In the midst of all the madness that was 2020, southeast London's songstress Yiigaa delivered 'Inner Dawn' her second EP, a mental break. The project is filled with an intoxicating sultry spirit that lubricates the mind, allowing the listener to join Yiigaa, in a feeling that can't be described in any other way than, summer.  We sat down with Yiigaa to talk about her beginning in music, 2020 and her plans for the future. 

lude: What’s your earliest memory of music outside of your family home?

Yiigaa: Well, it’s outside of the family home but still linked to my families influence. My dad runs his drum workshop right in the heart of Brixton, where he and my mum met. I remember my friend Beth were bribed with little boiled sweets to behave. We sat so eagerly at our drums waiting to start. By the end of the lesson we danced around in circles while the older students played. I felt so light. Growing up dancing around the drums I would see how much music can unite people from all walks of life regardless of culture, class or colour. Seeing this made me so determined to push myself to make music, I came to understand that had no boundaries in terms of genre, and to not force myself it to fit into one box. 

If you have heard Yiigaa’s music you’d agree that the rising star doesn’t fall into a single genre. Her catalogue is laced with crack, it provides listeners with everything they need, authenticity and soothing melodies, creating space to feel, reflect, dance and vibe. From laid back R&B tracks like ‘Warm Water’ on her 2017 EP ‘Mist’ to the uptempo South African house inspired vibrations of ‘Closer’ from her recent EP ‘Inner Dawn’, 2020. Yiigaa’s voice, versatility and neat arrangements sets her apart from the crowd.

lude: 2020 hit us all by surprise, everything literally stopped, how was the year for you ?

Yiigaa: I always said that 2020 was when I felt things would align for me. And In a way they did, just so differently than I’d expected. I have got to know myself in ways that I never could have prayed for. It has also made me so grateful for my loved ones and for health. Releasing a tape I spent so long creating was such a beautiful thing for me, despite all that was happening. The original tape had majority different songs before lockdown, but the whole isolation process turned it into something different entirely. I no longer felt afraid to push the boundaries of what I wanted to create, I had an epiphany that life was really too short and that I needed to just go for it and not hold back anymore. I wanted to make something that made people feel elevated and escape to a place beyond their four walls. The lyricism for the tape was much simpler than my previous work. This is because I didn’t want people to think anymore, I just wanted to them to hear and feel. 

lude: 2021 is upon us, and to some degree everything seems possible again. Where do you want to go with your music? 

Yiigaa: In terms of where I want to go with music the answer is everywhere. I don’t make music for anyone in specific, I make it for someone who wants to feel, who wants to move, who wants to reflect. I want to work with artists from different places and walks of life. Music has always been my life but in the recent months it has truly dawned on me how much it means to me and how much it moulds who I am. when I started recording I felt I had found my soulmate, no-one made me feel love like that and nothing made me as happy. Thats all I want, for my music to travel and to reach people. To inspire others to create and push boundaries and be themselves. The world is changing rapidly, through tech and science, which is great because people are more connected now more than ever. At the same time it has taken something human away from us, but through creativity we are always able to realign ourselves with the essence of life. To share, to love and simply live.

Photography by Dean Dumare 

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