Yazzy is a 15 year old singer/songwriter from Devon. She recently released her first EP , it's called '3 Kisses' and it consists of acoustic tracks, stripped back and features Yazzy on vocals and guitar. She has a passion for music and spends all her free time gigging and writing songs. Her hard work and determination has brought her to several successes in the time that she has been plying her trade.
Hi Yazzy, we don’t know much about you, please would you introduce yourself in a few sentences?
Hi I'm Yazzy, I'm 15 years old from North Devon. I have a massive passion for writing, creating and performing music. I've loved gigging and writing songs since the age of 10. It's all I want to do, my ambition is to be a successful singer/songwriter, and continuing doing what I love, and having people connect with my lyrics and my music.
I checked out your YouTube channel tonight and saw you playing some killer cover versions of some classic tracks, which band or artist made YOU want to start playing music?
To be honest, there wasn't a particular artist or band that inspired my to start playing music. My sister and I both got guitars one year for Christmas, and I used to play all the time, and just randomly I wrote a song called 'Romeo & Juliet'. Even from the age of 10, my songs have been very deep, so I don't think any of the music I would have been listening to back then, would have influenced me!
You play guitar and piano, are there any other instruments that you can play?
Yes, I play the violin. & I'd love to play the saxophone, but I'm a perfectionist and I wouldn't have time to practise any more instruments just yet!
Are you planning on writing some of your own material?
Yes yes yes! Thats what I do! I've been writing songs since I was 10, I brought out my first EP in 2013, called 3 Kisses and am currently working on my next album with producers in London.
What was the first ever gig that you attended?
The first gig I ever attended was Fremington Party at The Manor when I was 10, which is a local festival raising money for charity. It usually has about 1,500 people attend & I've been lucky enough to have been asked to come back and perform every year since!
What was the first CD/record you ever bought?
I have absolutely no idea, but knowing me, it was probably High School Musical. I was little obsessed with it growing up & to be honest, I still love it now, haha!
Who are your musical influences?
I always find this question so difficult to answer, but I really think the question can be taken 2 ways. Musically I'd say artists such as Sam Smith, Etta James, Eva Cassidy, and Amy Winehouse. I love them all. But if you're talking about influence, I always try to be my own influence, so if i'm feeling sad, i'll write a sad song, and vice versa. I don't really know where my songwriting comes from, it kinda just flows out and I have no idea where it comes from. Usually I find myself at 2am writing a bunch of songs, and waking mum up to give her a little concert of my new material, ahahah!!
If you could name 3 ‘headline’ acts for your own festival, who are they going to be and why?
1. Sam Smith (Because its one of my biggest dreams, to perform with him)
2. AAHHH I'M FINDING THIS SO HARD. i'm not one to really get obsessive over an artist, sometimes a song maybe but I just appreciate all music. So it looks like it's just gonna be Sam & me! Haha! I'd love someone with just loads of energy, because I love that in a performance but also someone who can bring you to tears but theres no better feeling that when the music just gets you.
What do you think is the BEST album in the world ever?
I don't know, I don't know, I don't know!! Currently I know all the words to Sam Smith's album but I can't say it's the BEST album in the world. Without trying to sound clever, or tooting my own horn, I think my next album is going to be the best in the world personally for me, as every single lyric, inflection, melody, everything…is personal to me. I've said this before on social media, but this next album will be just like a diary. The songs have been written when i've been at my lowest and when i've been at my highest. When I listen to the 6 tracks i've already recorded, it just makes me so unbelievably happy because I've worked with some amazing people to produce it, and its just personal and raw, and thats how I want it to be.
Do you think that Spotify is the FUTURE of music?
No, I hope not. It seems everyone wants to listen to music for free and I think thats a shame. Money is NEVER what music is about for me, but I think people forget all the work, time and costs involved in creating music, for people to enjoy. I tend to always buy my music I listen to, with the money I earn from gigs and busking etc, because I think it's good to support other artists. Also I LOVE going to a gig, and buying someone's physical copy! It's good to support artists, even if you aren't one yourself!
If you could perform on stage with ANYONE, who would it be, which song would you perform and why this artist/band?
Got to be Sam Smith!! I'd love to have him connect with one of my songs, and sing it with me. Lots of them are about heart break, so I think he'd relate! haha! Also I reeeeallly want to perform with my Grandad, and sing 'The Rose'. He sang it at to my gran at their 50th wedding anniversary and it had everyone in tears. He's got such a gorgeous voice, and I'd love to get it recorded with him, I don't know if he'd be up to performing it to a large crowd though, as he's over 80. (Though he always comes to my gigs when he's free, even if they are miles away)
There are loads of bands and artists out there, who would you recommend we check out for a future ‘Introducing ‘ feature?
I love my little musical family of Holly Morwenna, Aaron Samuels, Ella Paramor, Aspen and Fin. We get together when we can, and raise money for hospice by putting gigs together! But I see you have already interviewed most to them and here in North Devon we have amazing musicians too why not check out Jack Tipper, Far North District, Sonic Fusion and Sophie Marie Barker.
