Meet Azu Yeche. A singer-songwriter whose captivating audiences with his subtle folk and African influences woven into an authentic soul palette. Using his songwriting to express his personal stories that have shaped him, his latest single 'Plastic Life' was "written out of a need to have an honest conversation without fear. It starts out a bit scared to confront the situation but progressively gets more assertive and clear. I really loved recording this song with Boe Weaver and they helped me capture that raw, organic, live sound that marries soul, gospel and blues.”
If you were to introduce someone new to your music, what song would you play them first and why?
Somebody or Sunrise - they both have the soul and African influences. Both uplifting with rhythmic grooves too. When writing new material which comes first, lyrics or music?
Usually lyrics for me. Sometimes both simultaneously. What is the best advice you've received so far on your musical journey?
Talent without strategy or goals can amount to nothing.
Tell us about your first live performance. What was it like and how did you feel before and after it?
Church, I was 8. I was so nervous but I closed my eyes, sang and opened them to very warm reception. After it, I knew I had the ability to move people in some way with my voice/singing and I decided to harness that. Songwriters can often fall victim to writer's block. What do you find helps spark creative ideas?
Not force things. Listen to old music or really new music. As an artist, your music is constantly being judged and reviewed. You're either praised or critiqued. How do you find a balance between taking in constructive criticism and staying on your own path?
That's a brilliant question. It is tricky because I am open to criticism but only if it comes from the right place. I have a friend who doesn't really listen to lyrics and thinks vocals should be a background thing. I'm a vocalist and lyricist and those are the main components of my music so their advice on my vocals/music is rarely relevant because they are not my target audience and are not likely to give me criticism that is constructive. But I believe I have a strong sense of who I am as a musician and what I want to sound like so I filter the criticism I get in line with my own vision. What 3 songs would you choose to soundtrack your perfect day (morning, midday and evening)?
Morning would be Sparkle by Aretha Franklin
Midday would be Can't Fight by Lianne La Havas
Evening would be If You Want me to stay - Sly & The Family Stone
This is all for a Sunday by the way!