The unconventional passage from ska to electronic pop isn't one that's seen too often these days, but that's exactly what Brighton's Ruby Taylor - a.k.a Yumi and the Weather - seems to have done over the last couple of years, and with flying colours.

Her seemingly endless stream of melodic anthems have certainly seen her receive an abundance of praise in the last few months, and rightfully so. Her music oozes a sort of childish playfulness and more recent times have seen her flicker between guitar-driven and electronica-based tracks, leaving everyone on a knife's edge as to exactly what genre YATW moves in.

With a solo debut EP out today on XVI Records, I was lucky enough to catch up with Ruby to discuss her ska roots, the new EP, her dream collaboration and so much more...

So, when did the Yumi and the Weather project start?

It kicked off properly after I left my old band in January 2012. I then released my first single 'Not Again' on Soundcloud a few months later, which was the first ever 'electronic' song I had completely finished, so I was very excited getting it out there in the open.

Rumour has it you were in a reggae band before this. Is this true? And if so, did it play a role in your most recent project?

Yes, it's true! I was in an alternative reggae band who had supported greats like Lee Perry and Toots & The Maytals, and I loved it. Although towards the end, I felt like I had out grown writing in that style and was becoming turned on by writing on the computer.

I definitely have transferred some of the stuff over but mainly my technicality. I think the main one is performance confidence. I reckon if I had jumped in to performing with YATW without any previous experience, it would be very different. I remember when I first started performing and it took a while to switch off and let go. And even little things like how to signal to the soundman for monitoring changes, as before I would be too scared to tell them!

You've got your debut EP coming out on the 21st of this month, how was the production process for you?

It's been very up and down; some days I actually hated my songs and I lost confidence in the material. That's what happens when you listen to them too much and when you are constantly stuck in a room in front of a screen. Sometimes you need to get out, give the songs space and let your ears rest.

Although on a good day, you are addicted and you just go for it. You can suddenly know exactly what needs to happen and what to do to the mix. It's all about being patient with yourself and not put yourself under too much pressure, cause it's very easy to do.

And what can we expect?

Expect a nice mixture of moods and styles, atmospheric tones, layers of harmonies and punchy, bouncy rhythms.

Any plans for an LP to follow?

I would like to say next year but in this industry you always have to double it! We're going to be busy over Christmas finishing off a few songs for it, then get in to a studio to start working on it ASAP.

It's going to be different to the usual bedroom set up I did the EP with though. I want to find certain rooms to record in and get the band on the album with some live strings and brass. I would also like to work with other producers and get the album as good as it can be.

You've managed to play a handful of shows over the summer, what's your live set-up like? And how does your live sound differ from that found in your recorded material?

Live set up is live drums and sampler pad, bass, 2 guitars, vocals and Ableton - which has the backing vocals and a few synths and rhythms on. Eventually I'd like to have a bigger band so I won't need to run anything through Ableton because already we're finding it restricting and that can really affect the show if the monitoring is not quite right as it can be over-powering, or not there at all!

I suppose the energy in the live set is something that differs to the recordings, and certain tones. We definitely go for it more though!

You've had your songs remixed by the likes of Vondelpark and have also remixed songs for other artists like Kpartymusic. What, in your opinion, the importance of this remix culture?

I think it's a great opportunity to recycle components, create your vision of the track and then place it in an environment that suits the flow. It gives an opportunity to reach other markets that wouldn't have been automatically met.

It's also very interesting hearing people's take on your material. Kiwi & EarlyBird are also featured on the EP for their remixes and have done great versions of my tracks as well as Vondelpark's. The Kparty remix was actually done by the guitarist from YATW, he's a very creative guy and I look forward to getting him involved in the production side of my tracks.

Following this, have you got any plans to take it one step further and collaborate with other artists in the future?

I can't wait to collaborate! There's a few producers I'm writing stuff for at the moment, although I can't really say anything yet cause I don't wanna hype something which might not be released!

A tricky one now: who would be your dream collaborator (dead or alive)?

Hmmmmm... this is hard. Can I have a list?! I think it's going to have to be George Martin (aka The Fifth Beatle) but because he's getting on a bit, we'll bring in Dr. Dre too incase Martin flops before completion. Yeah; Me, George and Dre, that would be my dream collaboration. Wild style.

Outside of music, what inspirations do you take into the process of music production?

Night life - you get drunk and soak a lot of it in be it music, conversation and people's attitudes. Films as well. I also have really visual dreams so if I've had a great or interesting one, I find that really inspiring as it sets my mood for the day. And generally my emotions towards people and things going on.

You've been on our one-to-watch list here at the 405 for sometime now. Do you have any of your own ones-to-watch?

Hiatus Kaiyote, John Wizards, Syd Arthur, Ambassadeurs and Kiran Kai. This lot are all uber talented - it makes me feel physically sick and want to cry.

Finally, could you please sum up Yumi and the Weather in one sentence?

Fun for all the family.


Yumi And The Weather's debut EP comes out on XVI Records on 21st October. To listen to more of her tracks and soak up her general awesomeness, head over to her Soundcloud and/or Facebook page.