We present the DiSally and Jaemo Banton of the Soundcity Underground digital series, meet the duo who got over 49% of the votes from the first feature of the #SoundcityUndergound series [missed it? voting is ongoing for the next shortlist here].
Listen to the winning entry from DiSally and Jaemo Banton then read as they tell their story:
Check out our chat with the duo:
First, give us the deets on the collaboration – how did it happen? Your relationship et al.
Jaemo: The collaboration happened sometime last year, I was in the studio with Disally and he played this beat which was actually something I had in mind. I already had this “special” thing written in my head. So with the help of DiSally this beautiful song was brought to life.
DiSally: We collaborated around August, 2017. I started the beat alone in my room using Logic X on my laptop with my headset. Immediately I got the rhythm and groove right I went to the studio, played the beat for Jaemo and it was exactly what he wanted to do so we teamed up and made the song. It was an easy one for both of because of our style of music.
What is your musical background?
Jaemo: Ever since I was a child I was surrounded by music. My father always played our traditional music every morning. my uncle was also a traditional musician from the Benin tribe in Edo state (in Nigeria). My musical style was also influenced by my four elder sisters and each of them sang in the choir so I always had to follow them to church during choir practice and from there i started having interest in Music.
DiSally: My parents listened to Fela Kuti, Youssou N Dour, King Robert Ebizimor, Barrister S. Smooth and lots of African Music. Grew up in a family of Eleven so everybody there was varieties of songs to listen cause everyone had their favorite genre so i was literally listening to all type of music. Started playing drums when I was Sixteen years old in church and later, I joined the church choir.
Musically, what are your biggest influences and who are your favorite musicians?
Jaemo: My biggest influences musically are the Jamaican dancehall kings because I started my music doing the deep Dancehall thing and I grew up listening to them So I think they made an impact on my writing style and served as a source of inspiration. Later, I started listening to some old school RnB musicians because I needed my music to sound and feel like a combination of soul and dancehall . My favorite musicians of all time are Fela Kuti, Bob Marley, Phil Collins, Buju Banton, Beautiful Nubia. Quite recently Sean Kingston and Wizkid have become my biggest modern day influences.
DiSally: Hip hop influenced me a lot from the likes of Tupac Shakur to Snoop Dog, Born Thugs And Harmony, Big Pun, 50 Cent, Nate Dog, NWA, the list goes on. Right now my musical influences are mainly Kanye West, Daft Punk, Pharrell Williams, Jay Z, Damian Marley, Timberland, Flumes, Gorillas, Drake, Sia, Sean Paul they definitely influenced me a lot.
How would you describe your own style?
DiSally: My music is made up of a little bit of everything but more of AfroBeats, Dance Hall and Soul Music. I love to work with nature, winds, waves, birds, background sounds from the mountain top. Basically I make happy music. I just love to make people smile and stay happy.
Jaemo: I would describe my own style of music as a genre that has never been heard of. A combination of Afro and swing-carribean. It’s a blend of the Afrobeats with a touch of dancehall swing which gives it a more universal acceptance.
In what ways has your newest music changed from when you first started?
DiSally: I understand my sound better now and know exactly what I want so it’s a huge change for me. My current type of music helped me gain more confidence, patience and exposure. Creating music is way different from when i initially started.
Jaemo: My music has really changed a lot compared to when I started because now I have a vision on how I wanted my music to sound like with a whole new point of view and i do not plan on following trends of music, I want to be able to express myself through my own type of vibes and sound. I am continually working on myself and my music to make sure each track or album is better than the last.
What are the main inspirations for the lyrics you write?
DiSally: Every day I wake up to a new possibility with the feeling that today can be the day my life will change forever that alone is my biggest inspiration. My everyday life, movies and relationships inspires my lyrics and music.
Jaemo: My main inspiration for my music mostly comes from my past experiences and it’s a bit more about my love life and more of a true life stories. I also write about relatable things like relationships, heartbreaks, life struggles and so on.
I believe my music has the power to uplift so many people who are down.
What would be your dream venue in which to perform?
DiSally: Soundcity MVP Award, Grammy Award, CAF Awards, Coachella.
Jae Mo: My dream venue would be at the Grammys, Summer Jam, SXSW, Soundcity MVP to mention a few. I would love to share one of the World’s biggest stages internationally with the best and biggest musicians all around the world.
