Meet the Birmingham-hailed artist steadily carving out his own lane.
When it comes to UK talent, London no longer wears the coveted crown. With the likes of M1llionz and Mist waving the flag, Birmingham is quickly becoming a contender and rising star Yatez is joining the wave. Dropping the video for his new single “Drowning” today, the artist intricately weaves warming lyricism with afrobeat-influenced productions, creating a contemporary trap-tinged soundscape.
“’Drowning’ is a part of the most progressive body of work I’ve created to date in my career” explains Yatez. “We’ve all been there on a night out when someone is just being a bit too much when you’re trying to get on it. This song is about someone nausing you before you’re drunk enough.”
New to the scene, the artist has already created a plethora of tracks, touching on everything from R&B to soulful jazz. Set to drop his forthcoming double project “Smoke & Mirrors” at the end of this month, we caught up with the artist talking his musical journey so far and staying creative.
Check out the interview below…
How are you, how has this past year been for you?
It’s been crazy, just like everybody else I’m sure, but it’s good to just get back to normal and finally back to releasing and playing music again. I’ve just been hard at work ready to put out my project and writing loads of new music to follow it up with.
With everything that happened last year, has your creativity been affected?
It definitely was. It was hard to stay focused at times but I’m back to my old ways now and I’m ready to carry on!
How did you first get into music, what sparked the interest!
I think it was MC’ing at school with friends and trying to better my skills and progress from there. I then went on to study music tech at college and commercial music at uni. That’s where I really started to learn about musicality, instrumentation and what it takes to be a musician. After releasing ‘Local’ that’s when I realised I could actually make this a serious career.
You’re from Birmingham which has an amazing music scene, do you think your city influenced your sound?
It’s definitely influenced my sound. I’ve got a lot of friends from a lot of different cultures and backgrounds, so I’ve grown up around loads of different styles of music from Grime & Rap, to Reggae, Dancehall & Rock.
Congratulations on your new single! Talk us through the production process!
Thank you. Me and the producer, Watkin, actually made this in about 10 minutes. He began making this uptempo, rave type of beat and the melodies just hit me straight away. Within 15 minutes the first take was done! I took it away and me and Mulligvn, who produced most of Smoke & Mirrors pt.1 & 2, polished the track up with some more layers of sounds for the final version.
What was your mindset approaching this single?
My mindset is always inspired by the beat. So as soon as I heard the direction Watkin was going in I knew where I was going with the theme and lyrics. I started writing bars about being on a night out and then I had the storyline and it just took shape from there.
What do you want people to take away from your sound?
Good vibes and good music. A lot of what I write about is relatable so that anybody has access and I always want to try and uplift people.
Who would you cite as inspirations?
Internationally I’ve always loved what J Cole has done and Mac Miller was a big inspiration to me. UK wise its Wretch 32, Kano, Ghetts. And locally it’s definitely Mike Skinner/The Streets & Jaykae, because they’ve shown what levels are possible when you’re from Birmingham.
What’s next for you? What are you most excited for?
‘Drowning’ will lead into “Smoke & Mirrors Part 1 at the end of October, which is then followed directly by part 2 a week later, so there’s plenty of music coming. Over the past year though I’ve been making so much more new music that’s ready to go after these projects are out. What I’m really looking forward to is bringing all of it together, old and new, onstage and performing more again. I can’t wait to do more shows with a live band again too and get on the road.