What is your name? Yasmin Natasha
What is your genre of music?
Reggae, Jazz /Bossa & Pop = Ragga-nova (made up hehe)
Give us a little bio about you.
I am a London based alto saxophonist singer-songwriter influenced by Bossa Nova artists Astrud Gilberto, Stan Getz & feel good music by artists such as Jack Johnson and Paolo Nutini. Known for my unique tone, flare, contemporary riffs and presenting upbeat, unique and engaging performances. I recently performed for the Amazon Summer Staff party and invited to BBC Radio Solent, Southampton for a jam at the radio station and has performed with Chad Jackson live at The Electric, Brixton for ‘Hear The Drummer Get Wicked’. Yasmin has been working with a number of unsigned artists as Founder of & house band for LiveOnTheRoad Events which is a musician-friendly, branded, hosted, approachable platform for businesses & musicians to come together through the medium of live music and attracting local communities to each event.
I ooze positivity and beach-vibes through my music to inspire people to dance and get through the pressures every-modern-day life.
Are you a signed?
You are set to release EP, ‘Creases’, can you tell us more about that?
I’m really thrilled to be sharing my first ever EP and sax project to the world which combines reggae, jazz, pop and even bossa-nova inspired by my own favourite styles of music and music I am capable of delivering. The main theme that is evident throughout the EP is the upbeat, reggae-like melodies, which I based on a theme ‘paradise’. Escapism is fascinating to me and my thoughts about paradise keep me going through some emotionally tough times. I want others to learn what their own version of paradise is so that they too can mentally escape from any troubles they are having no matter how big or small J
Describe each track using three words
1) Creases: catchy, summery, inspiring
2) This Is Real: romantic, reggae, pop
3) How We Fly: escapism, love, dreamy
4) On Your Side: saxxy, bossa, nuts
5) Soul in My Shoes: emotional, poetic, progressive
Will we see any gigs or maybe even a tour with this EP ‘Creases’?
Absolutely! Gigging is my favourite thing, though I look to gig at quirky places and not necessarily venues – you’ll find me at cafes, bars, rooftops and (hopefully) festivals next year for my #GetSaxxy tour in 2017! In the meantime, I’m gigging at places like The Troubadour (Earls Court) Rise46 (Clapham), Fu Manchu (Clapham), Rhythm & Brews Café (Chiswick) until Dec 2016. You can find out where I’ll be via the homepage on my site: http://www.yasminnatasha.com – hope to see you all J
You’ve have already worked with so many, ACM, Go Differently Amazon and more, how was that?
It’s been keeping me so grounded working 9-6 at ACM; what better place to develop your passion than by working in music education at a leading institution. It keeps me organised and motivated as well as inspired learning not only about music education, but also learning about music business. I love my job and it compliments my passion greatly.
Working with the Mahout Elephant Project in Thailand was magical and something my mum and me used to do a lot when it came to travelling; we’d always be on conservation excursions such as Rwanda. I am a huge animal lover and it really affects me to hear such tragic things are happening to innocent creatures in 2016. We weren’t able to solve the problem, but I was able to get perspective as to the way of life for not only the elephants but also the mahouts themselves. It makes me realise how lucky we are and to appreciate what we have and of course, wildlife – I think everyone needs perspective now and then J
The Amazon summer party at Olympic Park was an incredible experience, I was so excited and the hosts were lovely (the burgers were bloomin nice too). I was in my element performing at a private festival and would really love to do festivals such as Great Escape and SXSW next year if they’ll have me 😉
All of my music reflects everything I have witnessed and been through. That’s why I can’t wait to share it with everyone!
What has been your favourite?
My favourite experience, was definitely the mahout project. I grew very attached to the elephants but also with a slight guard up. I’ve always been terrible at saying goodbye mainly because of my past family and friend relationships to which I’ve developed an emotional guard. So part of me fell in love with the experience and Bung-Mi the elephant but I knew I wasn’t there for long and saying goodbye would be so difficult. It was emotional and would rather do that than beach it anyday. I couldn’t solve the problem, but I like to think I gave Bung-Mi a week of treats (bananas), love and attention; but Bung-Mi gave me so much more J
You are also working with ‘Live On The Road’, what’s that been like? Can you tell us more about it?
