I hope at least one person is drinking tea while reading this because that would just be perfect. One thing you MUST know about our guest this week, is that she loves tea. Meet singer, songwriter and tea connoisseur, Yanah.
Why do you sing?
Yanah: I sing because that’s how I like to express myself. It’s not even only expression, this is how I tap into everything that makes Yanah an individual. It is something I love doing, of course. Singing is more of a feeling than just sounds for me. When you sing you can hear your own voice and it sounds nice but it is the feeling that I get from singing that matters the most to me.
Take us back to that point when you first realized that you can sing and that you actually loved it.
I can remember being a little girl, being the eldest child, it was three of us at the time. I would celebrate my parents’ anniversary or just any special moment for them by getting my siblings together and makin a song. We would make a little show and sing for them and ting. It was like a real show, I would even start with the National Anthem. It’s not that my siblings liked singing or anything but they participated too and I liked that. Looking back now, I guess from that time I realized that I really liked this singing ting. This was around age 6. So yeah, that was my gift to my parents, to just sing!
I was first introduced to your amazing voice while listening to Leno Banton’s album, REMSZN. You added a little spice to the track, REGIME. What was it like working with him on that track?
It was pretty cool for me because at the time, it was just him alone doing the music ting. He was like, “Yo, you know I want you on REGIME” and I was like, “Whaaaaaat??? Me? Mi anuh artiste dawg.” I think at that time, I was writing with him too so he was encouraging me to start tek my talent seriously. So, after a bit of hesitation I added my part and it came out well. Initially, I was very reserved about it. I didn’t want anybody to know that it was me on the track. I even wanted to go as anonymous but that was ridiculous. So, they just went with Irie Girl.
You’re currently the only female artiste pushing out music from REM (Rapid Eye Movement) What is that experience like for you?
I am currently the only female artiste pushing out music from REM. Jah know. Like, I know that but just saying it and thinking about it right now, it’s really surreal. (exhales) Honestly, it is a position that I hold dearly, being the only female. I get a whole lot of support and love from these guys. They show me that they believe in my talent, my abilities, my everything. It is definitely deeper than the music because di man dem are really some people that I can depend on. They aren’t just people I work with, they are people that I love and trust. Hopefully, in the future I won’t be the only female because we do know some other wonderful talents. I really love being a part of REM. It is more than the music, they are like brothers.
One of my favourite tracks from you is definitely, The Cycle. Give us a little breakdown of the recording process for that song.
I was stalking Kone’s soundcloud because I love his work and I connect to it a lot. So, one day I heard the instrumental and I don’t know what happened but I felt sum’n. I had it on repeat and ended up writing something to it but I didn’t tell him. It was one day when I was down, I messaged him and seh yow, so ummmm I wrote something to one of your beats. I sent him the lyrics and he liked it! So, I was on the “endz” one day, where I do all of my recordings (Big up Melo!) That’s not even what I went to record that day. I had another song in mind but when I was recording it I wasn’t getting the emotion that I wanted from that song and mi did vex suh mi tell dem dash weh dat. I told them to play the beat Kone sent, mi start record and mi start feel it and it sounded good. I didn’t have a finishing part for it, I was just going to freestyle it. Some of it is freestyle but I also wrote some parts because Brandon (@Mck_Supreme) encouraged me to do some more writing. So, I did a little more writing and finished it up. It’s just crazy how that’s not what I went to record. After recording it, we released it a week later.
Listen to ‘The Cycle’ here:
Put your playlist on shuffle and give me the first five selections. Let’s see what you got.
- Doe Try Me – Yanah
- Believe In You (freestyle) – Yanah
- Rapper – Jaden Smith
- L – Jaden Smith
- Meanwhile – Royal Blu ft. Leno Banton
Your latest single, ‘Doe Try Me’ was recently played on local radio (RJR 94 FM) for the first time. Tell us about that experience.
First of all, big up 13th Street Promotions! I’ve been getting some real support from that side, zeen? Yeah man, hearing that on the radio was like…… ugh! Honestly,, I don’t know what to say. You know when you feel like you reach?! Mi nuh reach (buss) yet but it was a good feeling. Both of my Grandmas being able to witness it was really special for me. The one that was with me was like, “What??? That’s your record playing on the radio?” and Mommy was like, “Turn it up likkle more let me hear what’s going on” It was a really good feeling. I felt like the world could hear me at that time. It is definitely something to remember.
For those who don’t know, it’s #yanahszn. You started off the year with a bang, with the release of ‘Doe Try Me’. What can we look forward to in the near future? A project maybe?
Alright, hear wah gwaan, you can definitely look forward to more music. I won’t say anything about a project but just look forward to some “tings” yuh zimi! You can look forward to more performances too, I’ll be trying to put my foot out there with my big bad manager. I won’t be putting out a lot of content but you’ll definitely be seeing me around. Of course, I will keep on working on my craft as well.
In closing, what is the message that you would like to leave with the people?
Live in love and stop badmind people. Stop faking and forcing energy. Yuh nuh affi “feel” everybody but at the same time, you don’t have to posit any negative energy or hate towards them. I support peace, harmony and just everything positive. In terms of believing in yourself, bwoiiii mi know it hard. It’s a competitive world but hear wah, yuh bad! yuh talented! you’re blessed and loved. You matter and you’re gold. Gwaan do yuh ting man, have some faith. Use more opportunities to extend yourself to others in a kind way. Help somebody along the way. Just do as much as you can to make the world a better place.
This is where we end our chat with Yanah. Check out more sounds from Yanah on Soundcloud: