Dominican Artist Yendry’s Identification Journey Makes Her Music

Picture Supply: Jamie Parkhurst

Yendry has been on hearth lately. The artist on the rise, who was born in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, to Dominican dad and mom and was raised in Italy because the age of 4, has been nonstop since her profession took off in 2019. Her music — which includes every little thing 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 yr 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 actually converse to her vary and musical genius. The very best 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 in contrast to the rest she’s put out.

The tune, which was launched together with a music video, is deliberately “a mixture of types, cultures, and languages” and Yendry’s reminder to her listeners “to not take issues too severely.” The place does the title 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 getting cash requires laborious work, so more often than not we’re not free to simply get pleasure from life, our households, and buddies. It is good to make ourselves unavailable with a purpose to care for us and have a good time life,” Yendry says in an official press launch for the brand new single. To understand the importance of Yendry releasing a dembow-inspired monitor, it’s essential to 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 id and the way she operates on this world, but it surely 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 once I was 4 years previous. 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 manner, I type 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, dwelling there,” Yendry tells After migrating to Italy from the Dominican Republic, her mother labored laborious to study the Italian language and assimilate to the tradition whereas nonetheless holding onto her Dominican id. This was difficult for Yendry.

“That is why I discuss id loads. As a result of for me, it was very laborious to determine the right way to determine myself, you understand.”

“That is why I discuss id loads. As a result of for me, it was very laborious to determine the right way to determine myself, you understand. 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 at all times had the Dominican half at dwelling. We have been nonetheless going to DR — not that a lot however we have been nonetheless going. We have 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 downside was that I used to be in a brand new nation and my mother was, too. So it is type of laborious for that type of era to determine themselves, and I struggled a lot. Rising up, I keep in mind at 22 years previous, I felt like one thing was lacking.”

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

That id 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 wonderful as a result of once 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 wonderful as a result of it felt like dwelling,” she says. “There have been loads of issues that I could not perceive about me that I [suddenly] understood once I was within the Dominican Republic. Even how I current myself — my physique. In Italy, rising up as an adolescent, I used to be overlaying myself loads. I used to decorate tremendous oversize as a result of I did not need folks to see me because the stereotype — the Latina woman who’s attractive and provocative.”

In discovering her personal id, Yendry discovered herself continuously having to struggle towards the stereotypes of being a Latina dwelling in Europe. As of late, she clothes how she pleases and is fairly unapologetic about it. In actual fact, Yendry’s private model is simply as gravitating as her music. She embraces her pure curls. She’ll put on a hip-hugging gown simply as typically as she would a pair of saggy denims, an oversize plaid shirt, a crop prime, and sneakers. It is all about self-expression for her.

Picture Supply: Jamie Parkhurst

“That is why I discuss it loads as a result of I really need my era to know that there’s nothing mistaken with being raised in two completely different nations and having two completely different cultures and backgrounds,” she provides. “So I discover myself Dominican, however I am additionally Italian as a result of that is dwelling 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 virtually as if Spanish selected her.

“It was bizarre as a result of there are loads 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 wish to have limits within the creation course of,” she says. “I actually wanted to attach with my roots again dwelling with a purpose 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 loads 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 various musical style in every little thing, 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 at all times seeking to merge completely different worlds and sounds collectively. It is the explanation her music appears like nobody else’s, and her personal id journey is prevalent in tracks like “Nena” or her newest, “Ki-Ki.”

By way of future collaborations, Yendry plans on persevering with to shock us. The artists she’s listening to lately vary from Vicente García to Nathy Peluso. She additionally has desires of ultimately doing a monitor with Tego Calderón. “I really feel like he is such a press release with regards 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 manner that different folks did not. He did it together with his move and all of the percussions that he used and the best way he was singing. Even the lyrics are nonetheless so completely different. They’re completely different from the rest within the sport.” What Yendry may not notice but is that for this era 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.

Yendry’s Connection to Her Multicultural Roots Fuels Her Musical Genius 
initially posted on Latina

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