Tuesday, 19 July 2016

Eight questions with JYLDA

1. Who is JYLDA, and where does the name come from? (a short introduction)

JYLDA is my musical alias and the name reflects my connection to classical music – I've studied opera singing. It derives from Gilda, the main character from "Rigoletto“.

2. First up, what’s the music scene like in Berlin, and which niche do you fit into there?

Berlin is great for experimenting, everyone will find a place where they feel welcome here – but I wouldn’t assign myself to a particular scene. I love collaborating with lots of different people and that’s what the city is perfect for. At the moment I am working with a fashion designer on a very special / interactive stage outfit, for instance. And I just started writing a duet with another female songwriter and producer. (All very secret, so I can’t go into detail about it yet.)

3. We love the new track ‘Unchange Your Mind’ as well as the previously released singles ‘Superficial’ and ‘Cruel Machine’. Can you tell us about the songwriting process?

It's good not to establish too many firm patterns. I find it interesting to discover new ways for the birth of a song as often as possible. Sometimes I would start with a beat or classically, with some piano harmonies. And a lot of times I would use a vocal line I recorded with my phone when half awake, half dreaming. Writing superficial, I had another approach: I made field recordings on and around the former Tempelhof airport here in Berlin, layered them and built the structure for a song before it was written, really. I stuck to my rough and sweeping first recordings because I love the weird atmosphere they are creating: they sound dirty, broken but also alive, like something that creeps... All in all, it’s best to keep a bit of naivety when writing songs in general, I think.

4. Your music is described as “drifting between extremes, strong and sensitive, powerful and sensual, mature and na├»ve, cold and warm, dreaming and brisk, retrospective and futuristic at the same time” - where does the inspiration and influence come from? Also, does releasing the tracks through your own label give you more freedom musically, and are you looking to continue releasing the music yourself?

Some authors have inspired me lately, especially Sylvia Plath and Franz Werfel. The latter wrote a very good novel about the competition between and the cult of Wagner and Verdi and the way music is labeled. It's also interesting from the point of view of musicology which I am studying at university. I think a lot of inspiration has to come from the inside, though, or it just has to happen along the way when something catches your attention or fascinates you. I find it strange when people do something in order to get inspired. You don't become an artist by experiencing something interesting. The point is to be able to make something amazing out of things others would consider boring at first, too – changing perspectives. Then again, I can’t keep from using as many impressions as possible for songs!

Having my own label gives me absolute freedom – I can release stuff whenever I like. I'm a big fan of being my own boss and I like having full control over every detail of my project. Still, if one of my few favourite labels would approach me about a collaboration I have to admit that I might consider it...

5. What does the rest of the year (and 2017) hold for you: are you working towards an EP/album?

New tracks are waiting to be released in the next months and the goal is to start working on a new record in autumn.

6. The show at Servant Jazz Quarters in September will be your first London show (congrats!) - have you visited the city before or will you be sneaking in some sightseeing on the trip? Need any recommendations?!

Thank you! I've been to London twice this year already and I’m in love with the city. I’m sure you can give me some good tips about concerts during my stay, though? Hehe!

7. Who is your audience and how do you connect with your fans? Any crazy, fun, exciting stories are very welcome.

Once I had a girl come up to me after a gig and tell me that she wanted to marry me – sadly, I was too stirred to accept the proposal...

8. What does your dream gig look like?

An accurate and calm soundcheck and good sound conditions in the venue are crucial, of course. But the crowd and the atmosphere are even more important. When people get what you want to convey during a concert it’s the most beautiful thing. My dream is also to perform on the moon!

JYLDA plays her debut London show at Servant Jazz Quarters on 6th September, tickets are available here (and an absolute bargain!) Check out her tracks on Soundcloud here.

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