Yasmin Hass is ready to make her introduction. The rising pop voice has plenty of power in her armoury – debut EP ‘Worst Of Me’ was co-produced by Ross MacDonald (y’know… of The 1975) and Ed Thomas, while her aunt is an acclaimed soul singer, and her uncle was Bob Marley’s tour manager. The stars are aligning, but that’s due to one thing only: her raw, natural talent.
Last year’s breakout single ‘Cleo’ was the first time she crossed our radar, a bold pop voice speaking from the heart. The track felt fully formed, laced with wit and drama. “It was the first time I really pushed myself to write something different, something powerful,” she reflects. “Before ‘Cleo’, I defaulted to writing slower, more gently sung songs… which I still love to write. It felt fitting though, for this one to be more upbeat, given the emotion of the story. Seeing people listening to and connecting with ‘Cleo’ has been such an amazing feeling.”
For Yasmin Hass, this overnight success had been a long time coming. Born in Melbourne and raised in London, she’s always been surrounded by music, citing Bernadette Peters – who plays the witch in the original Broadway show of Sondheim’s Into The Woods – as her first musical heroine. “The way she acts through the songs and gives the lyrics so much life. I was and am absolutely obsessed with her.”
If there’s an element of theatre in new EP ‘Worst Of Me’, she argues, then that’s all the better. She’s continually absorbing new influences, continually learning, and sharpening her skills. “I feel so lucky to live in London, to be around so many different cultures, people, food, art. The more I explore, the more I immerse myself, the more it rubs off, in the best way. Lots of my lyrics I’ve written on the tube, or walking to the studio, I seem to love writing on the move. My surroundings and this city definitely inspire me and act as a catalyst to my ideas.”
Sitting down with not one but two powerhouse producers, the sessions behind the EP hinged on pure enjoyment. Taking it in her stride, Ross MacDonald and Ed Thomas augmented her vision, but never interfered. “We’d write, chat for ages and mess around with different ideas. They made me feel incredibly comfortable and it’s always such a joy to bounce ideas back and forth. I love how collaborative our sessions are and there’s always so much to learn from the both of them.”
With her new EP out now, most artists could be excused from putting themselves through the creative process for a while. Not so with Yasmin Hass, however – more work is in the pipeline, including live shows and a follow-up EP. “There’s a second EP on its way,” she gushes, “with the first single out in March. I’ve written so much music over the years, which is finally coming out. I’m so excited to share it! It’s been such a humbling experience to see my music being streamed and I’m grateful to all of my listeners, thank you for the support. Hopefully I’ll see you all at my first headline show in June! Can’t wait.”
‘Worst Of Me’ EP is out now.
Words: Robin Murray