WAY UP: House of Talents
A brand new 3-part documentary series featuring Olivia Dean, JNR Williams, Sara Cruz, Ignacio Serrano, Rubin Henkel and Marc Mâhfoud
Watch here: Episode 1 / Episode 2 / Episode 3
WAY UP is a project that provides a platform for emerging talents, their sound and their music. “House of Talents” is the documentary series following the journey of 6 emerging artists from across Europe, coming together for an exclusive song writing experience in Barcelona, living in a villa filled with instruments and a home studio, on the mission to collaborate, create music and perform live. Sebastian Krenmayr (Yamaha Music Head of Brand Europe) explains: “With WAY UP: House of Talents, the mission was to empower emerging artists from different parts of the world to come together in a creative environment, where they can collaborate, mix their styles and create music.”
Episode 1: WRITING & COMPOSING
6 upcoming artists who haven’t met before, arrive at the House of Talents in Barcelona. They form teams of two and start their mission to create songs in three days, leading up to a final performance of their work in an intimate concert. The first episode captures the beginning of this creative journey, from the artists getting to know each other, to start writing lyrics and composing melodies.
Episode 2: STUDIO TIME
On the second day in the House of Talents, the artists get the chance to experiment with their tracks in the villa’s home studio. Producer Jesus supports them with refining song layers and exploring new instruments. Yamaha artist Miki Santamaria pays a visit to support the new talents in their creative process.
Episode 3: FINAL PERFORMANCE
On the final day in the House of Talents the artists get ready to perform their individual songs that they have been working on the past days. In an intimate concert they showcase their results in front of each other.
About the artists:
UK singer-songwriter Olivia Dean does not only have an incredibly soulful voice, but also an unbelievable talent to write captivating songs. Olivia approaches song writing with seeing songs as little time capsules of life experiences that you can look back on.
“Before I came to the House of Talents, I was really struggling to write, I was really holding myself back and while I‘ve been here, I‘ve been writing loads, I‘ve really got over whatever wall I was behind. These couple of days have really refreshed everything for me. I’m really proud of the song me and JNR have made.”
JNR Williams is a singer-songwriter from Hackney, London. His warm and unique voice makes him stand out and evokes a wonderful variety of emotions in his listeners. JNR has different approaches to song writing, often just starting with a chord and jamming different melodies.
“It happened really naturally how we (Olivia and I) connected, how we blended as vocalists. We were able to be vulnerable with each other when it came to writing the song.”
Madrid based Ignacio Serrano is a Spanish artist with a cheerful charisma and personality. As a singer-songwriter, he wants to share his very personal life experiences through music. Ignacio’s style does not pretend to be anything new but proves to genuinely come from his heart.
“It’s amazing how we have become a family. This incredible experience, I think, is the beginning of something big.”
Rubin Henkel is a German/Canadian pianist and composer for film and media based in Berlin. When Rubin composes a piece of music, he likes to establish a particular concept behind the song first. In the House of Talents, he soaked up the atmosphere by recording live sounds from the villa.
“I wish I can work with all these people again. I absolutely loved it.”
Marc Mahfoud is a vocalist, lyricist, instrumentalist, composer and producer who as a child, migrated from Syria to Germany with his parents. Marc later moved to the Netherlands and intensified his passion for art and music. His mission is to liaise (social) science and sound into an honest fusion of traditional instruments and electronically driven compositions.
“It’s been a very interesting roller-coaster, the excitement to be in a new place, that is dedicated to music, is a big part of the enjoyment of music and collaboration.”
Portuguese artist Sara Cruz has a magical personality and amazing talent, with an incredible voice and distinctive guitar skills. Her background is just as captivating, as she lives on a small island in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean.
“I really needed this to have the energy to do music again. It’s hard to write when you are isolated for months. This just came at a perfect time. As soon as I got the message from Yamaha, my Family and I were screaming and jumping.”
WAY UP: HOUSE OF TALENTS is a complementing podcast to Yamaha’s emerging talent three-part documentary. Host Parisa Tarjomani talks to some of the artists who were invited to an exclusive song writing experience this summer in Spain, where Yamaha brought together upcoming artists from across Europe to a villa in Barcelona, filled with Instruments and a home studio, providing a perfect environment to create music and collaborate. The artists, who hadn’t met before, formed teams of two, and within three days, came up with lyrics, composed a melody, recorded the track and on the final day, each team performed their song live in an intimate concert. LISTEN AND SUBSCRIBE RIGHT NOW!
Episode 1: Olivia Dean
UK rising soul star Olivia Dean does not only have an incredibly soulful voice, but also an unbelievable talent to write captivating songs. In this episode Olivia talks about her approaches to writing and her way of seeing songs as little time capsules of life experiences that you can look back on.
Episode 2: JNR Williams
JNR Williams, a singer-songwriter from London has a unique, warm voice that evokes a wonderful variety of emotions in his listeners. In this episode JNR opens up about his appreciation to be able to write songs and collaborate with other artists after being in lock-down for so long.
Episode 3: Sara Cruz
Portuguese Sara Cruz has a magical personality and amazing talent, with an incredible voice and distinctive guitar skills. Her background is just as captivating, as she lives on this small island in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean. In this episode Sara talks about her music style and inspiration, and how her family reacted when they heard about the HOUSE OF TALENTS project.