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Yaya Bey: Abbey Road Amplify x Pitchfork London Sessions

Abbey Road Studios has today revealed details of its second Amplify x Pitchfork London series, in partnership with leading American music publication Pitchfork.

This series will feature a number of artists playing the Pitchfork London festival come into the studios to work with Abbey Road’s engineers to record something new. The sessions are documented on film, with revealing interviews about the songwriting, recording and production process captured, as well as insights into each artist’s journey. Abbey Road Studios’ Pitchfork London series launched in 2021 with sessions from Cassandra Jenkins, Iceage, L’Rain and Emma-Jean Thackray.

The second series launches today with Yaya Bey’s film around the release of her new track "ascendant motherf*cker," taken from her new EP Exodus the North Star, out today on Big Dada records. Following a show opening for the legendary Roy Ayers in New York earlier this month, Yaya Bey was recently confirmed as part of this year’s Glastonbury Festival where she will play on the West Holts stage. Yaya’s new EP Exodus the North Star follows her critically acclaimed album Remember Your North Star which was named as one of the albums of 2022 by Pitchfork, The New York Times, The Guardian, GQ and NPR.

A global music icon and the world’s first purpose-built recording studio, Abbey Road Studios has been home to countless landmark recordings and pioneering advances in music technology for over 90 years. The studios’ phenomenal history encompasses celebrated work by artists from The Beatles, Pink Floyd, Fela Kuti, Kate Bush, Oasis and Radiohead to Sam Smith, Florence + The Machine, Lady Gaga, Frank Ocean, Little Simz, Amy Winehouse, Brockhampton and Adele, as well as scores to films from Raiders of The Lost Ark, The Lord of The Rings Trilogy and many of the Harry Potter and Star Wars movies, to Gravity, The Shape of Water, 1917, Black Panther, Black Widow, Tar, Bohemian Rhapsody and Avengers: Endgame. Since stereo was patented at Abbey Road in 1933, the studios have been home to numerous innovations in recording technology and continue to innovate today with Europe’s first music tech incubator, Abbey Road Red. Discover more at

Released on 03/23/2023


[static crackling]

[relaxing soulful music]

My friend sent me a track, Exaktly is his name.

He is a DJ/Producer based in DC,

and I wrote some lyrics.

I write a lot about romantic love, my family.

I write a lot about capitalism and money,

and not having money.

♪ All praise to the most high, elevated ♪

♪ Get a little bitty joint, and now I'm elevated ♪

♪ Send a picture to my baby ♪

This song might go on this EP that I just finished.

I like to tell a story through multiple songs.

♪ Sunshine won't last all of my day ♪

I react to the instrumentation with the melody.

I flush out what the melody is gonna be,

and then I add the words.

♪ And a little bit, a little bit, a little bit of weed ♪

Sometimes you can overproduce a song

and there's just way too much going on on the song.

Or it doesn't feel authentic, it feels forced.

Do what feels good,

and then right when you get to the point where it's like,

okay, start to feel like work, then you know it's done.

♪ You're a motherfucker ♪

So it helps to take a break from it, and then come back.

You take an hour away from the track or 30 minutes away,

and then you come, you turn it back on.

It feels fresh, as opposed to just drilling it in your head.

The track, the track, the track and the words aren't coming.

♪ Sunshine all of my day ♪

George and Callan, they're really nice.

Very nice people.

It was so patient, so accommodating.

The people at Pitchfork have just been really receptive.

They gave me Best New Music for my last album,

and that helped a lot.

Just putting my music on people's radar.

♪ Keep him motivated ♪

The thing I think I'm still learning

is to be nice to myself.

I think you can kind of be tempted to have

some pretty negative internal dialogue

just because there's so much pressure outside of you.

Maybe you haven't popped as a mainstream artist

but you're experiencing some success,

then there's this pressure to maybe become mainstream

or maybe get bigger,

or how do you maintain the success that you do have?

And then you're judging everything you're doing,

and you can be really hard on yourself.

And sometimes people outside of you can be hard on you,

but you have to maintain positive inner dialogue.

Be kind to yourself, 'cause you're your first friend.

And then from there you have other relationships,

but you have to be a good friend to yourself.

[relaxing soulful music]