Yazmin Lacey has been releasing music since 2017, building a following for her genre-crossing sound, feel-good vibe and sense of humour. After growing up in East London, Yazmin relocated to Nottingham where she developed her sound and became a key part of the city’s music community. Earlier this year, Yazmin released her debut album Voice Notes, immediately garnering five-star reviews and critical acclaim. We recently caught up with Yazmin to discuss her influences, her tour wardrobe and the story behind Voice Notes.


How do you describe your sound?

I try not to! But I would say it’s soul, music from the soul!

Who were your biggest influences growing up?

I love Whitney Houston – there will NEVER be another! Bob Marley is one of the greatest to ever do it, there was never a family gathering growing up without him playing! I’m inspired by Black women, unapologetic in their expression: Missy Elliot, Lauryn Hill, Kelis, Erykah Badu, Nina Simone, Minnie Riperton.

How did it feel to release your debut album into the world in March?

I’m not gonna lie, I was sooo nervous! The night before the release I played a show which I think was a good thing because I was really distracted, and then when it actually came out on the day I just felt relieved. I felt like I’d been holding it all in for so long!

What inspired you to name it Voice Notes?

Well, I think ‘Voice Notes’ for me represents an immediate response, a raw response, which is what I was doing to everything that was going on in my life. An unfiltered response, basically.

What’s your approach to writing?

“Voice notes.” I like how quick it is. I can just hum a bass line and a melody and capture it almost as quickly as it comes to mind, I forget things so it really helps. Pen and paper always to write because it just feels good and helps the flow.

What inspired the track Bad Company?

It’s me making a character, Priscilla, out of my inner demon/inner saboteur/inner voice/the extremes of my personality! But it’s also me making peace with the fact that she’s always been there, and it’s also me having a giggle at my overthinking self! I was inspired by some of Polly Nor’s paintings of women and their demons.

What’s your approach to dressing for live performances?

I think I just wear what makes me feel nice at the time. I don’t have a stylist so I just roll with what I can make happen. I wear whatever makes me feel powered up on stage… sometimes that can be a dress and boots and sometimes it can be a trench coat if I wanna feel protected! Feel good, sing good.

What are your keys to self-care on tour?

Drink water! Try to sleep when you can! Find a moment for yourself! And just bloody enjoy it! Just try to have a nice time, all a da time.

How do you like to spend a day off?

It varies really, if I’m away somewhere new and I have a day off I like to explore a lil bit. If I’m at home I just see family and friends, or literally just chill on my own, I’m always around people so sometimes it’s nice to be a hermit.

How do you nurture your creativity?

Well at the moment I’m trying to make sure I capture my ideas when I have them. The idea is great, but they can come at any moment and I won’t remember the next day! So, I’ve just made a promise to be more disciplined at catching the ideas when they come.

As an East London native, how would you define East End culture?

Well East London has changed a lot from when I grew up there to living here now, but it’s home.

What are your favourite East London spots?

I actually don’t go out loads. I like house parties and going to mate’s places, so it’s mainly out for dinner. I love the Turkish places on the corner opposite Nando’s in Dalston, I can’t remember the name, but both are good! One does great soup; another does this onion salad thing I like. I also love Hackney Marshes or walking down the canal and stopping for drinks in the Summer.

Why did you decide to move to Nottingham?

I moved on a whim. My mates had moved there, and I went there on a night out. We were at the pub, and they said they had a spare room. I used the last money in my account that night to pay the deposit and ended up living there for 11 years!

What’s the music scene like there?

It’s cute and encouraging, I don’t think I would have made music if I wasn’t there. It was a really important place and time for me.

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