Invitation is a dreamy ode to a beloved memory that stood the test of time, one of perhaps a childhood slumber party whose emotional landscape has been amplified by childlike wonderment and nostalgia. It is Tokyo-based indie-pop artist Yui Stonewell’s latest single release, following a string of singles dabbling in interesting variants of synthpop in an exploration of her perfect musical style.
This track has a unique lo-fi vibe, using gentle shimmering synths that ripple and flow as she describes the most memorable moments from that visit a la My Favourite Things. It keeps its mellow tempo and gentle melodies as it runs through its blessings. There’s something about how these bedroom pop songs are able to amplify simple and heartfelt emotions over dramatic and ethereal soundscape, allowing you to give them the time they need to be truly felt. It’s such a rosy and wholesome track that is only supported in its warmth by the dreamy production.
Invitation embodies the spirit of counting your blessings, and being thankful for the compassion that you’re shown. It is an optimistic track that inspires you to be similarly grateful and reminescent for all the key memories that helped us be our unique selves. There’s only radiant positivity to be felt from this single, fitting for this indie beam of sunshine, Yui Stonewell. Following is my correspondence with her!
You’ve been really busy over the last two years, with a series of track releases. Can you share with us what your inspiration is, and your passion to work with music? I have! And it’s been a blast. My inspiration behind each track are things I’m often feeling or have felt in the past. It’s all about real emotions! Singing about them helps me deal with difficult ones and helps me celebrate the amazing ones. Musically my brother and I are inspired by 90s pop music that we grew up with and the more current EDM-type beats that we hear on the radio today. My passion for music comes from wanting to connect with people and also having the chance to create a song that takes a snapshot of a certain moment in their life. You know when you listen to a song you used to love as a kid and you’re immediately transported back to that moment in time and the emotions you felt? I think that is so magical and makes me fall in love with music even more.
How has this career in music affected your personal life? It does seem like your songs bring very personal themes.
This does! I honestly think that it helps my personal life and relationships. I’m able to deal with certain emotions through lyric writing and I am also able to let out frustrations or disappointments without being too direct. Most of my songs have a certain person in mind, but I keep that part very private! And luckily my friends and family have been unbelievably supportive throughout my musical journey and I couldn’t be more grateful.
Have you and your brother been working together for a long time?
My brother, Tak, and I started performing together in his university Jpop/Jrock band over a decade ago. We never really imagined we’d be working this closely together all these years later. We know each other really well, have trust and the whole thing came quite naturally to us.
I love the way you use synths, and you list your influences as blackpink and dua lipa. Are those really your strongest musical influences?
Thank you! Tak does a great job of adding the synth sounds to our songs. We hear a specific “sound” in our head when creating these songs and we do our best to translate it in our tracks. I love Blackpink and Dua Lipa, but my strongest influence would have to be Taylor Swift (especially lyrically) and The Spice Girls. The Spice Girls have influenced me from a young age with girl power and creating a community of strong, positive and empowered women! Something I hope to create with my music too.
Invitation seems like a cute and sincere track about the nostalgia of friendships we used to have. Am I missing the concept? Would you like to share about it?
You got it right! I’ve always wanted to write a “thank you song” for my childhood friends. I didn’t have an easy childhood when I first moved to Canada from Japan. I didn’t speak the language and there weren’t many Asian people in the community at the time. I actually wrote a song called “can i play?”, which was released before “Invitation”, and I sing about the hardships that this experience brought me. So “Invitation” was kind of a follow-up song to sing about gratitude and the kindness of others. There were 4 girls who were my best friends (Melanie, Maja, Liz and Kathy) who were so wonderful and so kind to me and my family. We live far apart now and don’t keep in touch daily, but I wanted them to know that they will always have a special place in my heart and to say “thank you” for being my friend and that I will never forget how much they taught me about friendship.
You had a lovely EP, Orbit around half a year ago. Do you have any plans about working towards more EPs, or are you enjoying the format of exploring all these different themes with singles?
Thank you so much! “Orbit” was SO much fun to make. Quite an experimental EP, to be honest. We would love to make an EP in the future, but for now, we are exploring, testing boundaries and challenging our songwriting with different singles!
Is there anything about your journey with music you’d like to share? Perhaps to other indie artists like yourself? It’s only been a year and a half since I started REALLY pursuing music and trying to make it my main income. It’s had some awesome highs and some really really low lows. We’ve also worked with multiple companies/people to try and get our music heard and to build a community, and it has not been easy! However, I know that today I have so much more knowledge than I did when I started. I am better equipped to make good decisions and have been working on my craft to make sure each new single is better than the last. I appreciate all the wins and losses that have happened. I can’t wait to continue moving forward and taking my music to the next level!
Part-time writer but full-time music enthusiast, I write some of the features on here. I think appreciating a multitude of genres and styles makes me good at my job, so clicky here to see what I've written!