If you're 20-something and raised on songs of love made in the 90s, you're probably missing that feeling as you scan through today's R&B selections. As the good times roll, thoughts of relationships don't occupy your mind too intensely, but there is no shortage of desire for the vibes that bring people together on the dance floor. For millennials, we've turned parties into rap karaoke where we milly rock and swag surf to over-sexualized lyrics that leave very little space for romance. Music from each generation serves as a great barometer for the social experience during that time. Judging by our playlists you may have thought we didn't miss the sultry sounds of R&B until you hit "explore" on Soundcloud, Spotify, or Apple Music and stumble upon YE Ali.
YE Ali brings a self-awareness that doesn't fear the vulnerable aspects of love. On his latest project, Passion and Patience, listeners get a snapshot of the perils he experienced in the pursuit of intimacy with women in addition to chasing his love for music. His candor is evident from the very first track "Spring Semester Interlude" as he recalls a time where he experienced a love lost. Each track becomes more and more relatable as the story unfolds. Furthermore, as the subject matter changes there is an underlining element found in production that is undeniably captivating and will make your hips sway right into loving arms.
Filled with excitement about this release, we certainly couldn't resist the chance to find out more about YE Ali. We sat down to get more insight on his creative process and the sounds behind Passion and Patience. Here is what we found.
Initially, you were popular on social media but resented that it wasn't because of any specific talent. What encouraged you to pick up music as a craft opposed to art, fashion, or finding a niche as a socialite?
I designed initially. That helped my influence grow. I always liked being behind the scenes in music. At a certain point, I was publishing music on Soundcloud and Soundclick. It was there that I would sell my hooks to people. Once I made my first sale, I started to take music seriously.
Is it your natural inclination to do both rap and sing?
For me, singing is easier because you have to use less words. I wanted the challenge of making music like that. I want to study it.
What would you say is the most unique characteristic you bring to music today?
I am expressive in different ways. My diversity makes the difference. I view myself as an architect for different moods.
How does Passion and Patience stand apart from Trap House Jodeci?
This project stands apart because I focused on creating a festive experience. Particularly, I was looking to reflect the L.A. summer vibe. This was therapeutic, I wanted to create something different sonically because I feel people only expect one thing from me.
You've mentioned being a Kappa. Kappas are notorious ladies men. Would you say your romantic experiences as a Kappa had some influence on your music?
The parties and trips impacted me coming out of my shell. My frat brothers encouraged me to really go for the music when I needed inspiration. I have a track called "Spring Semester" that details some of that experience.
When did you feel challenged the most in developing this new project?
When I started this project, I knew I wasn't going to rap. When it was finished and ready to put out, I was nervous about releasing it because it is not what people are used to from me.
Name your favorite song on the EP and where the best setting would be to blast this track?
I would say "Spring Semester," in the bedroom when you are missing someone. It was inspired by my ex from college. She hit me and the feeling was no longer there. I always wanted a song that related to college.
What's the craziest experience you've had in the studio thus far?
Being in the studio with Teddy Riley in Las Vegas. One of my managers connected us and he was very receptive to my music. He talked to me about how Michael Jackson used to work.
What's the allure about growing an organic fan base for you?
I think people are drawn to me because I am focused. Yet, I still find a way to remain in conversation. My favorite place to be is on stage so when I'm old I want to still be able to come out and perform. I want to be remembered forever and I want my fan base to remember me so it's important.