Music Authentic has been established to help transcending cultural and national boundaries, to get to know each other more and to learn from each other. Today we welcome Yana and her thoughts on her musical journey in life. Listen to her and say hello!
And while you are at it, listen to Yana‘s Will You Be There:
Music Authentic: Let us begin with our “site-traditional” question: How did you sleep last night?
Yana: Best for a long time!! I had quite an early night last night and woke up later than usual but feels like I needed it.
Music Authentic: We can’t avoid the reality we all live in now.Where do you usually gain strength during these changing and challenging times?
Yana: I stopped following the news shortly after the lockdown began because it was all tough and depressing and I needed to keep sane and try to maintain the positive mindset. Not an easy thing these days but music and creativity have been my sanctuary in this mess.
Music Authentic: How do you think your life will be in a few years from now on?
Yana: I hope any change that happens is going to be for the better. I’m not planning too far ahead, especially in these weird times. But I will keep following my path in music and see where it takes me. As I often say, keep knocking on the door, one day it will open. Anyway, I hope to have an album or two out in a few years time and to keep doing what I feel is my destiny.
Music Authentic: So, let’s move on to music and art. Do you consider yourself an artist or a musician?
Yana: I would say both. In this case it’s hard to separate these two things.
Music Authentic: Isn’t it a challenge, a kind of burden to be able to do everything by yourself just to be heard and seen?
Yana: I see it as a challenge but a beneficial one because when you do everything by yourself, you are even more proud of your achievements. And you learn from everything along the way, the ups and downs, the failures and sucesses.
Music Authentic: You live in the Czech Republic, another country closed in its language. Do you feel that the language of contemporary music is mainly English?
Yana: I agree that the majority of songs nowadays are sung in English but on the other hand I find it refreshing when somebody sings in a different language. You don’t need to necessarily understand what the song is about, the emotional impact of whatever kind counts too.
Music Authentic: You have strong emotional ties to Ireland. When and how did you discover this?
Yana: Everything started back in 2004 when I had a chance to go to an English speaking country during the summer to improve my English. I thought at the time everybody was going to UK and I didn’t want that so I chose Ireland. I spent a month in Dublin, living in a host family, travelling around a bit and that is when the love for Ireland started. It became home away from home. I’ve never lived there although I had been considering that for a long time. It’s not gonna happen in the end but I’m happy to go there a few times a year if I’m lucky, the majority of my musical activities happen there anyway. The more I go there and the deeper my ties get the more I realize it is more about people than anything else.
Music Authentic: Is it better to perform only for a few people who seem to really understand and hear your art or for thousands in a festival?
Without doubt. I have always been into lyrics, even as a listener and people I am influenced by write deep songs as well. So for me the connection with the audience is really important and the fact they pay attention to my songs really matters.
Music Authentic: A lot of artists feel social media presence is heavy and they are actually not good at it. However, having just one place like a website feels not enough in this “information Armageddon”. How do you cope with this?
Yana: Well, I am somewhere in the middle. I am not exceptionally good at social media presence but try to keep steady contact with my followers. People had encouraged me of setting up an Instagram account. I had it for a week and deleted it afterwards, didn’t see much of a point of having it to be honest. I feel like you don’t have to have everything. That is the similar situation of playing for smaller or bigger crowd. I prefer to rather have a smaller yet genuine following to bigger crowd of not so much interested souls.
Music Authentic: “Trapped in a cage” sound a bit “medieval” – was it intentional?
Yana: I heard a feedback like that on this particular song before and there was no intention at all. I just had an idea about the arrangement and we went from there.
Music Authentic: If you were to perform with the U2, which song of yours would you choose?
Yana: Wow, that’s an intriguing question! I would probably choose “Time” which is one of the new songs which will hopefully be included on the forthcoming album. I took the inspiration from an idea planted in the movie “Collateral Beauty” when a grieving father writes a letter to Time, Love and Death, asking them questions, etc.
Music Authentic: We can’t avoid Machine Learning, we are already in that era. Soon, actual AI (artificial intelligence) will come up. Visuals, sounds can be imitated, altered, presented even in live venues these days. Do you think artists and musicians will ever be replaced?
Yana: No, that is impossible. Nothing can substitute human touch and the individuality each musician puts into their craft.
(the interview continues below the photo, so be brave and go on!)
Music Authentic: Here is a little fun question, one that has become surprisingly realistic lately: Would you rather live in the Earth in 20 years or be the part of the first Mars colony?
Yana: I would definitely stay on the Earth.
Music Authentic: Have you ever felt promoting your music becomes almost like a door-to-door selling?
Yana: Yes. I realized that especially while doing the crowdfunding campaign for my debut EP. It was a huge step out of my comfort zone because I hate asking for money anyway but as artists we don’t have another choice but to do that in order to achieve our goals and dreams.
