One of the UK’s most exciting and innovative young drummers, singer/songwriters and producers, YUSSEF DAYES, is slotted to perform at REXKL this 25 November 2022 and it has all the ingredients of an electrifying night to remember.
This is the first in a series of cultural events by Collective Minds Asia and RK Live Asia. The promotions duo is set to bring some of the most exciting artists to the nation’s capital. “We are thrilled to present to you Yussef Dayes’ debut performance in KL this 25th November at the city’s most rousing event venue, REXKL. He is one of the breakout players of the South London jazz scene and together with his band, has taken the world by storm not just with his talent and artistry, but his visual prowess. It will be an assault on all senses and one should not miss the opportunity to witness him and his band live in action”, says Zaran Vachha of Collective Minds Asia and Rahul Kukreja of RK Live Asia.
Yussef has been deeply involved in jazz for as long as he can remember. Best known for his work with his brothers in United Vibrations, and as one half of the electrifying duo Yussef Kamaal, he’s been developing his sound since age four when his dad bought him his first drum kit.
Born and raised in South East London, Yussef was practising non-stop as a kid: “My parents were strict – if I was gonna do this, I had to take it seriously.” His father was a bass player in New York in the 70s, and brought home an education’s worth of jazz vinyl that the Dayes brothers all grew up on – Yussef and his bassist brother Kareem would play along to their dad’s records for hours at a time. This was the closest he got to formal jazz lessons until, when he was ten, he studied under Billy Cobham (Miles Davis’ drummer). Yussef considers this to have been the most impactful thing for his progression.
Many of Yussef’s peers at school were aspiring MCs, and he considers grime and hip-hop heavily influential to his output, “That same energy and those different flows, I put into my drums.” Add to this his Jamaican father’s reggae collection, his late mother’s love of the Beatles and country, and his brother Ahmad’s passion for jungle tracks, “there was good music in every room” – and this breadth of taste, blended with sounds found while travelling (notably time spent in Senegal) is audible in his exhilarating combination of sounds.
These varied influences would be put into a live set from a young age. Cementing him as one of the need-to-know artists in the UK scene, it was in 2015 that Yussef Kamaal was born. A duo with fellow Londoner Kamaal Williams, their 2016 album Black Focus, with its dancefloor sensibilities and funk-infused breakbeats, would become one of the most heralded jazz records of recent times, melding the UK sounds with those of the US scene. Certified silver, the album won the duo the 2017 Jazz FM award for Best Breakthrough Act. With their rapturous shows, both groups have helped hone Yussef’s thrilling, rapid-fire live presence (he refers to it as an alter-ego, “the beast” that takes over when he’s playing).
2018 saw the release of Love Is The Message – Yussef’s transcendental first solo track, self-released on Cashmere Thoughts. Following this in 2019, Yussef’s solo journey continued to flourish releasing an AA single entitled DUALITY, consisting of For My Ladies and Othello. A testament to the breadth and scope of his work in 2019, Yussef soundtracked and curated the Louis Vuitton dinner show for Paris Men’s Fashion Week in January 2019, collaborating with none other than the late Virgil Abloh and Benji B.
In 2020, Yussef and fellow South East London musician Tom Misch released their joint album entitled What Kinda Music, distributed on a legendary jazz label, Blue Note. The highly curated album ticked the boxes of all genres and appeal to an incredibly vast audience. It gained much global success including reaching #4 in the UK Official Charts and reaching an impressive #1 Current Contemporary Jazz Album in the US Billboard Charts. The same year, Yussef continued his string of success with the release of his solo live album, Welcome to the Hills.
It’s an exciting time ahead, with more of those soaring, epic, and intricate soundscapes that don’t sound quite like anything else. “Drumming is a way of communicating and expressing yourself, and with a new album in the pipeline, I am excited to show Kuala Lumpur what I am about”, says the stylish musician – and there’s no doubt Yussef Dayes is going to be the one leading the conversation.
Tickets will go on sale starting from 11 November 2022 (Friday) at 12.00 noon and can be purchased via the link https://bit.ly/CMYussefKL . Early bird tickets are priced at RM220 and general admission at RM280 (terms and conditions apply). For more information on Yussef Dayes, kindly visit www.yussefdayes.com
And while you are reading this do check out some of his amazing tracks that are Common Affairs’ favourites here.