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YokoO: “Working on myself has been quite a process”

Perhaps one of the most tender and soft-spoken souls in the underground music industry, YokoO consistently strives to create a vibe that encompasses the true essence of what it means to emanate “peace, love, unity, and respect”.

We caught up with him just before his performance at Art With Me Tulum to chat about different music topics. Tickets for Art With Me GNP’s ‘Dance With Me’ are on sale now. Purchase yours here.

EG: Hello YokoO! It’s a pleasure to have you here with us once again. How have you been? How’s everything over there?

YokoO: The pleasure is all mine! I am currently enjoying my new tour schedule which seems to have naturally taken off once again. Apart from performing and being on the road, I am thrilled to share that my record label project SATYA is truly starting to blossom among other personal endeavors. I must say that life has been keeping me busy!

EG: Great news and congratulations! So, you must be stoked to be joining the lineup over at Art With Me Tulum too.

YokoO: I am stoked indeed! It is always a joy to be part of a project like this from day one and play a creative role in its evolution.

EG: What can attendees expect from your set? Are there any surprises in store? In which ways do the landscapes affect/interact with your sets?

YokoO: Surprises are my specialties these days. Come along with the expectation to experience something unexpected! In terms of landscapes, I feel that they have their own ways of shaping my creative output as well as people interacting in space. That being said, I love to paint my own interpretations of natural landscapes through my music.

EG: Are there any other artists on the bill that you’re excited to hear? Are there any that you haven’t heard yet but are looking forward to?

YokoO: Would have to say my musical colleague, SATYA label member, and buddy Matthew Dekay. I genuinely could not be more excited to hear what he has in store for us.

EG: What about the on-site activities? Have you got your sights on a particular one?

YokoO: Breathwork, light therapy, and sound healing truly resonate with me.

EG: While we’re all very excited about getting back to what we used to consider ‘normal’…it’s been a hard couple of years, right? How have you dealt with all the global events? Have you had to change any personal habits?

YokoO: When the worldwide pandemic was announced back in March 2020, I happened to be moving into a remote community in Baja California Sur to complete a month-long yoga teacher training. Little did I know how this planned time-off was actually going to be an unplanned escape from everything completely shutting down with many people stepping into fear-based habits. Not only was I detached from the noise, but was also provided with a unique platform to dive deep into my spiritual practices in one of the most heavenly places on Earth. I spent my time glamping with like-minded yogis on an isolated compound in the heart of the desert yet next to the ocean with a backdrop of mountains. When I found out that all my forthcoming shows had been canceled and that lockdowns became the norm, I chose to stay there and continue studying for a while longer.

This immersion into the infinite depths of my inner self was extremely beneficial on many levels. I felt at peace, my heart was bursting with love and solace. I, in fact, was bathing in a blissful state of presence, and my mind was the clearest it had ever been. I eventually returned to a quiet, yet open Lisbon throughout the summer of 2020, and focused on setting up my new apartment and recording studio. I was inspired and determined to walk down the less-traveled road so to speak. I must say that after all these years of intense touring, I deeply enjoyed falling back into a balanced routine in which I gained clarity, and my productivity in the studio drastically increased.

EG: It’s been almost a year since you started your own SATYA label? How is it currently doing? In which ways do you hope it will evolve?

YokoO: Yes, it has been a year since the label was launched. The start of 2022 saw me take a step back to refocus and assess what to do next. I am now preparing to announce the next releases with a fresh visual identity, keeping my mum’s watercolor paintings at the center of it all.

Provided all goes to plan, this year should see us release new music, in both digital-only, and physical formats, from artists such as Roni Amitai, Iskra, Son Kota, Retza, Zone+, Francesco Mami, Julien Chaptal, Bobi Stevkovski, Haider Uppal, Matthew Dekay, Arapu, Nuzau, and myself.

“I would really like to taste and unearth new sonic textures that prick up one’s ears and that also expand and stimulate one’s intellect”

EG: How do you feel about the current state of our scene? Where do we have to improve? What would you like to see more of?

YokoO: Whilst being eternally grateful for where the music scene has taken me, I am intrigued to see what other musical directions, experiments, and creative risks can be made in this cultural moment that we are in. From my side, I have undoubtedly been placed in a comfy yet squashed bubble by being associated with the same artists since 2015. I would really like to taste and unearth new sonic textures that prick up one’s ears and that also expand and stimulate one’s intellect. Moving forward, I would love to be featured on other bills where I feel more connected to the artists and their musical values.

EG: What else can we expect from YokoO in the near future? What new milestones are you looking out for in the coming months?

YokoO: I would like to make time to finalize some of the music I have been working on over the last few years. Working on myself has been quite a process that requires me to spend more time and invest more energy in the studio. Nowadays, my main focus revolves around repositioning myself within the global music market and its networks. Building SATYA’s foundations & its family of artists is an opportunity to develop the best possible ways to expose our music & truthfully communicate what we are about to the world. Stay tuned!

EG: Thank you so much for your time, YokoO! We wish you all the best for the future and see you at Art With Me Tulum!

YokoO: Ditto!

Tickets for Art With Me GNP’s ‘Dance With Me’ are on sale now. Purchase yours here.

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