Yendry Comprises Multitudes and So Does Her Music

Yendry is a mosaic of the life experiences, nations, customs, and languages which have formed her. The Dominican-born, Italian-raised, musician (who speaks Spanish, Italian, and English) has been on the rise since 2019, laying down deeply autobiographical lyrics over hypnotizing beats, throughout genres like electronica, experimental pop, R&B en Español, dembow, and bachata. Yendry bares all of it in her songs and her storytelling goes to emotionally uncooked locations: revenge in opposition to abusive and poisonous husbands (“Barrio”), immigrant moms and their troublesome sacrifices (“Nena”), and humbling dudes who can’t settle for rejection (“El Diablo”).

The singer-songwriter, 29, was born Yendry Cony Fiorentino in Herrera, Santo Domingo to Dominican mother and father. At age three, her single mother, then 26, left for Italy. Yendry was left together with her maternal grandmother and 13 uncles, ailing from the absence and trauma of lacking her mom. Yendry’s mother returned the next 12 months and introduced her daughter to Turin, the place she later remarried an Italian man and had sons. Though raised in Italy, Yendry is a daughter of the Dominican diaspora; her relationship together with her Dominican tradition and roots are natural and on her phrases. By way of songs and in life, she navigates the fragments of her id—like being a Caribbean immigrant, the racism and xenophobia she and her mom encountered in Europe, and the difficult nuances of residing between two cultures.

She grew up listening to conventional Dominican musical genres, like merengue and bachata, whereas additionally being sonically influenced by Radiohead, FKA Twigs, Ella Fitzgerald, Nina Simone, James Blake, and SZA. Her first ballad and newest single, “La Puerta,” is an ethereal and tender ode to her beloved Italian grandfather who handed away in 2021.


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For her debut album, slated for a fall 2023 launch, her eclectic sonic decisions, and her self-described “grown girl” songwriting, are coming full circle. Yendry’s previous collaborations with reggae icon Damian “Jr. Gong” Marley on the very flirty “You,” Congolese-Belgian performer Lous and the Yakuza on the sensual monitor “Masquerade,” and British-Nigerian rapper Enny on the pulsating “Kiki” have additional cemented her abilities. And so they hold us intrigued for extra potential artist options on her debut.

In early Could, over Zoom from Los Angeles, Yendry is wearing a scoop-neck black prime and slick jewellery, wanting cool and candid. She talks thoughtfully about her Dominican roots, “the childbirth” of her forthcoming debut album, dropping her filter as she approaches 30, and the boss strikes she’s making as a world artist.

Your newest single, “La Puerta,” is a ballad about grief and household. What’s the non-public story behind it?

This tune has a really deep story behind It. I wrote it two years in the past with Vicente Barco, he’s a Colombian artist and songwriter. I like working with him. I don’t work with lots of people on writing as a result of it’s a really private factor. So I wrote “La Puerta” after my grandpa handed away. He handed away on April 18th, two years in the past, and I wrote the tune that June, so I used to be nonetheless grieving. The producer, Fede [Federico] Vindver, took a guitar and he began these two chords. The tune may be very easy, very intimate. I stored it very impartial, the hook is like, “A veces pienso / Si una foto fuera más que un recuerdo / Como una puerta que se puede abrir / Entrar por un abrazo y salir…” I keep in mind I didn’t get the possibility to say goodbye to my grandpa ‘trigger I used to be right here within the U.S. and he was in Italy. They simply known as me and so they informed me and I’m like, “Fuck.” I’m actually spending my complete life sacrificing and simply centered on my job. My mother and father, my household, they’re getting older. And that type of hit me, ‘trigger I didn’t get the possibility to say goodbye. So once I wrote the tune, I stored it very generic ‘trigger I needed folks to narrate. I feel it may be about somebody in your loved ones, it may be a lover. Even English-speaking those who hearken to it and don’t perceive fully nonetheless acquired goosebumps. That’s the suggestions I had.

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And “Herrera”, your first bachata single, is the identify of the barrio in Santo Domingo you have been born in. It’s a love letter to your Dominicanidad and your hometown. Did you’re feeling any strain? Particularly with making a bachata that’s authentically you?

Sure! A number of strain. [Laughs] No, however I gotta say the strain got here extra from myself as a result of I grew up listening to bachata. I even have a public playlist on Spotify, with all my favourite bachatas that I grew up with, like Monchy & Alexandra, Juan Luis Guerra, Yoskar Sarante, Frank Reyes. Rising up with a really established and old-school style, it was very difficult for me to make my very own model of it. After I made the bachata a while in the past, I began it with the UK producer [Moon Willis], and he actually didn’t learn about bachata. However, he informed me he simply purchased a bachata guitar, and he was finding out completely different folkloristic genres around the globe. I began the bachata with him after which I felt like, “ah, man, I don’t know if I can contact this.” I went to search for a Dominican bachatero guitarist, Yasser Tejeda. If we’re making a bachata, I do know I’m gonna have my very own vocals and lyrics, that are just a little bit extra pop. On the similar time I would like the guitar to be there, which is the principal factor. I would like the beat to be precisely a bachata. It must be danceable, it must have all of the issues that I fell in love with a bachata for. I used to be scared, ‘trigger I used to be like, “Yendry, you’re gonna fuck this up.” However I at all times put lots of strain on myself. I discovered tips on how to stay with it. And it’s really a type of songs that I hearken to, which is bizarre, ‘trigger I often don’t hearken to my very own music. I find it irresistible ‘trigger it’s very passionate. It’s concerning the begin of a love story, and I occurred to be in that actual second of my life. And I needed it to be that, as a result of, you recognize, bachatas are actually dramatic.

