‘I wanted to send a message out to let people know they are not alone’ – An Interview with YONAKA

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After a whirlwind summer of festivals and the release of their debut album, Don’t Wait Til’ Tomorrow,  YONAKA have proved to the rock scene just why they are a band to look out for. They are currently embarking on a tour across the UK and The Edge had a quick chat with them to know what to expect.

What genre of music do you consider your work to be?
It’s post genre, I think. It’s a mash up of rock, pop melodies, electronics, hip hop influences and just some hard-hitting lyrics.

Who are your major influences?
Influences range from Amy Winehouse, Lady Gaga, Jeff Buckley, Gwen Stefani, Kanye West, Twenty one Pilots, Mars Volta, Queens of the Stone Age, Frank Zappa, the list could go on for a while.

When did you form YONAKA? What inspired you to make music together?
We formed Yonaka in October 2014 and then had our first gig in December 2014. We had been friends for around 4 years before this, we all met in Brighton at uni and didn’t form the band until we had all left uni. Everyone had the same vision and felt like they were part of something special that created a feeling that had never been felt before and was felt nowhere else. It was a family.

How has your music evolved since you first began playing music together?
It’s always evolving we are always trying to keep moving with sound and vision of what things should look like, sound feel like etc. We have got a lot better at song writing and producing we have definitely come away from when we began, but theres also still a long way to go, I hope we keep growing and evolving.

Tell us the story behind your debut album Don’t Wait ’til Tomorrow?
So, I struggle a lot with mental health and so many people around me that I know, and love go through the same thing and this struggle was at the front of my mind whilst writing the album and I wanted to get it out. It’s something that heavily effects so many people and is dangerous. So, I wanted to send a message out to let people know they are not alone and reach out to someone and speak to them.

What inspired you to remaster ‘Ignorance’, now ‘Awake’?
So, ‘Ignorance’ was I think the 4th song we ever wrote together as a band and we recorded it and put it out. It was a song we still loved, and we wanted to put an original part of the band forming etc on to the album. So, we gave it a revamp re-recorded it and upped the production and resurrected it.

What is it like having a female lead in the indie scene?
Powerful.

Who writes your songs?
Us

What are the main themes or topics for most of your songs? Do you think these topics will change over time?
So, lately I get super inspired by movies so ‘Death By Love’ is based on the movie ‘Monster’ and it’s about serial killers falling in love and just the extent love brings them too. Write a lot about mental health, love, dreams, being a boss and owning your shit! I just write about what is on my mind at the time.

What is your favourite song to perform?
My favourite song, and I think I can speak on behalf of everyone, is ‘PUNCHBAG’.

What’s the craziest thing that’s happened on tour?
Lol, everyone asks this question and I never have a good answer for it.

What is your favourite venue to perform?
Favourite venue so far has been Heaven.

Any artist/bands you would like to collaborate with someday?
So many! Erm… Travis Scott, Marylyn Manson, Twenty one pilots, Halsey, Post Malone, The 1975 etc.

Check out YONAKA on their upcoming UK tour, as they will be playing at Wedgewood Rooms, Portsmouth on November 13th. Buy your tickets here

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A History student with a Britney Spears addiction.

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