This is My YouTube with DJ Yoda: How I unearthed new collaborations

Duncan Beiny July 2019 Video

In our ‘This is My YouTube’ series, we explore how users — with different backgrounds, jobs and interests — are connecting, engaging and using content on YouTube. In this episode, Duncan Beiny, also known as DJ Yoda, explains how integrating YouTube into his daily routine has helped him discover an array of musicians for his latest album.

I am a sponge for media. Anything. No matter how strange or obscure, it’s likely I’ll want to feature it in my sets. From recording melodic doorbells to clanky lifts, I’m there ready to sample it.

In the 90s, I would find myself searching through endless amounts of records at shops around the world, carrying boxes of them from place to place. But now there’s YouTube.

Watching YouTube is a part of my daily routine

I spend the majority of my time on the road gigging around the globe. It means I have lots of time to discover new content. Those discoveries sometimes come from recommendations on social media and often the people I know, family and friends, send me great videos they think I might like. On other days, I’ll let YouTube guide me and I never know where I might end up — I find that incredibly exciting — my own adventure without boundaries. 

“I’ll let YouTube guide me and I never know where I might end up — I find that incredibly exciting — my own adventure without boundaries.”

When making music, I always begin by making beats. It’s the foundation of everything. Then, I take a step back and think about who could be cool to collaborate with on each one. When I sat back and thought about the demos that I made for the ‘Home Cooking’ album, it all seemed much more soulful and jazzy than my previous three albums.

Epic discoveries that have inspired my collaborations

So, I started asking around: Who was up and coming in those worlds? Who was smashing it in UK jazz at the moment? Within days, I was sent YouTube videos with an amazing amount of musicians.

What's interesting is how quickly I can tell whether I'd like to work with an artist. It took me under 20 seconds into Joel Culpepper’s music video ‘Woman’ to realise he was exactly the person I was looking to collaborate with. 

Luckily, when I approached him to work on the album, he knew who I was and he was up for it. I’m super proud of our track ‘London Fields’ (as featured in This is My YouTube episode) and, best of all, he's now a friend for life. 

One of the joys of making music are the people you get to work with. Great artists bring their own flavour to your work - it’s that combination that can bring a track to life. I’ve discovered and researched incredible artists like the jazz star Nubya Garcia, who in this video stunned KOKO London to silence at the Worldwide Awards 2018 with her mindblowing playing. Other artists I’ve found include Eva Lazaurus and Henry Wu, seen here on the Boiler Room channel. 

“YouTube is instrumental in helping me get my band together and I’m already excited for my next discovery.”

Even when the opportunity to work with legendary British soul singer Omar on his new album, I turned to YouTube to check out what he's been up to the last few years. It’s how I discovered his track ‘The Man’, which is a firm staple in my DJ sets at the moment.

YouTube is instrumental in helping me get my band together and I’m already excited for my next discovery.

Discover more from our ‘This is My YouTube’ series here.

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