Do you want to make music your full time career?
Yes, definitely. I can't imagine myself doing anything else.
What would you say has been the best gig you have ever played?
Thats such a hard question. I love little intimate gigs, with a handful of people, in a pub or cafe. But I have sung at The Hammersmith Apollo in front of 5,000 people, Indigo O2, and Birmingham NEC. (& I'll be performing at Camden in June) To be honest, give me a good audience, no matter how big or small, where ever, whenever…i'm happy. That's how I know music is the one! haha!
I see in your video for One Directions ‘What Makes You Beautiful’ you stripped off the makeup, this video has had the most views, do you think that doing this has made people think about their ‘inner beauty’?
I believe in inner beauty, but in this society and day and age, it's not all about the music, (though it should be). I don't wear makeup for other people, I wear it for myself. Though I feel confident, with or without it, I wear it because I want to. But I have to say I was only 12 in that video, and I hadn't really been introduced to makeup. I didn't do it intentionally, though I see your point. Girls/Boys shouldn't feel like they have to cover themselves in makeup but I think everyones their own person and is initialled to look and present themselves the way they want. I can't put my finger on why it is so popular, it's definitely not my best cover, but One Direction have done so well for themselves and it was current when I uploaded it.
Are you planning on playing or attending any music festivals this summer? If so, which ones?
May 2nd, Ilfracombe Sunwest 4pm
May 3rd, Coombe Martin Festival 4pm
21st June, Camden (The Future Music Songwriting Competition Grand Final - Facebook me for details)
27th June, Hartland Abbey 7pm
July 11th, Tiverton Balloon Festival 6pm
18th July, Godney Gathering Glastonbury
16th August, Croyde Beer Festival
30th August, Fremington Party at The Manor
I've got loads more, but here's a variety! You can Facebook me, or tweet me for details! :)
I saw on Twitter you were talking about revision/exams etc, I assume you’re currently ploughing through exams, forgive me if I get this wrong, is it your GCSE’s that you’re doing or A-Levels and what are your plans after you have done them?
I'm in Year 11, so I'm taking my GCSES! And boy are they stressful! I can't wait until their over! I think everyones feeling the same! I'm still undecided, i'm currently working with companies and my music is taking off, and the music industry is very unpredictable. But i'd love to go to a music college! :)
What are your views on these TV talent shows like X-Factor and B.G.T?
A year ago I was scouted to do Britains Got Talent, it was a good experience, I definitely a lot from it. I got through to the last 120 acts, but looking back i'm glad I didn't get any further because I don't think mentally I was ready for it, nor was my music. Ive grown loads in the last year, and developed. This wouldn't of happened, if i'd been thrown into the limelight. I know a big majority of musicians disagree with these competitions, but if it works for you, then good on you! I have been in The Grand Final of TeenStar in 2013, & 2014 along side winners Luke Friend and Emily Middlemass. I was also a winner in Open Mic Uk this year in January! I'm also taking part in a competition called The Future Music Songwriting Competition, and yesterday I GOT THROUGH TO THE GRAND FINAL AT CAMDEN AS THE OVERALL WINNER OF THE BRISTOL HEAT!!! OMG!!! So, for me, these competitions have given me focus, and proved to me I'm going in the right direction. I have gained so much confidence and belief in myself because of these competitions. I've learnt the importance of social media, which before I was unaware of how important it was. I have made so many friends and contacts through the competitions. A lot of people slate these competitions and money making schemes, but at the end of the day, they are businesses and they are providing us with budding musicians, with a platform and what you do with that is up to you. As long as you stay true to yourself, and your music, and stay focused and keep on the path you started on, then what can be wrong with trying to get your music out there any which way?
You know the rules, anyone who agrees to an interview with us HAS to go through the Quickfire Questions, they don't hurt, I just like to watch people squirm when faced with a couple of options and maybe neither of them appeal to them! We aimed the spotlight in Yazzy's direction and started the tape recorder....
Bath or Shower?
Tea or Coffee?
Green Tea ;)
Toast or Crumpets?
Piano or Guitar?
DONT ASK ME THAT QUESTION !!!!! ;)
One Direction or Bruno Mars?
One Direction, (guilty pleasure)
Regular gig or Festival?
Camping or Campervan?
Ice Cream or Candy Floss?
Girly night in or girly night out?
Girly night in
Black & White or Colour?
Black and white…with the occasional pink
Taylor Swift or Adele?
Adele, but i'm loving Taylor right now!!!
God or Google?
We'd like to thank Jazzy for taking the time out of her revision period to sit and answer our questions, I know she should have been revising and I would like to say now that I have NOTHING to do with the outcome of her exams (unless of course they're all A's, when I will say that the focus and energy I gave her through the feature obviously steered her in the right direction!).
As you can see from the list above, she's hitting loads of events and festivals this year, do her a favour and go and support her, she'll be more than happy to have a chat and tell you all about herself, she may even sell you a CD!
Her social channels are below, please spend a few minutes checking them out....
Interview by Steve Muscutt