How best would you describe yourself as a musician and artist?
It might sound like a cliche but I am completely in love with music. I make sure I am happy with every song I release, as music is the one thing I want to be proud of. I write about emotional things that I think are important to talk about, as I feel musicians have a duty to spread a certain message. We are the people who share the deep stuff people don't want to talk about on a daily basis, but are necessary to address. I want to make people feel as reassured as my favourite bands and artists made me feel. That is very important to me.
If you could collaborate with anybody in the industry, who would you choose and why?
Win Butler from Arcade Fire - He is not afraid to experiment and go in completely different directions with his music. Every album has been different. As a performer he is so engaging and you can tell he is so consumed by what he does. He lives for music and that is very inspiring for me.
You released your EP 'Endless Soul' this year, how did you find the response to that?
I was really happy with the response. It was very different to my last release so I was expecting a bit of a backlash but everything has been wholly positive so far. It has definitely made me less afraid to branch out and also realise how open minded people are.
Talk us through the creative process you go through when making new material.
I find the writing part extremely frustrating at times. For me I find it difficult to sit down and try to write something, as much as I attempt to, hoping practice will someday make perfect.. I have to wait around for it to come to me as I know I can only create my best stuff when it naturally pours out of my brain, usually at around 3 am when I'm staring at the ceiling trying to sleep. I can be waiting months or even years and then it will all just come to me in bursts. Or the odd song will come to me whilst I'm doing something completely random like cooking dinner. I always have to have a notepad or iPhone with me so I can write stuff down. It is extremely sporadic!
What is it about music that drew you to this career path and passion?
I am quite an open person but music is the one thing I have always held close to my heart. It was my sore point for a very long time, so much so that I didn't do it until I was 21 and sure I was ready. I had even planned a whole different path, got a degree in History hoping to get a good job. But I did an open-mic and that was it for me, I knew it would be nothing but music from then on. I relate everything in my life to music. Everything I do revolves around music. I plan what music I'll listen to when I'm going somewhere. I cant listen to music whilst I'm doing anything that requires concentration as the lyrics and sounds consume me too much. Making it just brings a sense of relief and accomplishment I cant find anywhere else.
Do you believe women are still facing challenges in the industry that men wouldn't?
From my own experience, I don't think that. I think if a woman is serious about her music and not just doing to acquire fame and fortune then people will respect that and if she is genuinely talented then it really doesn't matter what sex you are. I can honestly say being around musicians is such an awarding experience. There is no prejudice or pretension when you are around someone for who art as their biggest priority. I think that this may be very different to someone who does music for other more materialistic and shallow reasons, but I don't actually come by them people very often. I think there is too much work and sacrifice involved to not want it with all your heart.
How difficult is it for you to carve yourself a career in this business?
It is very difficult. Most people just want to create music and that's it. However I have found that the business aspect is extremely important for your own development. It tests you in so many ways; you have no choice but to persevere through endless rejection, go beyond all your comfort zones, maintain humility and, above all, believe in yourself. You cant expect people to buy into a product that you don't believe in yourself so you have no choice but to get your head, confidence and organisation in gear. When you start seeing results, no matter how small, it all becomes worth it.
What are your definitive aims for the future - do you have those set out?
I do have aims but I think, the biggest aim of all is to keep working hard and improving. This industry is so unpredictable and their are opportunities in every unexpected nook and cranny that sometimes have a plan can prevent other opportunities. It is important to always keep an open mind and regularly re-evaluate your current methods and plans. Some plans I do have include touring outside London, particularly places like Germany, Norway , Austria etc. Also I would love to work with a label on a future release. As much as I enjoy working as an independent artist I think guidance and ideas from professionals in the industry are always important. They are where they are for a reason and they may help open up parts of yourself you never even knew existed!
Where should we expect to see you in the coming months? What plans do you have?
I have a few gigs in London planned which are all listed on my website and I am also playing my first over seas gig in Galway in Ireland in April 2015 which I am very excited about. Irish fans are always a great laugh! I have also just filmed a video for the Track Endless Soul and am filming some acoustic sessions on 15th December which will be uploaded onto my website shortly.
You can check out Yvonne's music at www.soundcloud.com/yvonneukmusic and find out more at her official website www.yvonne-music.net