Yoyou (@yoyoufree) is an artist whose music encapsulates what she feels now so that it becomes a reason for happiness in the future. Maybe that’s why her sound, created together with producer Efeewma (@efeewma), seems to be part of an illusion: her songs are meant to become memories.
With this way of creating, thinking about the present and the future, Yoyou shows a conscious way of looking at life, not taking for granted what she has now and its potential. Although this should not be the case, sometimes this awareness only appears when you lose something. For Yoyou, this happened when she entered prison.
Yoyou started making music in 2020 to celebrate a feeling she never expected to experience: the joy of regaining freedom. By recognizing and rejoicing in what you feel now instead of anxiously looking forward to the future, you will be preparing for it.
Chorareii: First, introduce yourself!
Yoyou: My name is Yoyou. It means “relaxed” in Japanese. Being relaxed makes you be kind to others. I am 23 years old and from Kanagawa Prefecture, Japan.
I like orgasms, good energy, and studying (because it’s refreshing). I also like to verbalize my inner feelings and write them down on paper.
You are referred to as “Scum Muse” sometimes. Why this nickname?
Beautiful things are, of course, wonderful. However, I like the garbage thrown away on the street, the street rats in Shibuya, etc. I’m interested in those things that are generally called “dirty”. I want to know them better, and I want to love them.
For that reason, a friend said “Scum Muse is perfect for you!”
How did you start making music?
During my senior year of college, just before graduation, I was arrested. It was an intense experience. At the same time, I lost the desire to work as a “normal” person.
It’s not cool, but if I hadn’t been arrested, I wouldn’t be making music. I now understand a little bit what it’s like to be a gang rapper. Something like, “This is the only way for me! Blah!” [laughs].
Why did you choose music, what does music have for you that nothing else has?
My late father was a painter, so there was a moment when I thought about painting. However, I chose music because I felt it was the most directly connected to my memory among the many types of expression. My music is a gift from my present self to my future self.
What artists, songs, or records made you want to make music too?
The singer YUKI and her song “Joy” and the singer Chara and her song “Sweet Sweet.”
I’m not very good at English yet, so I prefer music with Japanese lyrics that convey the meaning of the song.
My friends around me are all making music, so of course, they inspire me!
Your first single “202022” was released in 2020 with a video. Tell me about it!
I was 22 years old in the year 2020. I had just finished my time in jail, I was living in the outside world without handcuffs, and I thought, “I’m so free!” This is my favorite song I’ve ever written.
The video was filmed at an amusement park I used to go to when I was in school — I used to skip class to go there by myself — and at my favorite beach with my friends.
This year 2021 you have released the EP PISS. What messages, feelings, and thoughts do you express in it?
“To Future Me,
This is how I feel now in 2020.”
I didn’t think much about the quality of the songs themselves. When I was writing the songs for the EP, I was still reeling from the shock of my arrest. I might have made this EP to cheer myself up.
You work alongside Efeewma (@efeewma). What is it like to work together? What connection unites you when creating music?
Efeewma is such a big part of me! He knows 30 times more about music than I do and has taught me about all kinds of music, from bands to techno. He and I don’t really like the same kind of music, so I enjoy our chemistry. We’re like crazy buddies!
Your song “Newtype” has been included in the compilation “P-VINE & PRKS9 Presents The Nexxxt” by the independent Tokyo label P-VINE. It includes artists that the label considers to have the potential to stand out in the future. How did this opportunity come about and why is it important to you?
It was the first time I was invited to participate in a compilation album, and I took the opportunity with curiosity and excitement.
I don’t want to be pigeonholed into a genre, so if you ask me, “Are you a rapper? the answer is “No.” However, when I made this song with Efeewma, I said, “Let’s make something that sounds like rap music you’ve never heard before!” The beats are funny and interesting, aren’t they?
You often write pieces on the platform Note, some of them about your detention experience. What does writing mean to you?
Journaling has been a habit of mine since I was three years old. I also have a poor memory due to my ADHD, so writing helps me.
However, when I try to write something interesting for people to read, it loses its naturalness. For that reason, I haven’t been updating my notes lately.
You have a strong connection to Avyss magazine (@avyssmagazine). You usually perform at the Avyss events and you have even been the face of the Avyss Community promotion, alongside the writer Yukinoise. How did this collaboration start?
When I released my first song last year, the first person who responded was Mr. Sakuma (@nobuyukisakuma) from AVYSS, which made me happy.
I think AVYSS is one of the coolest media in Japan, and I have a lot of gratitude and trust in Mr. Sakuma, so if there’s anything I can do to help AVYSS, I’d like to do it.
I have seen you at flea markets selling very cool magazines. Are you a collector?
I love Japanese culture, especially from 1997 (my birth year) to 2003. I just think it was a genius time when Japan was shining, and I know there are a lot of people who feel the same way.
I envy the Japan of that time when it was OK to use extreme expressions that would get you bashed nowadays. For this reason, I have bought a lot of magazines from those years at auctions, without caring about the price.
When I am invited to flea markets, I often bring exquisite magazines with me.
What projects do you have in the future?
When the coronavirus situation is over, maybe next year, I plan to go on a trip abroad by myself. I definitely want to get a fresh feeling there and make something tangible out of it! I want to make a video that makes everyone feel good just by watching it.
Yoyou is not about wanting to be famous! Yoyou is more about what I want to do now than what I want to be famous for, so I may disappear one day!