We came across JYLDA’s (real name Gianna Gehlhar) new single ‘Jeopardy’ a couple of weeks ago and we loved it so we started digging and found her brilliant debut EP Twitch, from that we decided we had to ask her some questions about her music and life as a musician. She kindly obliged and sent us some great answers to our questions. On top of that we got a secret link to her JYLDA SECRET CLUB and a lovely playlist with all her favourite tunes at the moment.
Produced in collaboration with classical composer Marino Arcaro, ‘Jeopardy’ is an
exercise in brilliant simplicity. Built on a syncopated half-time groove, the release slowly
introduces lush, analog synth elements, and experimental sounds, held together by JYLDA’s
mysterious and melodic topline.
Grown up in Germany and with time spent in California and then back to Berlin she has now set her HQ in London and is from the UK she’s released her latest, stunning, single ‘Jeopardy’. Listen to the song here while you read the interview:
Here’s our Question(s) Time with JYLDA:
We first heard your name and your music thanks to Musosoup and I am very glad the platform helped us get in touch. We are very pleased to be chatting with you about your new music so start with, please tell us a bit more about you, JYLDA, where the name comes from, where and how the project started and when you started getting involved with music?
The name JYLDA comes from Gilda, the main character of the opera “Rigoletto” by Giuseppe Verdi. It’s a reference to my past as a classical singer. I started the project when I was living in Berlin, just before moving to London where I am based now. I started composing songs at an early age, writing on the guitar at first and then went on to start producing and writing music in Ableton.
What is your main goal with your project? I am sure taking over the world is somewhere on the list but if you could name one single thing you’d like to achieve what would that be?
For me the point of making music is to connect.
I write songs to deeply connect with myself artistically, constantly losing and finding myself again.
I release music to create a connection with people who listen to my tracks which forms if they find meaning in my songs for themselves: be it to get to know a new genre, to identify with what I am saying, being touched by the music or — most importantly — getting inspired to create their own art.
I perform music to connect with a greater group of people, creating a community together.
How are you finding the first reactions to Jeopardy one month on? I feel it’s already being well received. What’s your feeling?
I agree, the response to Jeopardy has been particularly great! I’m glad that so many people have been listening and that the coverage has been so overwhelmingly positive, as I’m really proud of this piece.
How do you see your music right now, in the current situation and how/why do you see it being relevant in the future?
My focus is always on self expression, experimentation and escapism… I want people to feel the freedom of creating something and emotionally connecting with the music in a similar way that we used to at live concerts. I want to build a community around that. I actually have a secret email list where I share more about my process, early access to music, videos and pictures and open up the space for people to contribute to the project. You can join here: https://mailchi.mp/40dc31a2ee02/jyldasecretclub
About being relevant, who are the artists you follow at the moment and you believe being the most relevant right now and why? Can be more than one of course.
There are so many artists I currently admire for their forward thinking work. FKA Twigs, Caroline Polachek, Sudan Archives and CHINAH are a few of them… but there are so many more. I made a Spotify playlist with the music I’m inspired by that you can check out here:
How have you been spending the lockdown? Have been more or less creative and productive during the last 3 months? We heard from many artists this hasn’t been the most productive of times for them as they felt they “had to” produce just because they had more time on their hands rather than feeling naturally more creative. What’s your take on this?
I spend quite a lot of time in solitude anyway and write consistently. Inspiration can come and go but in the end I create music when I sit down and do it. So I don’t believe so much in that. Having more time will result in more songs for me. But, as I am releasing music during lockdown, I’ve been spending quite a lot of time preparing for that… We shot and edited the music video for Jeopardy in lockdown for example. I had to completely change the concept of the video. But I’m very happy with the result which combines things I associate with both danger and beauty – jellyfish, fire, the universe, highways from the bird’s perspective that move like a tired snake – with shots of me performing.
How do you see Jylda in a post-lockdown world?
Releasing music during a lockdown has not been the easiest of times, without being able to support it live. Are you already thinking about a tour or are you just living in the moment?
I’m going to reply to both of these questions in one go because for me they are intertwined.
For me playing live has always been pure freedom, pure bliss. Performing in front of an audience and sharing music with them felt incredible every time. I would make a choreography and practice the moves with everyone, I would lie on the floor and pour my heart out, people would dress up along the theme of the show… we were all one. For me it felt like a place with no fear.
I don’t think I can come back to this feeling anytime soon. Something got broken by the Covid crisis for me and I am not sure it can be repaired. I don’t feel ready to play shows in a live venue again (although of course I hope I will be once we’ve made it through this)…
However, I’ve played a virtual tour – live streamed concerts on different channels – during lockdown and it was a lot of fun. It can be more interactive chatting with people watching the gig online and for example adapting your set to it. There’s a beauty and intimacy to it that I enjoy. But still, of course it’s not comparable to a concert where people come together. It’s just something completely different.
At the moment I’m figuring out a way to find this feeling of connection and freedom I experienced at live concerts and hope to build a creative community where that will be possible online.
Have you been writing new music? I know the “Jeopardy” has just come out but wondering what are your plans, release wise, in 2020?
So far, I have only announced it to my secret community, the JYLDA SECRET CLUB I mentioned before, but I’m going to tell you now… My next single is called Impulse and will be out on the 22nd of July! I can’t wait to release it. The plan is to keep releasing singles until I start working on my album at the end of the year.
Before we let you go, can you recommend a couple of great new bands/artists you are into at the moment?
Oh yeah of course! Artificial Pleasure – they released an album this year and I sang backing vocals in some of the tracks. They are really awesome, a mix between Bowie, Kraftwerk and psychedelic rock. BYFYN – really cool, energetic synth pop, love her. Johanna Amelie – she writes beautiful indie-folk songs and just released a great album! I supported her on her Germany tour in February… one of my last shows.