Yarni is a DJ/Producer from the north of England with a strong live music background, and it shows in his productions. Always with heavy percussive elements to them, his latest EP “Spirit Animals” really is an experimental beauty and one that really pricked up our ears when we first heard it. We sat down with him recently to discuss how it came about, his relationship with its label home You Plus One, and how he’s feeling about this crazy crazy year we’re all in right now…

Hey Yarni, how are you, how has this weird year been?

Hello, I’m great thanks. I didn’t realise it but I needed to slow down and get out of a quite stressful routine. I feel super refreshed, inspired and have a new motivation to share my music with the World.

Can you remember where and when and how you first got into dance music?

My earliest memory of electronic music comes from my Aunt Charlotte who bought me the Jungle Brothers single V.I.P. Not strictly a club track but it hit me with that sense of fun and the groove which has stuck with me ever since.

Have you used the time this year to write more music or has it been hard to be inspired without the club experiences?

I’m not really a club person anyway so I’m not affected or inspired by that side of things. The time to reflect gave birth to me needing to scratch my itch to write an electronic-jazz-funk-fusion record which is about to be sent off for mastering.

Why choose to work with so many collaborators for this new Spirit Animals EP?

I wanted to use the EP as a platform to introduce the You Plus One fan-base & the wider world to the many talented friends I’ve been collaborating with.

And how did you come to work with the label You Plus One?

Again, I collaborated with LADS for their Hannover EP which was released by You Plus One. Label boss Siavash is a really kind soul who gets what I’m trying to do so it was only natural to work together again with a Yarni focussed release.

Do you sound different solo vs when working with others?

What I love about collaborating is how it moves you out of your comfort zone and tests how malleable you can be to work out how to get the best out of each other. My approach is the same but the mindset is different.

Were they internet or proper studio collaborations?

All of these were remote collaborations due to me being based in the UK and the other artists being based in Russia & Spain. I do plan to meet in 3-D with these people one day so we can write music in a more organic way. I feel this new remote working does work out nicely and with the current situation it’s going to be the new normal!

What is your musical background, your influences and inspirations? How did you come to your sound?

I drummed in a band called The Field for 10 years which introduced me to live performing and songwriting. My musical influences are The Stone Roses, Simon & Garfunkel and music which is percussion heavy. I am inspired by my travels across the world and I feel this melting pot of traditional songwriting, indie-rock and percussion give me my own little sound in this saturated market.

Each track is named after the artists personal spirit animal – what moved you to do it like that?

Alexandra Pride wrote the title track 2 years ago and she named it Spirit Animal, the label boss suggested we themed it around that, so to tie it all together we decided asking the artists to name their own favourite spirit animals would make it a nice package.

Are you a spiritual person? Is music spiritual for you?

I’m from Sheffield in Northern England where we are straight-talking no-nonsense kind of people so spiritualism doesn’t really resonate with us folk. However, my girlfriend Tasha has been known to do a bit of spiritual dancing after a few too many lagers on the back garden! Ha ha ha ha

What else have you got coming up?

I am a firm believer in never standing still as an artist, so with this in mind it’s time for me to shake things up. My second album will introduce my new live sound which leans toward traditional jazz & funk instrumentation and arrangement but with the little Yarni signature sounds for flavour. Keep your ears peeled!

Yarni’s “Spirit Animals” EP is out now on You Plus One.

Grab it here