YENDRY wants his audience to know that Latin music goes way beyond reggaeton. Her diverse musical taste in everything from the Dominican music she grew up with and Caribbean sounds to European influences and his love of artists like Björk and FKA twigs is what keeps her music fresh and experimental. She always seeks to merge different worlds and sounds, and that’s why his music is unlike anyone else’s, and his own journey of identity prevails in everything she does. She today she is the protagonist of our RIOT section.
Yendry Fiorentino was born on July 27, 1993 in Santo Domingo. At the age of three, his parents moved to Turin, Italy, so he grew up watching his heroes on MTV: TLC, Destiny’s Child, Michael Jackson, Radiohead, Whitney Houston… Thus he benefited from a triple culture: Italian, Dominican and American. As an adult, she started working as a fashion model, but her music never left her mind, and in 2012 she participated in the Italian talent show The X Factor, reaching the final. The artists whose songs she covered in this contest show her influences: Lana Del Rey, Alicia Keys, Janelle Monáe… Powerful female singers who write their own songs, which is exactly what YENDRY has revealed in her career in lonely.
“That’s why I talk a lot about identity. Because it was very difficult for me to decide how to identify myself, you know. At first, she was like, ‘Okay, I’m Dominican.’ But she was in survival mode and had to be like the other kids. So for me it was like, ‘Oh, well, but I speak perfect Italian. I’m Italian,’” she tells Popsugar. “I have always had the Dominican part at home. We kept going to the DR… not so much, but we kept going. We saved money to go to the Dominican Republic to visit family. We still ate Dominican food, [and] we still listened to Dominican music, so the culture was still there. The only problem was that I was in a new country and so was my mother. So it’s kind of hard for that kind of generation to relate to, and I struggled a lot. Growing up, I remember at 22 years old I felt like something was missing.”
After traveling alone to the Dominican Republic years later, she discovered what that missing element was: the culture and the music and her relationship with it, which finally made her feel at home. “There were a lot of things I couldn’t understand about myself that I [suddenly] understood when I was in the Dominican Republic. Even how I present myself, my body, because I didn’t want people to see me as the stereotype.” After this life-changing trip, in December 2019, YENDRY unveiled the video for Barrio, her first official single. She has been followed by more songs: Nena, El Diablo and Se Acabó. Since then, he has been unstoppable. Her music, which incorporates all kinds of music from Afrobeats, Reggaeton and R&B, while embracing her Caribbean and European influences, is precisely what makes her stand out from the masses. Songs like You, Instinto and Mascarade, in collaboration with artists like J Balvin, reggae legend Damian Marley and Belgian singer of Congolese origin Lous and the Yakuza, demonstrate her variety and musical prowess. And the best thing is that she has only just begun.
As for her future collaborations, YENDRY plans to continue to surprise us, and she says that her journey is about future generations coming closer to her music and her life story. “In the beginning, you just want to make music because it’s your passion, but then you realize that you’re impacting people with what you say and do. You realize someone is counting on you or taking you as a relatable figure,” she explains. “I started sharing my story because I know a lot of people see themselves in it. Many young Dominican girls have told me that they are proud to have someone who looks like them, who they can relate to, and who represents them and not just the industry I work in.” She hopes that her debut album will come out soon, in which she will show the experimental side of her but she hopes to find a balance. “I want my music to be accessible to everyone. It doesn’t always have to be super deep, because most of the time we are doing other things while listening to music, like being in the supermarket or hanging out with friends. I want to experiment, but at the same time I try to find the balance between those two worlds.”