BEARCAT’s Renee Yohe Shares Her Style, Inspiration and What the Future Holds
This year has been big for Renee Yohe. Her band, BEARCAT released its self-titled debut EP last month and earlier in April, Renee, a film based on her life starring Kat Dennings and Chad Michael Murray premiered at the Florida Film Festival. The singer-songwriter is also a published author and an empowering public speaker. No doubt a storyteller, Renee Yohe isn’t stopping anytime soon. Lucky for us, she took time out of her busy schedule to tell us more about who she is, what inspires her and what we can expect from her next.
KENTON magazine: Where/how did you come up with the name for your band, Bearcat?
Renee Yohe: I’ve always loved Flapper lingo, so when it came time to pick a name that’s where I went… Bearcat means a feisty/fiery hot-blooded woman. It seemed to fit me perfectly, and it didn’t hurt that it sounds kind of badass anyway. Haha
KENTON: What/who are you inspired by? And where do you go to get inspired?
Renee: As far as song writing goes, I usually write out based off a need that I have, something within me that needs to be let out. Usually my songs are derived from personal experiences, or observations about the world and lives around me. I don’t think I’ve really had to specifically go anywhere in search of a muse so to speak; the words have come pretty naturally whenever I need them. Other artists who inspire me are Fiona Apple and Patrick Watson, and I’ve always loved David Bazan for his brutal honesty whether it’s about himself or the world. It’s admirable to see someone speak so freely and not give a shit about what anyone has to say about it. I love it.
KENTON: You’ve done a lot of work with To Write Love On Her Arms – has there been a favorite project or most meaningful opportunity that you’ve had with them?
Renee: Having been involved with TWLOHA, I’ve experienced a lot of very heavy and beautiful things through the years. I think some of the most impactful moments have been conversations with complete strangers who, because of my story being so public, felt safe enough to share some of their deepest and darkest traumas with me. It’s been beautiful to have any role no matter how small, in helping other people find their voice, and fight for healing and freedom within themselves and in turn, others around them.
KENTON: How would you describe your music to someone who has never heard it?
Renee: That’s always the hardest question; I never know how to describe it. I’ve read descriptions that went something like this: “Soulful sixties pop” and so on…. that seems okay? There are a lot of different musical elements, and it certainly has a kind of throw back feel to it while incorporating a lot of new quirky elements.
KENTON: What’s next for you in your career?
Renee: I’ve never really been that great at looking too far ahead, I like to be where my feet are. I’m just excited to immerse myself fully in my music and just be out on the road touring, meeting people, and writing a lot more. Guess we’ll see where that takes me!
KENTON: Who would you love to collaborate with?
Renee: I would die to collaborate with Patrick Watson, David Bazan, Fiona Apple… I feel like I say their names in every interview, haha. I also would love to work with someone completely different stylistically then me, like the most absurd combo you can imagine… and it’d be amazing to pull it off. I love putting things together that wouldn’t be expected or shouldn’t work and getting away with it.
KENTON: How would you describe your personal style?
Renee: I just like to look how I feel, so it varies (as long as I have the option, haha) from day to day. As long as it looks how I feel and I’m comfortable, I don’t really care. I do consistently enjoy loads of jewelry, large statement pieces and mixing a lot of colors or prints that aren’t “supposed” to go together. I especially love wearing things that just wouldn’t be appropriate or expected and pulling it off, like bathing suits with fur and shorts and cowboy boots…I think I just like breaking rules any way I can. I kind of dress by the motto “If you can get away with it, you should do it.” You just have to be shameless!
KENTON: Favorite color?
Renee: I love green, but that also depends on my mood. I have a hard time picking favorites, everything just depends on how I feel that day.
KENTON: Dog person or cat person?
Renee: 100% DOG PERSON… I love dogs. They’ve always played a very therapeutic role in my life.
KENTON: Favorite food?
Renee: I used to be one of the pickiest eaters in the world, but my taste buds have changed and food has been much more adventurous and enjoyable lately… I love STEAK, and chicken bowtie pasta, chicken bacon ranch pizza. Lately, I’ve been on this kick (thanks to my drummer Rob) making sandwiches with guacamole, cheese, spinach, cucumber, and tomato… it’s so good.
Enjoy BEARCAT’s single “The Woods & The Trees” below.