So FN Dope® Magazine prides itself on highlighting exceptionally talented artists. This next musician came highly recommended and rightfully so. We had to check him out and we weren’t disappointed. Meet Yayo The Drummer. This extremely dope artist and musician has become an established figure in the world hip-hop not only as an incredible drummer, but also as a producer and fashion curator. He is currently on tour with Lil Wayne, one of the biggest names in the industry, showcasing his impressive skills and taking the audience to new heights. With his impeccable timing , dynamic drumming technique, and passion for music, Yayo The Drummer has earned the respect and admiration of hip-hop’s elite as well as music fans around the globe.
SFND MAG: : What’s up my brother. It is such a pleasure to meet you. First and foremost we would like to thank you for taking the time out of your busy tour schedule to interview with us. We sincerely appreciate it! We have heard so many good things about you. We just know that you have a great life story. How did you initially get into drumming, and who were your early influences?
YAYO THE DRUMMER: I got into drumming growing up in church. My father was the Minister of music. My older brother Michael played the organ, the drums as well as many other instruments, and he, of course, taught his little brother everything he knew. My brother Michael just understood music and most importantly how to teach it to other people very early in his life. What’s funny is that, I initially wanted to learn the lead guitar but that didn’t last long. [LAUGHS]
SFND MAG: What was your first big break in the music industry, and how did it come about?
YAYO THE DRUMMER: My first big break was honestly, to me… when I was able to let people actually hear my sound. It was not only hearing my ideas but also experiencing it live. And that came about by partnering with a friend of mine, and we would have events & have my drums in situations and locations where you wouldn’t normally have one. From block parties, restaurants etc. Then it started being wanted more and more and it caught the attention of the people that love it.”
SFND MAG: People definitely love it and as a result, you’ve performed with some of the biggest names in hip-hop such a Mannie Fresh, and Drake. Is there any artist you’re particularly proud to have worked with?
YAYO THE DRUMMER: Oh yeah, Mannie Fresh was one of the guys I looked up to growing up as a producer. He was one of the biggest names to me growing up. I remember when I used to go with my older brother to go and buy the CDs in the store, and I would always be so anxious to hear new Mannie Fresh beats. That was a sound that we all wanted to know how to make, and he had a sound you knew as soon as it came on. Drake is an amazing artist, and a great guy that has always shown me love from day one. Performing a high energy set with Lil Wayne and Drake together was a dream come true. That will be huge until the end of time! God is good. SFND MAG: Yeah man. That sounds pretty incredible. And you’re currently on tour with him now. What’s it like touring with Lil Wayne?
YAYO THE DRUMMER: Touring with an icon is always great because there is always knowledge to soak in, business to learn, advice to take etc. There are always things to learn from them whether it’s in rehearsals or downtime, etc.
SFND MAG: What is your typical routine when preparing for a big show like Saturday Night Live for instance?
YAYO THE DRUMMER: I make sure and focus on what helps me do what I do, just as much as I focus on what I do. Honestly, I prepare for all my shows the same. I try to workout as often as I can. I run often and do a lot of stretching and yoga. Yoga is life changing. [LAUGHS] Your body has to endure a lot more than what most think. From travel to show performances it requires a great deal of stamina. My style of playing, and a rockstar artist like Lil Wayne go hand and hand.
SFND MAG: We hear that you also do some producing as well. How do you typically approach creating music for a new song?
YAYO THE DRUMMER: I currently use logic. I have used others but it’s my favorite. Producing is something that I love and it’s something that I’m glad I decided to go in depth with. I love producing because it gives me the opportunity to take off my drummer hat and put on other ones. I try not to approach every piece of music that I make just specifically focusing on drums. I love to be able to hop on the piano and create a dope melody and go from there, and hop on the bass guitar and throw in a dope baseline and actually play it live, you know. Even on this tour, I make sure to have me a traveling studio. I have my mini keyboard with me, I have my SPD pad with me and of course I always have sticks and things like that. But melodies run through my head daily, as do drum beats. Many times I make tracks with no drums and just let the melody energize the listener. I never want to lose the creative concepts that come to me, so I save voice memos and things like that, and when I’m in a hotel or wherever I can plug in and record.
SFND MAG: How do you keep your skills sharp while on tour, and what do you do to improve your craft?
YAYO THE DRUMMER: One important thing I make sure I always have with me, is a practice pad drumset kit available to me at all times. When I’m not warming up there, I keep my skills up with my drumtech Kevin. We were in marching band growing up so we keep up on our chops.
SFND MAG: We noticed that you are into fashion as well. What is the inspiration behind “One Man Band” brand?
YAYO THE DRUMMER: Yayo the Drummer -ONE MAN BAND is the company, and we just made sure we took the time to make the company fashionable for our supporters. Not only do we specialize in live music & events, we also specialize in brand development. Many top brands today come to us for all their apparel needs. I have a great team and I’m grateful for that.
SFND MAG: What’s next for Yayo The Drummer? Any exciting projects or collaborations coming up?
YAYO THE DRUMMER: I will be releasing music I have produced this year, 2023, and I’m excited to just put something new for people to gravitate to and love the feeling they get when they feel it. Because I know the feelings I felt when I made them!
SFND MAG: What advice would you give to aspiring drummers hoping to break into the music industry?
YAYO THE DRUMMER: God has placed something special in all of us, and whatever God has placed in you will reach its full potential when you give everything to him.
SFND MAG: Yayo The Drummer, we can’t thank you enough for interviewing with us bro. We definitely are wishing you much continued success in all your future endeavors! Good luck on the rest of the tour.