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WPGM Commentary: Yiigaa On The Making Of Her New EP ‘Inner Dawn’

Hi I’m Yiigaa, I grew up in Brixton, South London. Being someone of mixed heritage meant that growing up somewhere so diverse was honestly a dream for me. The cultures that surrounded me inspired me not only to be myself but creatively as well. So many amazing artists and creators came from Brixton and I always felt that I could achieve things even when I had a lot of self doubt.

I’ve always done music and trained vocally at the Centre for Young Musicians, where I got a scholarship. I’d always been creative as I am academic but my dyslexia (that went undiagnosed until I was 17) meant I found it hard to focus and put all my ideas on a page.

Because of this, I found myself loving the creative arts. I really got into theatre and photography, and music was something that I knew I wanted and truly loved but I felt as if I wasn’t good enough so I didn’t take it seriously.

When I was 16, I started doing street fashion modelling and met a lot of creatives through that. I was modelling for a t-shirt brand one day and met so many young musicians that inspired me to just go for it. After that it became my everything – it was like I’d found the love of my life. I can’t describe the feeling I felt when I started creating my own music and there has been no better feeling since.

For a while because I was inspired by so many and did a lot of features, I developed a sound that was me but still had elements I didn’t really feel represented my whole being, where I came from, my roots and what made me want to create in the first place. Because of that, I took a year to work on my music and meet different producers and artists to try and make music that really represented what I wanted to make going forward.

Inner Dawn the EP is the process In which we become ourselves, we become ourselves through inner light, through growth, through removing toxic energies. It is an internal glow up, understanding ourselves better through the loneliness of lock down, and being able to reflect on our own decisions and our own behaviours to make ourselves better people.

I spent a long time making music that wasn’t for me anymore, I felt like if you listened to it you wouldn’t hear what I’m about and who I am. It took me a long time meeting different producers and trying to articulate the sound I wanted without finding it.

I took time to work on my music and push myself out of my comfort zones to create something that represented me. Going to Zimbabwe and South Africa opened my mind about the sounds coming out of Africa and how much bigger the music world is.

I was blown away by how electronic music could have so many elements , and as much as I already love South African house, being shown artists by Zimbabwean youth made it hit very differently.

I’ve realised making music isn’t about proving anything to people, it shouldn’t be about if you are the best rapper, singer or producer. It should be about sharing your soul and spreading a piece of yourself – this is why I didn’t focus on features or making something I think would sell. I made something that I love and that I would enjoy.

This project is a representation of me and the process of becoming my authentic self through creating music that I love and makes me feel truly Yiigaa.

Listen to Inner Dawn below!

Words by Yiigaa // Follow her on Facebook + Instagram

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