Atlanta based Gambian model and singer-songwriter Yanó Rude answers our questions on the occasion of the release of his debut EP Kalashion. Discover exclusively on PAM his afro-fusion track “Kalash Passion”.
Surrounded by the sounds of West African greats like Youssou N’dour to reggae legends like Beres Hammond, Yanó Rude was immersed in music growing up, resulting in a deep understanding of what it means to be an artist shaped by afrobeats.
The promising artist unveils “Kalash Passion” which is a vibrant explosion of African rhythms and soft voices. It follows the impressive first single “Unconscious”. Both tracks are part of the Kalashion project, born “from a conversation about the construction of our culture, something that represents our way of moving,” says Yanó. “This EP is a hell of an introduction, especially to the non-traditional side of afrobeats.“
What brings you in the afrofusion universe?
It was the energy that captivated me back in 2017. What really grasped my interest was how the Afro sound was traveling so fast and at the same rate branching off into many many countries giving the world more variations of afrobeats. With this kind of pace, comes rapid change; so there is always room to bring something new and fresh. And lastly you get to hear your favorite genres fused with afrobeats giving you afropop, afroswing, afro-trap, alternative afro, etc. And what this does for Africa and African artists is showcase the Joy and Talent and culture blending.
Tell us about the artist who inspires you the most these days in Atlanta?
There’s no artist in Atlanta that really inspires me, however there are those that I appreciate and respect their creativity differently; Lil Baby, Young Thug, Moe Buzzin, Baby Bank$. I am more inspired by my situation, my family, the struggle, back home (Gambia), taking care of my loved ones you know.
In the UK?
Man like Manna, J Hus, Dave, Ambush, Abra Cadabra, NSG, Stormzy, Backroad Gee… I could go on for days, but these ones are just different. Work ethic is different. Raw and true to self and like they’re respectfully in their own lane.
And in Africa?
In Africa ? Without a doubt, Youssou N’Dour still to this day. He’s a legend. He was my first concert ever , I was about 6 years old and shit man it may have been one of the most influential moments in my lifetime. Other inspirations come from Wizkid and Tekno. Quite frankly, any music from Africa especially West African countries made an impact because you heard them all since youth.
Do you think these Afro sounds can be a thing in Atlanta as they are in England?
I believe Afro sound can definitely be a thing. In fact it is already a thing. It’s just not as dominant as hip hop here. But you will 1000% hear Afro sounds in the club, at kickbacks, on campuses, day parties, lounges, etc. And with the African presence being heavy in Atlanta, we got a lot of influence. Everyone wants to deal with the Africans.
What’s behind the word “Kalashion”?
The word Kalashion is something that represents the culture that my team and I have created. For us, it’s a way of life. It’s really deeper than just the music. It goes into how we speak, how we carry ourselves and so much more. It is important that we had something way bigger than the music attached to this, and that’s exactly what we’ve done here. This is all about turning stories of struggle and times of desperation into stories of success that serve as inspiration to others.
What message do you want to get across your debut EP?
You work hard. You work smart. Know where you’re trying to go. You never fucking give up ever. Be certain, relax on self doubt and embrace your situation and your struggle. Be you, be original, you can’t be afraid of change and growth. Continue to take risks. Keep hustling and keep grinding but know why you’re doing it. If hustling is not for you then mind your business. Learn from your losses and accept them, simple. Lastly and importantly man just be true to yourself and do for you and not for other people. Always pray.
“Kalash Passion” is out now on all online platforms, via creative house OtherSide. ‘Kalashion’ EP drops 27th August, pre-order here.