Born on the island of O’ahu, YOZA, has lived a life filled with both weathered hardships and musical prowess.
YOZA took to music early, learning to play the ukulele at age 5. By the time she turned 10 years old, she performed with world renowned ukulele master, Roy Sakuma’s Super Keiki. Not being bound by one instrument, she then began playing the saxophone at age 12 with her school’s symphonic orchestra. The two years that followed were filled with many musical accolades which included being chosen for the Hawai’i State Select Band, holding the “first seat, first chair” in her section, as well as being a Gold Medalist in both Solo and Ensemble. It was clear that YOZA was becoming prolific in every aspect of her musical craft. Her accomplishments also led to her being offered a full musical scholarship to Hawai’i Pacific University.
At age 18 YOZA began to teach herself to play the guitar, and by age 19 she began writing her own music. At age 23 YOZA began playing with the group Ho’okahileo, a Traditional / Contemporary Hawaiian group that performed all over the Hawaiian Islands. But being inspired by the likes of Stevie Wonder, Eydie Gormé and India Arie, while in love with both Acoustic Soul and Motown, musically she hungered for more.
Fast forward to today... with a sultry rasp and uncanny style, YOZA has turned acoustic music on its ear. With the fusion of Hip Hop, R&B and Latin influences, she has redefined the sound of “acoustic soul.” From her rich, palpable ballads to her show-stopping upbeat renditions, YOZA truly has a style of her own.
YOZA released her first full-length self-titled album, "Yoza", on August 15, 2013. The Oahu born musician describes the new album as “an eclectic compilation written over the course of six years that takes the listener through a series of relationships, inner struggles and influence of various genres into my music."
Songs like “Change My Heart,” “Please Don’t Go” and “Bringing Me Down” offers the listener a glimpse into Yoza’s diverse soul sound - full of energy while on an emotional journey.
“While recording this album I tried to think about the experience each song is rooted in and to express the emotions that are associated with them” said Yoza.
With Yoza now residing in Los Angeles, CA and her production team in Hawaii, the entire album was recorded over a period of ten sessions. Yoza adds that "the last few years have been trying, difficult, and stressful for me, but thankfully my production team and my mom, who is my biggest supporter, helped make my dream of having an album come true."
This much anticipated, 10 track, full-length album will be available online and in stores in late September 2013 as well as all upcoming events.
A self-described clumsy, socially awkward tomboy, Yoza is a singer/songwriter from Hawaii who has fused Hip Hop, R&B, and Latin into what she calls “acoustic soul.” On stage Yoza is a fearless, all out, show stoping performer who takes you to times of sadness, happiness, depression, and turmoil through her lyrics.