The London-based artist shares a mix of cloud rap and atmospheric abstractions, inspired by his closest friends and collaborators
Before the pandemic, Yayoyanoh (real name Ayub Hassan) was meant to support Drain Gang’s Thaiboy Digital on tour. It was a major setback for the 27-year-old, who found himself returning to the mundanity of his north London home, delaying his debut full-length until the world opened up again. “It was a shitty time,” he confesses.
Born in Mogadishu and currently residing in the UK, the vocalist/producer spent part of his youth in Canada and Uganda, before embedding himself into the London experimental club scene via producers like Woesum and the now-defunct collective, Bala Club. With production from Woesum, Whitearmor, Oozini, Gud, Dinamarca, 106mido, Sebastian Ruslan, and Jade Statues, his self-titled, 14-track album follows on from his 2020 EP Pariah, and sees the artist hone his hyper-rhythmic sound, melding elements of R&B and afrobeat with introspective lyrics and sensual vocal delivery that’s perfect for a late-night afters.
For his Dazed Mix, Yayoyanoh wanted to showcase some of his favourite musicians and tracks, from the bleak brilliance of Manchester’s Blackhaine to London producers Felix Lee and Organ Tapes. There are also unreleased tracks from Yayoyanoh himself, so stay tuned.
You’ve just released a new EP, how do you feel about it?
Yayoyanoh: Im happy to release the album finally. I had plans to drop it way earlier, but the pandemic delayed it.
What would you like people to take away from it?
Yayoyanoh: If people are dealing with anything, I want them to use this as an escape in the hope that it makes them happier.
How did your early childhood experiences of music influence your sound? What are some of your earliest memories?
Yayoyanoh: I would listen to sorts of music from a young age, especially what people refer to as ‘world’ music. But I just love sounds generally, like even if it’s the sound of a fan or a washing machine. Apparently I used to sing in my sleep at the age of six and my siblings would be shook. So, getting into songwriting, I always knew I had a different perspective.
How has it been returning to live shows? Do you have any favourites post-pandemic, why?
Yayoyanoh: Returning to live shows has been great. More new listeners are able to vibe out to my music.
Tell us about your Dazed mix.
Yayoyanoh: The mix is mostly a selection from my favorite artists that I have huge respect for – and some unreleased stuff from myself.
How were you feeling when making it?
Yayoyanoh: I was excited that some of the artist I feature were able to bless me with some new ideas.
1. DJB - Blije Conjo Beat
2. Leask - Postical State
3. Bitter Gold - Etch Cleanse
4. Servin Glance - ???
5. Blackhaine - Got me a Check
6. Darkoo - 4kflip
7. Nammy Wams - ???
8. Swimful - Official Party Line
9. Ocomeups - S2G (FT Ssaliva)
10. Yayoyanoh - One for me
11. Shalt - Home
12. Don Sinini - ???
13. Bk Beats - Alone (FT Yayoyanoh)
14. Felix Lee - M-way Break
15. 106 Mido - Rollerboi
16. Organ Tapes & Yayoyanoh - Dead Alive
17. Yayoyanoh - Loney Bird (Last)