How Yaya Turned a Backstage Meeting with Loco Dice into a Career

May 16, 2023

Lauryn Njeri

2 min read

Italian DJ Yassin Ligali Ali, more commonly known as Yaya, has gained significant praise for his richly textured music. Spanning tech house, deep tech, minimal, and Afro house Yaya imbues every beat with the spirit of his rich cultural heritage. The Italian-born artist was exposed to a vibrant tapestry of sounds by his African father, the lead singer of the afro funk group M'Bamina.

Yaya started producing and experimenting with electronic music as a teenager after discovering clubbing at 12. He eventually moved to Ibiza at 18, where he gained recognition as a DJ and producer.

Yearning for an opportunity to take his talent to the next level, Yaya deeply immersed himself in the electronic Meca, where he learned about a wide range of music thanks to a record store close to his home and the island's abundance of megaclubs. Yaya experienced a significant turning point in his career when he met renowned DJ, producer, and Desolat label head Loco Dice who immediately recognized the raw talent and potential in Yaya's music.

"My breakthrough was the record 'Vecute' in 2009. That was my first release on a bigger label. During that time period I was in Ibiza, I had a few CDs with my name and number on it, I went to Amnesia to see Loco Dice and Marco Carola," Yaya told Gray Area in a recent Artist Spotlight. "I gave Dice my music and he called me a few weeks later asking if he could release the tracks on his label. We went back and forth a bit and then eventually met up in person and began to work together. This was in 2008 and the record came out in 2009."

This encounter opened doors and set Yaya on an upward trajectory toward success. With the support and mentorship of Loco Dice, Yaya flourished. Not only did he return to Ibiza for the next 14 seasons, he also released his debut EP, Vecute, which introduced his distinctive style to the world and garnered critical acclaim. Yaya continues to make waves in the dance music scene, captivating listeners with his infectious beats and innovative productions. That meeting with Loco Dice served as a catalyst, propelling Yaya's career and paving the way for his continued growth and success.

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