How Yumi Zouma Made It with SoundBetter

November 30, 2020

In the latest installment of the How They Made It series we find out how New Zealand dream-pop quartet Yumi Zouma expanded their sonic horizons with the help of music-talent platform SoundBetter

In some way it seems unfathomable, or at least highly impractical, for a new band to function as a cohesive unit if each member is located in a different part of the world. And yet it was only when the members of Yumi Zouma left their hometown of Christchurch, New Zealand—following the devastating earthquake of 2011—that the quartet started to coalesce as a creative unit. Geographical distance proved to be the catalyst.

Band members would write and record their parts, send them off into the ether, and wake up the next morning to find an added vocal flourish, middle eight, or bar. Email is a creative lifeline for Christie Simpson, Josh Burgess, Charlie Ryder, and Olivia Campion, and this mode of remote composition continues to work for them to this day.

Since Yumi Zouma’s inception in 2014 the band have toured the globe, opened for Lorde, laid down their debut Yoncalla at Philippe Zdar's legendary Motorbass studio in Paris, and released five full length albums (including a wonderfully unrecognizable rework of Oasis’ seminal LP (What’s the Story) Morning Glory?). This year alone they dropped two radically different versions of their album Truth and Consequences.

But it was during the recording of their 2017 record Willowbank, that Charlie suggested utilizing SoundBetter to source a string section for their song “Us, Together.” They were so happy with the result, that since then the band have continued to use the music marketplace, finding a regular collaborator in Nathan Kane, a SoundBetter engineer who takes their self-recorded vocals to the next level. (SoundBetter was acquired by Spotify in 2019.)

Watch the video above to find out more about Yumi Zouma’s journey, plus there’s a bunch of other SoundBetter stories to check out—like how Minnesota artist Michael Shynes made it big with Polish electronic group Komodo, and how Miami-based artist Daramola and NYC producer ShiShi formed an ongoing partnership.

Watch season one of How They Made It, which focuses on Spotify playlist pitching, featuring Dreezy, Wiki, and Conner Youngblood.

-Spotify for Artists

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