I started LiveOnTheRoad when I was without a job in March 2016 and needed a source of income (lol). I put my strengths (event management) and passion (live & unsigned music) together to create a platform that would help unsigned musicians by getting them gigs with an engaged audience. Being a musician and working at a music academy gave me all the contacts I needed and ever since we launched our first event in June 2016, I’ve been busy securing residencies around London and promoting the branded live music night in the hope of taking it on tour next year (literally on the road). It’s been a great platform for businesses, artists and even myself and made me realise although I was left without a job, it was meant to be as I wouldn’t have created LiveOnTheRoad – there’s me going all philosophical!
Where is your dream venue to play in the UK?
My favourite places to perform has been on the Urban Arts Stage at OnBlackheath festival in Sept, 2015. We were just starting out but remember the buzz of the festival and also playing with guitarist, Ro Slater, for the first time live. Such adrenaline! I was so nervous but it was a great crowd. Plus Madness had just finished so the crowds were walking past me as I played 😛
Where is your dream venue to play anywhere overseas?
Great q! I need to do some research, but I know I’d love to play at a beach and surf festival. I’ve got a weird fascination with surfing and the beach is like where I belong haha! Plus I love Jack Johnson and dream of supporting him – so I’ll go wherever he goes!
Do you have any collaboration with any other artists in the planning?
I do put some sax on other artists tracks, there’s definitely a few cheeky collabs under my belt.
What made you go in to music?
The music school was the only place I felt safe during break / lunch times at school. I was bullied a lot and so would hide quite a lot during breaks to avoid confrontation. I started with Piano and clarinet when I was 11years old, then saw one break time a picture of a soprano sax on a poster in the music school and was asked what instrument it was. They said I needed to learn alto sax first, so I did and here I am J it’s the only thing that makes me feel good at something; I was always the kid that worked hard but struggled a lot. Now I can play & make music and work, it’s great!
Do you play any instruments?
I do indeed – mainly sax but other instruments are: guitar, singing and clarinent J
Who are your influences?
My dad introduced me to old-school latin jazz and bossa-nova as well as old films such as Pink Panther (Peter Seller) and Carry On. I always loved the sophistication of the choice of music and fell in love with Astrud Gilberto, Stan Getz. Then my modern influences are the beautiful Amy Winehouse, Paolo Nutini and of course, Jack Johnson.
How do you get inspiration to write songs?
Mainly through poetry. From a very early age I won awards for my poetry and when I started singing (late bloomer at 18 years old) I put melodies to the poems. They had a massive part to play in my escapism from troubles around me.
Where do you see yourself now in 5 Years?
I’d like to see myself having a decent enough portfolio to mentor, take LiveOnTheRoad global as a live music management company and be renown for my music and volunteering projects.
When you’re not doing music, what do you do?
Haha, usually playing Sims 3! Also constantly coming up with ideas for LiveOnTheRoad or working as a Program Coordinator for ACM.
What was the song you listened to most that influenced you to go more in to the music scene?
Ah definitely ‘Good People’ by Jack Johnson. That song says what I’m thinking! I started listening to him when I was 16 when I also started playing guitar and couldn’t stop for a bout 2 years!
What’s the best advice you have ever been given?
‘Don’t run before you can walk’
What advice would you give to aspiring musicians not about the industry and just as an artist?
One thing I’ve learnt that is a massive part of establishing yourself as an artist, is to enjoy the journey. It’s the most important and fun part of being a creative person and I see a lot in the Academy, people trying to rush this part when it’s the best bit! Think outside the box, don’t perform at the obvious places in front of obvious crowds. It’s like a relationship, things won’t happen when you’re looking, so enjoy being you as an artist then others will enjoy your music.
What quote or saying do you always stick by?
‘Things happen for a reason’ – this is literally the story of my life it’s amazing!
When you are at a gig, what are 5 things you cannot forget?
1) My sax (believe me it happens)
2) Pen and paper – the most important things
3) Sax stand – my sax fell off stage and bent once at a gig at Tower of London (spooky)
4) A jumper – nerves make me chilly
5) My mobile, mobile charger so I can take videos and pics
You are away from home on tour for ages and you get back, where is your go to place in your hometown?
Home! My family are my best friends, seeing them would be the go-to place. We’re all bonkers so it’s never boring!
Do you have social media accounts so your fans can follow you?
• Twitter: https://twitter.com/yasnatashasax
• Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/yasminnatashasax/?hl=en
• Newsletter: http://eepurl.com/cf8t_P
• Website: http://www.yasminnatasha.com