Local Artists: Featuring YEYO


Gabriel Lopez

Kayla Clemente, Editor-in-Chief

Hey LVA, welcome to a new series of Local Music Artists. There are many musicians around the world but did you know that Las Vegas also has many talented artists? Want to get to know who these people are to support them? Well, lucky for you, you can find them through this series! 

Today’s local artist features YEYO. YEYO is a band that “is composed of a lot of my friends that I’ve met over the years through different interactions. But none of them knew each other at all before joining YEYO,” says Gabriel Lopez, member of the band. The band consists of five members: three guitarists, two bass players, two pianists, and a drummer. Now you might be thinking, “Well, that does not equal five; that equals eight!” That’s because the members play more than one instrument!

Before we hop into the members of the band, why don’t we start from the beginning? What is YEYO? YEYO was initially a solo rap/production project that Lopez started in 2018 while he attended LVA. Once he graduated, he says he “started to dive into indie music and playing live shows so that’s when I decided to make a transition into making YEYO a full band with more members.”

How did the name YEYO originate? “The name Yeyo came about through my little sister Leslie Lopez [who currently attends LVA as a junior orchestra major]. In my family… we all have a little accent when speaking… she [Lopez’s sister] couldn’t pronounce my name so she shortened it and came up with YEYO and it was my childhood nickname…still is.” It was a no-brainer for Lopez when he was coming up with a band name. “YEYO is an organic identity I resonate with. I had no idea it was a street term for coke though, I get that comment every once in a while”

Now that we know a little bit about the backstory of YEYO, let’s meet the members and how Lopez met them. First, we have Gabriel Lopez who is the founder of YEYO, the music producer, the songwriter, the vocalist, and one of the basses and guitar players. 

Nick Fenton is the second bass player. Lopez met Fenton through his job. Lopez says, “He was actually my manager at my previous job which was Dutch Bros and I remember just asking him randomly three weeks before my first show if he wanted to play bass with me and his face lit up with excitement. It was a hard yes from him. He’s been with us ever since.”

Ralph Malabed is the guitarist of the band. Lopez met him through church back in 2017. He continues to say, “I wasn’t making music yet nor did I know he played guitar. I remember seeing him on Instagram just jamming. I wanted him to play with yeyo because I knew he’d elevate our sound.”

Moises Hernandez is the pianist and second guitar player of the band. “He is actually one of the longest friends I’ve had. He helped me on my music journey of production and helped me mix and master my first YEYO mixtape teenage dream. Moi [short for Moises] and I have known each other since middle school band and even went on to play with each other in LVA band as well.” says Lopez.

Last but not least, we have Matt Stieb the drummer of the band. Gabriel says that Stieb was one of the first people he remembers meeting at LVA, “but we weren’t super close, just had mutual friends. I respected Matt a lot but never reached out to him until freshman year of college.” 

Just like for most other artists, songwriting seems to be the most difficult task to do. Lopez says, “I feel like the songwriting process is hard for all songwriters of all levels. Each level brings a different challenge. When I first started out, a challenge for me was the arrangement. Now the challenge is different, I subconsciously think about the marketing, the audience, the catchiness of a song, therefore, ruining the intimate and magical moment of the songwriting process. It feels like the premeditated murder of creativity.”

Although the marketing and branding may feel like “murder,” they still perform all over Las Vegas. In fact, their go-to song is an unreleased song they all made together called BAD! Lopez says, “It has a catchy feel-good groove for all of us. We almost always end our sets with the song.” 

You can find all their music under the name YEYO on any platform. Follow along their journey on Instagram @y3yo_o