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You’ve shot many tasks in DR (music movies for “Se Acabo” and “En El Patio”), and also you proceed with “Herrera.” Despite the fact that you have been raised in Italy, there isn’t one solution to be Dominican. Are you able to speak about showcasing your Dominican tradition to the world?

I grew up between Italy and the DR, however each time I’d go to DR, I’m from the capital [Santo Domingo], I’d simply keep in my grandma’s home, with my aunties coming over, and all my cousins, we’re like forty-two cousins… I haven’t seen a lot of the island. After I was 20 I used to be like, “Okay Mother, I’m going again to DR on my own, ‘trigger I would like to determine what’s happening with me, and why I really feel so completely different in Italy, in a white society that’s very old-minded as it’s.” I’ve at all times been like the one Dominican woman within the faculty, the one Dominican woman on the town. I by no means felt that sense of neighborhood, with different communities in Italy. I’m like, “I gotta go and work out what’s happening and who I’m.” I went to go to the whole lot, Cabrera, Bayahibe, Las Terrenas—I did all of the rounds. After I landed in DR, on my own, I felt at residence. I used to be like, “Wait, that is the place I’m imagined to be.” It’s one thing I can’t actually clarify, perhaps it comes out of your ancestors. The place I come from, I’m not afraid to speak about, “Oh I’m from the hood in DR.” Yo soy de Herrera. I’m a hustler in life, and it’s not since you develop up in Italy that you just’re like, “I’m cool, I’m chilling.” I needed to change faculties twice due to racism. I’ve been combating my id, and to be accepted and to discover a neighborhood. There’s lots of shit that you just convey from being, clearly, an immigrant youngster. After I did COLORS, lots of Dominican ladies texted me, “You realize what’s cool about you? You present up together with your curls, and also you appear like me, and I don’t have many references for that on the earth.” And I’m like, okay, that is getting greater than I assumed.

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You’ve made unpredictable sonic decisions in your profession to this point; dembow, bachata, electronica, alt Latin pop, and extra. What sounds can we anticipate in your upcoming debut?

Every little thing! [Laughs] I feel rising up between two cultures actually gave me this open-minded strategy to the whole lot. My favourite artists as properly, like OutKast, they’d a wide selection of issues. I by no means needed to place myself in a field. So, if I’ve to have this job, I’ve to take pleasure in it, and simply experiment and do what I like. On the album there can be a mixture of completely different genres, which is attribute of my music, massive basses, robust melodies, and choir preparations. I’m speaking so much concerning the wrestle to search out your self at residence once you’re touring so much, and you’ve got a blended cultural background. I would like it to characterize me one hundred pc, so I’m sharing lots of what I’ve been experiencing within the final two years. I additionally love to do the whole lot myself, like discovering the melodies. I like after they get collectively and so they overlap, you recognize, Frank Ocean fashion. And I faucet into completely different—I wouldn’t say cultures, however completely different vibes. An Afrobeats tune, clearly the bachata, there’s a rap tune, as a result of I rap as properly and I grew up with that. If my first album must be what I current myself to the world, I would like it to be the whole lot I’m. I see it as childbirth.





From the very begin with songs like “Barrio” and “Nena,” you’ve been a storyteller who’s connecting the dots between DR and Italy, and pulling us nearer in to pay attention. What tales are you telling in your forthcoming debut challenge?

I began speaking about issues that I used to be nearer to, like my mother’s story. Typically I’d put just a little little bit of my mother’s story and my aunt’s story. We’re sponges, so that you simply get no matter you develop up with. On this album I’m speaking extra about myself and the way I’m feeling. I’ve been touring around the globe for 3 years now, not having a home or a base. After I return to Italy, I don’t actually really feel like that’s my residence anymore ‘trigger I’m rising. There’s a giant distinction between what I’m making an attempt to do, and what my pals wish to obtain in life, which isn’t greater, it’s simply completely different when it comes to wavelength. They’re extra into the sluggish life and I’m extra like, “Okay, let’s go, I gotta play Lollapalooza!” [Laughs]

“In case you really feel like a weirdo, ‘trigger you ended up talking three languages and listening to Stevie Surprise, Aphex Twin, and Juan Luis Guerra, that’s okay.”

