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Yarah Bravo Interview: „I’m kept in the love bubble“

Yarah Bravo Interview: „I’m kept in the love bubble“


„Hello I’m Yarah Bravo, I’m a child of the universe“. So stellt sich Yarah Bravo an einem heißen Nachmittag auf der Bühne des HipHop Open Austria in der Arena ihrem Publikum vor. In Schweden geboren sowie einem brasilianischen Vater und einer chilenischen Mutter, kann man ihr einen relativ durchmischten kulturellen Hintergrund kaum absprechen. Zumindest was unseren Planeteten betrifft. Auch raptechnisch ist die Dame ziemlich gut rumgekommen. Neben zahlreichen Kollaborationen mit DJ Vadim, Amewu oder der französichen Gruppe TTC, hat ihre Reise sie letztes Jahr auch in die Arme des österreichischen Labels Duzz Down San geführt. Dort hat sie ihr erstes Solo-Album „Love Is The Movement“ aufgenommen und veröffentlicht. Seitdem ist Yarah Bravo Österreich ans Herz gewachsen. Dass ihr auch geopolitische und soziale Themen am Herzen liegen, zeigt sie sowohl in ihren Tracks als auch bei ihrem fulminanten Auftritt beim „Rap Against Racism“ am Karlsplatz. Das HipHop Open Austria haben wir uns zum Anlass genommen, sie nicht nur vor der Bühne zu bestaunen, sondern auch dahinter mit ihr über die aktuelle Flüchtlingsproblematik, ihren multikulturellen Hintergrund und ihre spirituelle Einstellung zum Leben, sich selbst und ihrer Musik zu sprechen.

Interview: Jérémie Machto (JM)
Mitarbeit: Julia Gschmeidler (JG) &
Wanja Bierbaum (edHardygirl14)

Fotos: Nedim Husicic (Lichtreflex)

The Message: Aren’t you kind of „sad“ that there wasn’t the same crowd as at your show at Rap Against… Because that was crazy.
Yarah Bravo: You know what? I totally understand. I like to look at myself as the audience and when I think about being a fan, at that heat I would be sitting in the back and be like: “I love you, but I’m chilling!”. We got the opening slot. But yeah Rap Against was craaaazy! I was kind of the headliner and it was like a build-up: People where waiting to see me. Today is a different kind of show, but I’m still cool with it. I’m here as a fan too.

Which acts of today’s line up are you a fan of?
A$AP Rock and The Underachievers. I have big hopes for The Underachievers and the sound that they are doing. They are young kids coming up and doing good stuff. It gives me a good vibe.

Do you know some of the German acts too?
Yeah, Megaloh. I like his energy a lot. I think he is a really powerful brother. He is reaching for something deep when he raps. He is reaching for somewhere else.

So you understand german?
Yeah I do, I don’t speak it, but I understand a lot of it. Lyrics wise, I learned from one of the best – which is Amewu. We have done some stuff together and he lives in Berlin too. I like him as a person. I think because of that I also learned more about the German rap.

You said you live in Germany. Also your style reminds me a lot of another female MC, Akua Naru. Do you know her?
Yeah, that’s my sister, she’s beautiful, she’s powerful. Her concerts are one of the best. It’s such a build-up of good powerful energy. She manifests it a hundred percent and the band got her back.

This energy reminds me a lot of your concerts too. I think there is a difference between female and male acts in the way they deliver their energy.
It’s a different energy. I always say, “If the world was ruled by women“. It would be very different and probably a more positive place. So when you are open to listening to that side, to the female side in Hip-Hop, then you are really getting in the balance. Because HipHop is about life in general. It can’t be represented only by man. It’s the same thing with everything in the world. You need to listen to that feminine voice because the brothers are guided by the women. It’s a circle; it’s not them against us.

HipHop is a platform that needs to be heard from all perspectives. HipHop is more powerful than I assumed it to be.  HipHop reached people everywhere. In all corners of the world; from people going through real struggles, having only HipHop as a way out, to some people living in Europe, who are not going through the same kind of struggles but are still finding something in HipHop. HipHop is something that does bring people together.

Are you seeing that evolution of HipHops impact in Germany?
I’ve seen it in Germany for sure. But I somehow almost feel like HipHop is one of the biggest genres in the world. You find its influence everywhere! Everyone wants to use an element of HipHop. So that’s a real powerful thing if everyone wants a piece of it from something that started as a struggle, as something to represent.

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Do you think that this could turn into something negative too? Because sometimes the quality diminishes with the fact that something gets mainstream.
No! I think it’s already mainstream and it’s up to the artists that are really mainstream to represent the times. Because right now it’s a voice – more than ever. It’s a voice representing a time, documenting what’s happening in the world right now. A world where the boundaries are getting bigger and bigger, a world where racism is rising. So the fact that HipHop is so mainstream and everybody listens to it means that people that are in positions can speak about things that affect people directly. It’s a platform that was built without even realizing how important it would be.


