Yaya Bey

BIOGRAPHY

New York-bred R&B vocalist Yaya Bey conjures a comprehensive self-portrait on her new studio album, Ten Fold. Where her previous works were earnest and mindful, Yaya’s new LP is definitive, harkening back to aspects of her past while examining the future of the world that surrounds her with a stream-of-conscious intentionality. Over rapturous production from Corey Fonville of jazz group Butcher Brown, Karriem Riggins, Jay Daniel, Exaktly and Boston Chery, Yaya delive...

New York-bred R&B vocalist Yaya Bey conjures a comprehensive self-portrait on her new studio album, Ten Fold. Where her previous works were earnest and mindful, Yaya’s new LP is definitive, harkening back to aspects of her past while examining the future of the world that surrounds her with a stream-of-conscious intentionality. Over rapturous production from Corey Fonville of jazz group Butcher Brown, Karriem Riggins, Jay Daniel, Exaktly and Boston Chery, Yaya delivers a free-spoken masterpiece that speaks to the intricacies of persevering through a year punctuated by grief and loss, life-altering milestones and everything in between. 

Nine months after releasing her powerful 2022 album Remember Your North Star, Yaya returned with Exodus the North Star, primed to evolve through the tumult. “I usually try to have this whole thematic thing when I go into albums. But this album I just made as life was happening,” she says. 

Working within that kind of open-ended creative rhythm allowed Yaya to enrich the album with moments that convey all of the endeavors, emotions and experiences that inform her work in music and beyond. She’s lived life as a poet, a street medic at protests and founded a mutual aid organization called Sanaa, an art curator (PG African American Museum), and a mixed media artist herself with a residency at Brooklyn’s Mocada Museum and creating the cover art for past projects (“keisha,” “september 13th,” The Things I Can’t Take With Me EP and more). The album ties a thread between these varying facets of Yaya’s identity to present a wholehearted portrait of who she is and carves out spaces for her to speak on the world as she sees it. On Ten Fold, she meditates on her inner being, falling in love, and in equal measure, commentates on the world and community around her, critiquing political conditions, like rising costs and the near-dystopian state of mankind. 

For a ludic and satirical listen, play the euphoric “eric adams in the club,” where Yaya name-checks the New York City mayor for attending public celebrations in the middle of citywide disarray. “We can't even party the same because of inflation and the housing crisis, but at least the mayor is partying with us,” Yaya jokes. 

Other sociopolitical concerns are also on Yaya’s mind. She refuses to buy another iPhone due to conflict minerals and child labor being used to funnel them out annually. Her New York friends are struggling to pay for shelter while rent prices surge. Pushing herself through the process of making an expansive LP, Yaya aimed for her work to be empathetic, showing her awareness of real life and its ever-changing circumstances. Yaya’s commitment to presenting the truth of her life as an artist lets her audience in on both the achievements and falters that are inherently part of a career making music, ridding herself of the façade of a flashy artistic persona and instead instilling an appreciation for what this journey has taught her.

Yaya pushes back against the journalistic notion that her central musical narrative finds her as a voice for struggling Black women, because Ten Fold proves that her music can contain multitudes, as does she when she turns her focus inward. No matter how she’s perceived, Yaya’s mission is to always maintain authenticity, primarily to supporters who have known her from the beginning.  “I hope that I never get too far removed from reality and relatability because then I failed,” she says. 

Yaya’s essence resides in the centerpiece track “sir princess bad bitch” a hypnotic earworm that finds the singer carefree as she sings “no other thing but the thing I am.” Although light in nature, in the song, Yaya muses about her existence as a genderqueer person. By Yaya’s definition, “sir princess bad bitch” represents the artist’s complexities. “This switch is very extreme; One day, I am a handsome fellow, and the next day, I'm onstage in a fucking gown,” Yaya confesses.

Just as inward and outward exploration is Yaya’s ethos, Ten Fold shines with unadulterated nuance in its writing. Soulful opener “crying through my teeth” sees Yaya carry the heaviness of life’s burdens through humor with punchy lines like “I got all this money but I’m still fucking broke.” Atmospheric production on “the evidence” coats Yaya’s gentle vocalizations and unsettling confessions like “sometimes I feel like I won’t make it.”

Interspersed throughout Ten Fold are glimpses of joy, like the lightly reggae-tinged “slow dancing in the kitchen,” which exudes Sunday morning intimacy. Yaya attests to her friend circle’s ability to recover themselves from their plights on the brief and glowing “me and all my niggas.” “Iloveyoufrankiebeverly,” has a nighttime barbecue feel, an appropriate homage to the Maze frontman. Each song flows with the therapeutic nature of the writing and freestyle sessions that it took for Ten Fold to manifest.

Yaya evokes her paternal homeland of Barbados like she’s in direct connection with her progenitors. Incorporating her Carribean roots, Yaya gives constant odes to her father Ayub Bey, whether on the verse-heavy “stuntin like my daddy” or in scattered audio clips, like the introduction of “me & mine,” where Bey reminds his daughter to “present yourself to the world like you’ve been somewhere.”

And really, she’s been everywhere – Yaya’s just letting us travel through it all sonically. A second-generation artist, the journey that Yaya witnessed firsthand gave her the tools necessary to develop a healthier relationship to music and accept the fruits of her labor. “It's a calling, and for me and my bloodline, it's an ancestral thing,” she says. In the path she’s paved as an artist, it’s Yaya’s truth that penetrates on Ten Fold. 


