The undeniable power of great music all begins with the ears, soul, and heart of its composer, who has the sway to make its listeners feel the emotions that thunder through each lyrical component that comprises the overall structure of its melody. While each producer has their musical expression, one thing they all have in common is that their message is being heard, loud and clear.
One of these unapologetically bold visionaries is Yellacatt, the industry’s newest eclectic and sultry phenomenon in the making. Yellacatt’s sound delves into a different category because her musical inspiration derived from various genres, such as — blues, electronica, rock, and the ragas of India. She has been the frontwoman of several indie rock and pop projects.
Her recent project with LA producer Jonny Joon encapsulated what she is ready to bring to the table by creating a sexy, exotic electropop vibe that makes your body want to move. As a result, this created Yellacatt’s otherworldly sound that seeks to impart wisdom and bring awareness by singing about the power of the cosmos and the divine feminine.
As a constant creative, Yellacatt masterfully interweaves each song into a resounding message that shows itself through catchy beats and hypnotic melodies. It’s a sure bet that it will make plenty of ears encounter LSS ( Last Song Syndrome) until they can’t get enough of it.
British Thoughts speaks to music’s hottest talent, YELLACATT, as she opens up about her latest track, “The Show”, What’s in store for the future, and her musical journey.
It’s so lovely to meet and speak to you! Thank you for sitting down with us. To start off, what made you come up with your stage name?
Lovely to be speaking with you as well! Thank you for having me. My name is Daniella, and my friends often call me Yella. My spirit animal has always been a big cat, the snow leopard and the white tiger. So I brought those two together to make YellaCatt. Voila!
Were there any musical inspirations, such as genres or artists, that significantly influenced the concept of your sound? What’s the message behind your music?
I have had many influences over my lifetime, ranging from many different genres, from Muddy Waters to Mozart, to Bjork. I resonate with the blues and rock, and I grew up listening to bands like Alice In Chains, Pearl Jam, Soundgarden, and The Smashing Pumpkins. My tastes have since moved into a more electronic realm, listening to groups like Phaeleh, Odesza, and Grimes. I also love artists like Active Child, Svedaliza, and Doja Cat. Beyonce has always inspired me as a woman radiating power as she sings and performs. She is incredible. I am all over the place.
The message behind my music is self-examination, self-empowerment, and wisdom through drawing on the magical elements of nature. I have studied different forms of shamanism and many different deities. I love working with archetypes. For example, my song Durga calls on the ancient mother goddess from India for help as we move through these tumultuous times. Durga has many aspects, so her capacity to hold power and understanding is multi-faceted. Systems are breaking down, and we are divided. This chaos and breakdown often come with change, and we must remember that we are all connected, even if we disagree. We are all human.
Let’s talk about your latest track, The Show. What was the vibe you were trying to give when it came to the track’s composition? And what’s the first memory that comes to mind when you listen to this song?
During the pandemic, I wrote The Show with my writing partner and producer, Jonny Joon. We got into a vibe and ended up creating a bouncy and somewhat aggressive/strong track. Before I came up with the words and vocal melody, I saw myself driving a space-age car uber-fast through a space-age cityscape with lasers flying all around me. He played on his Moog keyboard and made these amazing effects with it, which ended up being the main melody. That fierce vibe drew the lyrics out of me. I had recently been through a devastating breakup and was on the healing end of things. This song is about realising your self-worth and asking for what you want. The bigger message is that you won’t be able to move on with your life until you make peace with the past and let it go. Your trials make up who you are, but you don’t have to carry your burdens.
What is it like working with composer and imaginarian Jonny Joon? How did this collaboration come to be?
Jonny Joon was part of my community in LA. He is an incredible producer and songwriter. My best friend and artistic collaborator Sequoia Emmanuelle suggested we work together, and after I checked out his sound, I was enamoured with his work. We have been writing together since 2016 on the YellaCatt project and have grown more during this collaborative process. His ancestry is Persian, so he is well-versed in the minor scales and eastern instrumentation, which I love and have implemented into the sound. We have different musical tastes. His being jazzier compared to mine, which is more blues/rock, makes for an exciting collaboration. We also get super weird and make up our sounds to add to the songs.
Out of all the tracks you have composed which one was the most complex?
Maybe Super Power Pussy? She’s got range! It has the most distinctive differences in the song’s sections and goes from sexy to almost militant to erotic!
I just read that you’re also a Sound Bath Queen. How did you get into this?
After I broke up with my rock band in Seattle in 2004, I took a more profound turn into the healing arts. I was already reiki certified, but I went further and became a Reiki Master and then a Sound Healer. In 2005 I took a five-day Sound Healing course with the fantastic scientist and mystic Tom Kenyon, and it felt like remembering that I had done this before. From there, I grew into what I do now, which is an improvised symphony of hypnotic sounds. Over an hour, I play 8-10 crystal bowls and a couple of giant gongs and do shamanic vocal toning while participants lay in savasana on the ground. People release stress, and some have visions and healings. I love it. The sound baths are transpersonal. If I think about what I’m doing or get self-critical, the ego gets involved, and I can’t channel it. The magic fades.
Does this also have a massive impact on your sound?
The sound baths have taught me myriad ways to use my voice and expand my range and vocal control. I taught myself how to do vocal overtone and explored different ways I could shape my voice. I plan to make an album that is more mystical and relaxing and incorporates some of the sound healing principles.
What inspires you to keep pursuing your musical passion?
Passion is what drives my art and inspires me. If I didn’t make art, I would wither up, and life would have no colour. I am also a visual artist, I paint and make headpieces, but music has always been my first love. I have been blessed with the opportunity to follow my dreams at a time in my life when most people would potentially be winding down their careers. Or they wouldn’t even start because they think it’s too late. I am here to tell you that it’s never too late to make art, and the life perspective I have in my mind 40s is much more expansive and lush than it was when I was in my20ss. Ignore the bullshit that our culture and the music industry try to shove down your throat that only the young have to value. Any stretch does not confirm it.
Lastly, what’s the best quote that describes your life at the moment?
To quote my song Cosmic Bitches: “You a boss bitch. You go to WORK.” Haha! Work it out until you blossom.
By: Cyan Leigh Dacasin
For more on Yellacatt:
Photo @sequoiaemmanuelle Hair @clydehairgod | Hair assist @shidacoiffeur MUA @rosharofficial
Styling @melvinstyles Album Cover Design @sequoiaemmanuelle