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Spotlight Interview With Yags

The new single from Yags is an honest and edgy piece with huge ambience and a ahunting feel.

"Rain" almost gives off a theatrical feel as acoustic guitar and swelling synths flow around the piano.

Yags has a naturally soothing and soulful vocal style and listening to her sing is a freeing feeling.

Using her voice as an instrument to create melodies to float around the songs ether is part of her style on this track and it works very well as it does get you pulled into her world for a moment.

A sultry and a bit awe inspiring, the song makes you think and when its ended you kind of have to wake up from its grasp and shake it off.

"Rain" is a follow up to her previous single release called "Waking Up.649" which has more of an acoustic R&B sound to it but still holds true to that Yags vibe. Also an addicting song, both of these are impressive.

We wanted to have a talk with Yags about these tracks and more.

RAG: Okay so let’s start with “Rain”. This is a very dream-like singer songwriter track and a very passionate performance vocally. Where did this song come from?

Yags: In terms of the vocals, it was a very collaborative process. Ed had originally composed a part of the song to be a certain way, but as we kept going over and over it, we decided that I should try to improvise it... so I did! And now we use that in the song!

Ed: Exactly, I feel like that back-and-forth approach comes more naturally to us than anything else. In terms of the lyrics, both of the songs were written as sister tracks; a night-of and morning-after perspective on two people unexpectedly coming together. You may even notice that ‘Rain’ has tweeting birds in the background while ‘Waking Up.649’ has the rain.

RAG: “Waking Up.649” was also a personal feeling and almost seemed like an in room live performance. What artists really influence you musically?

Yags: It’s funny you say that, we actually recorded this song in the living room! We got the mic set up and I sat on the couch with my cup of brew on the side and sang my little heart out. There were a few influences that we were emulating in this song... those such as Billie Eilish, Arlo Parks, and Orla Gartland. With the atmosphere of the room we touched base with Jade Bird’s ‘What Am I Here For’ with that empty room, echo kind of feel. Personally, the majority of my songs I’d say are influenced by the sound of Angus and Julia Stone, like an acoustic, folky kinda sound.

Ed: Absolutely, I definitely remember wanting to channel that sort of style when composing, and as soon as we started recording I knew we’d captured something really cool. Yags’ voice is just so amazing to listen to, and I knew I wanted to share that in the best way possible.

RAG: How long have you been doing this? How did this all start for you?

Yags: I’ve been writing songs since I was 7 years old. I first performed, however, at the age of 13. My teacher was walking past the toilet and stopped when he heard me sing. He waited for me to come out to ask if it was me singing or my phone. When I said it was me, he was so adamant and determined to make me be apart of the upcoming talent show in the school. I have really bad performance anxiety and I remember my vocals messing up so much just because of how nervous I was and that gave me more anxiety for future gigs. But I kept going to them and I kept doing them and it was until I met Ed who taught me how to channel those nerves for the better and use them for my advantage, that made me feel comfortable to perform again. And here we are!

RAG: What next for you as an Artist? Anything in the works even now?

Yags: Well well well... we are currently working on an album! As soon as the lockdown is lifted and it’s safe to meet, we will carry on writing new songs and working on old ones; and eventually put it all together on a groovey doovey album and release it on Spotify!

Ed: We also have demo tracks which will be heading to Yags’ Soundcloud very soon!

RAG: Did you used to play live shows before? Do you think you’ll be planning gigs when the time comes?

Yags: I used to do live gigs now and then in local coffee shops and pubs but never paid or in a bigger venues than that really... I would absolutely LOVE to play some live music when the time comes and might even start checking now for places to do so! So excited to get up and running with live performances again!

Ed: I’m a bit more new to the music scene, but I’m definitely thinking about live performances too, perhaps we’ll even do some together when the time comes!

RAG: What does someone like you do when you’re not working on music?

Yags: I work full time at an Autism Specialist Secondary School, and that can take up a lot of my time, especially during these unprecedented times we find ourselves in now. It’s quite difficult to separate work from home and vice versa. But if I’m not at work or playing music, then you’ll find me on my laptop writing a story that my dreams have conjured up.

Ed: I also work myself, but I’ll often be either watching Netflix or writing other things. I’m getting really into jazz piano at the moment so that’s become a new hobby for me.

RAG: What kind of advice would you give other aspiring bands out there just trying to get heard?

Yags: DO NOT GIVE UP! I know how tough it is to keep going, especially when you find yourself in a rut and feel like there is no way to get yourself out of it. I think the trick is to not pressurize yourself to keep making music... like give yourself a break! You probably deserve it! But at the same time don’t allow yourself to give up... you’re just on vacation, not permanently leaving. Let it come naturally to you and you’ll find yourself again.

Ed: For me I’d probably echo what Yags is saying about not pressuring yourself, have a sit down with your instrument(s) and just learn/practice a new technique or progression, rediscover what it is that makes you happy about making music, and the rest will come in due course. And don’t be afraid to reach out to people- a fan a day is always the way!

RAG: What sort of non-musical things influence you to write?

Yags: I think Ed will agree with me here when I say that we both absolutely love spoken word! Argh it’s amazing! In a way it’s so parallel to music, with the beats and rhythm and emotion used.

Ed: Yes! I love spoken word, in many ways it has a visceral expressiveness to it that has so much potential in other types of writing. I’m also a big observer of life, Tim Minchin tells us he writes in airports a lot, I think that sounds like the perfect place to write, completely surrounded by inspiration.

RAG: Before we go, what would you like to say to fans of your music?

Yags: Please keep listening! I’m so glad you like our sound and it honestly means so much to us! Also, don’t be afraid to send us a message just to say hi or about collaborating! We’re really friendly, I promise!

Ed: And stay tuned! Like our pages if you can, any support you can give us helps us persevere and make more music, which at the end of the day is what this is all about!


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