While some may see his latest project “ANIMALS” as a result of jazz and hip-hop influencing each other, Seattle-based musician and producer Kassa Overall would argue that it is something entirely different and new. Previously a full-time drummer cutting his teeth on the jazz standards of Billy Hart and Elvin Jones while studying at Oberlin Conservatory of Music, Kassa gained a deep appreciation for the production style of hip-hop early on. Kassa continued to harness and flex his abilities, producing for indie rappers Das Racist and playing drums on “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert.” It was this melting pot of influence that allowed the avant-garde musician to take hip-hop and jazz into uncharted territories.
Much like on his two prior albums “Go Get Ice Cream and Listen to Jazz” & “I THINK I’M GOOD”, Kassa leans on the shoulders of talented instrumentalists and lyricists to help give life to each track on his Warp debut. Familiar collaborators like jazz fusion trumpeter Theo Croker and genre-bending songwriter J. Hoard are married with newer features like tenured Michigan rapper Danny Brown and American producer Francis and the Lights on cohesive boom-bap tracks like “Clock Ticking” and the charming six-minute finale “Going Up.”
Balancing cacophonous, crashing drum rhythms with silky, floating brass melodies, Kassa delivers with unique artistry that innovates on the traditional tropes of two beloved genres as much as it pays homage to them. The singer/emcee/instrumentalist is well into his worldwide tour, visiting Europe, North America & more via outer/most and Earth Music Agency. Kassa Overall has seen support on playlists like State of Jazz, Orbit, Kaleidoscope & more. Learn more about the avant-garde artist below.