New York singer-songwriter, visual artist, and art curator Yaya Bey has been described by Pitchfork as an artist who “…makes R&B that is at once grandiose and vulnerable, folding in feminist protest songs, glittering self-love anthems, and devastating accounts of heartache and longing.” Bey is both a poet and musician, creating songs to invoke the revolution and convey the human experience. Her debut EP, ‘The Many alter-egos of Trill’etta Brown‘ released in early 2018, was met with critical praise from Solange’s Saint Heron, The FADER, Essence, and more. Now, Bey is returning with the next chapter of her now esteemed discography with a brand new EP titled ‘This Too.’
‘This Too’ was born out of a tumultuous creative process extended by an engagement, a marriage, and a recent divorce. Each moment marked an end to a version of her follow-up, three iterations resulting in ‘This Too,’ a 20-minute stripped down EP marking one of the most stressful times of her adult life.
The first version, contained songs rife with the joy of new love, as Yaya was just engaged to be married to her musical partner, creating some of the brightest music she’s ever made. Before it was finalized, several new songs were recorded as her engagement culminated into a marriage. A day prior to the wedding, a new, more richly produced project called ‘ants’ had just been completed. This was never released as Yaya’s life began to face unprecedented hardship from multiple directions, and it was during this time when the version we hear now took form.
Guitar driven odes to her own discernment like “Lullaby” and “Fairy Tale” came early, “The Long Way” submitted after moving past early bruises in her marriage, with “MINE” being the lone song from ‘ants’ to make it to the tracklist. The somber “All God’s Children” and “3AM @ Toni’s” symbolized not only the end of the project, but also the marriage, as they were recorded during the waning moments of her relationship, with their divorce being finalized in the same month the album was.
The resulting EP became a diary, and a triumph during a period of falling out of love while realizing what kind of love she wanted and deserved. Each track was recorded with her now ex-husband playing the guitar, (except for the closing track) at their apartment in SE Washington D.C. Mixing and mastering was done at Nu WRLD in Jersey City, NJ. Up next for ‘This Too,’ stay tuned for the music video for “Lullaby” debuting in the coming weeks.