Sound Gallery is a Fuss feature where we interview a DJ or producer and invite them to curate a mix which exhibits their style, skill and talents. In this edition of the Sound Gallery we feature producer and DJ, yoyo. We discuss his relationship with music, the influence of hip-hop and soul on his music and progress on his beattape.
Who is Yoyo and why the name yoyo?
I’m a Hip-hop producer from Cape Town.
The name yoyo kind of just felt right. Jojo happens to be my nickname to a lot of homies, but since I’m originally German you pronounce it “yoyo”.
It seems that you’ve kept your personal identity separate from this project. Was this a conscious decision and if so why?
Yeah it was conscious. Leaves more interpretation to the listener I feel.
Talk us through your early relationship with music as a listener. What was the first genre of music or artist you really enjoyed and can you recall the first piece of music you paid for?
Damn. I think the very first genre of music I got into was RnB and Soul. My parents always used to listen to it so I was always around it at an early age. I think the first ever album I bought was by the Black Eyed Peas – Elephunk. I used to love Black Eyed Peas as a kid. Like Elephunk was my shit.
Eventually your relationship with music evolved from listening into creating. What was it that impelled you to start creating music?
I was always listening to music – like all the time. I would end up falling in love with certain aspects of songs when I was younger and wanted to try and recreate that exact feeling. Eventually I got my hands on a copy of Logic and started making beats.
It sounds like there is a variety of influences on the music that you create. Could you name some of these influences?
I fuck with everything to be honest, but hip hop is always at the core. Madlib & Jdilla, Knxwledge, Iman Omari, Anderson.paak, The Neptunes, Kaytranadas old beat stuff, Flying lotus and basically the whole of Stones Throw Records.
Then there’s also the OG shit that I sample from like Lamont Dozier, Roy ayers, Patrice Rushen or Maynard Ferguson. I generally sample from old school Jazz, soul and funk.
Tell us about your production setup. What hardware and software do you use?
I currently use logic X since it’s what I’m most comfortable with. In terms of hardware I have these Krk Rokits and I use a Mpd26 from time to time.
It seems sampling plays a big role in your production style. How do you go about producing your music? Tell us more about your production style.
Yeah, sampling plays a huge role in a lot of my production. So much original shit has been influenced, or roots off, other music. Everything basically roots off something. Sampling is just another way of doing so and allows me to get this very particular raw sound.
I usually start off making drums and start dancing around for a bit listening to the drums haha. Then I start picturing what could work on top of that and its usually very fluid from there.
On your most recent release you worked with Dada Shiva. Are you going to be working with vocalists again in the future?
Yeah, working with Dada is fun. It’s very easy. I’m always down to collaborate with other artist if I’m on the same wavelength with someone. Hit me up!
Producing or DJing? Which do you prefer more and why?
Definitely producing. I mean DJing is great, but I prefer being more in the background at the moment.
What have been your favourite releases so far this year? Both locally and internationally.
Internationally I really dig Nxworries by Knxwledge and Anderson.Paak as well as Badbadnotgood’s IV, Kanye’s The Life of Pablo, and Kaytranada’s 99% album. The new Schoolboy Q album also has some dope shit on it too, JoHnMuir is rad.
Locally, Gourmet’s Cashmere album is some of the most premium quality shit to come out of Cape Town – the whole package is some of the most polished music I’ve seen locally. The new Hessien+ release and Damascvs’ EP are tight as well.
Tell us more about the beattape you’ve been working on. Does it have a title yet and when can we expect it’s release?
The Beattape is essentially a collection of my favourite beats that I’ve been hoarding overtime. Like a honed, concentrated version of my released work. The tape doesn’t have a name yet. I’m releasing it sometime next month so keep an eye out.
What else can we expect from Yoyo for the remainder of 2016?
A lot more music in general. I’m also currently working on my next beattape as we speak. I’m just constantly trying to create so you can expect a lot more very soon.