V’s Class of 2018: Yaeji

V’s Class of 2018: Yaeji

Yaeji is making the mind-bending yet soft-spoken beats you'll be bopping to in 2020.

Yaeji is making the mind-bending yet soft-spoken beats you'll be bopping to in 2020.

Text: Staff

Yaeji's Instagram handle is @kraejiyaeji, a fitting yet ironic moniker for the rising artist considering her soft-spoken but hard-hitting way of singing, rapping, and producing beats. The electronic producer has shaken the music world with a distinct sound, meshing house and trap beats with witty one-liners and sullen whispers that can shock, in both English and Korean. Her catchy singles like "Raingurl" and "Drink I'm Sippin' On" make her a member of our Class of 2018. Read on as Yaeji answers our questions about her ambitions, the music world, and the causes that she holds dear to her heart.

What's your vision for the industry you work in for 2018?

More open minded crossovers between different sounds/people/scenes/communities.

What's the best advice you've ever received and why?

Not sure if this is advice, but I once read that if you don’t move your eyes you stop thinking. I think and worry too much so this has been helpful.

What social/political issues or causes resonate with you most, and why?

Inclusion of women and non-binary people of color. I see so many people around me who are talented and beautiful but not being recognized for it. Growing up in America, I didn’t realize the bigger issue and always believed everything was my fault. I also kept a lot of it to myself.

What has been the biggest challenge you’ve faced so far? How did you overcome it?

Facing people in music who do this not out of love, but greed. I keep good people around me that keep me inspired.

How did you get your start?

I was surrounded by people who loved music and fell in love with it myself. I was obsessed with music (listening, producing, sharing, finding, collaborating, performing, promoting.. every angle of it) and my passion was met with good people and good luck.

How do you define success for yourself? Is it different than happiness?

I think success is an icky word. Happiness is what gives me energy to love myself and others, and it inspires me to create and express.

When and where do you feel most creative?

It comes and goes, so there’s no one set place or time. Sometimes it’s right after I’ve gone out to an underground club show. Other times it’s on the subway on my way to a meeting. I think this will constantly change.

Who is your dream collaborator, in any field (music, art, fashion, etc.) and what kind of project would you love to do with this person? 

Bjork! I would love to brainstorm together and create an imaginary creature(critter) with her. When I see her work and listen to her music I feel like I can believe in anything! And that anything can be beautiful.

Where do you want to be professionally in 5 years? In 10 years?

In 5 years, I want to continue music, visual art, directing, collaborating. I want to dig deeper into music engineering, produce for other musicians, share my knowledge, create more opportunities for people in the underground scene. In 10 years, maybe I’ll have my own label. I hope to have created a platform where I can share talent by those who I believe in that are unrecognized. And to run programs for teaching marginalized kids how to make music and DJ.

What is the most enjoyable part of your job(s)?

Waking up and working with people I love, trust, and want to be around all the time on things that I care about deeply. Being able to empower others through the position I was fortunate to be placed in. <3

Credits: Casting by Harbinger Creative

UP NEXT

Zoe Saldana on Starring in Campari's New Short Film