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Up Close with Yam Haus

Up Close with Yam Haus
Photo Credit: Summerfest / Yvan Nguyen

The Emerging Artists Series takes place every day of Summerfest on the Johnson Controls World Sound Stage with 88Nine Radio Milwaukee. This series highlights up-and-coming local, national and international talent during daily performances that not only showcase great live music but also engages the audience by having fans vote each day their favorite performance.

We’ve reached out to several of this year’s artists and asked them a few questions about their experience at Summerfest.

This week we hear from Yam Haus from Minneapolis, Minnesota. They performed this year at Summerfest on July 4 at the Johnson Controls World Sound Stage.


1. Was this your first time playing Summerfest? If yes – what did it mean to you to play the festival in your hometown? What expectations did you have and how did it compare to the reality of playing the festival? If no – when have you played/attended in the past?

Yes! We’re Hudson, WI natives so playing something that big in our home state was pretty special, to say the least. We went in trying to keep our expectations as realistic as possible - and let’s just say they were certainly blown out of the water. There was so much energy from the crowd, and with a festival that size, there were a lot people walking around and coming in to listen to our set. By the end, it was packed and electric! Such a blast.

2. How do you decide what songs make your setlist, and how do you decide what order to play them in?  

That’s a good question. We like to bring as much energy as we can to live shows, so we can admittedly tend to shy away from playing songs of ours that are more intimate. With outdoor situations too, we try to really get people’s attention by keeping the energy up as much as possible, especially when we’re a pretty unknown band trying to win people over who aren’t necessarily there to see us. But when it’s our show and we can play in a more controlled lighting environment, we try to create as many special moments as possible. Intentionality is key. Dancing and moving your feet is also a consistent goal. We want people to have fun and feel free to participate, not just sit and stare.

3. What artist or group has influenced the sound of your band the most?  

Recently I would say we’ve all been really inspired by what The 1975 are doing. We all have pretty eclectic music tastes though, and we try to listen to as many types of music as possible to stay fresh and open to what’s possible. In 2019 genres are slowly getting more and more blurry, so we tend to pay attention to the artists and bands that tell stories the best.

4. Do you have anything you want to say to the fans that voted for you?  

THANK YOU can’t be said enough. In today’s incredibly saturated music scene dedicated fans who help promote your music are more valuable than they’ve ever been. We have a lot of people who loudly help us promote across social media and out on the streets. They’re the ones who really give us any real chance of continuing to do this Yam Haus thing for the years to come. Without them, we are just an idea. They make it real.

5. What can your fans expect next from you?

Lots. Of. New. Music. And some killer videos. And some really killer shows/ tours are in the works right now. We promise to keep working our tails off to try and be honest and hard-working musicians/artists. The world needs more positive and intentional art to bring humans together. We promise to keep striving to do that.