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The New Locals: Yibby 

We chat to Sydney rapper Yibby about his debut EP, dream collaborations, and the advice that’s stuck with him.

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Sydney rapper Yibby has managed to drum up a lot of hype for someone who’s yet to release a full length album. He first landed on our radar last year, signing to Niche Productions and releasing the very vibey single ‘Woah’. He’s been compared to big hitters like Chance The Rapper and Earl Sweatshirt, and with the release of his five-track EP Lost In Translation, he’s made good on all that promise. 

The EP showcases his unique flow and features left-of-centre instrumentals that complement the coming of age theme that’s prominent throughout the project. Yibby’s ability to switch from chaotic sounds on tracks like ‘Woah’ to a more thoughtful, brooding vibe on tracks like ‘Talk’ is a testament to his artistry and allows us a glimpse into what he’s capable of. We connected with Yibby via email to chat about the EP, his dream features, and the career advice that’s really stuck with him.

Hi Yibby, congrats on the release of your debut EP! What’s the story behind your new single ‘Folk’?
Thanks! ‘Folk’ was one of the tracks on the EP I was most unsure about actually because it was more out of my comfort zone, I had been listening to ‘FML’ by Kanye when I wrote it. It’s about trying to not let pre-existing narratives about things dictate how you view them. I wanted it to still be fun though.

What was the most rewarding part of the recording process? What was the hardest part?
A lot of the time for me, the most rewarding part is actually making the music and putting it together with art and a concept, it’s cool if people enjoy it too. The indecision about where to take a song isn’t as enjoyable.

You’ve drawn comparisons to Tyler the Creator and Earl Sweatshirt. Other than these artists, who or what inspires you creatively?
Inspiration comes [from] all over the place I’d say, certainly, other artists internationally and locally but also people and places. The internet inspires me a lot too, there is always something strange going on or being said.

How did the features on the EP come about? Do you have a dream feature that you’d like to make happen in the future?
The features were pretty organic. I was over at my manager’s house and Price was there so I played her ‘Talk’ and she seemed to like it. So we reworked the end of the song and she did her thing. Chanel was more of an online thing, I saw her song on Instagram and I really liked her tone, so I hit her DM. [Dream feature wise] At the moment production wise Kanye, vocally I want to work with Teddy Afro he’s this huge singer in Ethiopia, where I was born.

The songs on the EP discuss things like love and loss and navigating the ups and downs of the music industry. Do you have any advice you’ve been given on your journey so far that has stuck with you?
Yeah definitely, mostly just to enjoy what you’re doing and to take your time.

I know you haven’t seen the movie Lost in Translation, so I’m wondering where the title for this EP came from? If your EP was a film, what would it be?
Yeah I still have to watch it, IDK if I want to. I can’t actually remember specifically when I thought to name it that but I study communications and have always found the way we interact with things interesting, so it was largely to do with that. If the EP was a film, it would be an independent [one] and have a lot of scenes with no dialogue but a really nice score, there might be some stand-up comedy in there too. I’d probably do an average job at playing myself.

Check out Yibby’s debut Lost In Translation above and for more follow him here

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