LIVING Daniella White, a.k.a. YellaCatt, takes electronic dance music to another level—while also practising healing through the use of sound baths. She talks to Lucire
A wood nymph raised in the wild forests of the Pacific northwest. A certified sound bath practitioner and reiki master. A tribal dance artist and mistress of the divine feminine. A designer of wildly intricate headdresses donned by the likes of Lizzo and Nikki Minaj. A songwriter, lyricist and singer in an electro-dance-world beat band.
Meet Daniella White, a.k.a. YellaCatt. The multi-faceted muse to the sacred and the sensual. YellaCatt escorts listeners on a sublime sonic voyage where she explores themes of liberation, power, and sexuality. For her latest album release, YellaCat collaborates with producer and world music artist Jonny Joon to trip deeper into global music terrain. Together they create a soundscape simultaneously carnal and celestial.
We chatted with YellaCatt from her Washington state residence about music, sexuality, crystal sound bowls and liberation.
Lucire: You are such a multi-faceted artist. When did you start singing?
YellaCatt: I’ve been a singer since I was little. I had a rock band in the early 2000s, and started writing songs with my band back then.
How would you describe your musical style today?
It’s not necessarily dance music, but we definitely make a lot of the tracks with a computer and samples, but we also use live instrumentation.
What made you switch from rock to indie pop?
Just kind of a feeling. I was attracted to that. I had a rock band, but I always listened to York and Portishead way back in the day. I just wanted to explore something new and different that I hadn’t done.
What do you write about?
Usually personal experience. Personal empowerment or empowerment in general.
Can you explicate on that further?
Owning your sexuality, being able to feel free to express yourself. Not being ashamed of your sexuality, owning who you are and celebrating it and putting it out there.
Do you feel women have been too repressed to fully own their sexuality?
I can’t speak for all women, but I know that as for sex, we’ve been culturally repressed all across the globe for at least 2,000 years. Sex has been shamed by religion when it’s really the most powerful form of expression, and it’s the root of all creation. So there’s a part of me that’s just fully and completely over that bullshit.
How do express sexuality in your on-stage persona?
In a kind of classy way. I don’t know how you would say it. The way that I dance and the clothes I wear, being sexy without giving it all away. I feel like sexuality is a sacred thing, but that doesn’t mean you hide it. It should be respected if you’re putting it out there.
Can you elaborate more on sound baths and healing? What does it involve and how can it help people?
It is one of the most ancient forms of healing. A sound bath does not involve ego or opinions. It’s where I try to set myself aside and let the frequencies come through me like I use my voice. I play about 10 crystal bowls and have a couple of gongs behind me, like an improvised symphony. I do toning without words because that disengages the left brain—logical linear thinking. When you’re left brain is engaged you can’t really go into an altered state. When I do an improvised concert, I just do vocal toning. So that engages the right hemisphere of the brain and releases your parasympathetic nervous system to engage. You can go into an altered state where your body starts to heal itself and you start to release stress. That’s the gist of of the sound baths. Everybody lays down on the ground and some people fall asleep. Some people have mystical experiences. Some people experience healing within their body. Some people have emotional healing. Some people just release stress.
Should it be practised on a regular basis, like exercise?
It depends on the person, but as often as possible. It’s like getting acupuncture. It’s good to get your brain into that state as much as possible. It trains your brain into that state where your your body releases stress. People will make better choices to avoid the stress once they start feeling how beneficial it is to be relaxed. •
Jody Miller is a correspondent for Lucire and co-founder of Lucire Rouge.
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