphere of Ibiza that suits Yaya to a tee. In his words: twisting, empathetic, joyful and wild. His new "The Mysterious Way" EP is best about all that is Desolat.
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CGNY: Ciao Yaya! First of all how did you become involved with the Desolat label. It’s well renowned in the industry as a producer of solid releases.
YA-I was in Africa with my family and Dice called me because he wanted to see me and talk about my promo tracks. After 2 months I released my first track on Desolat called "Vecute. It was in 2009.
CGNY: Tell us a bit about your own musical journey – how did you get started in djing/producing?
YA:When I started to play I was 17 years old, i played for long time just vinyls. Now my life is different. I have my studio where I spend my days there to making music. I think I stay about 8 to 10 hours each day in the studio creating new beats and new ideas.
CGNY: I had a nice listen to your new release ‘The Mysterious Way”. Firstly tell us about the title (sounds mysterious!) and what it symbolizes in respect to this release. I liked all the remixes but the original was my favorite!
YA: Thank you so much! I used this title just because when I made that track I used a new particular analog instrument and the sound was totally new and crazy for me so I called the track "That Mysterious Way".
CGNY: This EP has gotten some nice support from well –known djs/ But how important is it as a dj/producer to have other industry folks appreciate and support your work, especially given the multitude of tracks released on any given day, to ensure it gets out to all the right people and gets the support it deserves?
YA: When i received all the feedback I was really happy ! It is not normal to me, when you see a lot of international dj's and producers support your release you feel so good and you want to start a new track at the some moment!
Got some feedback from (Loco Dice, Martin Eyerer, Tieschwarz, Guti, Misstress Barbara, Raresh, Livio & Roby, Butch, Anderson Noise, Horatio, Dualton, Italoboys,Mikael Stavöstrand, Mihai Popoviciu, Sebbo, Luciano, Richie Hawtin, Marco Carola, Paco Osuna, Danny Tenaglia, Gel Abril, Monika Kruse, Andrew Grant, Alexi Delano, Andrea Ferlin, Danilo Vigorito,Corey Biggs aka rockstar Francesco Farfa, Cesare VS Disorder, Daniel Sanchez, Timo Maas, SLAM, Chris Tietjen, Kabale und Liebe, Luca Bacchetti... )
CGNY: With regard to the remixes – how did you decide what artists were going to do those?
YA: I decided with the owner of the label my remixers, the 3 remixes are really cool but my favorite is DoubtingThomas rmx! Check it!
CGNY: Are you planning any US tours in the near future?
YA: Last year it was my first time in America and i was there for the Music Conference in Miami with all the Desolat crew and it was a great experience for me, I hope to come back next year for the same party.
CGNY: Where are some of your favorite venues to play out?
YA: Row 14 Barcelona, Sankeys Manchester, Mint Leeds, Cromie Castellaneta !
Thank you Yaya - best of luck for 2012!
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