Music Authentic: Some argue concept albums are over, others insist storytelling is still important. What’s your take?
Yana: I would agree that storytelling is important. Somebody recently described my debut EP as a concept album as well which was a great surprise to me. But that is the beauty of music – once you let it into the world, everybody can make their own opinion on that. I am currently working on new material that would eventually form my debut album and I guess it could be considered a concept album.
Music Authentic: What is your take on the changing “traditional values” in our days?
Yana: I find it a bit frustrating how some people still think women should stick to raising kids and taking care of the family. Men can do whatever they put their mind to but when a woman steps out of the traditional role she is considered selfish or you name it. Yes, the music industry is dominated by men but that doesn’t mean there aren’t women who can’t make it. And besides, we’re all doing it because we love it and cannot do anything else. I stopped caring about other people’s opinion long time ago, you’re not doing it for them.
Music Authentic: We live in unusually hard times. Are you striving or thriving these days?
Yana: Both. You cannot achieve anything without putting an effort into it. And we as unsigned artists have to everything on our own, nobody else is gonna do that for us. The “outside” people have no idea how much work goes into promoting your music and that an artist spends more time promoting the work than actually making art itself. Everything is part of the journey and you learn all the time, from everything that happens. I’m grateful for any good thing that comes my way and to anybody who supports me.
Music Authentic: What things would be the greatest achievements for you through your art?
Yana: To have a stable and loyal following, being able to tour and record regularly. And of course, to share the stage with some of my heroes.
Music Authentic: Which artist do you recommend to listen to from the past or the contemporary era and why?
Yana: There are so many to mention. But if I had to choose one I would recommend listening to my dearest friend, J Eoin. He is songwriter and guitarist from Limerick, Ireland. His lyrics will touch your soul and his voice will touch your heart.
Music Authentic: I like asking this question, we can always learn from the answers: If you were the Prime Minister, what would be the most crucial to begin a change with?
Yana: Give the artists and everybody working in the entertainment industry the support they deserve, treat them properly and don’t let them down in the times of crisis. It’s heartbreaking to see how they’re treated and looked upon in this crisis we’re facing now. I don’t understand how people can still think working in the arts in any way is not a proper job. I have so many people around me who gave up their day jobs to focus on their art.
Music Authentic: Any important project you are working on these days? What makes it precious for you?
Yana: As I mentioned earlier on, I slowly started gathering ideas for my debut album. And frankly the response to the EP motivated me to do so. There have been quite a few people saying how much they love the songs and they hope I do an album soon. To be perfectly honest, I feel a bit jealous of anybody who gets to record new music these days and weeks, I am longing for that and maintain the hope that I’ll be able to get back to Ireland next year and begin to bring these songs to life. This project is so special because a few very dear friends kindly offered a collaboration which is a real thrill and I can’t wait to make it happen. The songs and ideas are being born as we speak. It’s a slow process but worth absolutely everything in the end. I would most likely do a crowdfunding campaign of some sort to fund the album, possibly in spring of 2021 so I’m currently looking around, learning from the past experience and figuring everything out step by step.
Music Authentic: We all look up to someone in certain people in our life time to time. Whose story had a great effect on your life?
Yana: Fergus O’Farrell. His band Interference has been a key inspiration for a long time. Ferg and myself became friends and it was a true honour to call him a friend, a joy to spend time in his company. He was unbelievably optimistic person, despite suffering from muscular dystrophy from a young age, gradually losing ability to play any instrument and in the final years the illness was attacking his trademark voice. He passed in February 2016 and that was a huge turning point in my life where I realized how short life can be and there is no point in living the life people imagine for you. I threw myself into music then and never looked back. Ferg remains my greatest inspiration not just in music but in day to day life and I feel inmensely grateful to have this wonderful tribe of like-minded souls around me. Ferg’s passing brought us even closer and there’s a special connection that needs no explanation. We’re family.
Music Authentic: Have you ever used your stage as a platform to help out others?
Yana: If we take the Internet or the whole creative community as a stage, then yes. I’m always open to lend a supportive hand to fellow creative souls. I believe we are in this together and we got to support each other. Nobody else is gonna do that for us.
Music Authentic: What are the hardest challenges in society these days?
Yana: Facing the expectations of the traditional model of society. I believe the traditional model is not for everybody and there’s nothing wrong with living life your own way. People may not like it but you should never live somebody else’s life.
Music Authentic: As we are closing to the end of our time today, tell us how do you like spending your free time?
Yana: Postcrossing. It’s a great project founded in 2005 where you can get to know people from all over the world by sending and receiving postcards. You never know where it’s going be from or where you’re gonna send a card. The element of a surprise is part of the fun.
Music Authentic: Finally, with what message would you encourage others?
Yana: Don’t let others discourage you from your path. Life is too short. Always be yourself. Always follow your heart. Be patient, put in the hard work and it will pay off.