Music

Sam Fischer and Gemma Griffiths join Yamaha’s Way Up House New York for Season 2

Yamaha Music has launched a second season of its documentary series, WAY UP House, in which six emerging musicians come together for a unique song writing experience.

 In a follow up to last year’s documentary, talented artists from across the world were assembled by Yamaha in a historic New York house filled with studio equipment and instruments – and given a mission to write and produce songs over three days. Once the music was created, the artists played the songs live in a performance in Brooklyn.

 The stars of the documentary are the emerging musicians, including Australian singer-songwriter Sam Fischer, Zimbabwean artist Gemma Griffiths and London-born drummer Jas Kayser. Each of the six artists are from different places, backgrounds and upbringings, but are connected by music and brought together by the strength of Yamaha.

 In each of the three episodes, we see the multi-instrumentalists and songwriters – also featuring South Korean pop artist KATIE, Stockholm singer Mopiano and R&B rockstar Jordan Hawkins – team up in pairs to compose and create a new track from scratch.

 The documentary series, released this week on Yamaha’s global YouTube channel, demonstrates a fusion of different song writing processes, styles and specialisms. It’s a unique combination of musical talent, seen using a wide range of instruments and genres in the creation of three new, exciting tracks.

 The up-and-coming musicians were joined in the WAY UP House by Yamaha artist and Grammy- winning jazz bassist, John Patitucci, who mentored and guided the teams as they developed brand new music over the three days. As with last year’s documentary, which shone a light on rising stars such as Olivia Dean, Yamaha hopes that the 2022 series will raise the global profiles of these talented musicians.

 Sebastian Krenmayr, Yamaha Music’s Head of Brand in Europe, said: “This group of artists are not only from different continents but also part of different communities within the music industry. To bring them under one roof, get them to collaborate in new ways, and then witness the creative magic happen, felt very genuine and endearing.”

 Episode1 “WRITING & COMPOSING”:

The first episode sees the musicians meet and exchange experiences as they arrive in the WAY UP House in Irvington, New York, for the first time. We see the six artists form teams of two and start playing with a wide variety of instruments as they try to find their collective sound and voice.

Episode2 “STUDIO TIME”:

The second episode focuses on the artists recording their tracks using state-of-the-art home studio equipment, with input and support from John Patitucci as they explore the instruments and equipment.

Episode3 “FINAL PERFORMANCE”: 

In the third episode, we see the three teams of two prepare to play together for the first time, and then make their way to the Water Tower Bar in Brooklyn, for the live performance.

As with last year’s documentary, Yamaha has also released accompanying podcast episodes, with each of the emerging artists talking about their experiences.

Of the experience, Gemma Griffiths said: “Music really is connection. It’s an incredibly powerful tool. Without ever having met someone you can make a really big impact.”

Sam Fischer said: “To be able to perform our track here and look back at where it started is a cool thing.”

KATIE added: “It’s been a while since I had so much fun making music.”

ABOUT THE ARTISTS

Gemma Griffiths – A household name in her home country with 4 x ZIMA’s (Zimbabwe Music Award) under her belt, she also counts another two awards from one of the Southern African country’s top radio stations – Star FM & a string of nominations for the prestigious MAMA’s (MTV Africa) and Afrimma Awards. Gemma, who grew up in Harare, Zimbabwe’s vibrant capital, has been putting in the work and her passion for her country, energy, and rhythm remain the driving force of her work.

Sam Fischer – An Australian singer-songwriter best known for his breakout hit “This City”. Written while Sam was struggling to make it as a musician in Los Angeles, “This City” became a worldwide success with over 700 million streams and more than a billion views. His emotive new track ‘Carry It Well’ focusses on mental health and the famous phrase ‘just because I carry it well, doesn’t mean it isn’t heavy’.

Jas Kayser – The prolific 26-year-old Yamaha artist is winning an international following thanks to her eclectic adventures in sound which have taken her to Panama, Boston, and the heart of the exciting London scene, where she is now based. Besides having her own band “Jas Kayser & Chums”, Jas plays along other international artists like @jorjasmith_ and @alfamist. An alumni of the prestigious Berklee College of Music, Jas has found herself playing alongside many of her mentors, steadily carving out her own niche, with a little help from an ever-expanding collective of musical ‘chums’.

KATIE – Born in Korea and raised in the United States, KATIE is a rising international R&B and pop sensation. KATIE made her debut in 2018 with her hit single “Remember,” a part of her debut LOG EP. Her early success was “no small feat for essentially a debut artist navigating the complexities of a multicultural international pop crossover.” With a strong global fan base and early nods from the likes of Billboard, Pitchfork and Forbes, KATIE’s received overwhelming support as she carved out her discography. Smoky tones, delicate deliveries and a powerful bravado is reflective of her jazz vocal training at Berklee and her admiration for R&B icons like India.Arie, Lalah Hathaway and Anthony Hamilton.

Mopiano – Drawing inspirations from artists such as Childish Gambino and Quincy Jones as well as from the cinematic soundscapes and scores from composers like Ludwig Göransson and John Williams, 25-year-old Mopiano takes the definition of DIY as a serious matter; he writes and produces all of his own music. Mopiano’s early music inspiration comes from the family. His uncle recorded reggae in The Gambia and collaborated on Dr. Alban’s Hello Africa. Mopiano’s journey started around 12 or 13, when his Dad bought him a synth to fool around with.

Jordan Hawkins – The R&B’s 25-year-old rockstar didn’t just appear overnight. His stunning sounds have both come together through years of passion and work, fusing together so many influences, inspirations, and collaborators. Born in Greensboro, North Carolina and raised in the church choir, he is following in the spirit of true performers, Prince, Jimi Hendrix, John Mayer, artists who took the guitar and brought their magic to life. Hawkins might have come to Southern California for school, but LA quickly became the perfect place to harvest a growing passion for music.

Mentor: John Patitucci – Legendary jazz bassist player, composer and lecturer. As a studio musician, John has played on countless albums with artists such as B. B. King, Bonnie Raitt, Chick Corea, Wayne Shorter, Herbie Hancock, Michael Brecker, George Benson, Dizzy Gillespie, Was Not Was, Dave Grusin, Natalie Cole, Bon Jovi, Sting, Queen Latifah and Carly Simon. In 1986, John was voted by his peers in the studios as the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences MVP on Acoustic Bass.

About Yamaha Music

Since its founding in 1887, the Yamaha Corporation Group has developed its business activities focusing on musical instruments, audio products, Yamaha music schools, and other products and services related to sound and music. With our unique expertise and sensibilities, gained from our devotion to music, we are committed to creating excitement and cultural inspiration together with people around the world and to empower people to Make Waves with their sound and music.

For more information, please visit: https://europe.yamaha.com/