Today, Tom Misch and Yussef Dayes unveil “What Kinda Music” – an astonishing collaboration between two artists of very different disciplines, and one of the most unique and seamlessly original projects of its ilk to date. It is released via Blue Note Records – one of the most legendary music labels around, and one known for moving the needle of jazz through the decades.
Moving fluidly through sleek electronica, progressive jazz, vintage hip hop and so much more, Misch and Dayes take you on a journey that is by turns surprising and spontaneous, heady and head spinning, and nothing less than compelling – a singular vision which fuses the DNA of both musicians with spectacular results, as can be seen in the title track, which comes backed by a gorgeously atmospheric video by Douglas Bernardt.
Even though the fundamental bones of the album came together very quickly, its actual provenance stretches back much, much farther back, with the pair not only growing up in the same area of South East London, but Misch actually seeing Dayes play on drums in the school talent show for the first time when he was 9. It was only when they went into a studio in the summer of 2018 however, following a chance meeting at a party for Misch’s “Geography” LP, that the proverbial creative sparks began to fly.
What made the pair click, according to Misch and Dayes, were the exact same factors that meant it shouldn’t, by all rights, work. Misch says, “Yussef comes from a more experimental background, and he has a lot of loose, crazy ideas. I know how to write a catchy melody, but with interesting chords and I have a good understanding of popular song forms, so I think I streamlined those ideas and made them accessible”.
Throughout the record, there is an utterly joyful feel of two musicians at the top of their game sparking off one another, picking up ideas and running with them – zigging where the other zags, ebbing where the other flows, with Misch producing the majority of the record and both having a hand in the overall sound and feel of the record. In fact, Dayes says that the intentions of the record go even deeper than just music. “Both our parents who’d never met each other before, are now best friends as a result of this – they now see each other more than we do! I’d like to think, in some small way, that this album has a similar impact for people too – everything feels so divided these days, it would be nice for people to hear the record and hear two very different musicians coming together and realise it doesn’t have to be that way”.