Franco-Brazilian trans artist, composer and producer Yndi (formerly known as Dream Koala, from 2012 to 2020) released a debut LP this May, entitled Noir Brésil, that sets her beautiful, dynamic vocals within transfixing orchestral complexity. To celebrate the ravishing release, Yndi generously assembled a playlist of tracks that have garnered her attention in the way that her powerful album captured ours.
“These tracks are songs that I’m vibing with currently,” she explains of the 10-song voyage. “There are some underrated Brazilian gems from different eras, an anime soundtrack song and the last track is by Gil Scott-Heron. I think they’re all different, but share the same kind of melancholy that feels good to my ear and soul.”
Regarding Noir Brésil, Yndi says that she took inspiration from her Brazilian roots. “Both of my parents are Brazilian so there was always Brazilian music at home when I was growing up,” she says. “Everything about the process of making this album was so intimate; singing in French and Portuguese, playing Afro-Brazilian percussion, imagining the visuals… Since the beginning I knew I wanted the album to feel like its own little world, even visually.” To listen intently to each track, one feels these influences flowing together, creating a universe unto themselves.
“As an artist, I wish to create art that represents who I am,” she continues. “All the different parts of my personality and my imagination.” She accomplishes this wholeheartedly—poetically even.
Her love for music began when she was a child, watching music videos on MTV all day, and continues through to the way she blends diverse inspirations into her own signature sound today. “I was a producer before I began to sing, so the instrumental part of my work is super-important to me,” she says. “I love to build up soundscapes in my tracks, make them feel alive and complex. Milton Nascimento has made one of my favorite album ever, O clube Da Esquina. Then, of course, the work of Kanye West on albums like My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy has been decisive to my understanding of music.”
Her bold, groundbreaking sensorial output does not stop with sound. In fact, Yndi’s visuals are often thought-provoking. For her track “Nuit,” she even developed a corresponding immersive video game, “Nuit: Yndi’s Sanctuary,” available from the Apple and Android app stores. It was created by filmmakers Camille Petit and Mohamed Megdoul, in collaboration with the programmer Ferdinand Dervieux, as well as the production companies Psycho and Immersion.
Images courtesy of François Quillacq