Yussef Dayes shares news single ‘The Light’ with self-directed video

Photo by Danika Magdalena
August 24 2023

PRAISE FOR Yussef Dayes

“A key figure in the wave of energy permeating UK jazz”

Clash Magazine

“Expansive and fruitful”


“No conversation about the current crop of British jazz musicians is complete without mention of Yussef Dayes.”

Crack Magazine

“Ever-evolving groove-based instrumentals”

The Line Of Best Fit


1. Black Classical Music ft. Venna & Charlie Stacey

2. Afro Cubanism

3. Raisins Under The Sun ft. Shabaka Hutchings

4. Rust ft. Tom Misch

5. Turquoise Galaxy

6. The Light ft. Bahia Dayes

7. Pon Di Plaza ft. Chronixx

8. Magnolia Symphony

9. Early Dayes

10. Chasing The Drum

11. Birds of Paradise

12. Gelato

13. Marching Band ft. Masego

14. Crystal Palace Park ft. Elijah Fox

15. Presidential ft. Jahaan Sweet

16. Jukebox

17. Woman’s Touch ft. Jamilah Barry

18. Tioga Pass ft. Rocco Palladino

19. Cowrie Charms ft. Leon Thomas & Barbara Hicks

‘The Light’ is out now, buy/stream here.

Internationally revered artist, producer, multi-instrumentalist and composer Yussef Dayes returns today with the deeply personal new single, ‘The Light’, taken from the highly anticipated, debut solo album Black Classical Music, set for release on September 8 via coveted labels Brownswood Recordings and Cashmere Thoughts. ‘The Light’ celebrates family and legacy, featuring various voice-note recordings from Yussef Dayes’ daughter, Bahia Dayes. The new track comes accompanied by a self-directed video from Dayes, containing footage from family archives, holidays and live shows. LISTEN HERE + WATCH HERE + PRE-ORDER THE LP HERE.

“‘The Light’ celebrates the birth of my daughter Bahia Dayes. Born in February 2020, just before the whirlwind of Covid, a beautiful light came into my life. 2020 turned out to be one of the most special times in my life. Becoming a father to my beautiful princess Bahia, being able to take time from touring and nurture my family at home was something I’ll cherish forever. ‘The Light’ is a Dayes lullaby song. The sweet harpsichord is a sound that Bahia was captivated by, although it was also a song she fell asleep too. An ode to Stevie Wonder’s ‘Isn’t she Lovely’ I wanted to add Bahia’s voice from footage & voice notes I’ve recorded over the last few years since her birth. Bahia introduces the song and shares her positive affirmations with her mum; something she can’t go to sleep without doing now. Thank you to Rocco Palladino on bass, Charlie Stacey on harpsichord and keys, Miles James on guitar and production, recorded by Christoph Skirl at Echo Zoo studios, Rory Cashmere on co-production & Russell Elevado on the beautiful mix. Love.” – Yussef Dayes

Black Classical Music is Dayes 19-track debut solo studio album. At every turn, Dayes distinctive drum licks and Rocco Palladino’s bass are the sturdy anchors; aided by Charlie Stacey (keys/synths), Venna (saxophone), Alexander Bourt (percussion), and a whole host of honourable features including Chronixx, Masego, Jamilah Barry, Tom Misch, Elijah Fox, Shabaka Hutchings, Miles James, Sheila Maurice Grey, Nathaniel Cross, Theon Cross and the Chineke! Orchestra, the first professional orchestra in Europe to be made up of majority Black and ethnically diverse musicians. Centred around themes of family and generational legacy, the record is a journey of healing and spirituality. Dayes’ mother, father and daughter appear on the album,  with recordings from his childhood home, a space built by his dad.

Yussef Dayes’ discography is expansive and wide-reaching; his rise can be first linked to the Afrocentric quartet, United Vibrations, alongside his two brothers – Ahmad and Kareem – and saxophonist, Wayne Francis.  This was followed by the meteorically successful, but short-lived duo Yussef Kamaal, with keyboardist Kamaal Williams. More recently, Dayes released  Live At Joshua Tree, an EP presented by Soulection, and other solo releases including the live album Welcome To The Hills and Love Is The Message, which was recorded Live at Abbey Road Studios.

His list of collaborators is ever-growing and has blossomed to include the finest talents across both music and fashion. From 2020’s album What Kinda Music, a collaboration with Tom Misch released on Blue Note Records which charted in the Top 5, to an official remix of Pa Salieu’s ‘Frontline’, on Wizkid’s Made In Lagos album, plus production for R&B royalty in Kali Uchis and Kehlani and 2022’s joint release with Soulection entitled Live At Joshua Tree. Most recently Dayes appears on the recent Sampha single ‘Spirit 2.0’. The late Louis Vuitton innovator, Virgil Abloh, hand-picked Yussef to soundtrack and curate the LV dinner show for Paris Men’s Fashion Week in January 2019, as well as having Dayes perform at the Louis Vuitton Museum in Paris and collaborating on many other projects.

Ceaselessly pushing boundaries in both recording and live settings, Dayes has announced he will be playing a sold-out show at London’s Royal Albert Hall on the 12th of October and has shared UK and US tour dates for 2023 find tickets here. Recognised as one of the most electrifying live performers of his generation, watching Dayes perform is an exhilarating combo of technical prowess, intensity and emotion – leaving audiences in no doubt as to the role of rhythm in channelling spiritual energy. Dayes will deservedly take his place among the ranks of star-studded performers that have appeared at the iconic Royal Albert Hall venue over the past century. Expect Black Classical Music to be brought to thrillingly vivid life within the storied surroundings.

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