Yuni Wa’s Unmatched Young Career Reaches Prolific Peak With Afrofuturistic New LP “Context 4”
Being black in electronic music presents all kinds of challenges, mostly of a political nature, but Yuni Wa has navigated through the industry with a deft touch. Equally inspired by 90’s boom-bap hip-hop and modern electronic music, he has more albums out than most artists across any genre (upwards of 4 dozen with over 8 million total streams), and he’s still hungry to progress to the next level of his career. Yuni Wa’s mercurial work ethic makes him one of the most exciting new black musicians that you can find — one driven by the struggles of standing out in an industry that doesn’t always want the oppressed to succeed.
LISTEN TO NEW ALBUM “CONTEXT 4”
Yuni Wa’s new album Context 4 (due out April 30th) is the 4th installment of his “Context Series” that captures his perspective of Afrofuturuism in electronic music. Seeking to make a sound all his own, he found other Afrofuturist artists, Sun Ra and Flying Lotus, as inspirations that have led to his dive into being a Afrofuturist music producer. 19 tracks long and full of captivating musical abstractions, Context 4 shows how far a instrumental album can go if your mind is open enough to the possibilities. Weaving textures, atmospheres, dreamy, euphoric melodies prove to the listener why Yuni Wa has had so much staying power in his young career. It’s equipped with the core characteristics that makes a classic instrumental album.
For the duration of his career, Yuni Wa has been focused on creating “a whole new whirlpool of sounds” as he happily explains. He comes from a spiritual family: his grandfather was a preacher and he grew up in Little Rock in a Southern Baptist household, he spent years in the choir, picking up the essence of how chillingly beautiful that gospel music could be. By the time he was 13 years old, Yuni Wa was ready to start releasing music. His earliest electronic recordings blend the extravagant nature of gospel with his early understanding of the genre that he would come to call his own.
Success in the electronic industry came swiftly for Yuni Wa, even in the midst of some troubling times in high school. He got kicked out for truancy and nearly went right to the prison pipeline. Yuni Wa collaborated with producer Chris Travis when he was just 18 years old and has also done work for Cuz Lightyear, the rap protege of Killer Mike. While connecting with artists with larger platforms, he didn’t slack on his output: he released more albums than ever. By the time that he was 20 years old, Yuni Wa had 39 projects publicly available through Bandcamp, continuously unpacking your expectations of electronic music and repurposing the style from a black lens. His fanbase continued to have explosive growth as fans dug into the story that he spun without words.
“Dusty synths and lo-fi grooves” -DJ MAG
“Break through electronic artist” -Amazon Music