Yaya Jonez is no stranger to the unfortunate tales that plague the Black community. Oldest of three children born to a single-teenage mother, he assumed the role of the man of the house with no examples to look to other than the men he surrounded himself with on the Westside of Saint Louis. An area plagued by poverty, violence and drugs, Yaya surely became indulged in that lifestyle. Regardless of his environment, his mother taught him the importance of a relationship with Christ and fellowship within a church at an early age.
Little did he know that a seed was planted in him, even in the midst of street-life.
Even though Yaya developed a brotherhood within the streets, it was not enough as he still developed a void. “The rappers and the street gangs were the only places I saw cats come together as black men.” Journaling became an escape and a way to put a voice to thoughts. As he experienced more, it gave him more to write about. One day while journaling, Yaya heard a still voice that said, “share it.”
He spent the next year working in his community and creating a project titled The Bridge. After getting feedback from his barber, Will, he decided to answer the call of making music.
Titled “The Bridge” due to his style of music being described as “New York rhyming meets Midwest rhythm and Mississippi passion.
His mission is to transcend culture barriers and to spark conversations across cultures to help empathize with each other better.
Yaya considers his music special due to his method of delivery: political, street, and hopeful. His language allows him to speak to an audience of striving people who haven’t been spoken to in a while- The type of audience that values honesty, completion, and success- in that order.
The message Yaya hopes to convey in his music is simply hope. As long as there’s breath in you, God’s working on you, period. That’s something to be happy about. “ Yaya believes its important to boast the values of self acceptance and excellence. He proudly boast, Our father is the king! Enjoy that royalty!