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INTERVIEW - Wisdom with Swag

Openly pansexual pop artist Yaysh asks people to give her — and love — a chance

Celebrity Interview by Jean Studwell (From GayCalgary® Magazine, August 2018, page 23)
INTERVIEW - Wisdom with Swag: Openly pansexual pop artist Yaysh asks people to give her — and love — a chance
Image by: John Juniper
INTERVIEW - Wisdom with Swag: Openly pansexual pop artist Yaysh asks people to give her — and love — a chance
INTERVIEW - Wisdom with Swag: Openly pansexual pop artist Yaysh asks people to give her — and love — a chance

Yaysh understands that she presents a unique challenge to many people.  She is an androgynous-looking female, white MC and a singer who often crosses musical genres. "People often want to label me a lesbian, but I prefer pansexual because I occasionally find sexual chemistry with men," she explains, clarifying, "usually black men."

In "Get 2 Kno Me," her provocative new pop/reggae summer track, Yaysh invites listeners to open up and embrace a higher quality of life.  "I want to encourage people to be honest, vulnerable and willing to take that fearless leap into life’s unknown," she says.  "Leap. Enjoy. Relax. Love. You might be surprised at what happens."

GC: Congrats on the success of "Get 2 kno me"!  What was the inspiration behind the song?

Yaysh:  I made this song out of my sadness.  I see people increasingly more afraid to trust each other and come from love rather than hate.  I literally made this song out of a desire to help people fall back in love again. If you hear the lyrics in the song I am asking people to take a leap out of their fears and be willing to be a fool for love.   I want them to love life and be vulnerable. Fall in love with me, or friends or your job or life or yourself.  Stop fighting it.

GC: It’s a sweet, sunshine-y track.

Yaysh:  Yeah, it’s got a gentle summer vibe that makes you happy even if you don’t understand a word of the lyrics. It is also completely open in terms of who I am speaking to: could be for a man or a women or they or them or whatevs. The song is inherently neutral, androgynous and simply romantic.

GC: On the topic of getting to know you, how did you choose Yaysh as your stage name?

Yaysh:  Yeshe is the Tibetan term for fully developed wisdom or enlightenment.  So, as a Buddhist and longtime meditation practitioner of a community called Shambhala, I felt I needed to have a connection for why I do things and what I represent at my essence. I created the term "Yaysh" to mean wisdom with swag.  I am wisdom with swag, that is who I am and where I come from and how I make music.

GC: How do you pronounce it?

Yaysh:  Like the combination of the words "yay!" (I’m happy) and "Shh" (be quiet).

GC: How do you write your songs?

Yaysh:  I freestyle melodies, record them, cut ‘em up and pick my favorite parts and find the hook, the pre-hook, the post...  Then R8dio, my producer, makes beats to each section of the song, creates background vocals, edits, cleans up sound, mixes, masters, then poof!  We’re done.  Easy peasy (laughs).

GC: Why did you choose to get naked for the video?

Yaysh:  To me, this video is art and was created with intention. It’s about love, body image, freedom, not giving a f*ck and feeling completely at home with being in your own skin, and not being ashamed of how you look or who you are.

GC: Were you always so bold?

Yaysh:  I had quite a multicultural upbringing.  My Dad was Mexican, my mother Jewish.  I went to a Jewish day school up until age 11 and then went to public school.  I met a good friend that I had a tumultuous friendship with whom I explored most of my rebelliousness with in my stages of becoming a woman.  She introduced me to men, drugs, alcohol, the hood, hip hop, gangsters, partying... so throughout middle school and high school, I was hanging out with a lot of different people and my music comes from the human struggle and experiencing things that most young white girls from the suburbs don’t get to.

GC: What is like for an openly pansexual artist in the music industry?

Yaysh:  Most people are with it. I feel treated as equal.   In my opinion, it is all about how you regard yourself.  I treat myself as equal, so everyone seems to follow suit.

GC: Why was it important for you to be open about your sexuality?

Yaysh:  Why hold back? Life is short. I don’t want to die knowing I was a pussy.  I am free and there is nothing wrong with me. I make music. It comes out of me. I don’t censor it.

GC: Do you have a favorite song?

Yaysh:  Right now, "PB&J" because it is aggressive and surprises people and turns up the room.

GC: Who is your target demo?

Yaysh:  To be honest, my crowds tend to be a spattering of LGBT peeps and a lot of straight people. Everyone, literally everyone, loves my shows because I let my animal out.

GC: Favorite movie?

Yaysh:  Game Over! on Netflix. It’s funny!  Also, Harry Potter.

GC: Favorite book?

Yaysh:  The Lost Art of Conversation by my teacher Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche.

GC: Last meal?

Yaysh:  BBQ chicken tacos with saffron rice, a nice salad and some drinks.

Related Articles

Contributor Jean Studwell |

Person Yaysh |

Topic Celebrity Interview |



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