Bridge: Thank you for taking the time to chat with us Yoyo! Go ahead and tell our readers who you are…
YN: Hey everyone! My name is Yoyo Nagase, and I am a singer-songwriter. I was born and raised in Seattle, and now I go to school in New Haven. I love making pop music and being with my friends and family.
Bridge: So would you say music has always been your main mode of expression?
YN: Music hasn’t been a main mode of expression for me until recently. I sang a capella in high school, but that was the extent of it. I do think now though that music has become one of my main modes of expression because of how I write my songs. My lyrics come from specific memories that I hold, and I’m very happy to be able to share my story with listeners.
Bridge: What does the songwriting process look like for you?
YN: It often starts at the most random times. I was on a subway once and a melody came to me so I pulled out my voice memo app and just started humming. Once I have a melody that I like, I start thinking about what kind of memory the sound invokes. After that, I focus on putting the words together. I usually go through many revisions based on how the production changes the song, but that’s just how the writing process goes.
Bridge: Let’s go back a little. How has your past, your family or upbringing or education, affected the music you’re making today?
YN: From a lyrical standpoint, my past has a huge influence on my songs as everything I write is tied to some memory that I have. When I release my first full album, I want listeners to be able to see the art as a diary in some way.
My family also plays a huge role in my music because of how much they support me. If it weren’t for them, I wouldn’t be here now.
Bridge: What do you want people to take away from your music?
YN: I want people to be able to relate to my music in some way. I am working on songs that focus on feeling lost and alone, and I want people to know that someone else has gone through a similar experience and that it will be ok. I have also released some more upbeat songs, and I hope that they are able to relate to the music by feeling the desire to dance and be with friends.
Bridge: Which artists would you say inspire you the most?
YN: Throughout middle school, I loved listening to Jay Sean and Jason Derulo. The way that both artists really intentionally layer their vocals to build nuance and emotion into their songs is really inspirational. Whenever I write my music, I think about different ways of adding these riffs or harmonies because I love that sound so much.
Bridge: What are you most excited for in the remainder of this year music-wise?
YN: I am most excited about my song called “daydreaming” coming out on December 17th. The song took almost a full year and an incredible amount of hours to go from the first melody until the master. “daydreaming” is also one of my favourite songs that I have written, and I am so excited for people to hear it.
Bridge: And the last question…If you had to pick any song to be the soundtrack of your life what would it be?
YN: I love the song “River Flows in You” by Yiruma and would definitely pick it to be the soundtrack of my life. The song brings me a great deal of peace, and I hope that I can spread that energy to others.