ARTIST NAME: Ymi

 

SONG TITLE: Tomorrow Come

 

ALBUM TITLE: Black Heart

 

RELEASE DATE: 03 04 2020

 

GENRE: Electronic/Alt-pop/Indie

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Ymi is the brainchild of Gabriele Griciute, a Lithuanian born, London based singer, producer, song-writer.

 

 

Gabriele, together with the accompaniment of some atmospheric guitar strumming by Andrius Mack, explores indie, electronic, synth, experimental pop music by stretching its boundaries and morphing it into something new in Ymi’s self-produced and released debut album Black Heart.

 

Black Heart is the metamorphosis of years of the different experiences Gabriele had been through – from her days as a jazz singer in her hometown, artist survival mode living in the super-fast-paced London, to long nights experimenting with digital glitches.

 

Ymi’s music fluctuates as do the lives of the artists behind it, sometimes it’s steadily upbeat, sometimes it swings to a melancholic down-tempo. The artists always remain true to themselves, are asking questions and trying to gather some answers, which is imprinted in the name Ymi.

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Share your life story with us.

I was born in Kaunas, the second biggest city in Lithuania, housing a population of 300k people. Music came to my life at a very early age, as my parents enrolled me in a music school when I was little. Although I had to take violin, piano, and other classes, it was singing that particularly stuck with me. My passion for singing eventually evolved in me graduating the Lithuanian Academy of Music and Theatre, but unexpectedly – as a Sound Engineer. The main reason why I chose this course was that after spending a lot of time in studios as a session singer in the live booth, I wanted to have more control of what the end result sounded like when it came to my own music.

 

In addition to lectures about recording, I was exposed to a lot of different disciplines and ended up acquiring the skill set of a sound designer and audio post-production engineer. This set in motion a lot of things that defined a large portion of my life after graduating.

 

I moved to London where I did work for a South London based audio post-production house by the name of Tate Post, with a couple of friends we founded our own collaboration of sound artists by the name of ORO Audio, and so on. I felt like my sound engineer career was getting a larger and larger portion of my attention. But my main passion – my album on which I started working while still at University was dusting away on a shelf. There were always good intentions, but never enough time to do what I wanted to do more than anything.

 

Finally, one day I realized that if I won’t start right now, I probably never will. I made Black Heart my number one priority and this is how I ended up right here where I am right now.
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List the names of those that have supported you so far in your music career and use this opportunity to thank them.

There are so many people who supported me along the way, that I won’t be able to list all of them. But to point out a few, I would love to thank my parents and sister who always had my back and lifted me up if I was ever down.

 

I’d also like to thank all of my teachers along the way, especially my mentor, pop-music producer Raigardas.

 

Finally, my partner, biggest supporter, Ymi member, and greatest friend – Andrius Mack. I thank them all, my music will always belong to them as well as to every person I have met in my life that helped me create memories and experience emotions which later on, one way or another ended up in my music.

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Narrate your experience while recording in the studio or while touring.

Like so many other music producers around the world, I mostly record and produce music in my bedroom. It has its pros and cons. It’s great that I can create whenever I want to, I love the feeling of totally zoning into a song, losing track of time until the sunlight and birds chirping away early in the morning break the hypnosis. However, this working method does present its fair share of challenges as well. Avoiding problematic acoustics and acknowledging the fact that my neighbors sometimes want to sleep, I learned to work with headphones. This could cover a massive blog post of its own, but I think with all of the new technologies available for affordable prices, nowadays it really is possible to achieve great results even without massive speakers in acoustically treated rooms. Don’t get me wrong though, I love working in studios when I can as well, there’s something special about the atmosphere, communal feeling and the process of nerding out on all of the gear that they tend to have.
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Discuss your songwriting.

Songwriting is an ever-changing process. I have no rulebook. Sometimes it just pops into your head – an idea or a short phrase that eventually leads to a song or a musical piece.

 

 

Other times, you might sit by the computer or next to the piano for what seems like forever, listening to a clock, relentlessly ticking closer and closer to a deadline. In a sense that is what keeps it interesting, you always have to find new ways and new methods of how to motivate yourself.

 

I tend to look for inspiration in various different genres of art and music, for example, I am now learning how to read and follow Gregorian Chants. I want to explore those melodies and learn ways to develop and create my own.

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Elaborate on your future projects.

After the official release of Black Heart, we want to play it live! But of course, with the current coronavirus situation, we can only wait and see when we’ll be able to begin. In the meantime we will continue to write music and who knows – maybe we won’t need another 5 years to release a second album.

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Tell us what you are doing to increase your fan base.

I would like to create a fan base that would be like a community, I would like us all to be able to share our music, other types of arts, and life experiences with one another.

 

At the moment I am only learning the ropes on social media, so this is still an on-going project. In terms of growing it, I am doing the only thing I think I can – I try to be honest about who I am, present it to people on the usual platforms, hoping they might relate to and like the content.

