Written by Sophie Wyatt
South London-based Yiigaa is bringing her unique spin on R&B to the UK music scene. Growing up in Brixton, Yiga (which translates to ‘good luck’) has always been surrounded by music and culture. After the release of her newest EP ‘Inner Dawn‘ at the end of November, Yiigaa’s fanbase is only continuing to grow. Her music is sure to bring you happiness that will transport you back to happy, summery times. We caught up with the emerging musician about where her love for music stemmed from, her musical style and the future of her unique sound.
With music filled with lyrics and beats that are certain to make you feel nostalgic for summer, it’s no surprise that some of Yiigaa’s first prominent memories of music are in the sun with her family.
‘Oh my first memory of music was walking through my kitchen, my dad fixing drums in my garden, my mum cooking and listening to reggae with the sun pouring through the windows. I think those days made me love sunshine and music!‘
Yiigaa explained to us that one of the main contributing factors to her musical influences is her home town. Full of different people and cultures, London has influenced an uncountable number of people in an uncountable number of different ways. Yiigaa explained that where she has been brought up, and all it’s different aspects may be the reason for her love of mixing genres in her music.
‘Oh 100% , London and especially south London, is a melting pot of so many different people. I feel so blessed to be from here. It has made me very self aware of identity and how important it is to be proud of where you come from. In terms of influence, the world music from my parents fused with R&B, dancehall and electronic sounds that surrounded me in coming from London – it’s the reason why genre blending for me is such a beautiful thing to try to perfect.’
Although Yiigaa’s music has a running theme of happiness, it’s quite hard to pinpoint her sound to one genre. Although her lyrics tell stories of happiness as well as sadness, Yiigaa’s music puts a bright spin on any emotion she digresses. Instead of asking her to pinpoint her joyful music to just one genre, we asked her to try and sum up what her music means to her in one sentence.
‘It’s made to make people feel exported to a place of happiness. I just want people to have fun and dance but also be reflective of themselves and their power. Looking back at negative situations or things like heartbreak as a learning experience and a chance to come back better!‘
Yiigaa explained that her music does not come from a specific writing process, but rather more organically. Like some other artists, Yiigaa finds tranquility in creating poetry, which then slowly develops into her upbeat tracks.
‘My song writing process depends. I prefer to write in the studio, but I have three books full of poetry! I often write the chorus on a piano and show the chords to the producer. Writing on the piano creates catchiness I feel.’
Adding to her list of already upbeat tracks, Yiigaa’s already undeniably catchy song ‘Closer‘ was remixed by award-winning DJ and multi-platinum producer Conducta. She told us how she felt when this remix was released; ‘He’s honestly such an amazing and inspirational artist and person. I’d work with him 100 times!‘ Conducta, much like Yiigaa, produces music that instantly gets your toes tapping and quickly invites you to get up and dance. So it’s comes as no surprise that Yiigaa’s own musical library is filled with artists that inspire the same emotions as her own. Revealing her favourite artists at the moment only highlighted her bright and happy personality more than was already obvious from her own tunes.
The future is incredibly tough to predict right now for anyone, and especially for people in creative careers. The music industry is starting to find it’s feet in this ‘new normal’, but sadly live gigs as we knew them are sadly on hold. However, following the release of her EP on November 27th, Yiigaa is continuing to plan for the future of her music.
‘It took me a while to get to where I am in terms of knowing what I want to make and how to articulate that. It took months of creating sounds and working and reworking until they make sense and sound cohesive as I was combining so much. Now I know what I want to make, it’s go time. This EP is just the beginning!‘