photos/ Mallory Turner
story / Addie Whelan
You don’t often hear of two musicians in completely different genres collaborating to create something special. But with FYOHNA (Katarina, Elliot, Hayley), that’s exactly the purpose of the project. When Elliot and Katarina mixed their own music together, an explosion of electronic and folk music created FYOHNA, a group that’s picked up steam across the world, earning the trust and attention of artists like Allie X and Bea Miller.
Now, the group has created a meaningful live show and cultivated a following, building a defiant electronic pop sound, which pulls in Katarina’s lyrical background, Elliot’s ability to create their sound and Hayley’s ability to bring it to life. FYOHNA’s sound is heart-wrenching, catchy and hook-driven, all making them a group to look out for in the next year. With their latest single, “Lie Down,” that sound is explored even more to show how fluid their genre-dying music is, all while maintaining a sound for themselves and growing their brand.
We sat down with FYOHNA to learn how the band is inspired by, what’s next for the band and more.
Who are you inspired by musically? Who are you listening to right now?
I’m heavily influenced by these artists because the lyrical content is what leads their songs. I feel like I connect most with music that does that. Right now, I have been listening to Bon Iver’s new record, and The Japanese House.
Your new single, “Lie Down” was produced by Aron Forbes and Chris Spilfogel, both who have worked with some big names in music. What was that experience like?
Aron and Chris have been a part of this project from the beginning, so it’s been really easy to work with them because they’re like family. We feel really lucky to have found people from the start who really understand us as a group emotionally and musically.
What can you tell us about the meaning behind “Lie Down”?
“Lie Down” is a naked confrontation. It interrogates the jealousies and inadequacies involved in loving another person. But beyond that, this song examines self-love and what that entails. When I think about the question this song is asking, “who loved you better?” the answer I get is, I loved me better. No one can hold me like me and no one can love me like me.
Your upcoming release is called “Be Sweet”. What can you tell us about that next venture?
‘“Be Sweet” is one of four songs that will be released as singles, but they’re deeply tied together and interwoven in the “Be Sweet” concept. They all examine the painful freedoms of modern love, and the necessary inner freedom of self-love.
How is performing live different than recording? How do you see your new tracks transcribing into your live presence?
I’m usually doing something mindless like driving or taking a shower when an idea comes into my head. The rest of it is developed in a studio and usually we’ll have to finish producing the idea before we figure out how we’re going to play it. So when the time comes to play live we’ve almost re-learned the song and have developed a new relationship with the parts. Having Hayley has been really fun because introducing an acoustic instrument that isn’t my voice has given the music a new energy. We’ve reworked our live show so that I can interact and connect more with the audience. Connection is probably the most important part of making music for me so getting to really be there with the audience has made the experience so much deeper.
How can our readers find you on social media? How do you connect with your fans there vs. in person?
You can find us at @fyohna on all social media platforms!
What’s next for you in the rest of 2019?
We will be releasing more music, videos and playing a lot of shows. Hope to see you there!
Listen to “Lie Down” below.