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Meet Yasmeen Todd of Yazzy in Glendale

Today we’d like to introduce you to Yasmeen Todd.

Thanks for sharing your story with us Yasmeen. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
It all started when I was 13. I had my sights set on being in the electric guitar class at my middle school but the class was completely full. So, my music teacher said, “Hey, why don’t you try playing the drums?”. I said yes hesitantly and from there, I became obsessed. Now when I say drums, I mean marching band/drum corps like Nick Cannon in ‘Drumline.’ I wasn’t coordinated enough to play drum set haha. But I practiced the snare drum day in and day out.

During this time, I was also gifted an MPC and I spent the rest of my time teaching myself how to record through this machine. I found myself communicating with people better through music than through my words. I was convinced after I made a couple of beats that I should move to the Atlanta and start my producing career. Mind you, I was only 14. Of course I stayed in California but my love for music kept growing.

I was on the drum corps until I graduated high school. After the joy and excitement/adrenaline I got from performing throughout high school, I knew I had to find another way I could keep myself in front of a crowd. I went to UCSB for undergrad and found myself plugging in my phone and playing all the music for all of the parties that I went to so I was like why not get a controller and see what I can do.

I taught myself how to DJ with the same discipline I taught myself how to play the drums (every day with no breaks lol). After graduating, I found myself DJing for nightclubs in LA and Hollywood. I even ran my own night in Hollywood.

But after realizing that I didn’t want to just play other people’s music, I got back to that inner 14-year old that wanted to move to Atlanta and began teaching myself how to produce music. I wanted to get as much knowledge as I could so I found a school that had a community that I wanted to be a part of. NGHTMRE (a well known EDM artist) had an interview where he mentioned ICON Collective Music Production School and it’s positive influence on his production and artistry. So I looked up ICON Collective…then I applied and I got in!

After graduation ICON, I can now say that all of my experiences with music have culminated into the artist that I am trying to become today. I have released music already but I am excited for my next releases that will continue to express every part of me.

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
Oh wow, this is a good question.

I have actually found it hard due to the fact that I am an African-American female trying to navigate the not only male-driven but caucasian driven world that is EDM. I do believe I am a hybrid of genres but by even classifying myself in this genre, I feel that it is hard for people to understand how exactly I fit in.

I like to lean on this fact to push myself forward in order to help others who might feel the same way. I hope to show people that there is a way for ‘outcasts’ to be successful even if they have to create their own lane.

We’d love to hear more about your work and what you are currently focused on. What else should we know?
I am an artist. I love everything about music and the way it makes people feel so I try to make sure that everything I release connects with me mentally, physically, emotionally and spiritually. I know that’s so cliche but I love to create those moments for other people to feel what I was feeling when I created the track.

I have mainly been focused on music production but I am trying to get back into DJing but more so as an artist (playing my own tracks). I feel that my sound ties in that soulful feel with some electronic elements added into it to create a different vibe.

I am just proud of myself for not being scared about people’s reception of what I put out. I want to make music for myself first and I feel that this is the way that all creatives should approach creating art.

Is there a characteristic or quality that you feel is essential to success?
As mentioned before, I feel that creating for myself will give me a unique sound that will allow people to connect to. I do have my teachers at ICON collective to thank as well but the one thing that they all can’t teach you is how to be yourself. I KNOW I sound sooo cliche lol but honestly, trying to sound like someone else who has already succeeded will only get you so far. Your uniqueness is what will create that loyal following and sense of community that fans and music lovers are looking for these days.

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Image Credit:
Chaz Hall Photography

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