- Words Matilda Carnall
- Photography Adam Fussell
To celebrate their latest EP, 'DÓNDE ESTÁ', we caught up with YOURS collective members Maverick Sabre and Jake Hall to revisit their journey so far.
YOURS is the shiny new project from esteemed Irish vocalist Maverick Sabre, revered producer NewMachine, founder of Prévu Jake Hall, and his DJ & poet brother Sonny Hall. Redefining what it means to be a dance act in 2023, the collective, who formed from a chance collaboration between Maverick and Jake, come together over their shared passion for music, fashion, and eagerness to share their expertise. What results is a rich mix of influences and backgrounds that sets YOURS’ musical output apart from the rest.
Today, they’re signed to Defected Records, on which they released their track, “DÓNDE ESTÁ” back in June. They return now with the full homonymous EP, which pulls together genres from classic house to funk, disco, club, R&B and everything in between. Having built up individual followings and distinguished themselves as creators, the collaboration between this unlikely four-piece gives them an element of freshness on the music scene. As Maverick explains, “Believing in the madness in our heads that ends up in the songs we write is something we hold dear, so we’re glad to be able to let the world finally hear it.” From kicking off with a never-before-heard VIP mix of their debut Defected tune, to closing out with track “IN THE MORNING” – a dancefloor-infused offering with an indulgent bassline and mesmerising synths, there’s not a dull note on ‘DÓNDE ESTÁ’.
To celebrate their release just last week, we caught up with two YOURS members, Maverick and James, to discuss their journey as a collective, the records they grew up on, and the various sounds that make up their new project.
To kick off, could you each introduce yourselves – who are you, what do you do and how long have you been making music?
Jake: I’m Jake, I’m a creative who likes to break boundaries and tear up the rule book. I’ll have my way of doing things, and sometimes that’s the opposite of what people expect. I chase dreams but make them happen with hard work.
Maverick: Maverick Sabre. Singer, songwriter, producer. I’ve been making music for nearly 20 years.
When did you decide to form a collective and release music together?
Maverick: It started as a conversation between me and Jake as an idea birthed from rejecting boundaries put on artists. Then we all connected properly. New Machine brought in some amazing instrumentals and we made an album in a week. The only intention initially was to create for fun, which is probably why the album was created so quickly. Then that led to Defected hearing and that’s what quickly started the rest.
Jake: I always wanted to get involved in the music industry, music has always been something freeing for me during challenging times, in fact that’s how I met Maverick last year. We were on a panel for CALM and PETA about mental health, and got chatting afterwards. We decided to do a clothing range together with one of my old brands where all the money would go to a mental health charity. We got deeper in our conversations around music and life generally, and what music has done for me personally. I’d always loved Mav’s voice and started to play him the music I liked, a lot of it inspired by growing up in Spain and many years of going to Ibiza, with the idea of having his voice over.
We sat in my kitchen and came up with the YOURS concept, we wanted it to be music with meaning and something everyone can be part of. It’s about not being put in a box, being creative doesn’t limit you to one area, be it music, fashion… that’s what I want to show people with this project.
Why did it feel like the right time and the right fit?
Maverick: Because we all purely just wanted to create something for the love of just making art. Not overthinking, not trying to make anything specific. Just songs with love and fun and feeling at the core. When the intention is pure, it is always the right time.
Jake: It was the right time because it was one of those things where everything just clicked, we met Adam [New Machine] with Mav, we just vibed and then my brother [Sonny Hall] came in with his DJ background and musical knowledge. We went to the countryside to write more music and filmed the whole process.
What qualities, skills and musical tastes do you each bring to the collective?
Maverick: We all bring a different edge to what we create. The melting pot of our style and influences comes to the forefront in the tunes. From New Machine’s depth as a cross-genre producer, to the Hall brothers’ Spanish upbringing to my own personal musical journey. That blends together for something quite special.
What inspired the name YOURS?
Maverick: ‘What’s mine is YOURS, what’s YOURS is mine’ – We are a collective. Anyone can be part of this journey. We want to create with everyone, our friends, our fans and specifically people who love music but feel they have never had the chance to express it.
What have you learned from each other making this project?
Jake: Even though Sonny and I are not from a musical background, Maverick and Adam believed in us and we worked collaboratively on everything. It was fun getting involved in the singing and producing with the boys, giving artists I think of as geniuses my feedack and all taking to each other from a different creative standpoint.
Maverick: Everyone’s role is important in creating a project. Focus on peoples’ strengths, and let go when you need to.
The EP has a broad range in sound, especially with the inclusion of remixes. Was this intentional and something that comes naturally when putting out music as a collective?
Maverick: It just comes out naturally. Me and New Machine have been making all styles of music for years. So this will always come out when we create.
What genres did you mainly draw from?
Maverick: Soul, house, funky house, disco, funk… everything and much more. Whatever filled our hearts and made us connected.
Jake: Me and Sonny grew up on house music, I’ve loved Defected Records since day one. I knew someone who works [George Pritchard, Director of Events] there, I played tracks to them randomly in a kitchen one night, and they then asked for a meeting the next day.
From the more atmospheric tracks to the dancefloor-focussed, where do you imagine people listening to this project?
Maverick: This is a project you can start your day with and run through the songs until early the next morning. From morning risers, to 3am bangers, to relaxing on the way home when the sun is coming back. A full day album. AM – PM.
How did you find the reception to your debut release from it?
Maverick: Beautiful, we are growing the family. Our aim for whoever listens to our music / comes to our shows is to create a community. And that’s what it really feels like is sparking off.
The video for “DÓNDE ESTÁ” dropped last month too – where did you pull visual references from for this track, and the project as a whole?
Jake: We used my dad in the “DÓNDE ESTÁ” video, I knew he can move and has a certain look where it felt very authentic and real. But to be honest, I didn’t know he could move like that!
Maverick: Lock Stock and Fear & Loathing!
Are the visuals as important to you as the lyrics and sound?
Jake: We’re very particular about the visuals and it feeling organic and real, and coming from a fashion and visual background I can bring that to the table. We have a wider vision to create a community, by getting lots more collaborators and our fans themselves involved with YOURS. I did that a lot with my fashion brands, engaging with customers was important to me as they are the reason you can create, so I believe they should be part of the process.
Maverick: For me, visuals are always deeply important. They can deepen how someone connects with the music.
What track are you most proud of on the project and why?
Maverick: Probably “Calling” as it was the first song we created with all four of us in the room.
Jake: My favourite is not actually out yet but it will be soon called “80’s” – it has that old-school East End feel with a slash of Spanish influences, it feels like the records I listened to back in the day with my dad and his friends.
Looking past this EP, what are your wider aims for YOURS?
Maverick: More music, more parties, more festivals. More love.
If you could recruit any member to execute that vision, who would you choose?
Maverick: Nile Rodgers. Kaytranada.