Hailing from Long Island and currently based in New York City, Haitian-American singer-songwriter, Chéri Yielle is an emotive storyteller whose music touches audiences on a profound level. Known for her smooth harmonic textures, authentic vocals, and skillful instrumentation, Chéri Yielle’s music is truly a full sensory immersive listening experience. Chéri’s sound could be described as contemporary pop/R&B, but it is so much more than that. Citing artists such as SZA, The Weeknd, and Lauryn Hill as inspiration, the versatility of her music can be heard throughout her releases. Drawing from personal experience in her songwriting, and having been through difficult periods in life dealing with both parents' cancer diagnosis, her personal journey of growing up, healing from grief, and finding love; the listener can feel the raw powerful emotion poured into Chéri's artistic craft.
Chéri’s independently released debut EP “Surrender” shows this passion, authenticity, dedication, and honesty. This can especially be heard in her song Rainbow, which is a beautiful representation of herself through music. While listening to "Surrender" you are taken on her emotional journey navigating through the hardships and joys of life. Her desire to inspire others in persevering through their own hardships can be felt through the authenticity of her music. We are so honored to have discovered Chéri Yielle and her exceptional talent. 2020 is going to be the year for her!
Listen to Chéri Yielle here.
Welcome to Buzz Music Cheri! Your debut EP Surrender is absolutely beautiful. How did you find the process of writing and recording an album?
Thank you! The process was such an evolutionary experience in my life. It came about in such scraps and pieces, like finding buried treasures over years in random places just to realizes they were all pieces of the same puzzle. The names of the songs literally arranged themselves to make the order: "Save My Soul, Rainbow In The Sky. Come Home Before I Fall Off The Rim". I had tons of other songs started or written, but I found who I was as an artist through making this project and choosing what songs belonged there. I'd even apply that to just learning how to trust my gut and finding my truth in that. The recording was really emotional, but it was so fascinating and humbling to hear how it came together as more was added. I designed a lot of the vocals at home before going to the studio, so I was very critical and choosy on that end. I appreciate the people that worked with me because I could be really vulnerable and intense in the studio. I cried for a couple of songs. When things weren't progressing that fast, I cherish all the patience in the room. I credit everything I know now and can do now to what I learned through this process.
Your songs are so honest, authentic, and raw with emotion. Do you find writing music this emotional to be cathartic?
It's very cathartic. It's healing, but it's also painful. Writing it was very triggering for me. The truth is triggering, and hearing my own emotions in the words and the melodies is liberating and super overwhelming. It brings up not just grief, but also other stuff like memories from my childhood and dreams or sad thoughts about the future. I get lost in it all, and that's when I feel like I'm doing what I'm supposed to be doing and something is going to be OK.
What was it like making a music video for your single Come Home?
I love my director Shot By Cruz. He let me live in that creative process, which was awesome. I got to express a slightly different side of myself with the more enticing and risky shots. I had so many different ideas and visions that would have been really nice, but I ended up wanting to share an adaptation of the real story - being cheated on and never knowing (until eventually, I found out...). Also, I feel like sometimes, people hear a bit of my music and certain expectations pop up that might not really be me. It was great to take the driver's seat and shed some light on other sides of who I am.
What is your songwriting process? Do you create the lyrics or melody first?
My process usually starts with sitting behind the keyboard hooked to my computer or with my guitar. I usually start singing over some chords and flow line by line. Sometimes, I just record a melody or some lyrics and melody and add music later, or sometimes I have lyrics written and add melody and music later. Once in a while, I create the beat before all of that.
We love your remix of No Guidance. Do you plan on releasing more remixes?
Thank you! Yes, there are some ideas that I KNOW I have to follow through with.
What's next for you in 2020?
Definitely new music and visuals, more performing, and really cool collaborations, I think 2019 has been preparing me for a lot, and I'm ready. I want to make everyone who has faith in me super proud next year. Including you guys!