Rising Irish Hip-Hop artist YINYANG is like Ashnikko's underground Gothic cousin and we're loving her new material.
Lauren Hannan, aka YINYANG, is buzzing on the back of the release of her latest single, Poison Darts/Boyish Charms. The up and coming Irish Hip-Hop artist just can't wait to get back out into the world and share her music rather than having to over think her social media feed. Hannan started her musical adventure as YINYANG during the first lockdown of 2020 so has never been given the opportunity she so desperately craves to perform her music in front of a live audiance. Having wowed listeners with her arresting debut track Black Mamba in July last year, YINYANG followed that up with the release of her single, Bloodhound/Earthbound in March this year and then shared her new track on May 7th.
YINYANG - Photo credit, ABOF.
The Tarantino and Pokemon loving Hip-Hop-Pop star says she will be "dropping a lot more songs this year" so we caught up with her while she still had a little time on her hands.
For those who may be new to your music, how best would you describe your sound?
I’d say it’s a fusion of lots of genres, with the main focus on hiphop/pop. Heavy beats, fun samples, big bass, chunky guitars and some cheeky lyrics.
What challenges have you faced in the music industry so far?
I started YINYANG last year during the first lockdown, so the pandemic is a pretty big challenge because I can’t play shows yet and for a long time I couldn’t get in to the studio. At the moment being an artist also feels like you have to be a bit of a social media influencer to keep engagement because there’s nothing really on right now, and I’m not great at socials, so I’m pretty buzzed to get out into the big bad world again, meet people and perform for them (and not shit myself that I haven’t put ANOTHER god awful selfie up in 2 days.)
How difficult would you say this career path is in terms of making a name for yourself?
I’m still pretty fresh, I don’t think I’ve made a name for myself yet - any tips would be lovely! The plan is to keep pumping out tracks, spreading the good word of YINYANG and hopefully people like it. I only want a name for myself if people want me to have that and think what I do is good.
How important is it for you to have creative control over the work you produce?
SO important - it’s my baby! The creative part is so fun, I love being hands on and have a plan for how I want to express each track to do them justice, and express myself. Although, I’m always up for sharing the creative control and I recognise that I don’t know everything and I trust the team around me. Every beginning creative idea starts in my brain or laptop, whether it’s a demo on GarageBand that Tom Cane and I bring to life in the studio, or characters on playing cards as artwork that Deadbeat Creative bring to life or a music video shot on my phone and made in iMovie. I’m lucky I get to work with fab humans.
Where do you draw influence and inspiration from for your work?
All the things I like in life: I like Tarantino Movies so I’m influenced by some of his style, I think Japan is one of the coolest places on earth so I celebrate that, my favourite colours became the branding, I used to love collecting Pokemon cards so the artwork is my own mini game. Kendrick Lamar is a huge influence because his lyrics and flow are shit hot, M.I.A is an influence because she’s just all round amazing and I love that she’s using her platform to raise awareness for causes bigger than pop music. There are so many influences, but the bottom line of them is they’re all things I really love. For ages I tried to be like other artists, and now I’m just enjoying celebrating and creating what I love, writing about personal experiences and trying to capture how they felt rather than trying to make it sound like something.
If you could collaborate with anybody going forward, who would you choose and why?
God there are so many. Dream team would be if I could be in a 5 way with Kendrick, M.I.A, James Blake and Missy Elliot.
I just love what they do and I don’t get tired listening to them over and over again, they’ve got their own flare and I really like that.
Tell us a random, funny fact about you that not many people know.
My favourite thing in the world is my cat Elvis, when he was kitten I didn’t really know how to look after him cause I’ve always had dogs so I took a week off work on Caternity leave and taught him how to sit. He’s a pretty confused cat dog.
Do you have definitive aims or goals for your career?
I’d love to be able to say ‘Hello Wembley’ to actual Wembley stadium and not just my mirror.
I want to just grow as an artist, make sure every track we put out is better than the one before it and next year I want to be gigging as much as I can. I just want to really really enjoy this, and I want people to enjoy it with me.
Where do you hope to be this time next year?
In a 5 way with Kendrick, M.I.A, James Blake and Missy Elliot.
What should we expect from you in the coming weeks and months?
My single Poison Darts / Boyish Charms is out now! Going to be dropping a lot more songs this year so gas levels are on 10 right now.
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