Yianna

Yianna

Singer/songwriter Yianna unveils her new single “Heavy Waters”.

The stunning alt-r&b single is about about being in the thick of a bad relationship and not knowing if and how you'll get out of it. 

“I was in some super bad working relationship that I knew I needed to get out of. I was afraid because it’s like damn, can I even get out of this?” says Yianna.

Offering powerful, soulful and distinctive vocals, the Brooklyn-based artist is creating her own musical signature by combining influences from alt-rock, pop, R&B and soul.

“Heavy Waters” is the follow up of her debut single “Ordinary Love” released last year.

“Heavy Waters” is now available worldwide.

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Introduce yourself - where are you from?

I’m from the greatest place on earth - New Jersey! But now I live in Bushwick, Brooklyn.

 

What's your story?

I feel like I have 10 stories in one, but to keep it simple...

I originally wanted to be a cop, dropped out of college one day to pursue music, didn’t know anything about the music industry. I would just gig everywhere I could. Train stations, cafes, whoever would let me sing I was there. I learned a lot about myself during that time.

 

Do you remember your early musical memories?

Me and my best friend Laina used to sing karaoke together and make singing videos and put them on YouTube. If anyone ever found those I would cry a lot. When I was in middle school I got the solo for choir and I completely choked and decided at that moment that I should probably never sing again.

 

When did you start singing?

I sang a little growing up, but I didn’t actually figure out how to sing until I was like 18 - so a few years ago.

 

Growing up, what were your favorite records to sing along to?

My go to was “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough”. I also used to sing all the songs on Adele’s 21 because I was very sad over a boy. What an awful disaster...

 

When did you decide to become an artist and release your original music?

I started putting out a bunch of demos once I dropped out of school. It took me a while to figure out how I wanted to sound and what I wanted to say. I think that’s the hardest part of being an artist - finding your identity.

 

"Ordinary Love" was your debut. How was it to release your first single ever?

It felt good! I’d been making music for a while so it felt good to finally have something out and keep it out.

 

How did people respond to this first single?

I think people liked it! I didn’t know what to expect with my first song as Yianna. Seeing a lot of people sharing it online or adding it to their playlists definitely showed that they were into it. We ended up getting this amazing producer Dillistone to do a remix of the track as well, so that was a fun take on the record.

 

"Heavy Waters" is your new single. What's the story behind this song?

Basically, I was in some super bad working relationship that I knew I needed to get out of. I was afraid because it’s like damn, can I even get out of this? Working relationships are different than personal ones. To come and go isn't always so easy. But I knew in the end what was best for me.

 

When did you start working on this song? Who did you work with?

I actually started this song like a year and a half ago. My friend Sho and I wrote the demo, then I brought it to my friend Nitepunk who re-produced it. Once I decided to release the song we brought it to Aire Atlantica to help get the final song to where it is.

 

Could you describe us the recording process?

The recording process is different every time. With this one was more difficult than usual. This song had like 4 different versions. But I’m glad we sat with it for a minute because it gave us time to get a new perspective on the record.

 What is your goal for this new single?

I just really want people to feel some type of way when they listen to it. That’s always the goal with a song - if people feel something that means you did well.

 

What message do you want to convey through this song?

It’s ok to let go of things even if you’re scared. Taking risks is important. Don’t stay in a relationship because you think you need someone. You don’t need anyone but yourself.

 

Are you currently working on an EP? What can you tell us about it?

It’s really different from this track. It’s super unfiltered and off the wall. I got my heart broken pretty bad and then got friend zoned back to back so I was wildin in my music and in real life. It’s about finding your femininity when you’ve always been labeled as “one of the boys” and about claiming my sexuality. I’m very excited for people to hear it. I wish 16 year old me could hear the songs.

 

How would you define Yianna, the artist?

Yianna is my middle name. Growing up, kids used to make fun of me for it because it was different. I learned how to embrace what’s different about me and create a version of myself that’s unapologetic and doesn’t give a fuck.

What do you like the most about creating music?

Getting in the studio with my friends and being able to get things off my chest. Whenever I sit down to write something, it becomes really therapeutic to just get everything out there on the page. I think it’s super important to just be in the moment and not think about “trends” or what’s cool/whats in and just do what feels right when you’re in that moment in the studio.

Photo credit: Peter Beals

Photo credit: Peter Beals

Where do you feel the most yourself?

When I’m riding my bike or recording music.

 

How do you want to be remembered for?

For being kind.

 

In your opinion, what would make the world a better place?

More kindness and understanding, less ego. Sometimes people lose sight of what is actually important in life and therefore our compassion for others is limited.

 

What biggest life lessons have you learned so far?

Don’t take yourself so seriously. Nothing is permanent (besides my tattoos). The fewer people you rely on, the better. If you want it, find a way to get it.

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Carlos Vara

Carlos Vara