V EXCLUSIVE: Yeshaya Makes His Debut With Single “Trick"

V EXCLUSIVE: Yeshaya Makes His Debut With Single “Trick"

Rising Photographer Shaya Scott sits down with V to discuss the musical awakening that birthed his forthcoming EP.

Rising Photographer Shaya Scott sits down with V to discuss the musical awakening that birthed his forthcoming EP.

Photography: Shaya Scott

Styling: Jacopo Olmo

Text: Czar Van Gaal

Shaya Scott may have made a name for himself lensing music’s brightest stars and fashion’s new-aged supermodels; but like most millennials, he refuses to be placed in a box. Dismissing society’s outdated notion of choosing one passion as a career; Scott serves as the embodiment of a creative while tapping into all facets of his artistry. Now navigating uncharted territory as an independent music artist; Scott transcends as he channels his unwavering sense of self to unlock a new sound, a new attitude, and ultimately a new persona (Yeshaya). Ready to pull back the curtain and give the world front row seats to the unveiling of Yeshaya, Scott sits down with V to discuss the musical awakening that birthed his forthcoming EP.

Read the exclusive conversation below!

Was there a pivotal moment or album that sparked your interest in music?

There really wasn’t a pivotal moment or singular album. It’s been more of a collection of life experiences that led me to music. I grew up doing theater, I was always singing and performing as a kid, and also was trained in classical piano, and sang in music groups. I was like this weird class clown type that bounced between the theater kids and the visual arts kids.  But music has always had a huge impact on me, it really shaped and chronicled different phases of my life. I always wanted to make my own, I just didn’t really know how.

You’ve shot music artist like Azealia Banks and Kali Uchis, was there intention behind selecting those artist to photograph? Given your connection to both mediums (Photography and Music) was this your attempt to blending two things that you are very passionate about?  

You could say that. I think my photography also just suits musicians and performers in general because my aesthetic is pretty theatrical. But I do try to shoot musicians who I feel a connection to. Whether it’s through their music or general vibe, it’s fun to place them in a world and play into a certain character. I really love artists with a strong sense of self and a unique perspective. That way I can look at their body of work and figure out how to best contextualize and elevate them. It’s really exciting to shoot people that inspire me artistically, as both a fan and a collaborator. I’m really blessed to have been able to work with some really talented people.

Your photography normally has this dark whimsicality to it, is that something that translates in your music as well. How would you describe your sound? 

I guess to put it as simply as possible, I’d say it’s dark, hypnotic, futuristic electropop. Yeshaya is sort of an extension of myself, almost an alter-ego but still fully me. The music and photography, it definitely all comes from the same stream of consciousness. It’s kind of cool because when I started making beats, everything out the gate was sounding cohesive, not necessarily amazing at first, but cohesive.  The beats were colorful, mysterious, surreal, dark, and a bit strange - which are words one might use to describe my photo work. In music I sort of play between two worlds, one being more sinister and dance-y and the other being mystical, ethereal, dreamy. It’s like a yin and yang. This EP is more of the dark side.

Tell us a bit about your first single for the EP. It’s very dark but not too dark to the point were it’s depressive; it’s definitely something you can dance to. How did you go about cultivating that energy/sound for the track?

As far as the sound, you know… I am kind of a rave kid at heart.  I love to dance to techno and house music. When it’s good, you can sort of slip into this trance where nothing else matters, and it’s just you and the beat and the bass vibrating through your body. It’s like a form of sonic hypnosis. I wanted to channel that trance-like state in a song, something hypnotic, dark, but energetic. I really just wanted to make a fun dance track.

Is there an underlying meaning to the title of the single (Trick)?

Lyrically, Trick is ultimately a song about overcoming anxiety and summoning the power of not giving a fuck. We are our own worst enemies, truly, at least that’s been the case for me. I struggled with anxiety and depression for a lot of my life and I’m just at a point where I just want to do whatever makes me feel good in the moment, regardless of opinions. This song is about transforming your way of thinking by stopping the negative internal dialogue and tuning out other people’s judgments. Trick is about letting go and doing the damn thing, whatever it may be, and not having to justify it to anyone.

So, the single Trick is not just a dark dance tune, but it has hints of self-empowerment. I imagine creating music with such themes would be a cathartic process.

 The conception of the EP, and doing music in general, it’s really a way for me to break out of various molds. Whether it’s toxic masculinity or the general mold that society conditions us to fit into. Music is a way for me to completely just go all out and embrace my weirdness. I’m totally cool with being a bit of a freak.

Amazing! What was the inspiration for the forthcoming EP?

I’m really into ideas of magic. The sensation and sound of magic, or how I envision it to sound at least, is a common thread in all of the songs. Making music in of itself is kind of magic- you’re creating something out of thin air. A song can really change the way you feel, the way you move, the way you think, almost like a spell. You will also hear inspiration ranging from old cartoons, the circus, ancient Egypt… I’m both incredibly specific and incredibly random (Laughs). I’m also really inspired by horror films, for sure, and also just film in general. At the end of the day, I just wanted to make something different and distinctly my own. And because what I do is different, I realize it won’t be for everyone. And I’m totally cool with that.

You composed this project entirely on your own. From producing to writing the lyrics. In terms of logistics, what was the process like from start to finish?

It’s sort of been both extremely rewarding and extremely frustrating. I’m honestly still learning how to make this stuff. I really do everything alone, basically in a vacuum, just by myself at my desk or in bed. And I’m not just learning how to use these programs, but also learning about frequencies and the actual science of music— it’s a lot! I’m a perfectionist, too, almost (if not fully) to the point of obsessive. So, it’s hard starting out when you hold yourself hostage to producing a certain standard of work but don’t quite have the technical skills yet to execute it flawlessly. It was a lot of late-night YouTube tutorials, a lot of trial and error.

Would you say the songs on the forthcoming EP are a snapshot of where you were at the time? 

I’m already kind of in a different place now because I’m constantly evolving. These are songs I’ve made over the past 3 years or so. The [songs] embody me at the start of my musical journey. That’s why they took so long [to make]; I’m sort of learning as I go. There are some songs that didn’t make the cut because, by the time I finished them, I had already outgrown them. So I’m just ready to put these out into the world and continue to grow.

How do you plan to synergize your two passions (Music & photography)?

 I plan to incorporate my colorful and twisted aesthetic in the music videos and album art. They go hand in hand. A lot of the times I will see an image in my head first, and then build a song from that. Like each of my songs have a distinct color palette. I’m currently in the process of making the treatment for a music video. This is where I really want to incorporate my visual language with the music.

What can we expect to see/hear next? What are you working on?

I’m just writing and producing new tracks. I’m excited about the direction it’s heading and I get to show off my voice a bit more. It’s a fuller, richer sound. No live performances planned yet! Just making music!

Without any further ado, allow V to introduce Yeshaya’s debut single; Trick, a dark dance tune fit for spookiest Halloween playlist!

Trick is now available on all streaming platforms

Credits:
Styling by Jacopo Olmo
Makeup by Dan Duran
Hair by Evanie Frausto
Art Direction & Photography by Shaya Scott

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