Kassa Overall is a Grammy-nominated musician, emcee, singer, producer and drummer who melds avant-garde experimentation with hip-hop production techniques to tilt the nexus of jazz and rap in unmapped directions. He previously released four critically acclaimed projects: I THINK I’M GOOD, Go Get Ice Cream and Listen to Jazz, Shades of Flu and Shades of Flu 2.

On ANIMALS, his Warp Records debut, Kassa pushes his kaleidoscopic, subversive vision further. He layers Roland 808s against avant-garde drumming in the vein of his mentors Elvin Jones and Billy Hart, the latter of whom he studied with at the Oberlin Conservatory of Music. Virtuoso musos appear alongside rap poets, including Danny Brown, Wiki, Lil B, and Shabazz Palaces. Top-flight jazz improvisation weaves in and out of orchestral string arrangements by Jherek Bischoff. The album’s diverse, all-star roster of collaborators includes several of his close friends, like vocalists Nick Hakim, Laura Mvula, Francis and the Lights, and jazz stars like Theo Croker and Vijay Iyer.

ANIMALS pushes Kassa’s message further too, the title a loaded metaphor for the paradoxes of his life as an entertainer and as a black man in America. ANIMALS is the sound of an artist aware of the cost of embodying one’s natural self in the public eye, a deep reckoning with the two-sided truth that to perform one’s freedom for an audience can mean succumbing to life inside a cage.

Booking (United States)
Kelly Deasy - kdeasy@outermostagency.com

Booking (Europe)
Naomi Palmer - naomi@earth-agency.com

Cody DeFalco - cody@terrorbird.com

All other business inquiries


Critical praise for ANIMALS

“The pieces of Overall's brilliance have been there from the beginning, but never had he combined them to more thrilling effect than on Animals”

"It’s astounding how well these equal parts all mold into a clearly crafted work that defies clear genre. Animals is doing a lot ,and it’s doing it very well.”
– Downbeat

"Kassa Overall’s music sounds free. On Animals, the drummer, producer, MC, and bandleader demonstrates the limitless potential of jazz, hip-hop, and beats, exploring and pushing new spaces for improvisation and experimentation.”
– PopMatters

“ANIMALS continues seamlessly, using a raft of guest musicians and rappers, its rhythms shuttling between drum kit and electronica…an album of real artistry.” ★★★★
— The Observer

“A multifaceted sound…The album’s vigorous jazz, rap and soul blends live instruments with electronic drum tracks.”
— The New York Times

“Kassa’s back again, leading his own band and doing what he always does — pushing musical boundaries and finding new ways to express himself through a unique blend of experimental hip-hop-infused jazz.”


“It's very rare that the jazz guys get the hip hop thing right, and Kassa Overall has done it. The Roots did it back in the day, A Tribe Called Quest did it, DOOM, Madlib, Dilla, Kassa.”

— Gilles Peterson on BBC 6Music

“A bold career highlight, that's dizzyingly inventive on the surface, with a powerful, emotional undertow.”  ★★★★

“ meticulously crafted record”

“Although attempts to fuse jazz and hip-hop date back to the ’80s, Overall’s version is uniquely personal and impassioned, locating new musical forms for the struggles that his lyrics describe.”
— Slant Magazine

“A jazz-rap zinger, full of vigour and vim and verve, the combination of pitched-up Quasimoto-style adlibs and spiralling piano is as perfect a cocktail as you’ll taste all year.”
— Loud & Quiet

Critical praise for Kassa Overall

“One of modern jazz music’s most audacious futurists”
— Pitchfork

“It's very rare that the jazz guys get the hip hop thing right, and Kassa Overall has done it. The Roots did it back in the day, A Tribe Called Quest did it, DOOM, Madlib, Dilla, Kassa.”
— Gilles Peterson (BBC 6Music)

“Kassa is a pre-eminent style bender and blender, successfully juxtaposing genres through his production expertise and use of melodic and harmonic forms that deftly integrate the new with the old.”
— Grammy-winning drummer Terri Lyne Carrington for The New York Times

“Kassa Overall is not the first musician to address the boundaries between jazz and hip-hop, but he is among the most visionary in trying to erase them” 
— AllMusic

“[Kassa’s] artistic arc is increasingly taking him into creative spaces without easy categorization.”
— Afropunk