Karriem Riggins Talks the State of His Madlib Collab, Working with Paul McCartney

Karriem Riggins Talks the State of His Madlib Collab, Working with Paul McCartney
The name Karriem Riggins may not be immediately familiar to some, but with collaborators ranging from Paul McCartney to J Dilla, there's a good chance you've heard his music. The multi-talented drummer, DJ, producer and rapper's latest album, Alone Together, is out now on Stones Throw. When Riggins swings through Toronto and Montreal on February 22 and 25, respectively, he'll be bringing a wealth of new experience with him, including playing with McCartney and Diana Krall.

Riggins — a Detroit native who made his name as a jazz drummer playing with the likes of Ray Brown and Oscar Peterson, and who has worked with the Roots, Erykah Badu and Common — still has a long-gestating project with Madlib as the Supreme Team.

"We do have some stuff in the can that needs to be released and hopefully will be released sometime soon," he tells Exclaim! "But as far as Supreme Team? Not right now. When it does happen that is going to be classic."

For now, that album, which features Riggins as an MC, remains unreleased, but both he and Madlib have been busy with numerous projects.

Riggins is currently on tour across the country with Canadian jazz artist Diana Krall, where he's keeping an open mind and absorbing new ways of playing.

"It's really cool," says Riggins. "I'm playing this music and I'm learning a lot at the same time. It's like going back to an era that I've never researched musically, so it's like a learning experience and it's fun and it's all soul in the music y'know. It's great."

He's also been working with legendary artists like McCartney, drumming on last year's Kisses on the Bottom release.

"It's more like an organic way of making music," says Riggins of the sessions with the former Beatle. "We didn't have any set arrangements and I learned from being in the studio he said it was kind of the way that he made music with the Beatles. Just go in the studio and figure it out. And make a take, a couple of takes, and keep it moving."

Don't miss Riggins' DJ sets in Toronto and Montreal, following shows with Krall. Find the details here, and watch the video for "Summer Madness" below.