Person of Interest: Yndi DaSilva

The French-Brazilian musician, otherwise known as Dream Koala, discusses finding her true identity.

Yndi. Photograph courtesy of Maxim Northover ©2018.

"I grew up in Paris, but both my parents are from Brazil. They’re musicians, so I was always surrounded by artists, dancers, photographers… I was lucky because my parents were always pushing me forward, teaching me about art, taking me to museums. Around 14 or 15, I became interested in playing guitar and writing songs and trying to find my musical identity.

Right now, I’m in the studio, working on my first album, which will be out next year. I wanted to include my Brazilian influences in this project, and make it more personal. But my songs are not about personal things. When I write, I want to feel free. It’s a way to escape. My songs are abstract—like poems or dreams. They don’t address issues I have. They don’t address my transition.

I came out as a trans-woman last year to my family and friends. It wasn’t always easy but I feel so much more confident since then. It really felt like a blossoming. I didn’t really feel like I was a trans-person until my teenage years. We didn’t talk a lot about gender identity back in those days, and none of my close friends were queer so I didn’t know how to explain it. I definitely felt lost and confused. I needed to put it in a box, not make too much noise about it. I felt safer that way. But there’s one day when you feel the urge to start living your life, the way you want to. I’m lucky to have people around me that are really supportive. Of course, some people are not, but you can’t put too much energy into that.

When you transition, a lot of people expect you to act super-feminine. They think it’s weird otherwise. I’m a woman, but I don’t feel like a super feminine woman. I love perfume and creams. But I don’t want to wear heels and dresses every day. Neither do most women! I like mixing something really feminine with something really grungy, or kind of ugly. Like red lipstick and gold earrings with an old band t-shirt. Every woman has her own personality and expresses her femininity differently.

Thankfully, things have changed so much since when I was a kid. Now we have more stories that are being told by trans-people. It’s doesn’t have to be tragic. Kids need to know that, that you can transition and have a fulfilled life, be loved, have a career.

Still, most people want to put you in a box, like being transgender changes my art. I don’t want to be considered a 'trans artist’. Queer actors don’t only want to be in queer films. I think we all want to reach out to everyone.

My music is for everyone. I don’t feel different; I’m not different. This is just me."

Check out her music here.