IN CONVERSATION WITH YASMINE GILL WITH “BLIND”

Yasmine Gill is a vocalist and pianist, who began playing and recording music professionally in the fall of 2015 in Montreal, Canada; then in 2020, she moved permanently to London. Her main influences come from the soul, jazz and Rnb and artists such as Raveena, D’Angelo, Lianne La Havas and Snoh Aalegra; Yasmine mixes these genres to create a unique and personal genre! “Blind” is her last recorded track in Montreal, Canada. The track has that deep and relaxing sound typical of Yasmine, but it also has some bright shades typical of pop and indie. The track is part of an EP of three songs that will be released during 2021 and it is a relationship in which you start to feel lost and without directions ending up so to break up, but the song also brings with it an underlying optimism as to say “continue to believe in yourself after all!”.


YMX: Hey YASMINE GILL, thanks for talking to us. How have these gloomy times been treating you?

YASMINE GILL: Thanks for having me! I think these times have allowed me to revaluate certain aspects of my life, placing more weight on some things and less on others. I’ve realigned my priorities, learning the importance and benefits of family relations and close friendships. In the end, that’s what really keeps you going. I think most of all though I’ve learned how to be alone with myself. Before the pandemic I would be running around all day, either working, writing music, playing shows, seeing friends and so on. I think the fact that everything came to a halt in the world allowed me to step back and take a good look at my life. I slowly managed to cherish moments alone which I wasn’t able to do before. I guess also in being honest with myself and owning my emotions, as I didn’t do in the pre-Covid fast-paced lifestyle, I was able to translate this sincerity into my writing and create more meaningful lyrics.

YMX: How did you decide music was something you wanted to pursue? Are there any particular episodes that inspired you in doing so?

YASMINE GILL: Music has always been something I wanted to keep at the forefront of my life. I started to play the piano at age 6, having grown up with traditional jazz and blues records. I began vocal lessons at age 14 and at that point turned to RnB and soul. However, when I got to college, I lost my drive for music for a few years. During that period, there was a moment that sort of switched the light back on for music in me. I remember one night, I was quite anxious and decided to take a bike ride alone around midnight to get my mind off things. I stumbled upon this bar that was playing live jazz. I remember walking in alone and just staying there for a couple of hours, simply enjoying the smoothness of the melody and the gracefulness of the singing. It was like something clicked into play for me that night and I turned to music once again. I started to meet people in the industry and make more music myself. I began to say ‘yes’ to everything that came my way instead of planning my every move. In a funny way, that bike ride is what sparked my music career!

YMX: Here’s a fun game: name 3 artists, or bands, that inspire you and influence your work, and explain why:

YASMINE GILL: First is definitely Norah Jones. I grew up with her music around the house. She brings this calming and soothing nature to her music that immediately relaxes you. I aspire to have that same effect on my listeners. The second is Lianne La Havas. I’m in love with her lyricism and how she recounts stories about herself and her background with such attention to detail. Last is probably Raveena. Similar to the other two artists, she brings sincerity to her lyricism. I love how she manages to blend uplifting chord progressions with very profound lyrics that discuss important aspects of a person’s well-being.

YMX: You recently released BLIND. Can you tell us how that project came about?

YASMINE GILL: ‘Blind’ is about that point in a relationship where you feel lost like you’re steering in no real direction. This point is pivotal because it either makes or breaks you. And in those moments when you feel as though you’re walking blindly into nothingness, I found that you may stumble upon pieces of yourself you didn’t know existed. I started learning about myself in this state of uncertainty. I think there is beauty in that. As for the production of the song, I knew I wanted to maintain my signature calming and soulful sound to make it therapeutic and uplifting. I believe the fusion of the soul with indie-pop allows listeners to vibe out to the song, but also listen to the honesty in the lyrics.

YMX: How did the pandemic affect your personal music recording experience? Was it easy adjusting to working remotely?

YASMINE GILL: I managed to learn how to record on my own a bit. Before the pandemic, I had to rely a lot of more on other people, but now I am slowly learning how to be more self-sufficient when it comes to recording. It’s definitely not easy, but it’s a must for any musician in this day and age, especially during a pandemic.

YMX: Professional livestreams seem to be really taking over these days. Is it something you would consider doing?

YASMINE GILL: I have definitely considered it for sure! I think it’s a bit difficult for me at least as the musicians I usually perform with are all over the world, which makes the process more tricky. Nonetheless, I’m still trying ways to make it work!

YMX: Since pandemic began, online music promotion has become crucial for an artist’s growth. How important is that for you, and are there any strategies you are willing to share with our readers?

YASMINE GILL: I think the most important thing I’ve learned this pandemic in artist promotion is to always fuel your feed with content, whether that’s stories or posts. I also took the time during the pandemic to learn better and smarter strategies to improve my promotional styles.

YMX: Finally, what are your plans for the future?

YASMINE GILL: I’m currently working on a 3 song EP that will come out later this year. ‘Blind’ is part of this EP. I will be releasing another single soon in the coming months that are part of the project as well. The idea behind the EP is a culmination and representation of various milestones I’ve overcome these past years in understanding my relationship with others and with myself. In essence, each song sheds light on a part of me that has now shaped who I am as a person. My biggest hope for the EP is that people will hear the songs and draw their own interpretation of my music in relation to their lives. I want it to be known that we are, more often than not, going through similar battles. As for gigs, wow I miss performing! Fingers crossed it will be soon. I recently just moved to London and cannot wait to properly discover it by performing at different gigs as things open up!