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February 2, 2024 Q&A with the multifaceted Yung Saber

London-born Dancehall and Hip-hop artist, freelance A&R, model and actor Yung Saber has just released an infectiously feel-good new single, ‘Gucci Prada’, on January 26th, 2024. Boasting over 10 million streams across all platforms, Yung Saber stormed the UK Dancehall scene with his track ‘Tump & Kick’, which became an international hit and earned radio plays across the globe in 2021. He went on to do two remixes, the first one featuring Stylo G followed by an All-star remix featuring UK Dancehall trailblazers Big Zeeks, Shanti Force, The Rara, Doktor & Irah. Saber has performed at MADE Festival, Brighton Harbour Festival, Glastonbury, Notting Hill Carnival with Amazon, +44, and many other venues throughout the UK. He has appeared on several BBC radio shows such as Rampage, Seani B and BBC 1Xtra. In February 2023, he attended BBC Maida Vale Session with Seani B and performed his hit single ‘Karl Kani’ with a live band for BBC dancehall weekender. 

Influenced by the likes of Super Cat and Vybz Kartel, Yung Saber’s sound can be compared to J Hus, Govana, MoStack, Not3s, Krept & Konan and Yxng Bane.

Read our chat with him below.

Looking back, what were some of your earliest entries into music appreciation? And music production? 

I’ve grown up around sound system culture – my mum’s a DJ, she used to run pirate radio stations, my uncle was a sound man (one of the founders of Coxsone Sound), and my older brother Brakeman being a well-known MC in the late 90s and early 2000s (at that time with it being hard to become a household name). This is what I was surrounded by and was my inspo very early on to become an entertainer.

Tell us about your first live performance – what was it like?

My first live performance was at Burgess Park in Peckham in 2005/2006. I was 15 and all I remember was that I was nervous but at the same time having the time of my life finally doing what I love to do. 

What is London’s Dancehall scene like? Have you found it easy to build community through it?

When I entered the London dancehall scene it was a mess – no love, no unity, no support, there were certain gatekeepers but me and a few others were able to build a community in which talented individuals are now getting the right exposure that they deserve.

If you could paint a picture of your unique sound, what would it look like?

My sound is a combination of UK rap with dancehall.

Take us through your songwriting process. Is it spontaneous, or do you have rituals? 

I can’t tell you my process but everything is spontaneous and off the top of my dome, and I’m a heavy believer in prayer and God guides me through the process.

What do you personally consider to be the highlight of your artistic career beyond your music (as an actor, A&R or model) thus far? 

Finding fresh new talent and acting, one of my goals is to do more acting and to run a successful record label for young fresh talent. 

Do you have any non-musical hobbies? 

I enjoy cooking and gaming with my kids.

As an artist, it becomes apparent that there is a huge difference between the art and the industry. Is there anything about the music scene that you would personally change?

Yes, the way the females are treated the way they are sexualised and almost feel like they need to use their body just to get their foot in the door, obviously this isn’t every female’s experience but it is the vast majority.

What is the most memorable response you have had to your music?

Managing to create momentum around the viral hit song ‘Tump and Kick’ during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

If you could go back to the beginning of your career to give your younger self one piece of advice, what would it be?

Believe in yourself, have the right people around you, and don’t trust so easily.

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