By Nicholas Jason Lopez
Born and raised in Seattle, Yoyo Nagase was influenced by alt-pop darlings like Ne-Yo, Zayn Malik and Bazzi.
Eager to bring a fresh take to traditional R&B and pop, he has arguably done just that with his “rocket ship,” “i hate my roommate” and “I Don’t Care” singles.
The Music Bugle had the opportunity to talk with the artist about his music experiences, future plans and more, which you can check out below.
Music Bugle – What was the moment that made you want to become a musician?
Yoyo Nagase – The moment I always go back to was an all-nighter I pulled during quarantine. I spent hours trying to perfect my lyrics and recreate the sound that I had in my head. After that night, I found that I loved making music. Now, I look forward to my writing sessions everyday.
Music Bugle – What excites you the most about your style of music?
Yoyo Nagase – I really like how I write from the heart. When I write music, I always put myself in a memory. That memory could be experiencing emotional hardship in a time I felt alone or a moment of joy in a night dancing with my friends. From a musical standpoint, I’m proud of how I layer my vocals. I grew up listening to Jay Sean and his way of adding harmonies and pretty riffs on songs like “Cry” has been a constant source of inspiration for me.
Music Bugle – How were you affected by the COVID-19 pandemic?
Yoyo Nagase – The COVID-19 pandemic came with many hardships. However, it also gave me the time to find my passion of making music. My first song “City Lights” came out of my quarantine apartment in Rhode Island. Since then, singing really helped me through the whole pandemic.
Music Bugle – Who are you listening to right now, music-wise?
Yoyo Nagase – There are a lot of great up-and-coming artists that I have been listening to lately such as Emei and Austin George. However, it is hard for me to leave behind the artists I grew up listening to, such as Jay Sean and Akon. I would say I’m always listening to a combination of both the old and the new!
Music Bugle – Where do you go when you need a break?
Yoyo Nagase – In Seattle, I love going to this park called Gasworks. There’s something about seeing Lake Union in front of the entire city skyline, especially at night that brings me peace. I have written an incredible amount of lyrics there and will frequent it once I go back home.
Music Bugle – What do you wish happened more in today’s music industry?
Yoyo Nagase – I wish that smaller independent artists were able to have their music exposed to a wider audience. I work as a playlist curator and I hear a lot of these small artists make incredible music. I do my best to showcase their work and expand their reach, but I want this practice more normalized in the industry.
Music Bugle – What has been your proudest accomplishment?
Yoyo Nagase – Honestly, my proudest accomplishment was releasing my first song. I never really thought that I would ever have a song on Spotify, even if you asked me just a few years ago. The amount of time and effort that each song takes – from writing the initial melody, to the marketing and to the final release – is incredible. The feeling I get when a song finally comes out is unmatched.
Music Bugle – What do you feel is the next step for your career?
Yoyo Nagase – I think that the next step in my career is to continue to do what I love. The songwriting process is really fulfilling and I love every minute of it. I can’t wait to keep sharing my music and my story to people that want to listen. If I had to think of next steps, I have had a wonderful time meeting fellow artists and I would love to continue to grow my circle. I have really enjoyed my co-writing sessions and learning from others, so I hope to collaborate and make my music more than just my own.