In late September, I had the great privilege of talking with Los Angeles based performance and visual artist, singer/songwriter YAZ about her debut EP, Eternity. An artist in every capacity, YAZ’s work has been featured globally in print, editorials, advertising, music videos, and film since 2013, and has amassed over 1,000,000 views on her YouTube channel YAZ X MUSIC.
Eternity was released globally on October 9, 2020 to purchase and stream on all platforms including Spotify, iTunes, Apple Music, Tidal, YouTube, Amazon Music, Google Play, Bandcamp, Deezer, Soundcloud, and Pandora.
Spencer: Yaz! It’s so good to be catching up with you again. Saying I miss you would be a gross understatement.
YAZ: Spencer!! I’ve missed you so much! It’s been way too long!
Spencer: Ugh! I know. Dare I ask how have you been doing, with all things considered?
Yaz: I’ve been doing pretty well actually considering the current state of the world. It’s been a very strange time, but also an incredibly productive and inspiring period for me as an artist to try and channel the environment around me into creating something positive in a very alchemical sense.
Spencer: That’s pretty much all we can do at this point. Try to stay inspired. I’m curious to know what you do to stay inspired in a grossly uninspiring time. I know I have struggled with it.
YAZ: It’s interesting you ask that because it’s something I’ve been reflecting on a lot lately. I’ve gone through various periods throughout my life where I simply felt apathetic to the world with whatever was happening in my personal life, and as a result, I didn’t feel inspired to make art. For me, that inability to create is truly the worst thing for the psyche and spirit and makes whatever one might be dealing with at the time even worse. Oddly enough though, that only tends to happen when I’m dealing with something that’s primarily affecting only me and my immediate personal life. When the situation is on a scale that affects people on a more global level, I feel incredibly inspired and compelled to create because I’ve found it the best way to be a light and try and lift our collective humanity out of the darkness by providing a form of escapism.
The drive to be that light, and to channel what I’m feeling in dark and tumultuous times are what keep me inspired. Additionally, the ability to deeply self reflect on both a personal and more universal scale have been major inspirational points for me in this specific period of time with the pandemic and so much turmoil globally.
Spencer: I love that and completely agree. There is something special about using your creativity as a light to pull others out of darker times. The world needs creatives such as yourself, now more than ever across all of our industries.
Which leads me to my next question, how has the pandemic…fires…politics… celebrity deaths… murder hornets…. alien attacks… zombies … whatever is next.. how has this year affected the way you create art?
YAZ: Thank you, I really appreciate that. This year has been extremely transformational for my art. As someone who has never limited themself to just one, (or even just a few), mediums, this year has been a catalyst for more expansion and finding new ways to create with the current parameters that are in place. At the same time though, I’ve also developed a new sense of clarity and refinement in my work, and from that have found a deeper sense of purpose in what I’m doing and what my message is.
Spencer: From this deeper sense of purpose, came the birth of your very first EP, titled Eternity. The last time we sat down for an interview we talked about your hand in creative design, and the relationship you developed between fashion and empowerment. Now, we get to see you move in on the world of music! How did this EP project even come about?
YAZ: Music is something I’ve wanted to create for a long time, but for whatever reason, I had these self-restraining beliefs that I needed someone else to produce my work because I have no formal musical background. Earlier this year I decided that it was time to move beyond that, and I started using GarageBand and other beginner programs to get a feel for where I wanted to explore sonically. From that came the first incarnation of the title track of the EP, “Eternity”, and the opener, “Dominion”, and I quickly realized this was a body of work that needed to be properly created and released. A month and a half and countless hours on Logic later, the Eternity EP was completed and is now finally being released to the world.
Spencer: Prior to this conversation, you gave me the distinct honor of playing the EP and I have to say, it’s very impressive. Regardless of the fact that this is your first dive into music. Listening to the EP as a whole is really quite the experience. What were your inspirations for this project, and how did they culminate into this greater theme?
YAZ: Thank you, I’m glad you enjoyed it! It’s really meant to be listened to as a whole to take the listener on a full journey. Eternity is inspired by and ultimately about the never-ending cycle of life and death, and the moments in between and during that feel like heaven and hell, paradise and suffering, bliss and agony. I don’t believe in heaven and hell as stationary locations, nor as final destinations that we end up at after we’ve had our purported judgment day. Instead, I look at heaven and hell as the experiences, situations, periods, moments. exchanges, interactions, fragments, and memories that we have in our lives. And we live through them and continue to persevere and evolve and become more conscious as a result. From the darkness comes the light. One cannot exist without the other. Heaven cannot exist without hell, and our lives cannot exist without the experience of both ecstasy and suffering, as that is what encompasses the human experience. This idea of duality, and ultimately universality and totality, is a big inspiration on this record and in my life as a whole.
Nothing in this world is in singularity. Things are neither solely good nor bad, but rather are comprised of both qualities. This year is an excellent example of that because from the chaos we are experiencing so many people have become much more conscious of the mass injustice in this world. Eternity encapsulates this truth sonically and ultimately aims to guide us to a better understanding of ourselves and our experiences by allowing us to confront our greatest fears while liberating us through the dance floor.
