We had the opportunity to catch one of Anjunadeep’s up and coming artists, Yotto, for a quick chat before he set off for the studio in the countryside of Finland. For those who haven’t discovered Yotto, but are fans of the Anjunadeep sound, you’re in for a treat. With a creative process as natural as his, it only makes sense he would fall into the hands of Anjunadeep just as electronic music fell into his. Yotto’s featured Anjunadeep mix was praised by listeners through and through as, “One of the best Anjunadeep mixes to date.” His sound meshes beautifully with his fellow Anjunadeep artists, catching your ear with rolling bass lines, acoustic samples and ethereal synths – it’s sure to inspire calm within. We sat down and talked about his background and the process in creating his latest EP, Wondering.
URB: For the readers who haven’t had the opportunity to hear your music yet, can you give them a description of your sound?
Yotto: I would tell them it’s quite emotional dance music that swims between the club and the comfort of your own couch. It’s all structurally rooted in house music but I’d like to say there’s more to it.
URB: What is your creative process like? Do you have any rituals or habits to get into a creative headspace?
Yotto: I guess everybody says that creativity cannot be switched on but I think it can be encouraged. Creative headspace usually occurs for me in solitude, at night, in the morning, whenever I feel like I can disappear into that certain mood and just stay there. That’s the creative part. After that comes the actual work of making your creations into something that feels like a coherent song or a finished piece of music.
URB: What got you into house music?
Yotto: We have a great public library system in Finland and as a kid I would just go there and borrow a bunch of CD’s that had cool cover arts. At some point I ended up with The Chemical Brothers, Orbital, and Aphex Twin. I had no idea what it was but the music got me hooked. From there on I started to study all that there was to this electronic music thing and discovered a pretty wide world. Soon after there was a phase when I really got into more strict 4/4 stuff and ended up trying to make a lot of it by myself.
URB: So did you start producing music before you learned to DJ or vice versa?
Yotto: I started making music way before I got into DJing. DJing came into play later on as an extension to the music.
URB: What’s it like being a part of the Anjunadeep family?
Yotto: It feels awesome! It’s such a great family of nice and talented people who have ridiculously good taste in music. The whole Anjuna brand is something I’ve always respected and admired so it’s incredible to be working with all these people.
URB: Do you ever get to bounce ideas off of fellow Anjunadeep artists or do they ever get to share their input on your tracks?
Yotto: So far we haven’t really done that but I can’t see why not. Everybody seems to have a similar open mindset about music.
URB: Did you have any specific influences or inspirations in creating Wondering EP?
Yotto: The EP was built from these tracks, as they all seem to share a certain stress-free vibe. Wondering is a bit more melancholic than the rest. It was initially written more as a love song of sorts. Isn’t every track? (laughter) But it ended up being more about that anxious uncertainty and confusion that human relationships often present to us. That was then balanced with Slowly. There was a period of some old west coast hip-hop, which kind of inspired the sampled vibe in Coming Back To You.
URB: I couldn’t quite put my finger on why Coming Back To You gave me such a familiar relaxed feel, but after pointing out the west coast hip-hop vibe it all makes sense.
Yotto: Yeah. All those classic, sunny beats.
URB: You have a lot of acoustic elements throughout the EP. Do you mostly sample these sounds or do you create any of them on your own?
Yotto: I try my best to record a lot of different instruments – I can’t play anything really well but I can manage something, then resample and make it sound decent. I do love crafting my own claps and snaps. My sample library is a huge unorganized mess of everything so I usually find something texturally interesting by accident.
URB: Perfect. See that’s totally a creative process! Playing around with art is so important.
Yotto: Yeah totally. Happy accidents.
URB: Your track Wondering is featuring an artist named CAPS. I searched this name on the web with no results. How do you get your vocalists? I’m curious because CAPS doesn’t seem to exist anywhere.
Yotto: Ha! Well I’ve been in touch with CAPS for 20-something years as he’s my little brother. He seems to be impossibly hard to find. What a dude. Need to tell him to exist. Otherwise I usually accidentally find someone I like and then try to convince them that it’s not a terrible idea to sing on a track I’ve made.
URB: That’s great though, I had a sneaky suspicion he was likely a friend. But that’s awesome you work with your little brother.
Yotto: Yeah it’s good fun. Although most of the time we end up writing one line and then fall into an abyss of cat videos and coffee.
URB: Do you have a personal favorite track from the EP? What is your favorite track that is not featured on your EP?
Yotto: I definitely love Slowly the most right now. Wondering is the one I’m proudest of but Slowly has been growing on me in some strange way. Need to wait for some sunny days for Coming Back To You to come to life. I try very hard to make music that I like listening to myself as well. My personal favorite of tracks that are not on the EP is called Champions. I hope you’ll hear it in a not-so-distant future.
URB: What can we expect from you in the future?
Yotto: Well I think there will be pictures of skateboards and pets, but first and foremost, a lot of music – that’s something I can guarantee. The music I’m working on right now is for 2016 so there’s already music lined up for the next year. I will also be touring, which you will hopefully hear about soon.
URB: Awesome. Do you have any plans to tour in North America in the near future?
Yotto: Yeah, hopefully not too far now. Definitely excited to get that all together.
Writer/Interviewer: Avery Worthington