It's fair to say that 2011 has been a good year for our artist Yasmin. She's toured with Chase & Status and Eliza Doolittle, performed at events including the Camden Crawl and Annie Mac Presents, collaborated with the likes of Diplo and Jamie from The XX, her first single 'On My Own' debuted inside the Top 40 and her follow-up, 'Finish Line', was released yesterday and is already sitting pretty at #14 in the iTunes chart! With so much going on we wanted to get the gossip straight from the lady herself, so here goes...
Your new single ‘Finish Line’ was released yesterday, can you tell us what it's about and what it means to you?
It was the first song that I made where I really felt like I’d found my own sound and who I wanted to be as an artist. It’s a really important song in my career, it’s really important to me and it got a lot of people interested in me. I made the track with Labrinth who’s a friend, I asked him for a studio session and we started at 1pm and it was a really long day! We tried loads of ideas and nothing was working, then at about 9pm we started playing around with new drum sounds and then strumming some chords, I wrote the whole song to guitar. It’s about a mutual decision in any relationship that you sometimes have to make when you realise that no matter how much you want it to work, it’s not going to.
You’ve been busy with lots of studio sessions recently both here and in New York – can you tell us who you’ve been working with?
I’ve been recording the album and over in New York I’ve been working with people like Diplo, and Science, who produced some tracks on Beyonce’s last album. I can be a bit stubborn and precious about working with songwriters, purely because I like to write my own music and lyrics, so that’s not something that I’ve done much of in the past – but in New York I collaborated with my favourite songwriter Andrea Martin which was just incredible.
What can fans expect from your album, and how would you describe its sound?
It’s very trip hop-inspired but also features influences from other genres like breakbeat culture and roots reggae. I’d say that it sounds very fresh, but most of all soulful.
Since we last spoke you’ve performed lots of live dates and toured with Chase & Status and Eliza Doolittle, what have your highlights been?
The last date with Eliza Doolittle in Manchester was amazing and my favourite gig to date! The energy was just incredible and the crowd was so up for a good time. They were cheering and singing along to tracks like ‘Runaway’, ‘On My Own’ and ‘Finish Line’ which went down so well, it was just wicked.
This summer your schedule is packed with festivals including Radio 1’s Big Weekend and Glastonbury – which ones are you most looking forward to?
I’ve been looking forward to Glastonbury for months because it was the first festival that I found out I was doing and I’ve been planning the show for six months already! I’ve only been performing live since the end of last year but by the time Glastonbury comes around I’ll have had loads of experience. I’m going to be performing there with a full live band and I want the show to be amazing!
You’ve also got some great gigs coming up soon including supporting Big Boi and Aloe Blacc in London – how are you feeling about that? Who would you like to perform live with who you haven’t already?
The second question is a really tough one because there are loads of people I’d love to perform with - I’d definitely have to say Kanye West though. I’m really looking forward to both of those London gigs, the vibe will be totally different at each but I’m really excited to be performing with both artists as I'm a big fan of theirs so I can’t wait.
You’ve had a really rapid rise to fame over recent months, so what would your advice be to other aspiring artists on how to break into the music industry?
You have to be relentless, you have to work very very hard and you have to accept that not everyone wants to help you out. My advice would be to take a risk and do things on your own. When I started out I was doing everything by myself – I was my own manager, booking agent, PR etc until I met my management. I still do a lot by myself though because at the end of the day, no-one wants it as much as you!
You’ve achieved so much in your career already, but what are your long-term goals?
My biggest goal is just to have a really long career and to be able to keeping making music. I want to perform all over the world, oh and I’d love to win a Grammy award for my music!
Thanks Yasmin - we don't doubt that you will!
'Finish Line' is out now - get your copy here.