How long have you been doing what you’re doing and how did you get started in the first place?
DiSally: 7 years. Saw my big brother use Fl (fruity loops) Studio, picked interest (and) the rest is history.
Jaemo: I started Music back then in High school, I was the leader of a group called JVC, we were quite big in school, playing shows around. After school the group had to split and i was the only one who stuck to my music and followed the dream. Professionally I started Music three years ago.
In your opinion who is the most influential and successful artiste in your genre, today and why?
DiSally: Wizkid is the most influential for me. He makes global music. Burna Boy, Maleek Berry, J Hus are not exempted
Jaemo: I feel the most influential and successful artistes inclined with my genre would be Fela kuti and Bob Marley . Although they never did my genre but in a way they influenced my genre. The reason i chose the both of them is because of the message in their music and they stood mostly for the poor and the oppressed and their music has a great legacy that will live on for generations to come. I aspire to create those kinds of songs.
Do you think your music is mostly enjoyed more for the beats or for the lyrical flow and content?
Jaemo: I believe what makes a song great is when the instrumentals and the lyrics agree and my music conveys what every good music lover yearns for because it consists of good content, a good lyrical flow and a beautiful beat. I try to balance my music lyrically and emotionally just to make sure it sends the right message.
DiSally: Both the lyrical flow content and the beat are amazing, it’s just like stew and rice.
If you could choose to work with some of today’s established artists or producers, to move your game to the top, with whom would you like to collaborate?
Jaemo: I have always wanted to work with some of the big names locally and internationally. I would love to work with Wizkid And Burna Boy, they both has been a big inspiration to me and also producers such as LegendUry beatz, Leriq, ShizzI – I really respect their works. I would also love a collaboration with Drake, Pharell, Kid cudi, Chronixx and Sean Kingston. These guys are my best musicians currently.
DiSally: Definitely Maleek berry, J Hus, Burna Boy, Wizkid, R2bees, Drake, Kendrick Lamar, Damian Marley, Ycee, Yxng Bane
Which latest songs, videos or mixtapes releases are currently available to your fans and where can they be heard or downloaded?
Jaemo: Currently I have some couple of songs and some features on iTunes, Spotify and SoundCloud. My debut EP First Day Of School will be available ending of this month. It’s a compilation of my best works which describes the whole concept of my new Genre, trust me it’s one to watch of for.
DiSally: “Special” is available on all platforms, working towards the visuals for now and also my first ever body of work (EP) “25SPECIAL”
Which emotion more than any other, currently dominates your music? Joy, sadness, anger or passion etc. , and why?
Jaemo: I would say the emotion that dominates my music is more of joy and the reason to be grateful despite all that’s happening. My music brings out the softness in a person and it puts you in that nostalgic mood with a lot of caribbean aesthetics and untamed emotions. It just makes you enjoy life more.
Do you think the advent of internet and all the new technology has helped your music and independent musicians in general, or do you think it just creates a mass of mediocre “copycats” who flood the web, making it difficult to distinguish yourself?
Di Sally: Internet is very important, Music travel very fast and far because of the internet.
Jaemo: The internet is an endless universe of all types of unfiltered information which has in many ways helped my music become more accessible to a worldwide audience.
How important do you think video is to your music, and how do you produce your videos?
Di Sally: It’s a complete package the fans need to know who they are growing with so video production is an important tool for promotion.
Jaemo: Music video is a very important thing for an artiste because an artiste needs something more bigger than an mp3 to get noticed. We need strong creative visuals to give us a substantial competitive advantage over our peers. A video connects an artist and a listener, as well as connecting a listener to the artiste. Working on a music video is exhilarating but when you have the right crew it’s a blast.
What in your opinion is the biggest barrier an artiste like yourself, has to face and overcome, to gain any commercial success?
Jaemo: I think the biggest barriers independent artiste like myself face is a good support. At times, being a performer can be so daunting. Perhaps you want to take your career to the next level, whether that means recording an album and promoting it or shooting a video for your songs but you don’t have the resources or the means to acquire it. This has really been a major barrier for independent artiste all across the world.
Di Sally: Availability of capital.
On a scale of 1-9801, how good is your new music compared to your last one?
Jaemo: I can’t say because honestly I’m here to break the scale
Di Sally: 9801