Yang-Baby Discusses Collab With Krema & The Personal Narrative Driving “Mambo”

Yang-Baby Discusses Collab With Krema & The Personal Narrative Driving “Mambo”

5 mins read

Renowned on the global rap scene, Yang-Baby Boloman Derkaiser has been creating a buzz with a series of hit releases including “Nono,” “Mercedes Benz,” and “Mami Dance.” In an exclusive interview, we had the opportunity to delve into his latest single “Mambo.” The hip-hop artist takes us through the emotional process that led to the song’s creations, sharing how it all began with the intention to pay tribute to his father, a grassroots musician who holds a special place in his heart.

The dream of a father-son musical collaboration brought about the birth of “Mambo,” a composition that skillfully merges Caribbean and Hip-Hop influences. The song weaves a captivating story, wherein a cabaret singer, representing Yang-Baby‘s mother, becomes enamored with a charismatic gentleman, symbolizing his father. This artistic fusion not only harmonizes genres but also encapsulates the very spirit of their individual personas.

Yang-Baby also emphasizes his self-taught background and determination to overcome challenges. The collaboration with Krema, a fellow artist with similar values, adds depth to the song. As he prepares for an international tour, Derkaiser envisions the live rendition of “Mambo” resonating with audiences and evoking the enchanting narrative behind the music.

Read the complete interview below.

Could you share with us the journey of how “Mambo” came to be, from the initial inspiration to the final collaboration with Krema? 

In fact, I wanted to make a song in memory of my father, who passed away in 2019, just as I was starting my musical career, and one of my greatest musical achievements would have been to make a song with my father and perform it at the world’s biggest musical ceremony. Given that my father was a grassroots artist who played guitar and sang, I wanted to pay tribute to him by creating this song. 

As for the inspiration, I can say that it didn’t come from anywhere, because when I was going through my list of unfinished instruments, I couldn’t find one that matched my idea, so I got in touch with a beat maker by the name of DEM, originally from Guadeloupe. After composing the instrumental, I contacted Krema and explained my vision. Convinced, she asked me to give her a few days to see how she should interpret the song. 

Unfortunately, after three days, she called me back to say she wasn’t happy with the inspiration she’d had for the chorus and suggested I write the chorus, which I did, then sent her the demo, which she liked straight away. This time, the recording, mixing and mastering were carried out by renowned producer Matthew Tasa, winner of several Gold and Platinum discs, who has co-written songs for renowned artists such as Xavier Naidoo and DJ Antoine.

Combining Caribbean sounds with modern Hip-Hop elements, both in your previous and current songs, highlights your unique musical direction. What drew you to these rhythms and motivated you to explore this particular blend for your tracks?

Actually, when I wrote “Mambo” I had a clear idea of what I wanted, which is not my habit; more often than not, I let my mood guide me, which results in a great deal of musical variety. But in this case, I was able to visualize the song in my mind, and the idea was to highlight the moment when the famous cabaret singer, who represents my mother and is interpreted by Krema, suddenly falls in love with this charming man (Mambo, representing my father), who steals her attention as soon as he enters the scene.

How did the emotional tie to your late father and the mysterious woman in his life shape the creation of “Mambo”? 

Well, very simply, because this mysterious woman is my mother, and since I grew up with my father, I wanted to represent this scene through the perception I had of my two parents when I was growing up. My father was a much-appreciated man whose charm made him popular amongst women, while my mother was a woman of character and style who made men dream, so even though she wasn’t a singer, I imagined their meeting on an artistic stage. You know, children have an almost perfect imagination of their parents, and that’s what I brought out.

“Mambo” not only demonstrates your musicality but also conveys a message of empowerment. Can you provide more insight into the precise themes you aimed to express with this track?

Actually, whatever the context in which I write a song, I never forget to mix fantasy and reality, because it’s important for me to remember where I come from and to respond indirectly or directly to those who laughed at me when I decided to take my dream by the hand, and that’s why I don’t fail to say out loud what I think down low.  Because this song is the fruit of a self-taught street kid who never took music lessons, who didn’t speak a word of English at first, and who can’t even read a musical note, but whose will and determination have enabled him to overcome almost impossible challenges. The truth is, I don’t like talking about myself, but as an African proverb says, if you don’t talk, who will?

How does this single symbolize your personal growth and artistic maturation? 

This song was a new challenge for me, first for its personal meaning, because I wrote it for my late father, and then I had to work with a renowned producer in Germany, not to mention Krema, who is simply phantastic. This experience enabled me to push back the boundaries of my art and acquire not only maturity but also musical knowledge, because this time I was playing on a ground rich in color and culture, from Caribbean sounds to Krema’s warm, tender voice, As a proverb says, only the masters learn, and it’s by living these kinds of moments that we grow, as we exchange various techniques amongst other artists.

The synergy between you and Krema adds a captivating dimension to the song. Can you tell us about the process that led to this collaboration?

Krema and I are two artists with an almost similar universe, when it comes to spirituality and creativity, we like to dabble in everything, for a long time we wanted to do a project together, but as I was busy with my own projects, I knew that she would only agree to collaborate if she felt connected to the project, because being a violinist and guitarist at heart, she has a very precise artistic line and position regarding the art she would like to work in, that’s why we had a meeting before the collaboration, where I shared my idea and the artistic direction of the project. I think she was more convinced by the story and the personal value of this song, as it’s a tribute to my father.

As you prepare for your upcoming international tour, spanning across several European countries, how do you envision the live rendition of “Mambo” resonating with audiences and elevating the overall musical experience?

“Mambo” is a meaningful and imaginative song, and from what we’ve seen it’s very catchy. I wouldn’t be surprised to see fans react positively to the song when we play it live, but we’re going to make sure that the magic is there, so that the audience can travel through the melodies of this song. Why not reproduce the cabaret scene I mentioned earlier in the interview… supported by a choreography drawn from this story?

Listen to “Mambo” here: