Introducing: Filipino duo Ysanygo talk delivering emotion, K-pop, and their latest single 'Glow'

Introducing: Filipino duo Ysanygo talk delivering emotion, K-pop, and their latest single 'Glow'

Be it a 'Friday Afternoon Drive' or even a trip to an 'Alternate Universe'Ysanygo has a track for almost everything. Not restricted to any sound or style, the Filipino sibling duo are challenging the traditional confines of music, wanting solely to connect with their listeners.

Taking influence from the diverse range of music they grew up with, Ysanygo hope to bring various perspectives to light through their music and go beyond genres and languages. 

Comprising Ysa and Ygo Ferraz, Ysanygo came together after a school songwriting competition where they realised they loved creating music together. 

"Ysanygo is what motivated me to continue producing and writing seriously, which I am very grateful for," Ygo tells Bandwagon

Since their Spotify debut in 2017, the pair have released a myriad of singles, all in anticipation of a larger project they've been working relentlessly hard on. Slated for release next year, Ysanygo previewed their upcoming music with 'Glow' earlier this October. 

Written for their mom, the track is dedicated to anyone who brings an aura of comfort and ease to the people around them. 

Following the release of 'Glow', Bandwagon caught up with Ysanygo to talk about their upcoming projects, K-pop, and how they've been coping with the pandemic. 

Hi Ysanygo, what have you been up to lately?

YSA: I’ve been working on more lyrics and dancing in my seat when I listen to my playlist! 

YGO: I’ve been attending my classes and doing homework! There’s barely any day where I don’t do anything music related. I’m probably practicing guitar, listening to the craziest genres of music, arranging and writing songs, or singing in the shower. (I also like to dance in my room).

How did the both of you find your interest in music? 

YSA: I think it started when I spotted a violin case at my aunt’s house and asked her what it was. After that, I was enrolled in a violin class. When I was five years old, I remember telling my mom that I wanted to be a singer. Our parents have been very supportive of us from the start — every time we’d have karaoke parties, I would always hold onto the songbook and take the opportunity to sing (or scream) even if I wasn’t very good at reading yet. 

YGO: My interest in music began when I borrowed my sister’s acoustic guitar back when I was ten years old. I naturally got into it, and my parents enrolled me in formal lessons for classical guitar. I started fiddling with GarageBand at age twelve, making random arrangements and recordings, which sparked my interest in music production and composition. 

Could you describe each other in one sentence?

YSA: Ygo is a genius, a walking tuner, and someone who cheers you on. 

YGO: Ysa is a magical lyric and melody bank that also makes corny jokes and good ramen recipes.

You often describe your music as “genre-less”, what exactly does that entail? 

YSA: When we were younger, our parents would let us listen to anything from new wave to R&B. And now that we’re older, we’ve come to appreciate how songs are made. I think that being “genre-less” at the moment allows us to show our listeners that it’s still us behind the music, just different perspectives.

YGO: We also always want there to be a song for everyone. Music is universal, and I think experimenting with different genres aids in transcending language and delivering emotion. 

Congratulations on the release of ‘Glow’. Could you tell us more about the song?

YSANYGO: Thank you so much! ‘Glow’ was created as a Mother's Day gift for our mom in 2018. The song can also be for anyone you're grateful for. We hope that this song feels like a warm hug and gives comfort to those who may need it.  

You mentioned that the new single comes as part of a bigger body of work. What can we expect from your upcoming projects?

YSANYGO: We’re really excited to share what we’ve been working on! Over the years, we’ve learned so much from the music we consumed, our influences, and our peers. We hope that our listeners get to see the evolution from our previous work to how it sounds like now.

Walk us through what your creative process usually looks like.

YGO: Random melodies, ideas, and themes form in my head, and I record them on my phone or write them down. I sometimes hear melodies in my dreams, then I try to recall them as much as possible and hit record right away when I wake up. These fragments are stitched together, translated to different instruments, polished, which would make up a potential song.

YSA: I usually write about how I feel at the time and arrange it into verses, come up with a melody, then forward it to Ygo. Sometimes he gives me a few of his Ableton projects and I try to write and sing around them. I make sure to have my recording app ready whenever I think of a song idea, especially when it’s from a dream (this can be another thing I share with my brother, haha!). 

What are some things that you’ve discovered about yourself, each other or the world around you during this pandemic?

YSA: I’ve learned that there are things we can’t control by ourselves and that it’s important to talk about how you feel when you’re comfortable to share. It can be a little less heavy.

YGO:  It’s okay to pause for a while. There’s so much going on in the world, and sometimes we forget to breathe. There are times when we feel so burnt out, unproductive, or disheartened, and it’s completely alright if the only thing we did all throughout the day was to breathe. 

Work From Home with Ysanygo

How do you draw the line between being family and being bandmates? How does being siblings influence your music-making process, does it make it easier or more difficult?

YSANYGO: I think that being family contributes to the way we make music. Having similar influences allows us to write songs that we both like. When it comes to being siblings, we still have that normal brother-sister dynamic where we still annoy each other or hang out.

We become more professional when we switch on our musician mode, but it’s still inevitable that we’d eat or watch random videos in between writing sessions. 

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What is your biggest dream for the band?

 YGO: I hope that the comfort, encouragement, and love in our music that we wish to deliver are able to heal people across the world. I believe that sometimes, all we need is a song to be there for us. 

YSA: I feel the same way about a song that will be there to comfort us. Music has helped us individually, and I hope it can help someone else too.

Both of you have frequently shared your interest in K-pop online, be it through Tweets or YouTube covers. Who are some of your favourite groups? Being genre-less, can we expect any K-pop inspired songs anytime soon?

YSA: BTS is one of my favourite groups when it comes to songwriting. It can be difficult to talk about certain topics, like the fear of losing your passion for something you’ve always done, yet they’re able to express these frustrations through their songs. The music that they put out into the world makes it feel okay to express yourself as well.

I’m also a fan of IU because of the sincerity in her voice. That’s what I love the most when I listen to her and I want to try capturing that too.

YGO: I’m a big fan of IU, MAMAMOO, and Red Velvet — their voices and stage presence are phenomenal. I also listen to BTS, (G)I-DLE, SEVENTEEN, SHINee, Crush, Zion. T, and GRAY, to name a few.

I’ve picked up a lot of elements and techniques from their songs — from unusual song structures, chord progressions, insane bridges, and texture, which we can certainly apply to our music. Korean artists and producers really value colour and musicality and that’s something I take inspiration from. 

Outside of music, what do you guys enjoy doing?

YSA: I like reading, journaling, and looking for cute stationery!  

YGO: I enjoy binge-watching K-dramas, preparing meals and eating them afterwards, and discovering different flavours of milk to try!

Listen to Ysanygo's latest single 'Glow' here.