Last week the debut EP of the singer Deslin Ami Kaba was released on VLOP – this is also the first release for the Leipzig label curated by Cyan85. Here you can find out what Deslin’s mother and Olli Schulz have to do with the EP and when we can see them live with the band in Leipzig.

Deslin Ami Kaba

When I call Deslin via FaceTime, she is sitting in the living room of her flat share in Erfurt. The original Halle resident moved there five years ago to study. Music has always had a special place in her life from an early age. Her mum is a DJ and not only introduced her to electronic music at an early age, but also gave her access to a variety of genres. As a child, she sang in musicals by the children’s and youth choir of the Halle Opera, which kept her connected to singing until she graduated from high school.

When Deslin sang to herself at work in the Erfurt summer theater in the ticket office in 2020, her boss noticed her voice. So it happened that a short time later she was introduced to a jazz band and made a name for herself as a singer in Erfurt. At first they were cover concerts with her favorite songs: “soulful, emotional, a bit jazzy and RnB-like”, she describes the first songs. Deslin then quickly noticed how comfortable she feels on stage and she tells me with a big smile:

“It’s better than anything I’ve done before. Nothing can make me feel like being on stage and singing.” – Deslin Ami Kaba

“Ok, let’s do a whole EP then”

To answer the question of how the idea for the EP came about, Deslin goes a little further: “Endless Pleasure” was produced in Cyan85’s studio in Leipzig. Cyan85 had already presented it in more detail last year. He is originally from Erfurt and became aware of Deslin through a mutual friend in Erfurt. Incidentally, this mutual friend, Max Priesnitz, was also involved in the writing process of the songs. Deslin then went to Leipzig for a first real-life meeting with Cyan85. Originally they only wanted to record one song, but quickly realized that it was flowing really well: “Then we recorded another song and then it was two and we were really cool with it. In the end we thought: ok, let’s do a whole EP,” says Deslin.

She wrote some of the lyrics herself, but also in collaboration with Yannick and Max. In the EP’s eponymous song, “Endless Pleasure,” Deslin sings about a time when she had quite a crush over the course of a summer. And the song dares to say all those things that she didn’t dare to say to the person in real life. Deslin laughs: “Love is a huge theme in my life.” The theme is of course a perennial favorite and also suits the musical genre of the EP. The discoid, RnB-like, soulful EP is reminiscent of groovy, gentle love songs from the 1980s and 1990s.

With the goal of wanting to create something nostalgic, Deslin and Yannick hit the nail on the head with this EP. Deslin describes getting lost musically in the 80’s, 90’s and 2000’s. This is the time when she finds herself the most and is much less able to identify with current music. She mentions musicians like Donna Summer, Whitney Houston, Mary J. Blige, Zhané or Beyoncé who have inspired her. Her wish is that by capturing that nostalgic vibe, she can create something timeless that will still be enjoyed decades from now. And so that the whole thing is also a long-term haptic achievement, the EP was released on vinyl after 1.5 years of cooperation with Cyan85 via the newly founded label VLOP.

VLOP and the first record

The label was founded because the EP “Endless Pleasure” was to be released on vinyl. Both Deslin and Cyan85 are both vinyl fans. Deslin also describes that her soft spot for vinyl probably stems from the fact that her mother herself only DJs with vinyl and she therefore feels a different connection to it. In addition, the enjoyment of music is different for them:

“Taking the time to listen to music at home… I find it so much more relaxing and I can get into it so much more.” – Deslin Ami Kaba

And the desire for timeless music also includes a timeless medium, adds Deslin. However, record pressing can only be realized with a label – and Cyan85 had been planning for a long time to found a new platform that is musically versatile and not always suitable for clubs. He’s currently behind the label alone as a producer, but with an “incredibly creative and magical team behind him,” he says. He is grateful to Frieder Oelze, who takes over the graphic design, Matthias Wolf and Ruth Schönherr as photographers and Yngwie from Nada ounddesign, with whom he mixed the songs of the release. With the great team, we can be excited about all the releases that await us. Certainly not every release will appear on disk, and Cyan85 doesn’t want to make any genre restrictions and “build the car while driving”.

First reactions to the debut – from friends to Olli Schulz

Deslin was pretty blown away by the amount of positive feedback on the “Endless Pleasure” EP. Not only has she been approached by friends and people she knows about her debut single, but also by random people. She was also a bit overwhelmed. In addition, it was an enormous push for the singer that her song “Endless Pleasure” ended up in the “Fidi & Bumsi” playlist of the “Fest & Flauschig” podcast with Jan Böhmermann and Olli Schulz.

Perhaps a brief explanation: In the world of songs, you can only achieve a really large reach if you end up in large playlists on Spotify, as this generates a lot of clicks and listeners. But I had also noticed before that Deslin’s first song was even announced by Olli Schulz himself in a “Fest & Flauschig” issue. That made me curious. So I ask Deslin how it all came about.

Deslin laughs heartily again before answering. Her mother enjoys listening to the podcast and then sent Olli Schulz a message with a link to Deslin’s song. And then shortly thereafter, Deslin recalls, on the Saturday or Sunday after the release of the first single, her mother called her at 8am in a state of excitement: “Deslin, oh my God!!! Olli Schulz mentioned you in his podcast!” – “I just didn’t check anything,” she continues and laughs. Looking back, she’s really happy and says it couldn’t have gone better for a newcomer like her.

What to expect

Deslin assures me that there will definitely be more songs to come – but what exactly is “in the
Loading” is, of course, she does not reveal yet. So we can remain curious. What are we in
Leipzig can definitely look forward to is that Deslin will be able to be heard with a band in the Pittlerwerke on July 1st, 2023 in Leipzig. Then there are the songs from their EP and a few of their RnB favorites. So that we don’t miss it, we’ll be happy to remind you in good time! In the meantime, we encourage you to check out their EP.

All pictures by Matthias Wolf


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