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  • Writer's picturePete Villalino

Ysa Yaneza Talks About Her Childhood, Women Empowerment in ‘1Nightwitu’, and Her Upcoming EP Debut

Ysa Yaneza, the Singaporean-Filipino artist “inspired by her upbringing in multicultural Singapore,” likes to put her own spin on the bubblegum-pop genre also tagged as the “Y2K treatment”. In her interview with Parcinq, she talks about her recently released single ‘1Nightwitu’ — a female empowerment bop that calls on women to embrace their sexuality and be reminded of their self-worth.

In a zoom interview, we got to know Ysa Yaneza in her bedroom in Singapore. The bubblegum-pop artist, who is set to embark on a Manila Press Tour this Nov 2022 to promote her self-titled debut EP, gave us a ‘Tea’ about how she went from writing about puppy love to loving herself as a woman.

What’s a day in the life of Ysa Yaneza?

Well, right now it’s like I wake up, I always have a cup of coffee in the morning to start my day to get into the headspace, and then it's usually — you know music isn’t always glamorous there's always the checking of emails, just talking to my collaborators. I’m putting out an EP soon and this is the first time I'm actually working with collaborators from all over the world so it's really like matching timezones. So it’s either I’m recording some vocals for the EP or I’m making content for social media like TikTok and Instagram.

Your passion for music started when you were really young. Did you ever experience having to sing or dance in front of your relatives (as most Filipino/Asian kids have)?

I mean, I think that's where everyone starts right? I think those training years of just performing for your relatives for like 10 pesos, you know it's like, you get your 10 pesos to buy Chocnut at the — what do you call those stores in the corner again? Kanto?

When I was younger, I was in the Philippines and my memories are mostly during Christmas. The relatives would come together and be like, "Oh Ysa, if you want to get Chocnut, dance for us!" and I love a snack and I love a treat so.

You did a cover of ‘True’ by Spandau Ballet which was released during the height of the pandemic, dedicating it to your late Father. What was your relationship with him like?

I think he really kind of ignited that spark for art and music and I honestly don't know if I'd be doing this if not for those years of him just kind of like introducing me to all like those kinds of music, like the 80s and the 90s, and I think you'll hear that a lot in my upcoming EP — like those synth influences from the past and kind of just giving Y2K treatment to it.


On her Youtube channel, she uploaded her first vlog diary when she went on a trip to Italy. As a fan of The Lizzie McGuire Movie (2003) it has always been her dream to visit the city of Rome—reliving her ‘Isabela” moment. So we asked her; what are dreams made of? Do you think you’ve achieved your childhood dreams?

Definitely! I think there's a saying - you define your own success. So the fact that I think, first of all, the fact that I got to learn how to make music to start with, honestly, I wouldn't have been able to imagine that when I was younger. But I eventually got into it and then I started making music videos with it, and I just kept going.

I think just being able to keep going I think is what dreams are made of, because it’s so easy to give up and be discouraged, by let's say negative comments. But then my moral support; family and friends, that kind of helped me along in this journey of being an artist and just going into adulthood. What dreams are made of is just being able to keep going.

What were some of the inspirations behind your early music?

Honestly, it's all about having little crushes. I feel like those songs were all written when I was still in school, so I feel like I had a different perspective on things and definitely younger like more innocent looking, or lense on looking at love and relationships and kinda just like, dealing with growing up. So yeah, a lot of the inspo came from just having crushes - trying going on dates, or my friends telling me about their experiences.

Can you try to describe that one particular moment when you were able to define the sound in your head based on the experience you had when writing ‘1Nightwitu’?

When I'm writing the music I’m already kind of envisioning the visuals for it, so sometimes it could be a color, or like an imagery. For example with ‘1nightwitu’, when I was writing it, I just kept thinking about beaches. I think this is because it was written during lockdown when everything was kind of closed and I think I really wanted to be at the beach, and then I actually got to live that experience.

In your upcoming EP, what message would you like to get through to listeners?

Even when I listen to other musicians' music it's just kind of like feeling like you're not alone. So I guess that's kind of like what I hope my music transcends to like for ‘1nightwitu’ it's just about having a good time and also kind of being empowered about yourself, especially as a woman. I think over the years people are paying more attention to women's rights, and also as an individual, don't stoop so low for a person - like you have to embrace and love yourself first. Basically, that's what I'm going for this song, so when you walk in at the club it's like, “Whoa! I’m ready to have fun and be me.

Aside from collaborating with songwriters/producers, are we going to see more features in your upcoming self-titled EP? Are you gonna be collaborating with an artist soon?

I’m so undecided on these things. I definitely like to collaborate with producers but in terms of a feature, I don't know I’m so shy. I'm too shy to approach people. Maybe I need to take some baby steps here because this is going to be my debut EP and I wanna put that out first, and then we'll see where that takes me.

Who’s someone you wanna collaborate with in the future?

Dream collabs would be like Rina Sawayama or Charli XCX. They're just two queens that are untouchable - I don't know, but what if though?

As you embark on a Manila Press Tour this Nov 2022 to promote your self-titled EP debut. What can you share with us so far?

I'll be showing up and promoting my EP on radio stations and just more interviews. Hopefully, some performances too along the way, and then I'm also looking into collaborating with local TikTok influencers because that's what I’ve been doing here in Singapore, so I'm just waiting to do that as well in Manila. Also, meet new people and check out parties!

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