Feed Presents: JYLDA
JYLDA is 'Italian-German, Gianna Gehlhar's musical alter ego'. Her songs are pop songs, yet each of her recent tracks brings something more distinct, a bit darker perhaps - you get the sense JYLDA really enjoys playing with 'otherness', bending her pop medium to whatever takes her fancy: weird, skittish production, hypnotic vocals or murky lyrics.
We have been following JYLDA for a while, and this year she has really come into her own creatively. We're excited for the future - all the more so because she has been involved with Feed right from the start!
Hi Gianna / JYLDA! Tell us a bit about yourself.
I’m JYLDA, a singer, songwriter and producer based in London. In my music I explore the sweet spot between experimentation and catchiness.
You've collaborated with composer and producer Marino Arcaro on a few tracks to great effect - I loved Jeopardy in particular! Is collaboration something you see as important to your development as an artist?
Thank you! I find collaborations very inspiring. Especially when you are in one room and can learn from the way somebody else works. This has been tricky during recent times, obviously - but I’ve used quarantine to look inward and mostly work on my own… However, I will actually be releasing a collaborative track in November, so stay tuned for that :)
While we're on collaboration, you're a member of the Rattle - a collective of musicians and music companies based in London and LA. Has that been a positive experience?
It has been an amazing experience to become part of a creative community. I really enjoy solitude and had underestimated the power of community when I first moved here (the UK). Now I’m really seeing how great it is to connect and pull together with other music creators, music businesses and tech startups and being inspired by new technologies in my music.
How do you view staying independent vs signing to a label? And I guess as part of that question, what does 'independent' mean to you?
For me, it would completely depend on the label and the people I would be working with. So far it has worked well for me to self-release my music and have full control. But I’m not against working with a label, there are some amazing companies out there that represent great music. Independence means having full control, making decisions, shaping the project in every aspect - be it the songwriting, performance, production, visuals, videos, costumes or release strategy.
Are you planning to split your time between Germany and the UK? Does the impact on your music career have any bearing on that decision?
I plan to stay in the UK… London is a fantastic place for genre-bending music that doesn’t fit into just one box. I feel creatively at home here, even if the rush and hectic pace of the city makes me miss Berlin’s big and open streets where you can stroll without pressure.
You're really great at speaking with fans on social media, in particular keeping up the flow of a 2-way conversation. Rather than just posting content in the direction of fans, you look to get them more involved. Has that been a conscious decision? Is it hard to maintain?
The reason people use social media is to actually be in touch with others. Sometimes I feel like we forget about that. And I’ve grown to enjoy having conversations and making genuine connections, it feels like the purest way of interacting online.
As someone who's pretty forward thinking in terms of digital - I see you're on TikTok! - what's your view on more traditional music marketing like PR and radio?
I value PR and radio a lot. Having journalists write about your music is always an honour. And radio gets underestimated by our generation but it’s the best way to reach a broad audience; although I would argue that it really depends on the music if that’s the way to go. But then there are really cool online radio stations who play lots of interesting music like NTS.
... and finally when can we expect more music! And maybe - dare I say it - a gig?
Both actually! My next release is called ‘Serene’ and will be released on the 28th of October. What I can reveal already is that it’s a dance track :)
I will also play a live streamed show on Thursday, the 7th of October on http://guesthouselive.co.uk/ you can participate with a two month free trial (cancel anytime)