- Words Solly Warner
Triple threat DJ, producer and singer, YATABE, talks about how multicultural upbringing has influenced her sound, dream gig venues, and creates an exclusive mix for Notion.
Growing up in Japan, YATABE became a disciplined musician, focusing on becoming a proficient pianist and singer. Now based in London, the emerging vocalist, producer and DJ embraces a melding of Japanese and western culture in her music. Her forward-thinking sound touches on a multitude of genres, including UKG, EDM and hip-hop.
Following her debut single “No Reason”, which later received a remix from UKG favourite SHOSH, YATABE has returned with an empowering new single “Pretty Truth”. The track looks to themes such as regaining self-love and identifying true self. YATABE explains, “It’s a celebration of the most authentic you and embracing your new path in life.”
“Pretty Truth” is also accompanied by equally club vibe visuals in the music video. Featuring an alluring performance from YATABE herself, the cleverly cut video gives viewers an insight into the multi-cultural artist’s world.
Armed with passion and drive and a confident spirit, the exciting young talent is primed for an up-and-coming year.
Now, YATABE creates an exclusive mix for Notion featuring a variety of up-beat and chilled out vibes, perfect for lifting your spirits. Dive in!
How has the last year changed you as an artist? Have you learnt anything new about yourself and what do you hope to take forward?
Over the last year, lockdown has made me become more in tune emotionally and productive, whilst offering online streaming mixes. I’ve had to learn how to utilize the power of technology through online stream mixes as we can’t physically gig at venues. When the world opens up to perform at gigs, I will still maintain my digital streaming to promote globally. This I feel is the way forward as a new artist promoting my music.
Being born in Japan and raised in London, how have these two different cultures influenced you and your sound?
Being multicultural I feel has given me an advantage in the industry because I can incorporate both aspects of the Japanese sound and discipline while maintaining my creative flair from the London scene. In future releases, you will hear Japanese instruments such as the Koto, Shamisen and the Taiko combined with the electronic sounds.
When did you start working on “Pretty Truth” and how did this track come about?
I started working on “Pretty Truth” late last year. It came about while having a group zoom with a bunch of friends, talking about previous relationships and I came out with a line saying that ‘wouldn’t it be pretty if we knew the truth ‘and then adapted it into the title of “Pretty Truth”.
You’ve mentioned the track is about self-love and empowerment. Do you think providing these sorts of positive messages through music is more important than ever because of what’s happened over the past year?
Definitely, I find it more important to promote self-love and acceptance in this difficult climate. We need to start supporting and working with each other, rather than being overly critical of others.
The track is also accompanied by a music video. Are music videos something you look forward to creating and what was the inspiration behind all the different outfits?
I love working on new creative ideas for music videos as it gives me a chance to express myself visually. The inspiration behind outfits are the five different sides to my personality, which are the Japanese school girl growing up in Japan; the influence of Japanese culture. East London; living in east London, making my way and discovering the east London scene and its fashion, art and music scene. The underground Berlin rave scene, which is a nod to the music I love and all the crazy nights in the clubs and parties there that I’ve experienced over the years. West London, which is more of my sophisticated side and represents my interest and love for high fashion and creative designers in the fashion industry. And there is me in the spotlight, where there is a reference to my career, figuring my way to the spotlight and feeling empowered.
Where is somewhere you’ve always wanted to play but haven’t had the opportunity yet? Venue or event or festival?
My dream bucket list of venues or festivals to play at would be Club Womb in Tokyo, Burning Man in Nevada USA, Berghain in Berlin and Fabric in London.
What single night out has been the most memorable for you? Firstly, as a DJ and also as an attendee?
As a new artist, I haven’t yet had the opportunity to play at a physical venue, due to lockdown restrictions. However, Fabric is in my top 10 places to play at. As an attendee, one of the most memorable nights out I would how to say was watching Bonobo perform at Alexander Palace in London.
What is one track that never gets old for you no matter how many times you play it?
“Right Here, Right Now” by Fatboy Slim.
When this is all over, what is the first thing you’re going to do?
I would love to travel and explore new places and reconnect with my friends and family.
Can you talk to us about your mix for Notion? Why have you chosen the tracks you’ve included and when is a good time to listen to the mix?
The mix I did for Notion is an eclectic mix of very up-beat, up-tempo, winding down with a chilled vibe because I feel people need to lift their spirits through this pandemic that we are all going through. I don’t think there’s a right time or wrong time to listen to my mix but people listen to it and let me know what you think.