Forthcoming Events

May 2024
June 2024
July 2024
August 2024
November 2024

Yaya Bey

Popular Tracks

  1. meet me in brooklyn
  2. intro
  3. pour up
  4. on the pisces moon
  5. 12 houses down
  6. Play All (5)

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BIOGRAPHY

New York-bred R&B vocalist Yaya Bey conjures a comprehensive self-portrait on her new studio album, Ten Fold. Where her previous works were earnest and mindful, Yaya’s new LP is definitive, harkening back to aspects of her past while examining the future of the world that surrounds her with a stream-of-conscious intentionality. Over rapturous production from Corey Fonville of jazz group Butcher Brown, Karriem Riggins, Jay Daniel, Exaktly and Boston Chery, Yaya delivers a free-spoken mas...

New York-bred R&B vocalist Yaya Bey conjures a comprehensive self-portrait on her new studio album, Ten Fold. Where her previous works were earnest and mindful, Yaya’s new LP is definitive, harkening back to aspects of her past while examining the future of the world that surrounds her with a stream-of-conscious intentionality. Over rapturous production from Corey Fonville of jazz group Butcher Brown, Karriem Riggins, Jay Daniel, Exaktly and Boston Chery, Yaya delivers a free-spoken masterpiece that speaks to the intricacies of persevering through a year punctuated by grief and loss, life-altering milestones and everything in between. 

Nine months after releasing her powerful 2022 album Remember Your North Star, Yaya returned with Exodus the North Star, primed to evolve through the tumult. “I usually try to have this whole thematic thing when I go into albums. But this album I just made as life was happening,” she says. 

Working within that kind of open-ended creative rhythm allowed Yaya to enrich the album with moments that convey all of the endeavors, emotions and experiences that inform her work in music and beyond. She’s lived life as a poet, a street medic at protests and founded a mutual aid organization called Sanaa, an art curator (PG African American Museum), and a mixed media artist herself with a residency at Brooklyn’s Mocada Museum and creating the cover art for past projects (“keisha,” “september 13th,” The Things I Can’t Take With Me EP and more). The album ties a thread between these varying facets of Yaya’s identity to present a wholehearted portrait of who she is and carves out spaces for her to speak on the world as she sees it. On Ten Fold, she meditates on her inner being, falling in love, and in equal measure, commentates on the world and community around her, critiquing political conditions, like rising costs and the near-dystopian state of mankind. 

For a ludic and satirical listen, play the euphoric “eric adams in the club,” where Yaya name-checks the New York City mayor for attending public celebrations in the middle of citywide disarray. “We can't even party the same because of inflation and the housing crisis, but at least the mayor is partying with us,” Yaya jokes. 

Other sociopolitical concerns are also on Yaya’s mind. She refuses to buy another iPhone due to conflict minerals and child labor being used to funnel them out annually. Her New York friends are struggling to pay for shelter while rent prices surge. Pushing herself through the process of making an expansive LP, Yaya aimed for her work to be empathetic, showing her awareness of real life and its ever-changing circumstances. Yaya’s commitment to presenting the truth of her life as an artist lets her audience in on both the achievements and falters that are inherently part of a career making music, ridding herself of the façade of a flashy artistic persona and instead instilling an appreciation for what this journey has taught her.

Yaya pushes back against the journalistic notion that her central musical narrative finds her as a voice for struggling Black women, because Ten Fold proves that her music can contain multitudes, as does she when she turns her focus inward. No matter how she’s perceived, Yaya’s mission is to always maintain authenticity, primarily to supporters who have known her from the beginning.  “I hope that I never get too far removed from reality and relatability because then I failed,” she says. 

Yaya’s essence resides in the centerpiece track “sir princess bad bitch” a hypnotic earworm that finds the singer carefree as she sings “no other thing but the thing I am.” Although light in nature, in the song, Yaya muses about her existence as a genderqueer person. By Yaya’s definition, “sir princess bad bitch” represents the artist’s complexities. “This switch is very extreme; One day, I am a handsome fellow, and the next day, I'm onstage in a fucking gown,” Yaya confesses.

Just as inward and outward exploration is Yaya’s ethos, Ten Fold shines with unadulterated nuance in its writing. Soulful opener “crying through my teeth” sees Yaya carry the heaviness of life’s burdens through humor with punchy lines like “I got all this money but I’m still fucking broke.” Atmospheric production on “the evidence” coats Yaya’s gentle vocalizations and unsettling confessions like “sometimes I feel like I won’t make it.”

Interspersed throughout Ten Fold are glimpses of joy, like the lightly reggae-tinged “slow dancing in the kitchen,” which exudes Sunday morning intimacy. Yaya attests to her friend circle’s ability to recover themselves from their plights on the brief and glowing “me and all my niggas.” “Iloveyoufrankiebeverly,” has a nighttime barbecue feel, an appropriate homage to the Maze frontman. Each song flows with the therapeutic nature of the writing and freestyle sessions that it took for Ten Fold to manifest.

Yaya evokes her paternal homeland of Barbados like she’s in direct connection with her progenitors. Incorporating her Carribean roots, Yaya gives constant odes to her father Ayub Bey, whether on the verse-heavy “stuntin like my daddy” or in scattered audio clips, like the introduction of “me & mine,” where Bey reminds his daughter to “present yourself to the world like you’ve been somewhere.”

And really, she’s been everywhere – Yaya’s just letting us travel through it all sonically. A second-generation artist, the journey that Yaya witnessed firsthand gave her the tools necessary to develop a healthier relationship to music and accept the fruits of her labor. “It's a calling, and for me and my bloodline, it's an ancestral thing,” she says. In the path she’s paved as an artist, it’s Yaya’s truth that penetrates on Ten Fold. 

Forthcoming Events

May 2024
June 2024
July 2024
August 2024
November 2024