Photo Credit: Dave East

After their blistering debut record Don’t Wait ‘Til Tomorrow, YONAKA are a young band that are well on their way to the top of festival bills. This statement has only been further cemented into fact after the band dropped one of the biggest mixtapes of 2021 with their recent effort Seize the Power. At Leeds festival, we sat down with lead singer Theresa Jarvis and bassist Alex Crosby after their rowdy secret set to talk all things YONAKA.

So, you’ve recently released a new mixtape, how have you found the reception to the new record?

Theresa: Yeah good, really good, it’s been out about a month now, I mean this is our favourite piece of work we’ve ever released, so it’s just nice to have it out.

Alex: You never really know how it’s gonna go down and especially because it’s so varied, but it seems that every song we’ve put out has been received really well.

I mean as a fan, I can completely agree with that statement, how do you feel like the tracks are going down live so far?

T: It feels really good, especially to play again.

A: Yeah, it’s really fun playing gigs.

T: Yeah, Seize the Power and Ordinary are really fun ones to play.

I think Ordinary was really nice earlier, Seize the Power has also done so well for you guys.

T: Do you know what that one has that’s really nice, because we love that one so much and we produce everything ourselves, and that track really shows our production.

A: That kinda sets the tone for the whole mixtape too, that was the first one we wrote for it.

T: That was the moment that we knew aha.

It’s so in your face with that bass, it’s awesome, do you reckon that mixtape has almost taken you to the next level because on Spotify, you recently passed a million monthly listeners, that’s like arena band numbers, and although you’re not quite at arena territory yet, would you say the bands moved up a level?

T: Yeah, I think so, yeah definitely. It’s nice as well because we hadn’t released anything for a year and a half/two years so it felt so good to show what we’d actually been working on, because we’d been working on it for way longer than for when it just came out. Yeah, I think it is, it’s taken us in a better direction, when I listen to that and compare that to our album, that’s definitely where we wanted to be.

So, on the new record, you’ve got a collab with Fever 333, and I’m putting you on the spot a little bit here but is there any dream collabs you would have in mind?

T: Oh well I’d love to collab with Kanye West.

I’d pay to see that!

T: I’m literally obsessed with him.

A: Maybe Tyler, the Creator.

Oh right, so very much like hip hop influences?

A: Yeah.

T: Some Gaga too.

A: I think something out of our genre would be great.

T: Yea that’s it, like I think that’s when the best collabs happen. Like fucking Linkin Park and Jay-Z, when they did Numb, and that was like crazy.

That actually leads on to my next question, is there a genre you guys wouldn’t try?

T: Hmm for me, probably like screamo, metalcore, deathcore, things like that.

A: You like nu-metal though?

Yeah, I mean that’s closeish.

T: Yeah, I mean I’m not really into it, I don’t like prog.

Okay fair enough aha

A: I love prog ahaha,

T: Yeah, the guys love it, but I just can’t get on it.

Yeah, I’m not entirely sold on it either aha

T: It’s too complicated for my brain aha.

So lastly, what does the rest of 2021 look like for Yonaka?

A: We’re going on tour with Nothing but Thieves in October, got Catfish and the Bottlemen in Swansea.

T: And we have something else in December, some little festival I can’t remember what it’s called so yeah a few more shows, and just a lot more writing, and touring loads more next year.

Interview by: Joe Loughran

See YONAKA on tour with Nothing But Thieves and Airways at one of the following dates:

October 2021
Mon 4th – BIRMINGHAM – O2 Academy 
Wed 6th – PLYMOUTH – Pavillions 
Thu 7th – CARDIFF – Motorpoint Arena 
Fri 8th – LONDON – The O2 
Sun 10th – BIRMINGHAM – O2 Academy 
Mon 11th – GLASGOW – Barrowland Ballroom 
Tue 12th – GLASGOW – Barrowland Ballroom 
Thu 14th – MANCHESTER – O2 Victoria Warehouse
Fri 15th – MANCHESTER – O2 Victoria Warehouse
Sat 16th – NOTTINGHAM – Motorpoint Arena 

YONAKA‘s Seize The Power mixtape is available to stream or purchase HERE