- Words Notion Staff
Singer songwriter YEИDRY tells us about her personal achievements, working with ENNY and more.
YENDRY (stylised as YEИDRY), is a singer songwriter who grew up between the Dominican Republic and Italy. Maturing on an equally varied diet of electronic, latin and R&B music, the contemporary artist also writes songs intermittently between Europe and the US. After cultivating her vocal prowess in an Italian jazz band, she began embarking on a solo career, a decision that’s becoming more merited by the day.
2021 was undoubtedly YENDRY’s breakout year. In this period alone, she collaborated with the likes of J. Balvin and Damian Marley, lending her distinctive vocals to their tracks. A testament to her adaptable style, and unique vocal range, the features propelled the lyricist further into the limelight. As well as featuring on Barack Obama’s ‘Top Songs of 2021’, she played festivals in New York and Mexico, sharing bills with R&B icons like Mary J. Blige.
Effortlessly stylish, YENDRY’s presence at international fashion weeks are becoming staples of the season. Sat on the front row for Kenzo, Acne Studios and Balmain, with the likes of Pharrell and Tyler, the Creator, she’s waltzed into a world in which she fits effortlessly.
Collaborating with ENNY to create a cross-pollination of Italian and British sounds, YENDRY’s “Ki-Ki” remix took TikTok by storm in 2022. The killer club track was recently performed by both artists in front of 10,000 people at the Club2Club festival in Italy, marking another monumental moment in YENDRY’s career. Off the back of two incredibly successful years, we sat down to speak with the artist to discuss her personal achievements, working with ENNY and her end of year plans.
Hey, how are you? Getting into the end-of-year festive spirit yet?
I’m good thanks, definitely ready to take a break and enjoy all the good food that comes out at this time of year. The best part about the festive period is spending time with my family.
Congratulations on your new track with ENNY, how did the collaboration come about?
Thanks! I’m gassed, when I first heard ENNY rapping I was amazed at how impressive she is, so I thought I’d reach out to collab. “KI-KI” is one of those songs that represent mixed cultures so it was a perfect fit. I am always attracted to artists that come from different cultural backgrounds like me, it’s interesting. So I sent her the track, we decided to meet in London, eat something and have a chat to get to know each other and then we went to the studio. Chill and fun, how it should be.
Last year saw some pretty massive collaborations for you too, from J. Balvin to Damian Marley and Emotional Oranges – do you feel like each new pairing brings a different creative energy? Have there been any highlights for you?
My favorite thing about collaborations is the fact that both artists get out of their comfort zone and merge into each other’s world: that’s the beauty of music, that’s when the magic happens. When I went to Damian’s studio there were all his musicians and we jammed till the sunrise, it was an amazing moment for me, there was no ego in the room, it was all about music and I remember I haven’t felt like that in a long time. So that’s one of my highlights for sure.
Could you tell us a bit about the new song? What’s the vibe?
“KI-KI” is a party vibe. When I was creating the song in the studio I danced the whole time, and it reminded me of that feeling I have when I walk down the street in Santo Domingo, there’s always someone dancing and celebrating life. The song is about having a strong work ethic and getting my money but it also expresses the need to take a break sometimes, celebrate and enjoy the money (Juanikiki) you worked hard for.
Both me and ENNY are new artists, hard workers, career focused, family oriented and independent women, so she was perfect for this remix and that flow. She’s definitely one of the best female rappers out there. Her flow takes me back to Lauryn Hill.
You performed it at Club2Club in front of 10,000 people recently, what was that experience like? Do you feel at home on-stage? Your live shows look so fun, we saw you performed at the NPR anniversary this week…
Yeah, the stage is definitely my element. It makes me feel strong, safe and I love the adrenaline of the show. C2C was the first time performing in my own city, in front of my family and friends. It was emotional. I’m happy they got the chance to see what I’m doing. NPR anniversary in Washington was lit. I played with the band and had so much fun.
Thinking about getting into music, and growing in the fashion world, was this an area you always wanted to have a career in? And did it seem like dream that might be hard to reach?
I’ve always been attracted by music in general, music videos and live shows. I studied ballet for years as a kid and I dreamed of becoming a ballerina. I knew I loved singing but I used to do it for myself, cause it made me feel good. I realised very soon that it was a hard dream to chase, but I also always felt a voice inside me telling me this is the only thing I could do in my life.
You’ve previously described yourself as a ‘cultural mix’ in terms of your influences, growing up between the Dominican Republic and Italy, and spending time across the US and Europe – do you feel like these influences have carried into your music?
For sure. I like to think that all those hours of bachata and merengue rhythms I absorbed at family barbecues, all the car trips with loud neo melodic Italian melodies and all those days spent on YouTube discovering artists like Massive Attack, Radiohead, Blur, that turned into my musical inspiration and when I’m in the studio, it comes out naturally. I realized I have less boundaries when I’m creating music, because I have been exposed to different cultures and that gives me a flexibility in my craft and in my ordinary life.
How would you describe your sound to people who haven’t heard it yet?
You know, I always struggle to explain to people the kind of music I make. I’d love to say it’s experimental pop. An ode to traditional taste with modern electronic sounds. But I really like the fact that it’s hard to define and it gives me a bigger space for me to grow, try things and express myself.
Reflecting on 2022, what achievement – professionally or personally – are you proudest of?
This year has been a rollercoaster for me. It’s been hard to keep travelling the way I do, so at some point I definitely had to sit down and have a chat with myself, check my priorities and focus on what I want more than what I can do. I can say I personally grew a lot this year! I’m proud of myself for what I’ve done. Professionally, I got the chance to play big stages and I’m wrapping up my album, this is a massive step for me.
What are your hopes for 2023? Anything you’d love to achieve? We hear you have a big project due to come out…
My album is on the way and I’m hyped. This is going to be my first solo album ever and the idea of releasing it, promoting it and touring is very exciting and nerve-racking at the same time I have to let it go at some point and say ‘it’s ready!’, so that’s going to be my biggest challenge this year. I also want to work deeper in fashion and work with more creatives to develop my vision for my upcoming visuals, live show and style. Very excited.