I'd never really been a fan of electronic dance music (EDM) until recently. And to my surprise, I found that there are actually many subgenres inside the huge genre of EDM. From house to techno to pop-EDM, there's truly something for everyone. One of my favorite EDM artists, though, has to be Yaeji — she brings a distinctive mix of hip hop beats and club-style vocals.
My favorite part of Yaeji, however, isn't her catchy beats or even the ethereal sound she's able to produce — instead, I love how she combines a bit of Eastern culture with Western culture. For example, in "raingurl," she mixes a typical EDM background beat with both phrases of English and Korean — in English, the distinctive words "Make it rain, girl make it rain" are interspersed with Korean phrases such as "매주하는 생각" and "갑갑했던 기억들은" (which roughly translates to "weekly thoughts" and "cramped memories," respectively).
Another one of my favorite Yaeji songs is "Feel It Out;" in this song, Yaeji uses aspects of postmodernism and metafiction by referencing herself ("Sh*t is crazy, sh*t is Yaeji") in her own composition. Additionally, the dream-like vocals and pulsing beat give listeners a sense of having just woken up from a deep sleep.
Additionally, Yaeji (like any other DJ) remixes well-known songs by other artists. For example, she has a remix of Drake's "Passionfruit" that is completely different yet still similar to the original song. Yaeji's remix includes parts of the original lyrics, and the melody is still familiar; however, Drake's original has a completely different vibe (more hip hop). Another example of one of Yaeji's remixes is "Focus." Originally sung by Charli XCX, Yaeji takes a spin and transforms it into a more "club appropriate" song. Think less pop, more EDM.
Yaeji has also collaborated with 88rising, an American mass media company that caters specifically to Asian and Asian American artists (NIKI, Rich Brian, Keith Ape, Joji, Higher Brothers, etc).
Yaeji brings a unique sense of EDM to the table — in her own words, she explores "cultural identity and self-reflection through dreamlike house productions...whispery confessions...dancefloor burners." Although I've found that many people find her music weird (after all, not everyone can appreciate house/edm), I personally find that it enables me to both calm down and hype up. In the end though, weird or not, one thing is for sure — Yaeji's music is definitely unique.