It should come as no surprise to those who have attended Bristol’s Club Djembe (which has been regularly filling up venues since 2017) – that the team behind the scenes have put as much quality-focused attention to releasing music as they have done to curating their line-ups.
It’s been just over a year since Club Djembe launched their label arm – with the releases ‘Club Djembe Vol.1 & Vol.2’ and CXLI’s ‘Mestizo EP’ being featured by the likes of Giles Peterson, Joe Kay, Jamz Supernova, Toddla T and more.
Hot off the back of remixing ‘Jollof Rice’ (ft EARTH GANG) with Dreamville’s very own Bas, is Atlantan afrobeats sensation Say3, who returns to the Club Djembe imprint with his debut ‘Bushboy EP’.
The five-track EP channels Say3’s Liberian heritage through evolving emotions, melodies and polyrhythms and a Gqom-laced feature from South Africa pioneer DJ Lag on ‘ATL TO DBN’ which was created after the two met in Atlanta and DJ Lag shared one of his unfinished tracks during an impromptu studio session.
Not yet 25, DJ Lag has played a pivotal role in taking one of the most exciting electronic music movements from the South African city of Durban to the world, as evidenced in this high-energy collaboration with Say3. Drawing both critical acclaim (Pitchfork described him as an “international ambassador for the nerve-shredding thrills of gqom”) and popular support, ‘ATL TO DBN’ is another step into the global music spotlight for DJ Lag.
Say3 on ‘Bushboy’:
“‘Bushboy’ is more of a healing project for me. In the project intro and outro are named “Akoben” which means war horn – those tracks feel like a call to action, like somethin’ about to happen. The second track is called “Sankofa” which essentially means learn from the past. When making this project, I wanted it to feel like a mini show in a way, I hope y’all received it as so.”
On working with Bas & DJ Lag:
“At the end summer I got selected for Jameson’s ‘Stayinn Challenge’ to remix one of Bas’s tracks with him being involved in the process. That was so dope. Being able to work with him, taking him through my process of making a remix and being able to get his feedback along the way. Shoutout to Jameson for that one.”
On his inspiration behind producing Afrobeats:
“For those who didn’t know where Saye came from, it’s my Dad’s middle name.
It’s been 10 years since he passed away, and there hasn’t been a day where I haven’t thought about him, he’s the reason why I got into producing Afrobeats. I remember taking car trips from Atlanta to Philly every summer as a kid and all I remember hearing was Fela Kuti and Magic System in that 1996 Toyota 4Runner, but that never left me. Those trips inspired the sounds I make today.”
1. Akoben Pt. 1
3. New Day
4. ATL TO DBN ft DJ Lag
5. Akoben Pt. 2