#CREATORTALK- YELLOWLEES [Interview]

In this edition of #CREATORTALK, we speak to Yellowlees (@yellowleesmusic on Instagram). #CREATORTALK is a series of articles and interviews, with a focus on the creative industries and the the talent working within them.

PW- Hey Pete! How’s it going?

Hey! I’m not too bad thanks. I’m melting in the sun a little bit, but it’s gorgeous outside, so that’s awesome.

PW- So, first thing’s first. For those who don’t know yet, how would you sum up who you are and what you do

Well, my name is Pete Rapp, and I’m a singer-songwriter who performs under the name ‘Yellowlees’. I’m an acoustic artist, but my whole game plan is to produce as much energy and enjoyment onstage as a full band.

PW- You released your debut EP, “Eden”, last year. What inspired the title of the record, and how has the reaction been to it?

I did indeed, it’s coming up to two years old! ‘Eden’ is an EP full of songs that I wrote in a period of transition in my life, the oldest being written when I was 16/17 and the newest being written when I was 19. It was when I was going through a breakup, and when I was looking at leaving school and heading to university, so there was a lot of change in my relationships, both romantic and with friends and with my hometown. Thematically, it revolved around thoughts of the future, new horizons, and how things could (hopefully) improve once I moved on – the idea of ‘Eden’ seemed to encompass that nicely, an idealised place or idea that I was trying to work towards. The reaction seems to have been positive overall, which is lovely! To have anyone listen to my first ever release at all was an amazing feeling.

PW- A couple of days back, you released a new single called “Blew My Cover”. What plans do you have for the near future- is there a new EP on the cards?

Yeah, it was a busy weekend for admin really! ‘Blew My Cover’ is actually the first taste of a 6-track EP that I’m mixing and mastering at the moment. Hopefully it’ll be released in the Autumn; I played nearly every instrument on it, as well as co-producing it and co-engineering it. It was all recorded in my bedroom, so it’s more stripped back, but I’m desperately hoping the songwriting shines through!

PW- This blog focuses heavily on creativity and the real people behind the art. How does creativity affect you on a day to day basis? Do you get super inspired out and about, or is it more of a focused effort, where you can shut off from the world and just think?

Creativity and I have a very fluid relationship. It can strike at any point! Often I find I’ll feel inspired after a meaningful thing has happened in my life, such as a change in location, or a change in relationship and so on, or if I’m going through a hard time personally. Sometimes I’ll be messing around on my guitar and some happy accident will occur and some chord progression will sound nice; sometimes I’ll randomly have a lyric come to me in the shower. I find that if I actively try to chase it, it can be tricksome, but there are times when I just have to get my thoughts out and get some lyrics down, even if I never use them.

PW- In this kind of economy and industry, it can be tough to feel like you’re moving forwards sometimes. How do you battle these feelings when they come up, and do you have any advice to other people who might be struggling in a similar way?

It can be a real test, can’t it? I’ve been going through it a lot lately. I think the best advice I can give people (and try to follow myself!) is to remember why you’re in the business of creativity. It shouldn’t be for the money! In my experience, being creative is something I need to do for my own sanity, and so I take so much joy from doing it in the first place. It’s an outlet for me to express myself and work through my thoughts and feelings. If other people engage with what I make, then that’s brilliant; if I make any money from it, then that’s a huge bonus. I would love to make a career from my music, as we all would, but try to find joy in the act of doing it at all. If you’re meant to do it forever, the universe will make sure you wind up in the right place at the right time.

PW- If you could offer a short piece of advice to your younger self, what would it be?

Dear Past Pete: shut up! Nah, that’s too harsh. I would say get some more sleep, and open up about your mental health more. Communicate with people as much as you can, because the people who you need in your life will engage with that and help you through, and those who you shouldn’t stick by, will show themselves.

PW- And final question! It’s more of an invitation actually. Use the next few sentences to self-promote the hell out of what you’re up to, what we can see etc, no judgement!

Ah, the pressure! Well, as I said, I’ve got a new EP coming soon, so I think everybody should check my new single ‘Blew My Cover’ out on Spotify or iTunes or whatever. Add it to your playlists and spread the word, please! Follow me on Spotify and all the social medias and all that jazz to hear about live shows and such – come along to one, that’s really where I come alive! Cheers very much, hope to catch you soon.

PW- Thank you for your time!

To check out more about Yellowlees, visit his Facebook page here.

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