Many of your favorite tracks started with quilts draped over closet doors to soundproof a homemade booth.
Bearing this in mind, Yaz continues to record her debut EP from the comfort of her home. And while the newcomer develops her sound, she holds fast to the sentiment that grit and tenacity knock out talent more often than not. “It took Brooke 4 hours to construct this sound. Yes, she came up with the beat, and it took me 30 minutes to piece up the lyrics and melody,” Yaz says concerning her debut single, “Bilious.” The Chicago-born, Mexican-American artist intends to keep it in the family, as her best friend, Brooke Beats, is her go-to producer.
The nostalgic music video and its kaleidoscope scenes have a few reputable cosigns backing them — ahead of “Bilious” now premiering with The Knockturnal. All of which led the genre-fusing creative toward her Hollywood dreams, where Yaz reached out from for this exclusive. “I remember dancing in front of the television while my older sister and brother watched the MTV music awards. My siblings chucked pillows at my head like, “Move out the way,” she laughs.
Her dreams of being spotlighted at the center stage may not be far from her grasp. Ahead of the COVID-19 lockdown, Yaz quit her corporate day job and began making her rounds in the independent realm. It was there she began studying the craft and immersing herself in songwriting. “From a young age, I felt in my heart that I would perform for millions. There is no plan B,” the crooner explained. Through gnarly guitar strings and an electric voiceover, Yaz introduces herself matter-of-factly.
The “Bilious” audiovisual features inspiration from the AIM and MySpace era when “Age, sex, location?” questions were synonymous with, “Are you tryna chill?” Its imagery and read-along lyrics display how far Yaz is willing to go. The bold siren has no difficulty articulating her needs.
Consider her “Bilious” introduction organized chaos. Much of her inspiration comes from the period she was born in. The single’s drum pattern was mixed to be reminiscent of Three 6 Mafia’s energy in the ’90s. Yaz’s wardrobe encapsulates the same. If passion is the most authentic key to achievement in the business, Yaz is already ahead of the electropop game. There are intentional nuances packed between the soon-to-be starlet’s initial flip screens. Check out what Yaz told The Knocktural about “Bilious” this morning.
The Knockturnal: Your debut single, “Bilious,” released alongside Brooke Beats. Describe your studio session together.
Yaz: Our sessions are super chill! We gotta make sure the vibes are right, or else it’ll sound like boo-boo. [Laughs] So, we sage it up [in the studio]. I get my palo santo right. Have to put on my amber oil and relax. Brooke either has a beat ready for me, or we work on one together.
As of right now, we do everything [ourselves]. I go in the closet, that’s my booth where I transcend. Yes, I do all my takes while staring at all the beautiful clothes in there. [Laughs] I always prepare my hot tea with jasmine and lime. Maybe a little bit of tequila, depending on the song we are working on together. I get an idea, and then I lay it out. [Laughs]
The Knockturnal: What is the song’s message?
Yaz: The song, “Bilious,” has a message. The track is basically saying that anything is possible. I know that I can do anything I want. It’s about a meltdown I had with myself and the world. [Laughs]
It gets deeper if you really decode [its lyrics]. Everything that I reference has a double meaning. I reference specific names because I am inspired by the life choices they made. They are [creative muses].
Yeah, the lyrics are definitely a musical vomit that came out of me. I was becoming sick of life. I was living and not being true to myself [ahead of this recording].
The Knockturnal: Do you write all your music?
Yaz: Yes, I do! I’ve been writing poems and songs since I was a baby.
The Knockturnal: You are a Latinx artist hailing from Chicago — how has this helped shaped your sound?
Yaz: Honestly, it has helped me in every shape and form. My sound right now is hard and pop — which I’m loving. I am playing around with it all.
Being Mexican, I always grew up listening to banda music and Spanish-language rock. There are amazing romantic love ballads my mom puts me on to. Shout out to Los Bukis, Yuri, and Yonis. [I love] my crazy Spanish-language pop, too. The group RBD was the first concert I ever went to! Oh, and I can’t forget Los Alacranes Musical.
Then you have the Chicago my greatness. I love Eryn Allen Kane, Earth, Wind & Fire, Vic Mensa, Chance the Rapper, and Kanye West setting the bar so high in Chicago. These artists are creating what they love and giving us timeless beauty through music. Again, it’s great to know that these people you admire all lived in Chicago. Hell yeah, it makes me experiment. I want to go crazy in the booth and create.
The Knockturnal: Who are your creative influences?
Yaz: All the beautiful women I love are artistic influences. I.e., Britney Spears, Madonna, Lady Gaga, Rihanna, Cher, Beyoncé, FKA twigs, Alejandra Guzman, Thalía, Paulina Rubio, Fey, Frida Kahlo, and more. I can go on forever. [Laughs]
The Knockturnal: What is on the way for new listeners?
Yaz: There is so much on the way! Quarantine has been making me go crazy. Yet, I am so inspired. I have been playing so much new music. I’m just grateful people are interested in hearing what I have to say. I’m looking forward to what the future holds.
The Knockturnal: Who is Yaz?
Yaz: Umm! Why is that a hard one? I am someone who is still figuring it out. I am just like everyone else, but Yaz is a star being born! [Laughs]