„It’s a responsibility to spread the word and squash racism.“

Do you think that gives HipHop the mission to be political?
I enjoy HipHop in all kinds of forms. So I can’t say: It’s only HipHop and it needs to be this and it needs to be that. But for example: Questlove from The Roots wrote a letter to the HipHop community to make them think about their responsibility. When you are seeing things happen speak about them, because your voice might be more powerful than you realise. People coming together and seeing beyond. Seeing what connects us as human beings. That’s what I like to believe at least…  I’m kept in the love bubble (laughs).

When did you realize that HipHop was the voice you want to use for your poetry?
For me it was when I was quite young. It was kind of a savior. I felt like an outsider growing up. HipHop connected me, made me feel part of something. I didn’t have a plan to make it as my living. I just wanted to see the world, find my roots, travel around. HipHop happend to become the vehicle to do that. When you’re authentically combining your passion with your way of life eventually things will fall into place. When you are listening to the voice inside and following it then the universe kind of conspires to make it happen for you.


You posted a teaser of a documentary that deals with refugees (“Step forward”). We have a big problem with this topic right now, what do you think about it?
The last time I was in Vienna, I played at the “Rap Against” and it was really amazing. So many people came out to stand in solidarity and unity. I think the world is changing in front of our eyes. We are in a special time right now. It has been a build-up for this to happen, for the society to change. We might not live to see the outcome a hundred percent but what we do and where we stand has a big impact on the future. It’s  a responsibility to spread the word and to squash racism. Racism is the fear of the unknow. That means people are not educated enough and then they become scared and fear the unknown. It is the most ridiculous thing in the universe that you would even think about not letting people into this “fortress” Europe, which is what it is right now. The way that Europe has exploited the rest of the world. You need to check out the history.

Do you mean colonialization.
Exactly. Once you read up on this and understand the picture you are not in a position to say “no” to people who are coming into Europe. It is the only way forward. Everything is changing in front of our eyes and we got to be strong and we got to stay together and understand the bigger picture of the world and our role in it!

Your father is Brazilian, your mother is Chilean and they were freedom fighters. Do you think that your multicultural background is a reason for your views?
My parents come from a very strong background and they have been a big inspiration for me. But I always look for a place to call home because they have a very mixed background. Both of my parents coming to Sweden and that not being a choice for them – you know for them to be exiled from their countries, from their families, from everything they knew and starting all over at a young age, that is a whole different story to my story. But it is inevitable that it has a deep impact on me. That they were in a position to be sitting in jail for their political views is huge! It’s just one story. It’s something that happened in the 1970s under the dictatorship in Chile – but this happens everywhere. I mean it’s happening in the Middle-East, it happened with Palestine, it happened in Irak, it’s happening in America now. You have to connect the dots and see the bigger picture. Go back to where it all started.

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I don’t claim to know anything. I’m not in a place to tell people to do this or that. I’m as confused as everybody else. I have confusions, I have pain inside, I go through depression, through a whole bunch of stuff. But I know that we are all here for a reason. Everyone has a journey to make and most of the time people don’t get a chance to find out what it is because they get thrown in the system very early. You’re in kindergarden, then in school and you learn about how to obey and that’s it. Not a lot of people get the chance to find their true purpose in life. At the end of day, when someone finds his true purpose it will never be “to be in the army and kill somebody”. That is no one’s true purpose. So in this way, I’m happy that my parents raised me the way they did because they were super confused too. They didn’t expect to have a child. They didn’t expect anything to happen like it happened. So I’m happy that it happened this way, because they raised me asking a lot of question. Always wondering where I’m from and realize that I’m a part of the universe.


„I fell in love with the vibe. It’s as simple as that.“

Let’s take a 180 degrees turn: how did the collaboration with the Austrian label Duzz Down San happen?
You know, I’m a big collaborator. I like to connect with people, have a network of people around the world. I guess I just met them. I was here, they knew about me, they heard the records with DJ Vadim and then they invited me to the studio . I fell in love with the vibe. It’s as simple as that. They are really humble and sweet people – and that’s what I like. I like people who come from a good place and have a good heart. For me that is more important than the big deals. It’s about being in a position where you can express yourself and the people around will accept you, where nobody’s trying to change you.

Speaking of collaborations. You have a group called “One Self” with DJ Vadim and Blu Rum 13. Is there something coming up from that group again?
Hmmm… I don’t know. We spoke about it because actually it’s our 10 year anniversary this year. That’s insane!

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You should celebrate it in Vienna.
We were actually thinking about celebrating at HipHop Kemp in Czech Republic. Maybe we’ll come together as a group for a little EP or such to commemorate and to celebrate it.

Are you planning on a solo album too?
Yeah yeah yeah, I’m working on the next one for sure.

Again with the Duzz Down San Crew?
Yes and no. I’m working with different people again. I actually have two different projects coming up. I would say maybe at the end of the year or maybe by the beginning of next year. But otherwise I’m on the road, I’m touring a lot. So for me it’s important to take a time-out, to go somewhere else and to disconnect from everything. No Internet, no nothing and just speak to the trees, speak to nature, speak to the water…

Those are the Swedish roots coming trough?
Yeah maybe, that could be. I’m going to South America in September for one month. I’ll go into the Amazon and I’ll spend time there. I might go to Brazil and do one or two shows in Sao Paulo or Rio. But what I would like to do is spend more time just in nature, get inspired by it and then come back fresh!