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The New Age Aaliyah – Yashna

Jifa Azumah

Yashna Lutchman is a passionate and soulful singer & songwriter who started singing at the tender age of 10. Not only is she gifted with beauty in 2015 she achieved her Honours Degree in Industrial Psychology at the University of Kwa Zulu Natal.

From working a 9 to 5 and still making sure her studio presence is not forgotten, Yashna has gained recognition in the game.  So much so we have dubbed her the New Age Aaliyah… “A whole Queen, let me straighten my crown while you listen to the heartbeat of my sound”

If you were to write an intro to a song on who Yashna is, how would it go…      

Passionate, proud of it. Rainbow spirit, scorched skin. To be a blessing fuels my purpose, prayers to God until his ears hurt. Embrace my every verse and chorus, cause I’m honest. A whole Queen let me straighten my crown while you listen to the heartbeat of my sound ”, she sings.

How do you fit hip hop into your home culture as someone who grew up in a church environment?

“I only saw the light in high school and started attending church once I finished school. I felt like the best way I could serve God or give back to Him was through my worship because that’s the gift he blessed me with. At home we’re spiritual not religious so it’s not really that deep. My mother understands me, my preferences and my lifestyle.

She sometimes doesn’t get my sense of style and shades me for it! But other than that, she’s extremely supportive of Yashna – the diverse artist, and I’m grateful for it”, she says.

Briefly explain the transition of being in a band to going solo and the importance of it too you?

Being in a band requires equal pull from every member. When members don’t share the same vision, you’ll never reach the end goal. I felt that I was ready to make music my priority and being in a band was not allowing me to do that.

It was important to me because it was in a time where I was provided with the resources that I needed to propel Yashna as an artist, and Yashna was the initial plan.Malaky the band was just a chapter in my story.

What would you say is Yashna’s style as an artist and musically?

My comfort zone is R&B and Hip Hop, but I’m trying to experiment with different genres. Being an artist there’s limitless sounds and styles to try out so I’m just out here switching lanes until I’m ready to claim a genre. To conclude my musical style is diverse. Fashion wise, my style is particularly Street with a touch of my own flavor. I love clothes and shoes almost as much as I love music”!

How do you manage to balance a 9 to 5 and still push your music career?

I don’t manage, to be honest I just do it! It’s incredibly taxing both mentally and physically because I don’t get enough sleep. I don’t wish to look back one day and regret not haven given a 110% just because I lacked some sleep. We only have one life and I’ve chosen to pursue my dream in it. I’m passionate about my purpose“, she explains.

How does it make you feel being referred to as the new age Aaliyah?

I appreciate it. I usually don’t take too well to comparisons because I’m not trying to be anyone else besides Yashna, but Aaliyah was and still is an icon and she didn’t physically live long enough to complete her story, so to be compared to a legend like herself and to continue her legacy is an honour. She inspires me. To be alive in the hearts of people through music after your time on earth is done, is something powerful”, she proudly says.

Which artist would you say is your utmost favourite and what makes you relate to him/her?

Female powerhouses and old schoolboy bands. From Whitney Houston, Mariah Carey, Rihanna, Brandy and Beyoncé, their soulful content inspired and uplifted me for almost all my life til’ this day, to Boys2Men, Westlife, Backstreet Boys and New Edition to name a few, moist emotional songs are my go to and I love writing about love too so it makes sense”.

Your song ‘Winning’ chants the steez of your independent womanhood and chasing money. What was your inspiration behind the song?

The inspiration behind Winning is just a song set to empower independent women so that they feel better about life and themselves. Women who get their own coin without having to depend on a man for it should be celebrated and have a song that resonates with them and their hustle. Winning is that song!

It was the last song on the Phases of my Broken Heart EP, so I had to end it uplifting the spirit of all my single ladies who have just picked up the last piece of their broken heart”, she says.

You recently performed at “The Gigi Gang Show” in Soweto. How did it feel to gain that recognition as a young female Durban artist making waves in the game?

It is evident that people are aware of my presence in the music scene even if they don’t show it. Performing on big stages always reminds me why I push so hard and why I haven’t given up yet, as easy as the latter is. It was my first performance in Johannesburg, and a memorable one for sure. I felt so proud to represent Durban; I genuinely love my city”.

Last year you dropped “Phases of my Broken Heart Ep” so what have you got up your sleeves for rest of 2019…

New year, new project! I’m set to release an EP at the end of June 2019. God willing that I do drop. This project is still a representation of my life, my journey, the emotions I go through, the vulnerable human that I am. My music reflects that, and this project will present a new phase that I’m in, in this life thing. I do hope to drop tons of visuals in the second half of 2019“.

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