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In Session: MC Yallah & Eomac

The Ugandan vocalist and the Irish producer bang out an anthemic and unpredictable party mix

  • Seb Wheeler
  • 14 January 2021

Who wants to party? No, really, who wants to party?

Those looking for a rush should look no further than the blistering collaboration between Kenya-born, Uganda-based vocalist MC Yallah and Irish producer Eomac. The pair's long-distance link-up, 'Mama Waliwamanyii' for Phantom Limb, sees MC Yallah spray blistering verses over Eomac's beatmaking, which in this instance falls somewhere between raw Detroit electro and the coldest instrumental grime. Raise your gunfingers.

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'Mama Waliwamanyii' is dedicated to MC Yallah's late mother who raised the vocalist and her siblings alone after fleeing domestic violence in Kenya. The title translates to "mama, you were strong" while on the flip 'Kakana', which translates to "calm down", is a riposte to those who have criticised MC Yallah for being an outspoken lyricist in her local scene. Both vocal cuts and their respective instrumentals are urgent, necessary pieces of next-level dance music.

To celebrate the drop, MC Yallah and Eomac have crafted a riot of a DJ mix for our DJ mix. It's unpredictable and anthemic and will leave you gasping for breath like you've just spent 8 hours on the dancefloor. Who wants to party?

Check the Q+A with the pair below to find out how they linked up, created the EP and also Yallah's tip for becoming a top MC.

This mix is absolutely ridiculous in the best possible way. How did you put it together and what inspired you to create such outrageous blends?

Eomac: Thanks! I've always enjoyed outrageous blends. We decided to pick 10 tracks each, tracks that influenced and inspired us.

Yallah: When I was little, I was inspired by lots of these MCs, so putting together the mix was fun. I just went to my collection and that was it.

Eomac: We figured where our tastes intersected and diverged would produce some interesting results, just like with our collaboration.

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Why do you think the blend of rough and smooth or hard and soft always works so well in this kind of club music?

Y: I think the blend is good 'cos you're giving to your fans or audience a lot more. Music is more fun when spiced up.

E: Good question. I'm not really sure why, but I've always been attracted to that, whether it's a DJ blend or within a track. Maybe it's really simple – hardness to make you dance, softness to make you feel.

How did you both meet and decide to collaborate?

Y: Phantom Limb and Nyege Nyege Tapes brought I and Eomac together.

E: I had already been listening to Yallah from her EP on Hakuna Kulala and tracks like 'Ting Badi Malo' and was really into what she was doing. I started sending Yallah beats and 'Mama Waliwamanyii' is the result.

What was the process for making the 'Mama Waliwamanyii' EP?

Y: Eomac sent me a couple of beats, I recorded to them and sent back stems to him for mastering.

E: Yeah a simple process, back and forth online.

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What advice do you have for artists who are collaborating online and cross continent?

Y: The advice I give to them is to know what they want and try to understand each other, 'cos if you get to understand each other in their field, you will come up with great and amazing projects.

E: I second that. Simple things like chatting to one another, sharing what inspires each of you etc are super important.

The music is so direct and urgent: what are the tracks about?

Y: The first track 'Mama Waliwamanyii', I speak about my deceased mother how she raised me and I give her applause by saying that she was a hero.

Experimental club music from Africa is blowing everyone's minds. What is it about artists on labels like Nyege Nyege that is so fresh and exciting?

Y: Wow - artists on the Nyege label, we have and are still mastering our own art which makes it so fresh and exciting.

E: There's a rawness and vitality to so much of the music. It's full of energy and life.

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Yallah - your vocal delivery is so distinct. How did you develop it?

Y: I think it's unique 'cos I listen to myself and pay a lot of attention to my delivery and not any other people's style, flow or delivery. If I did so, I would sound like somebody else which I don't find pleasing at all.

When we're out of lockdown, where would be the perfect place to hear the EP?

E: Anywhere with a loud soundsystem and positive people!

Y: Hehehe anywhere that will be perfect to hear the EP.

Tracklist:

This mix represents some of the sounds that have influenced and inspired us on our respective musical journeys so far. We each picked 10 tracks which we weaved together for this mix. As with the collaboration itself we figured the points where our various inspirations intersect and diverge would produce interesting results - MC Yallah & Eomac

Biosphere - Sphere of No Form
S.Maharba - Something in the Way She Moves
Destiny's Child - Survivor
Soundmurderer & SK1 - Dreader Than Dread
Timbaland & Magoo - Clock Strikes
Hudson Mohawke - Ooops
Sote - Electric Deaf
Tweet - Call Me
Dlux Ibraw - Wampologoma
Salt Fish, Ackee & Bakes - Rollin'
Missy Elliott - Get Ur Freak On
Fugees - Fu-Gee-La
Busta Rhymes - Woo Hah!! Got You All in Check
J Dilla - Jungle Love
Craig Mack - Flava in Ya Ear
Mase - What You Want (feat. Total)
J Dilla - Safety Dance
Dr Dre - Kush (feat. Snoop Dogg & Akon)
Boards of Canada - Telephasic Workshop
Frank Ocean - Pink Matter

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