Singer and self-taught musician Yvonne Hercules prepares to release new single ‘Roving’. Inspired by old school blues, folk and alternative music, Yvonne’s music combines thought-provoking lyrics underpinned by haunting vocal/guitar melodies, evident in her new single. Watch here
Roving is a song inspired in part by issues relating to police brutality and Ava DuVernay’s 2016 documentary film ‘13th’. It addresses issues relating to our freedom as human beings and how this translates in a modern day Western democratic society where many disadvantaged and minority groups still feel subjugated.
Roving had its radio premiere on BBC Introducing Cambridgeshire on 25 Feb and it will be accompanied by a video release, filmed and directed by Artist/Videographer Eliot Jones, featuring movement choreographed and performed by Myron Birch, Elizabeth Mary Williams, Jan Van Vianen and Yvonne Hercules herself.
Every artist can pinpoint that specific moment in time that inspired them. For Yvonne Hercules, it was coming across footage of Lightnin’ Hopkins performing that truly inspired her to want to hone her songwriting and playing ability. Something in the rawness and vulnerability of Hopkins’ work inspired her to want to evoke something of this into the music she was creating and she became fascinated by the Blues, spending hours listening to pioneers such as Bessie Smith, Leadbelly and Howlin’ Wolf.
As Yvonne Hercules’ interest in Blues music began to grow, she began to find similarities in the music her parents introduced her to whilst growing up. Born to a Jamaican/Sierra-Leonian Mother born and raised in the UK and a Nigerian Father, Yvonne distinctively remembers music being a large part of her youth. Traditional Nigerian music, Reggae, Motown & Soul all played a part in her musical upbringing.
Born in London, Yvonne moved to a rural village on the outskirts of Cambridge at the age of 8. This unique blend of cultural experience opened her up to a new array of interesting sounds and artists and as a result her music taste soon expanded and she began to take an interest in Folk and more alternative music genres, with artists/bands such as Leonard Cohen, Bon Iver and Kings of Leon all influencing her sound . Although always having an interest in performing, her career goal was always to be a dancer. It wasn’t until Yvonne was at college that she began to fully immerse herself in trying to learn to play an instrument. A self-taught musician, she originally taught herself to play the piano however soon abandoned this for the guitar once her interest in alternative music furthered.