English-Canadian YNES (pronounced Yin-es) was born in Coventry but has spent time living and working in Canada; with fans drawing lyrical comparisons from both the DIY post-punk scene in North America, to the more refined likes of Zuzu and Lauran Hibberd. From 80’s synth to the 90’s slack, YNES takes inspiration from a multitude of sources – all of which are staple in her eclectic yet honest sound. YNES has played a range of venues, such as Godiva Festival, FarGo Village, and also headlined at The Tin. She has also branched out into bigger cities across the UK – with an acoustic headline at The Sunflower Lounge in Birmingham, and even a podcast with London-based SHEWOLF.
From self-producing a music video (shortlisted by Boudica Festival), to radio play on Islington Radio, Love the Beat, and Pit Pit Punk (Montreal), to collaborations with both City of Culture, and GIRLI, – YNES is surely building a solid reputation as a ‘DIY’ independent musician.
After Rishi Sunak’s comments late last year regarding the creative industry, YNES uploaded a 30 second jingle to my social media titled ‘Better Jobs’; gaining 8k views and an interview on BBC.
“If you want, we’ll all get better jobs – but you can throw away your DVDs, you can unsubscribe from Netflix, and delete your music library”
Having witnessed the subsequent lack of support for the industry regarding Brexit, and just *everything* else at the moment – she decided to spend Lockdown 3 writing and recording a full track from home.
‘I know so many people who are feeling dejected and hopeless at the future of the arts, and I really believe that we need to stay passionate – together. I really feel as though the song will resonate with people – and I’d love to work with you to engage and maximise potential listeners.’
Let’s find out more…
Please introduce yourselves to our readers, who you are and how you formed?
Hey! I’m YNES – self-professed amateur singer-songwriter, professional f**k up. I began recording/releasing under this name in autumn 2019!
What style of music would you describe yourself as and what influences do you draw upon?
I would say I take influence mainly from Britpop artists (such as Lily Allen, Kate Nash) and Folk-punk (e.g. Front Bottoms, Heart Attack Man, Modern Baseball). These genres inspire me to write most anyway!
How have things been for you over the lockdown/tier fiasco? What has been the most challenging?
I think the uncertainty is the worst thing for me – I spent a large majority of 2020 (like other artists) in limbo, not knowing how best to navigate lockdown. Now, I feel a lot more positive. I think I’ve come to terms with where we are with the current state of affairs, and I’m now a lot more confident building from here – even if here is only home at the moment haha. The not knowing is absolutely the worst part for me!
What are your feelings about the current situation and its impact on live music and venues?
Oh it’s gutting isn’t it. There are so many loopholes and technicalities, and so many venues are struggling at the moment – especially with the changing of tier and lockdown rules. It’s a real shame and I hope we can pull through this mostly intact!
Do you think there has been enough help for the industry throughout the crisis?
I wouldn’t expect the government to value the arts – but it would be typical of them to prioritise the economy so it’s disappointing to see them ignore how much money the arts industry generates. When you look at the net worth of the industry, Rishi Sunak’s ‘care package’ is a tiny percentage of this – lower than countries like France, Germany etc. It’s so wrong to advertise it as the most ‘generous’ package in the world when our industry generates so much more! Anyway. Can you tell my most recent single is about this haha?
2020 has been understandably riddled with a lot of negativity, what was some positives for you in 2020?
2020 really allowed me to reflect on how privileged I am to be here to be honest! I’ve never been so grateful for my health and home. I turned 23 in May (in lockdown) and I remember waking up and just having a coffee looking out the window and for some reason I was brought to tears ahaha. I’m not a massively emotional person so it was odd, but I was just filled with so much gratitude for being able to live another year – albeit at home. Cabin fever probably…Aside from this, I managed to get a track commissioned with City of Culture 2021 – so I have a song featured on their compilation album which was my first commission! I also collaborated on a remix of my track ‘Pretty Sure’ with GIRLI – who is noted on Spotify as one of my inspirations – so that was wild!
Tell me about your most recent please or upcoming single/album…
I have a single out on February 12th called ‘Better Job’ which is, as you can imagine, about the state of affairs in the industry at the moment. Not only that, but the attitude that a lot of people have towards creative work not being ‘real work’. It was very cathartic and I really hope it helps some creatives feel more inspired.
What’s the best venue you’ve played so far and what’s would be your dream venue to play after Covid-19?
I played The Sunflower Lounge a couple times before lockdown which I loved! I’d honestly just love to play somewhere like the O2 Academy….someday!,
Favourite festival you’ve played or want to play and why?
The only festival I’ve played to date is Godiva Festival! 2020 was the year of applying but alas, it wasn’t meant to be haha. I’d love to play Reading and Leeds or Download – because I feel like my sound is always a lot heavier live and it’d be a blast!
What tune should readers listen to right now of yours that sums you up the best?
Absolutely I’m (Mature) – it’s short and sweet but you can get to know me in under 3 minutes!
What can we look forward to from you in 2021?
I’ll be powering through in whatever ways are legal to do so! New music, hopefully new gigs at some point, more connections. Let’s av ittttttt!