At 18, Yendry was transitioning from her day job at a pizzeria to rehearsing with her experimental electronic band and then performing with her jazz band at a private event.
Born in the Dominican Republic and raised in Italy, the now 28-year-old singer-songwriter worked seven days a week for nearly 10 years to help fund the two bands she was passionate about being in. “People tell me, ‘Wow, you take this too seriously,'” recalls Yendry. “In fact, they always tell me that. »
His genre-agnostic music, which delights in afrobeats, reggaeton, R&B and more, is a celebration of both Caribbean and European influences. That’s what makes HER stand out, and even his trademark song “Ya” a mention on President Barack Obama’s favorite music of 2021 year-end list.
“When I go to the studio I have all these memories of bachata melodies. But at the same time I have a lot of electronic music in my head that I’ve been listening to since I moved to Europe as a kid” Says Yendry, who writes in English, Spanish and Italian, “It just comes natural. Being raised in two different cultures literally affected my entire creative process and my music.”
Navigating personal topics in her songs such as “Nena” and her 2019 debut single “Barrio”, which deal with migration and domestic violence respectively, Yendry began writing out of necessity to feel emotional relief. “When I create music, it comes from me and it’s something that’s really close to my heart, you know? Even if there’s another writer in the room, I always say, “I’d like to talk about that” or “I would never say that.” It’s my inspiration and it’s the message I want to convey, so those are the words.
As a child, Yendry would spend her days watching MTV “study” music videos and streaming Whitney Houston shows on YouTube, singing along to English lyrics whose meaning she didn’t really understand. She then discovered Nina Simone, whose poignant lyrics she admired, as well as Michael Jackson, Radiohead and Frank Ocean. “I realized that these artists were just doing what they felt and didn’t insist on gender,” she recalls. “And they could still get people to connect with their music. “
The creative freedom she’s thrived in, writing about what feels true and not sticking to one genre, is both a blessing and a curse, she says. “In the music industry, it’s a battle: from the outside, it looks like she’s doing what she wants. But it’s always like a battle, trying to find a balance, trying to give someone what they need in order to help you market and promote your music.”
Her debut album, which she hopes will drop before the summer, will showcase her experimental side, but the hope of finding a balance. “I want to make my music accessible to everyone. You know it doesn’t always have to be super deep because most of the time we’re doing other things listening to music like we’re at the supermarket, hanging out with friends. I want to experiment but at the same time, I try to find the balance between these two worlds.
Offering a tease of what we can expect in her upcoming set, she adds, “There are songs in Spanish and English. It will have Dominican sounds but also electronica which I like. The main theme will be Travel and its various iterations. Just like immigration, traveling for music, traveling from earth to who knows where when you die. It’s all I live because it’s easier for me to write something that I’ve lived.”
Below, Meet Latin Artist This Month On The Rise:
Name: Yendry Cony Fiorentino
Recommended song: “’Nena’ because he has a powerful voice, but I also rap a bit. So I feel that there are a lot of emotions.
Major Achievement: “Well, the fact that some people in New York, LA or other big cities know my music, I don’t take it for granted. It’s important for me because I started making music in my small room in Italy. When I’m walking down the street and they’re like, ‘Hey, I like your music.’ It still hits me. You know?
A few days ago I was in New York and a girl asked me for a picture so I picked up the phone and was about to take a picture of her – and she said : ‘No, I want a picture with you. I like your music.’ Everything is so weird.
And after: “My first album. It’s something very important to me which is why I took my time. I always look at music as something that will stay when I’m gone. We always listen to music from the people who passed away. So maybe I’m taking it too seriously but, at the same time, it’s also my first. So I want to make sure I present myself properly to the world and to people who don’t know my music yet. .