Closer Look Summer Indie Artist Spotlight: YANG

Our Closer Look Summer Indie Music Series continues with YANG, an R&B and soul musician.
Our Closer Look Summer Indie Music Series continues with YANG, an R&B and soul musician.
Credit Emilia Brock / WABE

Atlanta is a capital for music. Whether it’s writers, producers, musicians, songwriters, technology or something else – we have it all. It’s an inspiring place to make music.

In fact, moving to Atlanta from India is the whole reason R&B and soul artist YANG got into music in the first place.

>> Check out more from Closer Look’s Summer Indie Music Series here.

“We weren’t really exposed to that kind of music, even music at all, just growing up,” YANG said. “I grew up in a small town called Darjeeling, and we don’t even have TV there. Coming over here to America and being exposed to that kind of environment really influenced me.”

This introduction to music – from alternative rock to hip-hop and R&B – encouraged her to pick up the guitar at the age of 12.

“[I] got influenced by my dad,” she said. “My dad used to play guitar at all our family gatherings and he used to always look super happy. So, I was like, ‘This looks kind of fun, and I love music. I could do that too.'”

Years later, after graduating from high school, YANG decided to launch her music career. As part of that, she formed a band for live performances, comprised of drummer Benjamin Mathew, keyboardist Winston Forrest, and bassist Javaun Mundle. They formed from various connections, from hearing YANG perform, and it created an innate chemistry between them.

“It’s kind of surreal to think about, but it’s very rare you meet people that are all on the same wavelength as you,” Mundle said. “I know when I first saw YANG perform, I just liked it. I was just like, ‘I’ve never heard this before.'”

The group has worked with YANG both for performances and for engineering recorded tracks, which has made for a productive and prolific year for YANG. She released her first EP, called “001”, in February, and is already working on another project, which she hopes will come out this autumn.

Despite the frequency of releases in 2018, YANG isn’t trying to rush any kind of commercial success.

“I don’t think I’m worried about that at all,” she said. “I definitely feel like it’ll come when it’s supposed to. And it comes eventually and naturally, so I don’t think I need to be pressed for that at all.”