Patta has teamed up with Yussef Dayes. The collaboration, which releases Friday, September 18th, consists of a Panel Relaxed Tracksuit, sold as a pack together with a single-sided 12-inch vinyl, containing five drum-only riddims. For the release of our collaboration piece we decided to set-up an interview with Yussef where we touch on his music, inspirations and the collab. Read on below.
The Blackfriars record consists of solely you drumming with no other instruments making an appearance. What made you want to do such a record?
It was only a matter of time. This project was about tapping into my roots, and these are my war riddims that are on the record. Sometimes you gotta let the drums stand alone. I wanted to show the people that drums are healing, melodic, make you move, give you energy, make you create the scene in your mind and take you somewhere. Niyahbinghi music, Sabar drumming, Max Roach, my time spent in Salvador, Brazil ~ Dakar, Senegal ~ Havana, Cuba.. I just be channeling that energy, and to the drummers that i’ve linked up with on those journeys that have inspired me. It’s important i continue that tradition. Something the ancestors have been doing for a long time and has been passed down to us to continue.
Working with the legendary Malcolm Catto at his Quatermass Sound Lab, I knew I would get the tones i was looking for. We created a new setup specifically for me to get into the right zone. Incorporating different drums and cymbals that i haven’t experimented with before.
Malcolm is the OG and it was a blessing to have him involved on this project!
Can you tell us about the design process of the tracksuit?
My mother was always making crazy crochet patchwork Garms. Mad jumpers, hats & blankets that i still rock now & use to this day, so that was the initial inspiration behind the patchwork design.
The colours being inspired by the rastafari colours red, gold & green hold great significance to me so it was important to incorporate them in the tracksuit. with Black signifying strength & foundation being the base colour.
Being a drummer i need to have comfort when I’m playing, but still rock a neat fit, so the panel relaxed fabric gives my body the flexibility to breath and get round the drum kit!!
What’s the nature of your connection to Patta?
Building loyal partnerships with people that believe in what you do and visa versa is definitely something important to me. Everyone knows Patta provide the quality!! issa family ting, and i’m grateful to be part of it! I’ve been rocking the garms for a minute now, and it’s a blessing to collaborate together on this project. Shout out to Gee and the whole Patta familia!
The video for Blackfriars was directed by Barka, who also made the artwork for a number of your releases, including the Blackfriars record.
How did you guys meet and how did your collabos come about?
We met around 6 years ago (2014), when i was performing in a band i put together with the Young King David Turay called Myriad forest. David invited Barka to come down to do visuals at one of our shows. He killed it on the live visuals and since then the rest is history.
Barka is an incredible Artist, It’s a honour to witness his prolificacy and his ability to take his work to the next level! He's been a major figure in my own career and is someone i consider my brother. We travelled to Salvador in 2017 as i had 2 shows in sau Paulo with my quartet. This was definitely a big inspiration for our art that proceeded in 2018. Namely being 'Love is the message' of which the Artwork was painted and designed by Barka.
Your father makes an appearance in the video. Will we get to hear him play bass on your music in the future?
Yeah Yeah!! We’ve been working on some new ish so we gonna put that together for the next record.
As a kid, what made you choose drums over other instruments?
Drum’s are loud and exciting, so being in a musical family with 3 older brothers, I had to be bold to keep up.
It wasn’t really a choice. I was always been beating up the pots and pans and tapping on the floors so my father didn’t want any more damage to the yard so he got me my first kit on my 4th birthday. From then I've never looked back.
I was always obsessed with being ambidextrous and wanting to be able to use both sides of my body equally, so I think subconsciously the drums was the calling.
Being that you have Jamaican roots, what do you think is a key inspiration you draw from Jamaican music that you implement in your drumming?
One of the drummers that has had profound imprint on my drumming & Music is Carlton Barrett. Brother of Aston “Family Man" Barrett, they were the rhythm section of the legendary Bob Marley & The Wailers. Carlton’s feeling, Groove, timing & tuning of the drums with Aston's impeccable bass lines, Was & Is the backbone to The Wailers music. I grew up listening to robbie & sly dunbar, Peter Tosh, Burning Spear, Dennis brown… So jamaican music has always been apart of my life!
Being in the pocket is something unexplainable to me, but more a feeling. When your in harmony with the people you’re creating with, you begin to channel and let the soul do what its gotta do. You don’t stress about time, rushing, overthinking, brain moving too fast, you become the pulse itself. Everyone is gonna feel and hear the tempo and rhythms in different ways, but when you can sync up the groove together and get it locked the rest is history.
The Nyabinghi riddim is the most infectious feeling. It’s the heartbeat keeping the pulse, so i had to do a dub for the record.
How important is style for you?
My mother & father both had unique taste in style and would always keep it Dapper & that's definitely rubbed off on me. I take pride in the way i present myself and I love it when a woman knows how to dress, so swag is definitely important to me.
The Patta x Yussef Dayes Panel Relaxed Tracksuit and 12-inch vinyl will be available in-store at Patta Amsterdam, London, Milan, Patta.nl and app from Friday, September 18th.