Brighton-based band YONAKA made a huge splash into the industry in 2016 with their heavy riffs and electrifying live shows. Now they are back with their powerful mixtape showcasing their new confidence, self-assuredness, and a whole new power. We spoke to frontwoman Theresa Jarvis about the making of the new album, finding strength from music, and what’s next for the band.
Hey Theresa, I’m so excited I get to talk to you! How does it feel to be releasing new music?
Hey good to speak with you too! It honestly feels so good; we’ve been sitting on these songs for a little bit and are just so happy to be sharing them with everyone, and just feel so good about them and proud.
Do you feel that there has been a shift in the way you made this album in comparison to the first?
100% with the first album everything we wrote went on it, there was no time to write lots of songs and pick our favourites which is what we have done with this mixtape. We wrote A LOT of songs and picked the ones that felt the best and it was just lovely to have that time with it. It’s different musically, lyrically it feels a lot more exciting and has more of an empowering vibe.
As a listener, there definitely feels like a whole new energy in your latest releases- especially in your voice! Do you think there’s a particular reason for that?
I think it’s just a matter of growth, we feel more confident and the music knows what it is. It’s aggressive and powerful and it knows it. I think in the last album I’m very vulnerable and you can hear that in my lyrics and that would have had an effect on my voice.
You guys are a band that really dominated the live scene. How was it adjusting to not playing live and do you think it changed your writing process?
Not playing live sucks! I don’t think it changed the writing process apart from the fact we were doing a lot more of it. We just played the first show a few weeks ago and it just felt so comfortable being on stage again. The energy of the people is EVERYTHING!
A lot of artists talk about how there’s real pressure in making a second album. Did you feel that at all?
I think now all I think about it is, it feels good. We’ve made something special and it’s a joy, but of course, it’s a lot more challenging when you are making it and because we produce it ourselves. It gets intense but you know we absolutely love making music – it’s just one of those magical things and will continue to love it.
Your track “Seize The Power” is a favourite of mine. Can you tell us a little more about the track?
I love this track and it was the start of the direction of what the mixtape was. It’s theatrical and 2 minutes of crazy. I remember feeling really shitty for a while just before writing that track, and I walked into the studio and Alex played like 10 seconds of the intro and went to turn it off, and I was like, “Woah put that back on”, and that was it. It pulled me out of it; I felt like myself, I felt good, and the melody and lyrics were just flying out.
Do you have a favourite new track that you’re excited for the fans to hear?
Aghh it changes all the time erm… It’s Greedy right now.
You produce your own tracks as a band, can you tell us more about that process?
Yeah, we’ve been doing it for a long time now and we are just getting better at it. We are very hands-on and really won’t stop till we love it. Our demos are completely formed and could be released as they are. We like messing with sounds and the production has become such a big part of what we do. Alex is in the hot seat when it comes to production and he loves it and is constantly working/researching how to achieve new sounds.
Will there be live shows for you soon?
YES! We have a tour we will be announcing soon supporting a band we all absolutely love and we also have Reading and Leeds festival, 110 above fest, and a few more this year.
What’s next for Yonaka?
So we have the mixtape dropping this Thursday, we are already working on new music and have been for a while so … more music, another video, and live shows.
Thank you so much for talking to us!
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