Whatever reticence Princeton Coleman may exude in person, that quietude doesn’t extend to his portfolio. The Little Rock-based producer and composer has released around 50 bass-centric albums, the latest of which is a mostly wordless 11-track collection called “Allegory.” It dropped on streaming platforms today, and we talked with Coleman, who records under the name Yuni Wa, ahead of its release.
Your given name is Princeton Von Coleman, and you compose under the name Yuni Wa. Can you talk a little bit about that alias, and why you chose it?
Yuni Wa is short for Yunibasaru Wa, which is my original artist name, which is meant to mean “universal harmony.” Yuni Wa is meant to symbolize having a universal appreciation for music and wanting to blur the lines between genre. While also creating harmony amongst people by bringing them together through means of creating emotionally charged music.
I want to ask you a little bit about the track “Stop Being Scared.” There are all these staccato percussion segments, and erratic drum fills, then these moments when the bass and percussion completely falls out and gives way to this sense of release. I think operating from a mindset of fear is something everyone can relate to in one way or another, and I wonder if you might explain where this song came from. Like, for you, how does that struggle and tension relate to these musical ideas?
Well, honestly, for most of my life I felt a lot fear and anxiety. This song came from a place where I’m battling these feelings head on, face-to-face, for the sake of myself. The synths in the song warp back and forth like how I feel my emotions do at times. The intensity of the record and atmosphere are made to embody the intense experience of uncertainty in life but yet still charging towards your dreams anyway.
I kinda hope people listen to this album on headphones, or some other medium where they can observe the shifts from the left to right channels. Do you think about “left brain/right brain” sorts of things when you’re moving these tracks from one ear to the other?
I’ve been using panning techniques since about 2014. I actually did it on one of the tracks off my first album “Wa.” I’ve always thought about how we experience music, and honestly, it’s just something I’ve done since I first started producing that’s somewhat like a stylistic cadence of mine.
Who did the album cover art?
Shouts out to Corey Howell. He does a lot of graphic work for me and he is honestly one of the most creative people I know. He also made the music video for “Fade” off the album. He is truly prolific, check out his work.
In your press materials and otherwise, you’re a huge advocate for the vibrancy of the Little Rock music scene. What artists are we not paying enough attention to? Like, if you’re curating a Little Rock playlist, what kind of work is on it?
My favorite artist from the scene that I feel would fit that criteria are Mvk Lxuis, Klubhouse, Joshua Asante, Goon Des Garcons, I Was Afraid and Idle Kid. The type of work I’d put on that type of playlist would be, of course, a lot of Hip-Hop, Trap music and Rock Music.