New York City’s JD Askin, known by his stage name Yak Dave, is a composer, producer, rapper, and songwriter with a deep-rooted passion for classical music and jazz. Drawing from his diverse musical background, Yak Dave masterfully melds genres and styles, forging a distinct sound that’s unmistakably his own.
Yak Dave’s compositions span chamber and electroacoustic ensembles, demonstrating his appreciation for classical music. His 2021 solo piano EP, “Spheres n Spectrums,” highlighted his prowess as a pianist and composer. Currently, he’s crafting a piece for piano, violin, and cello, slated for a 2023 release. Beyond classical compositions, Yak Dave also excels in avant-garde and experimental hip-hop, showcasing his talents as a rapper and singer.
In his debut LP, “Fishnet Carnival,” Yak Dave describes his project as the culmination of ideas that he has been incubating for over 10 years. After attending music school in Ohio and being inspired by jazz musicians, he began composing his own classical and jazz-inspired compositions for solo piano. After returning to New York City, he started incorporating these compositions into avant-garde, experimental hip-hop beats and began experimenting with rapping and singing over them. The result is a raw, quirky, and honest project that defies genre and mood, and it’s clear that Yak Dave has put a lot of thought and care into every aspect of the project.
“Fishnet Carnival” consists of 13 tracks that showcase his eclectic musical style and unique creative vision. The album’s first single, “Let Me Go (to the Bright Side),” has already gained traction on Magz Fm’s radio station in Philadelphia/London, and is set to be played on international stations Rádio Criativa10 and Rádio Armazém. The song has also been added to several indie playlists and has received positive reviews from media outlets.
According to Yak Dave, “Let Me Go (to the Bright Side)” is a song that explores the toxicity of jealousy in relationships and the importance of appreciating the simplicity of love. The song’s jazzy syncopated piano arpeggios and quirky vocal melody serve as the backdrop for lyrics that delve into the anxieties of love, such as obsessive thinking and fear of betrayal. The song also features a rap verse that contrasts the first section, with lyrics about passionate sex and emotional connection. Yak Dave adds a trippy middle section to bridge the gap between the two sections and even includes a sample of a middle school band’s cover of a Weezer song to add some extra texture to the track.
In addition to the album single, “Fishnet Carnival” features several other intriguing tracks, including “Poor You,” “Fungi,” “JokerMeme,” “Drippin’ (Moonshine),” “Simplest Love,” and “Big Brother.” These titles alone suggest that the album is a journey into the artist’s unconventional and boundary-pushing musical style. It’s clear that Yak Dave has a unique creative vision that can’t be easily categorized into one specific genre or mood.
“Fishnet Carnival” may appeal to fans of Thundercat, Jpegmafia, Tyler the Creator, and Sen Morimoto due to its eclectic and experimental nature.