I’m speaking about these struggles, and I really feel like my challenge is de facto speaking to that younger technology, that mixed-culture technology, that don’t really feel like they match. ‘Trigger that’s how I really feel. After I’m in L.A., it’s like I don’t match into this tradition. In New York, I really feel nearer to the tradition, however I don’t actually match. In DR, I’m nonetheless gonna be the Italian woman for them. After I’m in Italy, I’m nonetheless the Dominican woman, so I’m on this limbo [where] it’s a must to work out your self and simply create your individual neighborhood. I’d say a giant message of my challenge is: In case you really feel like a weirdo, ‘trigger you ended up talking three languages and listening to Stevie Surprise, Aphex Twin, and Juan Luis Guerra, that’s okay. That richness isn’t one thing incorrect with you. ‘Trigger as a young person I assumed it was one thing incorrect with me and now I accepted it and I made it my very own artwork. These are the subjects, and in addition as a lady, I at all times attempt to speak about girls’s empowerment, and simply issues that individuals don’t really feel snug speaking about. Like, home abuse, immigrant moms, and durations.

You’ve collaborated with lots of Caribbean people: Damian Marley, and music video administrators, Kieran Khan (“Ya,” “You”) and Dior Rodriguez (“Herrera”). As a Caribeña, discuss to me about this significance.

I really feel like typically we often give props to different forms of folks, due to how society was constructed earlier than us. If I’m capturing a video in DR, I would like it to be somebody from right here, that is aware of the island, and is aware of the way it works to shoot a video down right here, ‘trigger it’s fully completely different. There’s lots of expertise on the island as properly. I do it even with designers. After I had my live performance there [Isle of Light music festival in DR], I requested my pal who’s a designer [Mánnelik Ortega Morel] in Santo Domingo to assist me with the outfit. It’s cool to present props to the locals, you recognize? ‘Trigger I really feel like as an artist you virtually have a accountability doing that. If I’ve a much bigger platform, and it’s not big, however no matter I can do, I wanna do it. As a result of on the finish of the day, that’s what we’re forsaking.



Your 12 months is full of music festivals, and arising there’s SummerStage in New York, Lollapalooza Berlin, and extra. How do you’re feeling that you just’re changing into a stronger performer?

That’s actually like a health club, it’s actually like coaching. I really feel like I used to be already a stay efficiency artist coming from a jazz manouche background. I needed to carry out in entrance of like 5 folks. That’s the toughest factor to do, ‘trigger they’re simply in silence ready. It’s like, “Let’s see what she does.” [Laughs] Then with the opposite band [Materianera, Yendry’s former group], I keep in mind we used to go round Italy by automobile and typically convey our personal gear, cables, and stuff. I used to do all of that on my own. Now it feels loopy; you get there, and there’s already somebody caring for it, it’s like a luxurious for me. Dwell music is the explanation why I do what I do. I really feel like that provides me power and motivation to go on. My challenge type of exploded throughout quarantine, so I didn’t get the possibility to have a response from the viewers. Even when folks began to acknowledge me within the streets, I didn’t understand it, due to Covid.

You flip 30 in July and have achieved main milestones in your twenties to this point. What do you’re feeling is subsequent?

Woman, I’m a grown girl now! [Laughs] I really feel like earlier than, I had a filter, and now I identical to, discuss, you recognize?… Can I simply say no matter involves me? Typically, I’m identical to at these company conferences and I’m like, “I gotta go change my pad.” [Laughs] I’m far more assured with my physique. I really feel like rising up in Italy as a Dominican, I’ve at all times been like this object, I’ve at all times been like unique for them. I didn’t wanna find yourself within the stereotype that I used to be like a simple woman simply due to how I used to be dressed.

I was like a Billie Eilish kind. Every little thing was tremendous giant as a result of I didn’t wanna present my curves, I didn’t wanna put my magnificence in entrance, and I needed folks to guage me for who I used to be as an alternative of how I appeared. Now, I’m identical to, “Hear, I’m not sporting a bra simply because it makes you’re feeling uncomfortable, like, I can’t breathe so…” I’m getting extra assured on that aspect and I’ve been by way of so much when it comes to my job and my life experiences. I don’t like losing my time, I’ve much less persistence. I’m extra selective with who I spend my time with. And the very last thing is that I’m extra assured with my very own concepts. Even the “La Puerta” video, I directed it with my pal [Alberto Chimenti Dezani], and I used to be like, “That is what I like, that is what I envision.” Earlier than, I’d’ve been like, “Oh, I had this concept, however I’m undecided…” Now it’s extra like, “That is how I see it, and if we fuck it up, we fuck it up.” However I’m far more open to get into it and belief my very own concepts.

“I’ve to be throughout the whole lot. It’s my music, my lyrics, my very own experiences that I’m placing out.”

I like that. I noticed that you just co-directed Kiki as properly, and I noticed you co-write your whole songs. So, for me, together with your songwriting, and co-directing your music movies, it’s about possession.

It’s my profession, which implies it’s my life. ‘Trigger this factor doesn’t provide you with a private life. So I’m like, if it’s gonna be that approach, then I’ve to be throughout the whole lot. It’s my music, my lyrics, my very own experiences that I’m placing out.

This interview has been edited and condensed.

Headshot of Jasmin Hernandez

Jasmin Hernandez is a Black Dominican Yorker primarily based in Harlem, New York. She is an writer and founding father of Gallery Gurls, which reps for BIPOC within the artwork world.