Spencer: This EP feels heavily inspired and reflective of the current state of the world. In what ways does the EP mirror your own experiences in life and what we are all going through?
YAZ: Eternity is a very reflective piece, oddly enough its most reflective in ways that are now apparent to me that never would have been when I started making it. On a personal level, the experiences I’ve had in my life with loss and rebirth, and the beliefs that have stemmed from those experiences were a big influence on the record. At the same time, Eternity has mirrored those experiences in ways I never would have anticipated, and the idea of the ouroboros and eternal return, that from death comes life and vice versa, is something that I have been coming back to a lot right now both in my work and in my life as a whole.
On a more global scale, this idea of the cycle of eternal rebirth also reflects what we’re experiencing as a society right now between the pandemic, the destruction of our planet, civil unrest, the dismantling of archaic infrastructures of oppression, and everything else happening in the world. In a sense, we are going through a period where we have to metaphorically burn everything down, and from the ash comes fertile soil for new life to grow. And there’s a lot of fear surrounding that. Ultimately because there’s a lot of fear in the unknown. Which is why I believe we are so terrified of death and the afterlife. Eternity holds a mirror up to that fear, and allows us to confront the terror of the greatest unknown, death in all its manifestations, and reflect it back to create a unifying experience that ultimately liberates us from our fear by allowing us to explore and overcome it.
Spencer: The EP has a lot of strong tones of spirituality. Do you feel like your spirituality played a big part in this project?
YAZ: Absolutely. Art and spirituality have always been heavily connected to me. The act of creation is, in my opinion, the most sacred and holy thing someone can partake in. Creating art takes that to the next level because art, in my opinion, is a mirror of society and a channel to explore our transgressions and challenge them to further our self-discovery and ultimately reach a higher level of consciousness. I’ve studied alchemy for many years, and have always connected deeply with the idea of progressing towards spiritual enlightenment by overcoming the adversity we face and transmuting our trauma and pain by channeling it into something that others connect to. I think art is the perfect vessel for that transmutation, and through that is ultimately a spiritual act.
Spencer: Are there any artists that may have had any influence over this EP. It gives me serious Lady Starlight vibes.
I love that you get Lady Starlight from it! Seeing her perform at the Monster Ball 10 years ago was actually the first time I ever saw a DJ live so that comparison is a very full-circle moment. In terms of sound I was definitely inspired by trance and EBM, artists like Frontal, Kraftwerk, Armin Van Buuren, and Valentino Khan’s Bloodsucker EP were major influences. In terms of both sonic and thematic influences, Rammstein, Marilyn Manson, Lady Gaga’s Fame Monster, and Heilung are definitely on there. As a whole, the world of Eternity is based in surrealism, which synchronistically enough was formally founded by Andre Breton almost 100 years ago during the 1920s. Carl Jung’s ideas and philosophy were also a big inspiration and influence, as well as the philosophies of Søren Kierkegaard and Arthur Schopenhauer. Honoring all of that legacy, and infusing it with the future is very much so influential throughout everything involved in the total sphere of Eternity.
Spencer: You put so much thought into everything you do. It truly blows my mind, every single time. So with the EP coming out, what are your plans for the future. I am POSITIVE you probably have 1000 projects lined up for the future
YAZ: You know me well! This hasn’t been made public yet so you’re getting exclusive, but I’m going to be releasing a capsule collection inspired by Eternity through my design label Yaz Mania next month. I’m also currently working on my next electronic release which will be a full-length electronic album and will also have a collection through Yaz Mania, and I’m currently writing my debut pop album.
Spencer: I knew it! There is a lot to look forward to! I am so excited and I look forward to getting to talk to you about these projects. Where can the readers follow you and how can they listen to Eternity!
YAZ: Thank you! I can’t wait to chat with you further about everything that’s coming.
Eternity is now available to purchase and stream on all digital platforms globally including Spotify, iTunes, Apple Music, Tidal, YouTube, Amazon Music, Google Play, Bandcamp, Deezer, Soundcloud, and Pandora.
You can follow me at @yazxmusic on Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, TikTok, and Soundcloud; and at @yazxxmusic on Twitter. Finally, for more information on my work and the world of Eternity, check out my website at www.theyazcollective.com/
Spencer: Thank you so much for talking with me, Yaz. I have so much love and respect for you and I hope we can do this again soon!
YAZ: Thank you so much, Spencer! It’s always a pleasure to talk to you and I can’t wait to dive deep again very soon!
Buy/Stream Eternity on Your Favorite Digital Music Platform Globally Here
Follow Yaz on all of your favorite social media platforms below!
Masterlink for Social Media: https://compiled.social/yazxmusic
Instagram: @Yazxmusic – https://www.instagram.com/yazxmusic/
Facebook: @YazxMusic: – https://www.facebook.com/yazxmusic
Twitter: @YazxxMusic – https://twitter.com/yazxxmusic
YouTube: c/Yazxmusic – https://www.youtube.com/c/yazxmusic
TikTok: @Yazxmusic – https://www.tiktok.com/@yazxmusic
Soundcloud: /Yazxmusic – https://soundcloud.com/yazxmusic