Yolanda Arrey is a soulful blues, pop and R&B artist based in California, Originally from Cameroon.
Her new video – BEAST encompasses a dark, horror and thriller-inspired undertone with synchronic choreography and dark gothic themes. The genre is a mix of pop and R&B Dance. The message is tapping into our dark sides to unleash out greatest potential. This is a much darker side of Yolanda than we have seen and it is very thrilling.
Influenced by vocal powerhouses Whitney Houston, Jennifer Hudson and Adele, as well as Michael Jackson and The Temptations, Arrey’s music is smooth, rich, and timeless. Her debut album “The Bayou” (2016) was well-received, followed by a headline show at the Capital Theatre in Salt Lake City.
From winning Best Cinematography for “My Heaven” at the Utah Music Awards, to becoming the first small artist to perform at Deer Valley Festival, Yolanda Arrey is independently trail-blazing her own soulful path to success.
Interview by Tim BrownWhat made you decide to jump into the music industry or music business?
I have been singing and writing songs since I was 7. Just always had a die-hard passion for music and its something that is just part of who I am
What do you think makes you stand out from all the other aspiring and upcoming artists in your genre of music?
My authenticity. I don’t try to fit the norm. I stay true to my vision and personality. I also enjoy pushing boundaries in certain ways that may not comply with mainstream and public opinion. I follow my art first before anything. I am also versatile. I have some Motown inspired songs and then a complete dance thriller vibe inspired songs.
If you could collaborate with ANY artist/band… Who would you choose and why?
Lady Gaga because her style resonates a lot with me. She has found a way to truly master her artistic diversity and she stays true to herself. Also has mad talent.
The advantage is that you can freely follow your vision and control your style and artistic expression. The disadvantage is that it is much harder to build exposure and compete on the world stage. There is a lot a leg work that you would need to build and you can be limited in resources to get you to that next level of visibility.
Do you prefer the Independent route or would you rather sign to a major record label, and why?
I am not opposed to either. Signing with a label can be a hit or miss depending on the contract and the label. Also, you get plenty of freedom as an independent artist which I hope I never lose.
Out of all the songs you’ve released, what do you think is your Best song and why?
Darkest Hour is the best song because of the message it carries. I wrote this song a couple years ago and released it in April of 2020. The message of the song is very much in line with a lot that has transpired this year. When you go through dark times it can seem like the world is shutting down and there is absolutely no way out, but just like seasons come and go, so does darkness. No situation is permanent and you have to believe that “This too, shall pass” and keep pressing onward.
Do you miss the era of CD sales OR do you prefer the new wave of music streaming?
I do miss the CD sales era. There is something about having a tangible collection of music, artistic booklets and sometimes with lyrics to that is so precious. It is like owning a treasure. I feel the same way about books. I understand that streaming is much more faster and efficient but the fact that I can touch or keep the collection, makes me feel a little disconnected from it.
Between creating in the studio OR performing live on stage, which is your most enjoyable one and why?
I love the studio a lot. I could be there for hours and not even notice the time. Its more than creating music for me, it is my God moment to reflect, to not hold back to disconnect from the world, and bring to live melodies that have been lurking in my head. I also love performing for people and sharing my talent with them and making sure they have a good time.
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