Artist of the week

Sunday, January 13, 2013


Kacey Johansing and Emily Ritz
-Who are Yesway? Who is Emily and who is Kacey?
Yesway is a musical collaboration made up of best friends Kacey Johansing and Emily Ritz. We are songwriters and singers.

-Why did you choose this name and what does it mean for you?
We both had been pursuing separate projects and decided to go on tour together in Europe representing both bands, co-headlining and backing each other up. Our shows and experiences in Norway ignited the feeling that we had something really special as a duo and we became intent on pursuing the collaboration further. It wasn't until we had returned home that the name Yesway presented itself to us while looking through photographs of our adventures. Norway! No way! Yesway!

-You are Norwegian but now living in US. Why?
Sooo..yeah. The birth place of Yesway is Norway..but we are in fact American. Kacey does have some Norwegian blood in her and is quite proud of it.  

EP "Woahcean"
-Let's talk about the new EP "Woahcean"?
Woahcean is actually an old EP. We recorded it in our basement with our producer Jeremy Harris almost two years ago. Wanting to put more time and effort into recording our songs we decided to re-record our EP as well as five new songs which make up our first LP. We will be releasing it this spring and just released a single off of the record called "Carried Away". 

-Can we define your sound like experimental folk?
Yes. We are very experimental and although our instrumentation is based around two guitars and vocal harmonies, it's not like any folk music you've heard before. Most of our songs are in odd time signatures and do not follow a traditional song form. 

-Why do you make Music and what does it mean for you?
Making music means everything to us. At this point we don't know life without it so no matter what challenges arise in our process of making music and putting it out there we won't stop. Everyone has the potential to be truly musical, we find it to be a crucial outlet and it is ingrained into our daily lives, like eating or sleeping. 

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-Where and when did you start learn to play ?
Kacey began singing and playing piano at a young age in the high mountains of Colorado and Emily picked up the guitar at 15 in upstate New York. We are both mostly self taught and have always had an strong passion for songwriting and arranging.

-What's your favourite artist and song?

That is a tough one. Of all time?
I guess if we had to answer that question together it would be Grizzly Bear and we love "Yellow House"--the entire album is beautiful and really inspires us.  

-What genres and artists did influence your music?
Genre wise everything from African Pygmy field recordings to 90's R&B. We love contemporary artists Grizzly Bear, Joanna Newsom, The Dirty Projectors and Little Dragon to name a few. 

-How much the live element matters in your Music?
The live element is what is most important to us. The effect that the music has on us and the audience when we perform is truly unique and powerful. We just finished recording our first full length album and it sounds beautiful but in the end what is most special about us comes through when we perform.  
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-What do you think about Music industry nowdays?
These days it can feel discouraging but also exciting. On account of the industry totally deconstructing, artists have had to get creative with how to gain success. It continues to be a challenge for artists to make money but there are so many amazing ways to have a DIY approach. We have to be patient and keep our focus on what is most important which is creating and staying true to ourselves. Also, not letting "hipster" blogs determine our sense of self worth!

-What is the message that you'd like to express at the people who listen to your music?
We don't have a particular message to send. We want our audience to be able to interpret the music in their own way and have it give them a special feeling rather than a clear message

-Who do you think are the most relevant musicians nowdays?
We think the most relevant musicians are the ones who stay true to themselves no matter what level of success they've achieved. For example Tune Yards or Feist. These are two women who have a very unique sound and vision. They don't need to compromise who they are in order to have the incredibly wide audience that they do today.

-What is your favourite book and movie?
Our favorite book is Narcissus and Goldmund by Hermann Hesse and our favorite film is Let the Right One In.

-Beatles or Rolling Stones?
Beatles!!!! no question. 

Yesway - "Woahcean" from Dominic Santos on Vimeo.

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