Le festival « Au bord de l’eau » à Sierre le weekend du 25 et 26 juin 2010 a offert toute une série d’excellents concerts dont The Bamboos et Yarah Bravo. Cette-dernière nous ayant accordé une interview, passons aux présentations. La musique de Yarah Bravo est indéfinissable car elle mêle hip-hop, soul, musique éléctronique et j’en passe. Cette artiste a été révélée par le groupe One Self (Ninja Tune Records) dont elle est l’un des membres fondateurs. Très présente également dans la musique de DJ Vadim, Yarah Bravo a sorti en 2008 sa mixtape « Good Girls Rarely Make History » qui nous livre son projet musical individuel. Voici un résumé de cette rencontre avec une artiste hors du commun.
« You are a singer, a songwriter, somehow a producer and even a clothes designer. How do you deal with all those works at the same time?-«
« I enjoy everything that I do. I made like a pact with myself to only do things that I enjoy in my life. Sometimes there might be struggles but at least it’s for something that I love, so the struggles become enjoyable as well, you know, as long as you do what you’re passionate about. I just deal with it because I just choose what to do and make sure that everything that I do I put my whole heart into it and I’m passionate about it. »
« The title of you’re album is Good Girls Rarely Make History. Could you explain us a little bit more what you mean by this and if it is referring to yourself in particular?
« It’s not an album, it’s a mixtape. I haven’t released my debut album yet, I’m working on it. Good Girls Rarely Make History is almost like half an album and then a bunch of other stuff because I was working on an album and I got stuck, I couldn’t get any further. Then I said « Ok, you know what: let me just scratch everything and start from the beginning », but I don’t want to let the songs go to waist so I’m going to put them together with some remixes and some stuff I’ve done with other artists. The title I think can mean two things when it comes to me: I am a good girl and a lot of people say you’ve got to create trouble to become history. You know, you don’t end up in history books by not doing anything. You’ve got to break the rules sometimes and do things that maybe other people don’t expect of you. I think that’s where it came from. I was going through a period while I didn’t really give a fuck, I didn’t really care what other people think. So I think that’s where the title came from. But I am a good girl (laughing) I get into trouble sometimes but I pick my troubles carefully. »
« Who are your major influences in music particularly? »
« Prince, Steevie Wonder, Erykah Badu, Lauryn Hill, Nina Simone, Outkast…I’m just inspired by everything, it’s not just music, you know. I just get inspired by powerful people in everything. You get people all around the world living their dream, breaking boundaries, following their heart, and for me they inspire me musically more than music itself. There’s so much talent out there, it’s like impossible to put it into a list. Michael Jackson was also a big inspiration for all of us.
« Is there a part of your work you like least? »
« Yes, I don’t like dealing with promoters and like when it comes to money problems. I don’t really want to think about that side, I just want to make music and I want everything to run smooth. There are situations where I have to be my own manager and that’s really hard for me because I don’t like to get into arguments with people. It’s been situations where I had to argue with promoters. I don’t like this at all because I only like good vibes. So it’s like if I’m going to end up in a position where I have to say to people: I’m not going to perform if you don’t pay me, that’s not part of my personality at all but sometimes I have to step into those shoes and do that role because no one else is going to do it, I am my own manager. »
« Three key-songs in your life? »
« Woaw…Minnie Riperton: Inside my love. Ramp: Everybody loves the sunshine. And a third one (thinking), I don’t know, probably a Brazilian song that I grew up with, someone like Gilberto Gil. The Brazilian music had a big impact on me when I started making music. »
« Can we expect a second album of One Self? »
« No, I don’t think so. What happened with One Self is that it became more a collective of people than a group. We were three people in One Self and then we kind of did our own separate things. We grew up musically but also as people. Blu Rum had a child, he’s living in America, I’m out in Europe and Vadim is in England. I think we will always make music together but the pressure of a One Self album…I don’t think is going to happen. We are just doing our individual projects. It was like a period in our lives and it was a really good time for me. I remember it was like 2-3 years of my life when the album got released, when we went on tour…It was probably the most exciting part of my career because it was the first time that I had music out. I was travelling under my name and posters with One Self and I could hear the music on the radio. For me it was an incredible time and I’m so blessed to have been part of One Self. Without One Self I wouldn’t have the platform to do my own shows today. But I don’t think it’s going to happen again. It’s something that I keep close to my heart but that was then and now we moved on and we are doing different things. »
« In your song Freedom Fighters you are referring to your parents who were activists in Brazil and Chile, so do you consider yourself as a freedom fighter through your music? »
« I think, my parents, they were freedom fighters. They were actually in positions where they would risk their lives for the people that they love, for their country, for their family…I’ve never been in a position like that and I feel blessed because they moved to another country where I could grow up with a good education, good healthcare system…so I didn’t have to face the same struggles that they had. I can’t say I’m a freedom fighter in the same way that they were but I think through my music I’m always going to try to make change. Not every song that I do is like a political song but every song has an element of change: something where I try to inspire people to make change or even tease people to make change. I guess I’m a freedom fighter for 2010 in hip-hop. It’s different from my parents but I still have the same drive that they had.
« Is there a main theme you would like to share trough your music? »
« Love. I have an a.k.a. which is Captain Love Bubble. For me I would love to just spread the good vibes. For example I did a show the other day in Berlin at a Jamaican restaurant. I wasn’t supposed to do a show. I just came there because my friend was doing like a little event so I came down to support her. Then it was a good vibe and she asked me like: you want to get on the mic’? and I said: ok let me get on the mic’. People were just sitting down and then I got on the mic’ and there was like an energy in the room. It was really good because the whole energy just lifted in the room. I definitely want to spread love and positive vibrations, especially in hip-hop there’s so much negative stuff going on and you know I’m not part of that culture. I’m inspired by hip-hop, it’s what I grew up on but I definitely want to spread something more positive…you know just positive vibrations. I sound like such a hippy (laughing). Ultimately my music is my diary. It’s like someone who takes up a book and writes his feelings down. I do the same but I write it and record it and show the world. It’s just the same. I document my thoughts and my feelings but to music. »