Raised in Turin, Italy, rhythm was his lifeblood for Yassin Ligali, also known as Yaya, from an early age. His father was the lead vocalist and percussionist for M’Bamina, a band consisting of musicians from Benin, Zaire, Italy and Cameroon. M’Bamina released eight albums, collaborated with artists like Manu Dibango and Salif Keita, were sponsored by Paco Rabanne and played all over Africa, including a show for the presidents of Senegal and France. Their final show was with James Brown in Paris in 1985 – the year Yaya was born.
Well-versed in his father’s legacy, Yaya grew up playing drums and djembe, and at the age of 15, began performing as a percussionist in Turin clubs. Just one year later, he was already DJing, playing funk, soul, afrobeat, house and garage. Manu Dibango and Fela Kuti found a spot in his crate next to records by Masters at Work and Dimitri from Paris: contrasts of rhythm and structure that pervade his music to this very day.
From playing in Turin discos like Pier and Doctor Sax, word of the Yaya sound spread and he began playing nights at Amnesia, Lime Light and Pulp in Milan, and Tenax in Florence. Pretty soon he was headlining at clubs across Europe: from Fellini and City Hall in Barcelona to Seven in Croatia. Notably, he played at Space in Ibiza – Carl Cox’s Tuesday night party with Angels of Love. There’s something about the atmosphere of Ibiza that suits Yaya to a tee. In his words: twisting, empathetic, joyful and wild.
Since Techno first beckoned, this young lady has cultivated fluid, plastic grooves with the expertise of electronic botanist. To cop an eyeful, you have to witness her playing to a crowd, no matter where she lays her hat – which quickly appreciates how she translates all the energy a sight for sore eyes has to maintain in order to stay afloat the machismo-machines into thriving kindness.
Idriss D’s approach to music started when he was just fourteen: he got his first turntables and his friend Nadir was a huge influence artistically and helped the young talent to develop his taste and personal vision.
After moving to Italy, he quickly established himself among the biggest names in the game thanks to his mixing skills, his unique style and drive, and to his hypnotic dance vibes that led him to widespread acclaim in the country’s nightclub circuit and to play at some of the most renowned venues such as Echoes, Cocoricò and Red Zone.
Beside actively working as a dj and enjoying ongoing success and recognition, Idriss manages some of the most respected record labels in Italy: the world-famous Memento, along with best friend and musical soul brother Fabrizio Maurizi, the experimental Aloe and Db Artists Musique.
He is currently resident at Cocoricò Riccione and Amnesia Milano, which rank as some of the most popular clubs on the European scene. His impressive tour schedule has brought him to dj at Berlin’s historical Tresor, Barcelona’s Club 4, super-famous Space Ibiza and Pacha as part of the Cadenza Vagabundos concept(summer 2012). A string of gigs in some of the cutting edge underground clubs like Mad lausanne and Nordstern Basel followed shortly.
Idriss D also rose to stardom as an artist manager by founding db Artists with the main goal of booking international djs and breakng into Italys’ nightlife and party culture. Backing up new and upcoming producers and providing them with large-scale tours and studio help on the studio side also is a major strength of the organization.
Beginning its collaboration with Paris Freak’n’Chic Agency, T Agency and Orbeat Bookings, db Artists soon became exclusive partner for Clonk and Minus, and more recently has started representing Cadenza, the most acclaimed label nowadays, lead by renowned top dj Luciano.