Dominican Artist Yendry’s Id Journey Makes Her Music

Picture Supply: Jamie Parkhurst

Yendry has been on hearth today. The artist on the rise, who was born in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, to Dominican dad and mom and was raised in Italy for the reason that age of 4, has been nonstop since her profession took off in 2019. Her music — which includes all the things from afrobeats, reggaeton, and R&B whereas embracing each her Caribbean and European influences — is exactly what makes her stand out from the lots. Whereas singles like “Barrio” and “Nena” are what put her on the map, up to now 12 months alone, Yendry has launched a sequence of songs — like “You,” “Instinto,” and “Mascarade” in collaboration with artists like J Balvin, reggae legend Damian Marley, and Congolese Belgian singer Lous and the Yakuza — that basically converse to her vary and musical genius. The most effective half is she’s simply getting began. On Friday, Could 6, the singer-songwriter launched her newest single, “Ki-Ki,” a Dominican dembow-inspired monitor not like the rest she’s put out.

The tune, which was launched together with a music video, is deliberately “a mixture of kinds, cultures, and languages” and Yendry’s reminder to her listeners “to not take issues too significantly.” The place does the identify come from? “Ki-Ki” is an abbreviation of the phrase “juaniquiqui,” a Dominican slang time period that refers to cash.

“The tune is about how being impartial and being profitable requires exhausting work, so more often than not we’re not free to simply get pleasure from life, our households, and associates. It is good to make ourselves unavailable in an effort to deal with us and have fun life,” Yendry says in an official press launch for the brand new single. To understand the importance of Yendry releasing a dembow-inspired monitor, you should perceive the way it all started for the artist. Her expertise with being each Dominican born and raised in Italy does not simply influence her identification and the way she operates on this world, nevertheless it additionally strongly influences her music. The attractive mix of sounds and cultural influences tells her story of juggling two worlds and by no means fairly becoming into one field.

Picture Supply: Jamie Parkhurst

“I used to be born within the Dominican Republic, and I moved after I was 4 years outdated. I moved to Italy with my mother, and there I met my Italian father, the one which I name that. My organic father is in New York, and he is Dominican, too. On this means, I sort of grew up with folks pondering that I am half and half. Like, ‘Oh, you are half Italian, half Dominican.’ Effectively, I’m all Dominican however grew up in Italy. However the reality is that I absorbed a lot of the Italian tradition as effectively, residing there,” Yendry tells After migrating to Italy from the Dominican Republic, her mother labored exhausting to study the Italian language and assimilate to the tradition whereas nonetheless holding onto her Dominican identification. This was difficult for Yendry.

“That is why I discuss identification quite a bit. As a result of for me, it was very exhausting to determine the best way to establish myself, you already know.”

“That is why I discuss identification quite a bit. As a result of for me, it was very exhausting to determine the best way to establish myself, you already know. At first, I used to be like, ‘OK, I am Dominican.’ However I used to be in survival mode and needed to be like the opposite youngsters. So for me, it was like, ‘Oh effectively, however I converse Italian completely. I am Italian,'” she tells us. “I’ve all the time had the Dominican half at house. We had been nonetheless going to DR — not that a lot however we had been nonetheless going. We had been saving cash to go to the DR to go to household. We nonetheless used to eat Dominican meals, [and] we nonetheless used to take heed to Dominican music — the tradition was nonetheless there. The one drawback was that I used to be in a brand new nation and my mother was, too. So it is sort of exhausting for that sort of technology to establish themselves, and I struggled a lot. Rising up, I keep in mind at 22 years outdated, I felt like one thing was lacking.”

“In Italy, rising up as an adolescent, I used to be protecting myself quite a bit. I used to decorate tremendous oversize as a result of I did not need folks to see me because the stereotype — the Latina lady who’s attractive and provocative.”

That identification wrestle impressed Yendry to make a journey to the Dominican Republic on her personal. She needed to discover her roots and uncover who she actually is. “It was superb as a result of after I was going to the Dominican Republic earlier than, I used to be only a child, and I used to be simply in my grandma’s home. So I did not actually discover the nation and the tradition, [but exploring it as an adult] was superb as a result of it felt like house,” she says. “There have been a number of issues that I could not perceive about me that I [suddenly] understood after I was within the Dominican Republic. Even how I current myself — my physique. In Italy, rising up as an adolescent, I used to be protecting myself quite a bit. I used to decorate tremendous oversize as a result of I did not need folks to see me because the stereotype — the Latina lady who’s attractive and provocative.”

In discovering her personal identification, Yendry discovered herself consistently having to struggle towards the stereotypes of being a Latina residing in Europe. Today, she attire how she pleases and is fairly unapologetic about it. In actual fact, Yendry’s private type is simply as gravitating as her music. She embraces her pure curls. She’ll put on a hip-hugging gown simply as usually as she would a pair of saggy denims, an oversize plaid shirt, a crop high, and sneakers. It is all about self-expression for her.

Picture Supply: Jamie Parkhurst

“That is why I discuss it quite a bit as a result of I really need my technology to grasp that there’s nothing unsuitable with being raised in two totally different international locations and having two totally different cultures and backgrounds,” she provides. “So I discover myself Dominican, however I am additionally Italian as a result of that is house now.” When Yendry first determined she needed to be a singer, she started singing in English. She did not like the best way she sounded singing in Italian, and she or he did not take into consideration singing in Spanish till she sang Silvia Pérez Cruz’s “Mechita” at a rehearsal — and that is when all of it clicked. It was nearly as if Spanish selected her.

“It was bizarre as a result of there are a number of phrases that I did not even keep in mind I had in my mind, and so they simply got here out. I wrote two or three songs then. I wrote ‘Barrio’ and ‘Nena,’ and it was pure. I by no means favored my voice in Italian. I by no means understood why. After which I began to sing in Spanish, and it was so pure. So I am attempting to now make my music Spanish and English as a result of that is what I converse, and I do not need to have limits within the creation course of,” she says. “I actually wanted to attach with my roots again house in an effort to current myself to the world. That is how I really feel. Even my curly hair, that is what I symbolize and that is what I needed to be represented by, and I did not actually discover a number of music artists representing [that].”

Picture Supply: Jamie Parkhurst

A part of Yendry’s journey to the DR was additionally reconnecting with the sounds of her childhood. She grew up listening to merengue and bachata, and she or he needed to seek out methods to include these rhythms into her music. She needed her viewers to know that Latin music goes effectively past reggaeton. Her numerous musical style in all the things, from the Dominican music she grew up with and Caribbean sounds to European influences and her love for artists like Björk and FKA Twigs, is what retains her music contemporary and experimental. She’s all the time trying to merge totally different worlds and sounds collectively. It is the rationale her music seems like nobody else’s, and her personal identification journey is prevalent in tracks like “Nena” or her newest, “Ki-Ki.”

When it comes to future collaborations, Yendry plans on persevering with to shock us. The artists she’s listening to today vary from Vicente García to Nathy Peluso. She additionally has goals of ultimately doing a monitor with Tego Calderón. “I really feel like he is such an announcement relating to Latin music and even what we name now ‘city.’ It got here from there,” she says. “He is like the daddy of that, and he did it in a means that different folks did not. He did it along with his circulate and all of the percussions that he used and the best way he was singing. Even the lyrics are nonetheless so totally different. They’re totally different from the rest within the recreation.” What Yendry won’t notice but is that for this technology of Latinx music listeners, she’s revolutionizing the sport herself. Nobody writes lyrics like hers. Nobody is bringing what she’s bringing to the desk proper now, and we’re pumped to see what else she plans on blessing us with within the close to future. We’re prepared for it.

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