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Tell us that point in time you wanted to give up on your music career.

Honestly, I don’t think I ever intended to give up music. Yes, the sound design thing expanded and I had doubts whether I should learn other skills to be able to earn enough money to survive, but the intention was always that all these other things would only support the music. I truly believe that if a person works, tries hard, and puts love into what they are doing, with enough time they will succeed. I’m not saying it’s easy though, at times it might even be awful, but there is great comfort in the fact that you are doing what you love.

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Go into detail on how you make your instrumentation or melody.

In the past, I used to just sing on top of playing the piano, record it on my phone, use it as a reference, and from that point onwards produce everything on my computer.

 

Today though, I am more likely to do the instrumentation first and only then come up with a melody line. Once again there is no rule that I follow, just how I feel at that moment.

 

In search of inspiration, I like playing instruments, those that I can play, and those that I can’t, as for example the guitar – I just like strumming the strings or playing easy melodies to see if any patterns sound interesting.

 

I love playing around with synths, experimenting by recording random household objects, later on using them as percussion to make weird rhythms. I find it particularly interesting to play with my voice. I do this thing where for hours I sing melodies, afterward chopping, editing, pitching, stretching, and modulating the recording, making short pieces and blending them into one as an instrument. You can hear a lot of that in Black Heart.

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Tell us about your favourite genre of music.

I tend to not think in this way and don’t really have a favorite genre of music, because why would I? I want to have 100s of favorites. I could probably give you a song that I truly like from most genres, from 90s Grunge to Techno. The same applies to writing music. I try to not limit myself to a single genre, but rather just create whatever I feel like at a certain moment, not paying too much attention to what box it falls in.
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Tell us the theme of most of your songs.

It is self-exploration and self-observation. That consists of many things though – love, emotions, mind exploration, inner peace, ego, anger, rage, realizations, relationships and so much more.

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Discuss digital distribution and streaming.

For this album, we are using DistroKid as our distributor and all the streaming services that they work with. We mainly monitor YouTube (this is where all our lyric videos are), Spotify, Apple Music, and Amazon Music.

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Tell us numerous ways that artists can boost their revenue.

Again, I wish I would be an expert here, but I am only just starting out and am trying to explore all the possible ways of putting my music out there. I am looking out for people who write music blogs (like you guys), I am looking for people who cover music-related articles and people who create playlists, all so that my music would be heard.

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Tell us your opinion on self-training and enrolling in an educational institution to study music.

My opinion is that everyone finds their own way of studying music. Personally, studying at the Lithuanian Academy of Music and Theatre introduced me to a lot of like-minded people and motivated me to learn about all the inner workings of making a record.

 

Although, the biggest leap happened when I started working in a recording studio, learning from my mentor Raigardas. At the same time, I believe that all of that wouldn’t have accounted for much had I not spent loads of time watching YouTube videos, reading music and audio related articles, and most importantly listening to loads and loads of great music. Which method was the best one for learning? I couldn‘t say. All of them were very important in my life and brought me so many good, useful, and inspirational things.

 

I would recommend trying all that is possible for you and see what works best. Also, not only music-related programs or studies can help or benefit you when composing and writing music. I know a lot of artists and composers who were studying disciplines like architecture or neuroscience and that influenced their music in a very unique way.

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State your artist’s name and elaborate on it.

Ymi. I tend to overthink and over-question things in life and my thoughts. It might be a burden, but it is also a source of what inspires me to write music. This is the reason Ymi sounds like another question. And a pretty big one.

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State the title of the song and the meaning.

Tomorrow Come. The song is about how life, however beautiful it is, sometimes becomes intense. How it sometimes can be overwhelming and lead us to wrongly assume there’s no way out of a difficult situation. However, tomorrow always comes and life swiftly changes again. It always does.

 

This song represents the request and wait for tomorrow that I turn to when everything gets gloomy. I appreciate this is nothing new and everyone knows this, but at least for me, it’s a truth that I tend to easily forget. My wish is that perhaps if someone is in a similar situation that I sometimes find myself in, maybe this song would help remind them of this simple truth.

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State the title of the album and the reason for choosing the title.

Black Heart. It shares the same title with one of the songs from the album. While recording and producing Black Heart I worked very closely with Andrius Mack who is a co-writer of the song. While working on this song I realized that I don’t want Ymi to be just about one person, not about a single album or song, but more than that. I realized it should be a project, a collaboration of different artists and creators, expressing their different views, tastes, genres, and energies. The song helped change the perspective of the entire album and made us focus on exploring different parts of our creativity. Black Heart is a very dynamic song about finding inner inspiration, inner energy, and inner peace. Black Heart mirrors and in a way shaped the entire album, so it seemed appropriate naming the album after it.


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