Zoe Mead from Wlydest stars in a new video docu-series that celebrates emerging artists.
The clip - released this weekend just gone to mark International Women’s Day - is part of YAMAHA's new WAY UP project, and sees the London-based singer-songwriter-producer create an exclusive track - 'Redream Chaos' - and video.
Yamaha’s head of Creative Projects, Sebastian Krenmayr says: “With this series we want to empower emerging artists to introduce themselves, their talent and their music.”
Zoe explains: "It's been a few years since I performed acoustically, I used to play acoustic guitar live - and think nothing of it. Now though, it's kinda terrifying. I forgot just how intimate it is, all flaws on show, nothing to hide behind - just your guitar and your voice - with all its breaths, throat noises and flaws. It was also exhilarating and made me remember why I started performing and writing in the first place.
"I did a stripped back version of one of our album tracks 'Alive' after recently reworking it as part of our new 'Redream Chaos' album. Alive is a song about love, loss and life chapters coming and passing and the lyrics began life as a short poem written to help me come to terms with a particular chapter that was closing. I use poetry as a way of dealing with feelings - this time it was an attempt to forgive, be content and lift others as a result.
"It felt like a good choice of song for International Women's Day... It's important that we come out of our insular worlds sometimes and acknowledge the challenges that others face, support peers and in particular female-identifying peers.
"In an ideal world we wouldn't need IWD. But in our world, we do and we will for many generations to come. So instead of sitting around complaining about how women are STILL discriminated against in the masses, we have this day to focus deeply on the subject, acknowledge it, celebrate those who are breaking boundaries and changing the face of success. In 2020, things are shifting in the right direction, as they have been since IWD started in the early 19th century, but it is slow-moving and we need to do all we can to accelerate it.
"In the past, society has filled women in music with a sense of doubt. I've grow up seeing females in music doing a lot of the singing, surrounded in males taking care of the tech stuff, playing the majority of the instrumentation - lead guitar, drums, bass. I remember being a kid wanting to ‘be a singer when I grow up’. Having the gift of voice is certainly a blessing, but females are too often categorized as ‘singers’ or ‘vocalists’ within a machine run by men.
"Women need to be empowered and this will come from having a positive network of people around. It’s very important that we as women support each other and that men trust in the capabilities of their female peers. I’ve been fortunate to work with some very talented and wonderful people (both male and female) who have filled me with confidence.
"So let's celebrate each other on March 8th, talk about those that inspire us, so we can work to be the women that inspire others in the future."
The WAY UP series will also host a panel for emerging artists at the Yamaha Ginza Hall in Tokyo on 17th March, where new acts can discuss their experiences.
Check out Zoe's video below, and keep an eye out for one from JNR Williams, too.