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YDEA

RGM INTRODUCING – WE INTERVIEW LONDON ARTIST YDEA

Hiya YDEA thanks for joining us in the virtual RGM lounge today, grab a brew and take a seat.

Thank you for having me RGM – it’s a pleasure virtually meeting you! 

What made you decide that music is a thing for you?

Oh, it is such a cliche isn’t it, but I was known as the little singing girl in the neighborhood where my mum lived after my parents split up when I was 2 y.o, and singing has just always been such an integrated part of my life and who I am. So I am not sure if there was ever a specific point where I went ‘Right, I want to do music’ It was just always something I wanted and needed to do and have in my life.  

Introduce us to you and your musical history.

I am originally from Denmark but moved to London back in 2014 to study for my degree in creative musicianship (think a mixture between songwriting, performance, and artist development). I have always studied music in one capacity or another – I played the recorder as a kid – like everyone else -, then moved on to the saxophone until I was old enough to get vocal lessons which was what I really wanted to do.

My original plan was to move to Copenhagen to study at the royal academy, but I always felt like there was something more and I wanted to do something different than just move to Copenhagen. So London happened.

After my degree, I released a couple of tracks and played a couple of festivals in Denmark and gigs around London, but then post-study life started to settle in and I was struggling quite a bit with being creative and  then the pandemic happened which obviously put a hold on all live music.

After the third lockdown I decided it was time to get back into music again so I applied to study at Tileyard Education in London for their Commercial Songwriting MA and luckily I got in, met loads of talented producers, songwriters and friends and this has really helped me to get back into playing gigs and now releasing music once again. 

Name me your 3 favorite Albums.

Oh, that’s a hard one. I’ve got such a broad taste in music, but I guess some of the defining albums for me have been For Emma Forever Ago by Bon Iver, Telluric by Matt Corby and Cohere by Alex Vargas. 

What was the first song you heard that steered you into a music path?

Once again I am not quite sure as I have always wanted to do music. I was a huge AQUA and Barbie Girl fan when I was a kid though, and I actually once performed it (with a very broken English/Danish replaced/gibberish lyrics) on a skiing holiday when I was 5 years old. Perhaps my first public performance? 

The music industry is the hardest industry in the world to progress in, How do you feel you are doing?

I would say there’s space for improvement and experimenting. My dream has never been to be a huge pop star. I hope I am someone who can touch people with my music and make a living off it going forward – maybe alongside my yoga journey. My dream is to be able to record and perform live, having people that genuinely want to listen, stream, buy and come to my concerts. If I can connect with someone within the audience or touch someone with my songs then that makes me feel like what I am doing gives me purpose. 

I’m seeing a lot of debate about women not feeling safe at music gigs, any thoughts on what we need to do to help?

I luckily have never experienced anything at one of my own gigs, but have a fair share of experiences outside of the gig scene, sadly. I would say, being mindful of whether you’re stepping into someone else’s space, take a no as a no and a maybe as a no because it most likely is a no. Step in if you see someone who looks like they feel uncomfortable – basically be an ally. 

As you develop as an artist and develop using socials what ways do you get new ears on your music? Any tips?

I think keeping eyes and ears on what the tendencies are on TikTok and Instagram will point you towards what may help you reach new people. Seeing a lot of people acting out their song with an unplugged mic – which I am still to do so I haven’t actually tested it yet I am afraid, haha. 

Tell us Two truths and a lie about you.

I got stung by a scorpion in Mexico. 

I grilled marshmallows over a volcano in Guatemala. 

I once performed with a big band in Disney Land, Paris. 

What’s your thought on Spotify’s monopoly on the music industry?

It is difficult because it is great that we have access to all this wonderful music on one platform but so wrong that artists are being paid close to nothing for all the work they do. I don’t know what the solution is though – especially for up and coming artists that don’t have the same team behind them as bigger artists. 

Do you sign up for any conspiracy theories?

Nope, not really. I am always interested to hear from people that do though, but I don’t really get into a rabbit hole on Youtube as some do, haha. 

Did you buy anything you don’t need during the pandemic?

Mm, I don’t really buy many things spontaneously in general so no I don’t think I did actually. I guess that’s a super boring answer, sorry haha. 

What was the worst experience on stage?
I think anyone that has been doing gigs regularly has experienced one of those gigs set in a bar where everyone talks and doesn’t listen. Those gigs are quite challenging and thankfully far in between. Luckily I haven’t experienced something too terrible (knock on wood), just the occasional bad sound. 

Tell us something about you that you think people would be surprised about.

I trained as a yoga teacher back in Autumn in Bali, Indonesia after wanting to do it for years. Besides that I think it comes as a surprise to some that I used to be quite the adrenalin pursuer – I’ve done paragliding in Austria, bungee jump (111 meters at Victoria falls) and skydived in Mexico. 

What makes you stand out as a artist?

I think my music and stage presence connects really well with an audience. I think I have the ability to convey universal themes – love, relationships, and mental health in a way that speaks to others and makes them feel heard, understood, and seen. 

I hear you have new music, what can you tell us about it.

Yes, I just released Forest Fire which I wrote in 2020 during the first Lockdown in the UK. But it is scary how much this song actually relates to my current situation. It is at its core about going through difficult and challenging things and making it out on the other side as a new person. It is renewal and rebirth after death (death of the person you used to be) and through the pain, you experience stepping into your power. I have never felt more aligned with who I really am and aware of what I will or won’t tolerate in my life and that is such a powerful feeling. I hope this song will encourage others to step into their power too – and be bold and loving. 

Talk me through the thought process of the new tune.

As mentioned I wrote Forest Fire in 2020 and it just kinda came out. I don’t remember having much trouble writing the lyrics or the melodies, it just sort of came to me. I remember having; part broken relationships, the music industry and my own self development in mind when writing it. It started out acoustic, just me and my keyboard and it has been through so many shapes and forms since then – just ask my producer James Sayer.

The choir that you hear in the end was never part of the original draft, however when we started working on it I was listening a lot to Jake Wesley Rogers who uses choirs quite a lot in his music and I got so inspired and I knew it would suit well with the feel of the song. It is quite simple but I love it. 

What was the recording process like?

The recording process was a lot of fun. It started out as a spontaneous project for one of my MA exams in our second term, but we both (James and I) really liked how the song was progressing and how the song made us feel so we decided to work towards releasing it.

I think it is such a nice song to relaunch my artist project with. It has taken almost 1,5 years to get here but it has been worth the wait. 

What was the biggest learning curve in writing the new tune?

My time management and perfectionism – it’s something that seeps into every aspect of my life and something I am working on. 

Would you change anything now it’s finished?
No, not really, maybe I could have been a bit better around the time management as mentioned but I am genuinely so happy and proud of the tune itself.

Is there anything else you would like to share with the world?
I am releasing a new single at the end of August/beginning of September and if you have recently gone through a breakup or currently are then this song is for you. It is called Lovers Game and I am super psyched to be releasing it! Otherwise I hope you will give Forest Fire a listen, and maybe I will see you at one of my gigs in and around London / Copenhagen. 

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