Yasmin: The next big thing from Sierra Leone
She’s a war refugee from Freetown, Sierra Leone, West Africa, who beat all the odds to survive and reach her dreams. Now, Yasmin Kadi is an Afrobeats/Pop singer and song writer who is appearing in the new Guitar Hero Video Game- set for release late 2015- as one of the lead singers. (Photo: Yasmin Kadi: ‘Go Down Low;)
Born of African and Lebanese descent in Freetown on 14th June, 1980, Yasmin and her family ran away from the rebel war (1991-2001) and ended up in a hostel in the UK. She recalled several truckload of rebels pulled outside their house around 4am and attacked her family and nearly beat her dad to death before they took him away.
In the UK they were eventually given social accommodation before they managed to save enough to buy the property.
London and its people gave Yasmin safety, a home, an education and then a scholarship to the same stage school as attended by “the Julie Andrew” of (Sound of Music). After graduating, Yasmin played the lead actress, in several major musicals and also toured the UK, London’s West End and the world.
However, at the back of her mind was always her childhood dream of being a singer, an impossible dream for a young girl in Sierra Leone.
In 2010, she finally plucked up the courage and decided to break out of her comfort zone to pursue her musical aspirations full time.
Her early songs were very socio-political in context. She highlighted what modern life was like for the socially disadvantaged and sung of London as an emblem of hope. While this won her some critical acclaim, it was felt by some that this type of music lacked commercial appeal.
In 2011, Yasmin was asked to appear on both BBC World (TV) and BBC Radio 2 as a speaker about the plight of Africa based on the strong lyrical content of her songs.
In 2012, Yasmin won the “Judges Choice” (Emergenza UK), “Fan’s Choice Award” (Africa Unplugged at Wembley Arena) and had her first airplay on BBC London who said “she’d blown the roof off live”.
In 2013, she was invited to perform in Dublin at a Sir Bob Geldolf event highlighting “Brave New Music”. BBC London described her as “some of London’s best new music” and RTE Radio (Ireland’s National Radio) described her as “a very cool new act”, airing a 15 minute radio feature on her music.
In July 2014, her first commercially focused song, “Earthquake” made it to the final 4 songs of the RTE “Best Original Song Contest 2014” and she was described as “someone who can take the music world by storm” (John Murray). Yasmin then independently released her debut EP which reached No.1 on itunes in Ireland. She concentrated on the Irish market only as she released independently & had a shoestring budget. As a result, she was asked to tour the UK festival circuit with Roots Manuva (a London Hip Hop artist) where she performed some of her own material. On the back of her performances at festivals, she was asked to star as “the female Rock Star” in a major worldwide feature being released in Autumn 2015 and was the face of Channel 4 (with John Snow and Alan Carr) from end of May 2015 for 3 months.
Yasmin is currently in the studio with some London based producers who have previously worked with Rhianna, Ariana Grande & The Saturdays amongst others. She is independently releasing EP 2 (or album1) later in 2015 which will be a mixture of commercially focused ballads and dance oriented Afro Beats. This is her strongest material yet.
Describing her music as “perfect imperfection”, Yasmin is proud to debut her new single ‘Go Down Low’ featuring Island Records rising star Moelogo. Produced by SOS, who have previously worked with the likes of Ariana Grande, Tinie Tempah and Emeli Sande. ‘Go Down Low’ is an infectious dance track, backed by trademark Afrobeats drum patterns, lush synth arrangements and melodies, matched perfectly by Yasmin’s amazing vocal display and Moelogo’s complimentary guest appearance.
Detailing the inspiration behind the new single, Yasmin explains that, “there is a lot of pressure in society to look and be a certain way, and we get judged a lot, so I basically wanted to say (in a fun way), let’s just let go, don’t conform, be you, get down and have fun. Don’t worry about being judged, you still look good no matter how unique you look! Just be you – ‘you do you, we do we’”.
Watch out for Exclusive Interview with Yasmin next week.
By Ahmed Sahid Nasralla (De Monk)
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