She's an American singer-songwriter and producer from Columbia, Maryland. Her debut single, “DAMN” was independently released on February 27, 2021.
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Yana said that she draws inspiration from 90’s soul icons such as Aaliyah, Brandy, Toni Braxton, HER and Summer Walker. Her sultry and entrancing sound has been described as bedroom and alternative R&B.
So, below I asked Yana questions to get to know her more.
Tell me about yourself?
"I’m a multifaceted musician — actress, cosplayer, creative director, holistic wellness healer, jewelry maker and super mom to a rockstar kid. I’m definitely one of those “I like art” and DIY type of girls. Everything is pretty much in house with me. If I see it in my mind, I can create it. I love becoming new characters, and expressing myself in a wide range of different moods- especially in my music."
Walk me through step by step process that you went through to where you are now.
"I remember when I was growing up, I had so much energy and such a big personality, (at home) but I was pretty shy and had poor social skills when it came to interacting with other kids my age, so my parents thought it would be a good idea to channel it into playing sports. So I went to all kind of athletic camps; karate, softball, soccer- you name it, I did it. And I loved it! It was a great way to let out my energy, express myself and it really helped build my self esteem.
One day, my soccer camp went on a field trip to see a play called “Broadway Babies”. I will never forget seeing a theatrical production for the first time... and I was absolutely moved to tears! Lol (I’m laughing now) but I mean I was so impressed with the cast of this show.
The entire production was written by them, designed, performed, everything! It was amazing and really inspiring for see how talented and dedicated these kids were— they time they put in, and skill and passion that went into building their own sets. I just knew that EYE could do that. EYE wanted to be apart of that world.
The night I got home from camp, I reenacted the entire show for my parents (who were super supportive of my big theatre dreams) and was eventually enrolled in drama camps and performance arts schools. I was obsessed! From then on, I’d been going on all kind of auditions and casting calls. Music and theatre go hand and hand. So it wasn’t hard for me to start writing music or anything, but finding my sound was the difficult part.
I worked with a indie label a few years back, and I just knew that was my shot. I met another singer at a bar, who introduced me to his producer, who I would then lay down background vocals for. Being in the studio environment gave me another rush, and sense of belonging. So I would try to make it to sessions as much as I could. I would earn my studio time by doing background vocals, odd jobs, or intern work for the label. As much work that I put in to learning, in their eyes, I wasn’t seasoned enough and the label pretty much, over looked me. I would get 1 or 2 hours at a time, and they would send me in with an unseasoned engineer. It would take him about 45 minutes to turn on the monitors and set up equipment properly, so I always felt rushed for time.
I remember being frustrated bc it seemed like the indie label was being extremely unfair, especially bc I put in a lot of time with them writing, singing vocals and contributing to other artists. I felt like they were like, “here girl”! I was also overlooked bc the label “didn’t know what to do with me”. It was really a turning point for me- and I didn’t want to give up. I was really determined to learn how to engineer, by myself. So I did. That’s right around the time I met my producer, Nemesis. He was a producer working with the same label, also growing frustrated with the hierarchy of the music group. He approached me in the studio one day, and told me he liked my voice and he’d been wanting to work with me for a while. Which was just perfect timing, honestly. Nemmy is amazing— he helped me really find my sound, tap into that confidence to be unafraid and develop new ones.
I’ve been making music with Nemmy for about 6 years now.
We have an amazing bond. He’s my brother. He truly understands my love for R&B music, theatre and experimental sounds— it’s really electrifying hearing it all come together!
A lot of my music comes from pain or dark experiences. Being able to create beauty out of my ugly past is the beat part of growing through my art.
The place that I am in now is very colorful and happy."
Do you have any specific goals for the rest of this year?
"Omg, yes! I have literally so many fun surprises coming up this summer! I don’t want to say too much, but I’m really excited to show a different side of myself in my next project. Vibes are definitely UP.
If a kid walked up and asked you for your advice and you only had a few minutes to give them your bet tip- what would it be?
"KILL SELF DOUBT — that’s my motto.
You are in control of your success and happiness. Keep in mind that you get in what you put out— so focus on what you want. I’m all about balancing Inner G, and the law of attraction. If you put out good Positive vibes, the universe will bring that love right back to you. If you believe in yourself, you can be anything you put your mind to; but make sure you match that with hard work.
And also... YOU ARE NOT CRAZY!!
You need all the drive and courage to make it anywhere in this world. You have so much passion, perseverance and warmth! Believe in your talent? Love yourself and don’t ever lose sight of why you started. "
If you were a tree, what kind of tree would you be and why?
"Wow, I’ve never been asked that one before, but I appreciate it! I’m actually really a nature lover. But my favorite kind of trees are honeysuckle. They’re pure nostalgia to me- I remember picking the honey suckle flowers off the trees in the summers... did you know that you can eat them? Lol. No really!
They also provide a great source of nectar for the birds and insects, especially bees! Bees are so important to our ecosystem. But yeah, that’s me. A honeysuckle tree."
Here's how we can listen to her release song:
Listen to “DAMN” on all platforms!
Follow her on social media:
Holistic Wellness and Jewellery: @shopbrujadotcom
Listen more about Yana and her creative projects on the Black Creative Handbook hosted by Kassandra Lauren Gordon: