Artist Profile Yaeji
“When the sweaty walls are banging, I don’t f*** with family planning. Make it rain, girl, make it rain. Make it rain, girl, make it rain.”
The date is February 16, 2019. A Saturday. The time is 4:30 PM. Nothing is going on. Nothing is planned for the evening. Then the phone rings.
Artist Profile Yaeji
The first time we saw Yaeji live in concert, the night went something like this…
Hey, what do you want to do tonight?
Nothing really. Prefer to just relax…
Yeah, me too. I think I need to lay down and take a nap.
…10 minutes later. Bring!…Bring!…
Hey, me again… Soooo, I actually changed my mind and got us tickets to III Points.
Huh… III Points it is then.
So, there we are riding down to Miami in an Uber on our way to III Points music festival. And all by 6 PM.
We don’t know which musicians are playing at which stage or at what time. Heck, we don’t even know which musicians are playing at the festival. But nonetheless, good music awaited us.
We were treated to an unlikely surprise early into the festivities: Masego. If you have never heard of Masego, there’s plenty of cause to listen to his debut album Lady Lady right here.
More importantly, if you ever have the opportunity to see Masego perform live, take it. He’s a one-of-a-kind performer. Word of warning: one way or another, his music will manage to seduce you. Don’t tell us you weren’t warned. 😉
A few hours into the festival, after performances by Masego and James Blake, we found ourselves following the beat of some distant song. Lured by heavy vibrations, we waded through the shifting current of concert-goers rushing this way and that.
We neared closer.
Sounds of whispers souped in drum-heavy beats—that of Yaeji—had drawn us in.
It is there we stayed for some time.
There is a certain charm to Yaeji that you don’t come across often in the house music scene. Her whispered lyrics are so fragile, yet when contrasted by their meaning and dense instrumentals they are alluring—almost commanding. So, we danced. As if we had a choice.
Yaeji, né Kathy Yaeji Lee, is a Korean-American artist born in New York then later raised in two very different cultures: Atlanta, Georgia and South Korea.
In an interview with Natalie Barr for Interview, Yaeji goes on to explain “[that] I didn’t look like anyone I was surrounded by in Atlanta. They didn’t know where Korea was. When I lived in Korea, I was way more fluent in English, and couldn’t articulate myself in Korean, even though everyone looked like me, so I was misunderstood. I just felt like anywhere I go, because of my background, that was always a given, even to this day.”
Which may be why certain elements of her music are so secretive—subdued even. From delicately tuned murmurings in English, Yaeji blends Korean lyrics as if paying tribute to her dynamic cultural upbringing.
If you catch dance fever this Spring—much like we did at Yaeji’s III Points performance—check out her 2017 debut album EP2. It’s only 5 songs deep, but it will definitely get you on your feet burning some calories.