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Dominican Artist Yendry’s Identity Journey Makes Her Music

Image Source: Jamie Parkhurst

Yendry has been on fireplace as of late. The artist on the rise, who was born in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, to Dominican mother and father 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 contains 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 plenty. While singles like “Barrio” and “Nena” are what put her on the map, prior 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 basically converse to her vary and musical genius. The better part is she’s simply getting began. On Friday, May 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 music, 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 severely.” Where does the title come from? “Ki-Ki” is an abbreviation of the phrase “juaniquiqui,” a Dominican slang time period that refers to cash.

“The music is about how being unbiased and being profitable requires onerous work, so more often than not we’re not free to only take pleasure in life, our households, and pals. It’s good to make ourselves unavailable with a purpose to maintain us and have a good time life,” Yendry says in an official press launch for the brand new single. To recognize the importance of Yendry releasing a dembow-inspired monitor, you could perceive the way it all started for the artist. Her expertise with being each Dominican born and raised in Italy does not simply affect her id and the way she operates on this world, nevertheless it additionally strongly influences her music. The lovely mix of sounds and cultural influences tells her story of juggling two worlds and by no means fairly becoming into one field.

Image Source: 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“I used to be born within the Dominican Republic, and I moved after I was 4 years outdated.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. In this manner, I type of grew up with individuals considering that I’m half and half. Like, ‘Oh, you are half Italian, half Dominican.’ Well, I’m all Dominican however grew up in Italy. But the actual fact is that I absorbed a lot of the Italian tradition as effectively, residing there,” Yendry tells POPSUGAR. After migrating to Italy from the Dominican Republic, her mother labored onerous to be taught the Italian language and assimilate to the tradition whereas nonetheless holding onto her Dominican id. This was difficult for Yendry.

“That’s why I speak about id rather a lot. Because for me, it was very onerous to determine tips on how to establish myself, you realize.”

“That’s why I speak about id rather a lot. Because for me, it was very onerous to determine tips on how to establish myself, you realize. At first, I used to be like, ‘OK, I’m Dominican.’ But I used to be in survival mode and needed to be like the opposite children. So for me, it was like, ‘Oh effectively, however I converse Italian completely. I’m Italian,'” she tells us. “I’ve at all times had the Dominican half at dwelling. 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 solely downside was that I used to be in a brand new nation and my mother was, too. So it is type of onerous for that type of technology to establish themselves, and I struggled a lot. Growing up, I bear in mind at 22 years outdated, I felt like one thing was lacking.”

“In Italy, rising up as an adolescent, I used to be overlaying myself rather a lot. I used to decorate tremendous oversize as a result of I did not need individuals to see me because the stereotype — the Latina lady who’s horny 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 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 wonderful as a result of it felt like dwelling,” she says. “There had been loads 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 overlaying myself rather a lot. I used to decorate tremendous oversize as a result of I did not need individuals to see me because the stereotype — the Latina lady who’s horny and provocative.”

In discovering her personal id, Yendry discovered herself consistently having to battle towards the stereotypes of being a Latina residing in Europe. These days, she attire how she pleases and is fairly unapologetic about it. In reality, 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 dishevelled denims, an oversize plaid shirt, a crop high, and sneakers. It’s all about self-expression for her.

Image Source: Jamie Parkhurst

“That’s why I speak about it rather a lot as a result of I really need my technology to grasp that there’s nothing flawed 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’m 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 way in which 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 loads of phrases that I did not even bear 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 preferred my voice in Italian. I by no means understood why. And then I began to sing in Spanish, and it was so pure. So I’m making an attempt 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’s how I really feel. Even my curly hair, that is what I signify and that is what I needed to be represented by, and I did not actually discover loads of music artists representing [that].”

Image Source: Jamie Parkhurst

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 search 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 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’s the rationale her music seems like nobody else’s, and her personal id journey is prevalent in tracks like “Nena” or her newest, “Ki-Ki.”

In phrases of future collaborations, Yendry plans on persevering with to shock us. The artists she’s listening to as of late vary from Vicente García to Nathy Peluso. She additionally has desires of finally doing a monitor with Tego Calderón. “I really feel like he is such an announcement in the case of Latin music and even what we name now ‘city.’ It got here from there,” she says. “He’s like the daddy of that, and he did it in a method that different individuals did not. He did it along with his circulation and all of the percussions that he used and the way in which he was singing. Even the lyrics are nonetheless so completely different. They’re completely different from the rest within the recreation.” What Yendry won’t understand but is that for this technology of Latinx music listeners, she’s revolutionizing the sport herself. No one writes lyrics like hers. No one 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 POPSUGAR Latina

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