(DRAFT – Yussef Kamaal)

A while ago I decided to ask five questions to someone I share the line-up with. The goal is to get an insight into an artist’s habitat, personal taste and history. Afterwards each guest will be drawn by my favorite street artist: Dzia. Enjoy.

#2 – YUSSEF KAMAAL

(Yussef Dayes & Henry Wu)

4 YEARS TNGRM w/ Yussef Kamaal & Samiyam – Leuven

Yussef Kamaal

  1. What would you be doing if you didn’t do music?

HW: Euhm if I didn’t do music I would probably be driving a car around London, delivering stuff. Or a van, I like driving you know.
YD: I would probably be having a fruit stand man, Ital food.

  1. I don’t know if you guys are into digging, but if you would look for cool instruments or great records where would you go?

HW: Digging for me, I would have it anywhere in the world, LA for example.
YD: Africa
HW: Yeah Africa, LA, I mean like everywhere, everyone’s got good records. You can find good records in every city.

  1. What moment in your life made you choose music?

HW: Euhm I chose music when I was at school, but I’ve been on and off with music. Music is just a hobby, it’s not my whole life. For example, I like to cook among other things.
YD: When I was in the womb, my dad was already playing music to me. So music is in my DNA. That’s how we talk. It’s cliché but I was born with music, as long as I can remember. I didn’t go to music school, but my dad was a musician, a bass player. So we always had music in the house. I had my drumkit when I was four and my brother was playing bass.

  1. Who do you think is the most underrated producer or musician?

HW: The most underrated producer, you know what, I don’t know about underrated, but I would say Hardhouse Banton… He’s a UK producer.
YD: Underrated producer or musician, that’s hard man. I would say Tenderlonious, he just released an ep. He’s next level, he’s wicked man. It’s more dance vibes, but the productions, he’s taking it to another place you know what I’m saying, I like it, I like it a lot. So Tenderlonious and then you got mad man Mansur Brown (Bass player Yussef Kamaal). Listen, this guy is 19 years old, the music he’s making… Give him 2 years time, he’s coming man. We’re taking him and he’s gonna do some great stuff in a couple of years time. You know what he’s Britains best young talent. That’s a statement right there!

  1. What music did you listen to when you were 16 years old?

HW: When I was 16 years old I was listening to UK hip hop, Roots Manuva, Wiley, Dizzee Rascal and all that.
YD: I’m not gonna lie, I was listening to The Headhunters. But I was listening to it at home, so my dad would pay the records. My dad was Jamaican so I had a lot of Studio One reggae and 70’s New York jazz fusion kind of things, like Mahavishnu Orchestra. But I didn’t told anyone at school because they were all listening to that grimey thing. I liked grime as well, but at home I was listening more to jazz.


#1 – LEFTO 

Free Your Funk & Lefto présentent: Bruxelles arrive! – Paris

LEFTO DZIA PROFILE

  1. What would you be doing if you didn’t do music?

My father worked for a travel agency and for some kind of reason I was always attracted to airports. Airports give me a feeling of vacation. I always wanted to be the guy who is waving with two orange sticks on the tarmac. Ramp attendant I guess.

  1. Was there a specific moment in your life that defined your choice to do music in the form you’re doing at the moment?

Probably somewhere during my school period when I was hanging out with Akro from Starflam. He used to have two turntables without pitch in his room which he used to mix records to which I felt a certain attraction to. Thanks to my father I was able to get one Technics mk2 turntable which I used in combination with a tapedeck to train my mixing and skratching skills. I tried everything from breakdancing to rapping. I think that was the period I found out what I wanted to do.

  1. If you could choose one place in the world to go digging, where would it be?

In Japan, next week (laughs). No I think Japan for sure! It’s the place where you can find everything you’re looking for. Sometimes a bit overpriced, but they will probably have what you’re looking for. Next to Discogs of course. At Discogs you never know for sure what condition your record is in though, so it’s always nice to physically check out certain records. Japan, together with Cosmos records in Toronto, is definitely the holy grail for everything, not only records by the way.

  1. Who do you think is the most underrated producer?

I think Dibia$e is severely underrated. This guy deserves more chances.

  1. What music did you listen to when you were about 16 years old?

There was a balance between hip hop, that appeared on the tv show of Benny B (10 Qu’on Aime), and new beat. At that time I was in a phase of searching for what kind of music I felt the most, but I didn’t really had a preference between these two. You could find more new beat at clubs like Extreme in Affligem. Yes, I did buy new beat records which I don’t play anymore…