Yazmin Lacey’s dulcet and soulful tones are both understated and addictive. With only a handful of songs online, Lacey’s live performances are truly smooth and effortless and leave the listener yearning for more. She represents the no-frills, stripped back voice that many female singers are in need of today.
Last year Lacey got involved with Brownswood Music’s Future Bubblers Project – a talent discovery project, introducing rising artists from various parts of England. Here, she was mentored and musically nurtured. We caught up with Lacey over email to find out about her musical journey, movement between cities and what Future Bubblers has changed for her; she has shared an exclusive Brownswood Basement Session with us.
gal-dem: How would you describe your sound?
Yazmin Lacey: You know what, I always find that a really hard question. I have loads of influences in my music. From ever since I can remember there was always music playing, (my Pops was not a fan of TV so we always had the radio on). I was raised on rare groove, soca, hip-hop, lovers rock, garage, soul, Motown and a few guilty pleasures, so I suppose they all play a part.
Nottingham has a close-knit music community. How did you find the transition musically from growing up in London and then moving to Nottingham?
It was a great transition! I grew up around musicians and creatives in London then went to university in Leicester and then I came to Nottingham on a night out with some friends who were working alongside some Nottingham musicians and then never really left after the night out! It worked out though! When I moved here I was just ready to tell some stories through music, and Notts has definitely given me the platform to do so. Everyone was warm and wanted to experiment with music and I think that really nurtured my creative process. London raised me and Notts has kind of schooled me.
You’ve played on the same line-up as some incredibly talented Nottingham artists such as Daudi Matsiko, Frazer Lowrie, Harleigh Blu and Congi. Are there any other artists you’d like to work alongside or collaborate with in the near future?
These have been some of my favourite gigs! I’ve been so lucky to play with the artists mentioned – Daudi and I played my first gig together! The last show we played at Notts Arts Theatre was beautiful. His performances are nothing short of magic and Congi are my boys, playing with them is always a good gig. I would love to and am hoping to work with Three Body Trio (who also play in my band). When those guys make music together they just zone out, excited for that.
In 2015 you became involved in the Future Bubblers project, which seeks to develop unsigned artists from numerous cities around England. Can you tell us a little about how you became part of this project?
I played a gig for MIMM which was part of the Future Bubblers launch and I remember Nathaniel (MIMM Director) saying I should just go for it. But of course I didn’t through sheer fear, and I remember reading/seeing one time that Fly Lo said, “Self consciousness is the creativity killer” that has always stuck with me and I thought, “fix up”, and applied! It has been an incredible opportunity.
What was it like to be mentored by Victoria Port (part of duo Anushka) and what did you learn from her?
Victoria is a Queen! I learnt loads from her, it was really important for me to have a female mentor as sometimes the industry can be really male dominated. She gave really practical useful advice, and the most support and has just kept on encouraging me.
You recently performed at an event celebrating Black History Month at Nottingham Contemporary, hosted by The University of Nottingham. Why is it important to you to be part of these events?
I think the world we live in hasn’t yet learnt to fully embrace black people so events that positively celebrate black culture are something I feel honoured to be a part of.
As a whole, Nottingham seems to have a culturally diverse music scene. Do you ever feel underrepresented in the city?
I think I’ve been really lucky to work with people who love music and are open-minded, forward thinkers so I’ve had a lot of positive experiences.
What does 2017 have in store for you?
I think it’s going to be a good’en! I’ve got an EP coming out at the start of next year – finally! I’m really excited to share those songs, it’s a good process, I’ve learnt loads and I never done anything like this before. I’ve just been experimenting with Warren Xclnce on our track ‘7th Root‘ and I think were going to make some more bits. And Congi – we’ve recorded a couple of bits already and we’re going to add a couple more for a likkle joint thing.
And more gigs.
Maybe a gig with gal-dem? Haha you’ve gotta ask ain’t-cha!
Catch Yazmin Lacey and the Echoes performing Thursday 15 December at Bedroom Bar, free entry and doors open at 20.00, more info here
To find out more about Future Bubblers and their latest batch of talent head over to their website here.