YAZ share their new single 'Beauty Hidden In Pain'
New single 'Beauty Hidden In Pain'
Made up of Yassine Belkhou on vocals and guitar, Krishna Kasim on electric guitar, Oscar Joe Gross on bass and Tony Lesage on drums, to see YAZ perform live is to truly experience their magic.
With sold-out shows at London’s iconic The Troubadour and Mercato already under their belt, a headline slot at Camden Rocks Festival this summer, and being in the running for Glastonbury’s Emerging Talent competition, the band’s distinctive blend of indie-folk, paired with deep introspective lyrics, all wrapped up in lead singer Yassine’s captivatingly soulful vocals is - evidently - something that deeply resonates with their audience.
With YAZ standing for You Are Zen, the band create music to promote change from within. Drawing on their multicultural roots, their music fuses several philosophical attitudes together to try and negotiate life's challenges. Focusing on silver linings, their message encourages listeners to recognise and embrace hope.
Naming The Lumineers, Beck and Kaleo as their main musical inspirations, the band thrive on being able to experiment with their music and the concepts and emotions they’re able to portray through their songwriting. Originally formed by Yassine as a solo act, the band all met through a series of coincidences, and it’s now, as a four piece, that they have truly honed their unique sound.
Written in response to London’s homeless crisis, Yassine says, “I wrote the track during Christmas 2021, I was spending Christmas alone in my flat in London. I was really struggling with seasonal depression, so I went for a walk around Maida Vale where I saw homeless people struggling with the bitter cold, yet still finding the energy within themselves to smile and greet people. Moments of deep struggle often present individuals with a dilemma: to give up or persevere. In the case of homeless people, despite their monumental challenges they still choose to persevere, and we can learn from this. Hard times present an opportunity to discover yourself and come out the other end in a more enlightened manner.
The world we live in now is riddled with nihilistic and pessimistic tendencies. Everywhere we look there is always discussion of how things are going wrong or how we as a society are failing. It is very easy to fall into that trap and adopt a mindset that impedes the ability to practise empathy and kindness. Yet, humans are incapable of being true nihilists because we see society show glimmers of hope, whether that be in showing compassion to family or congregating to catalyse change for others (BLM, Climate Change Protests). These acts, small or big, showcase that hope is always existent despite troubling times and the song aims to capture this. The message of the song is to identify and never let go of that sense of hope because it is what makes us human. No matter how microscopic that sense of hope may be, embrace it because it is that sense of hope that will guide you to strive for bigger and better things.”
Hailing from all corners of the word, the members of YAZ all met in the cultural melting pot that is London, where they all now call home. Yassine was born and raised in Montreal but originally from Morocco, Krishna is from India and is a self-proclaimed ‘third-culture kid’, Tony is from France and Oscar is from Australia. Yassine says, “I grew up playing American football and aspired to be in the NFL. After a significant stint with mental health in 2019 I found myself stuck and lost with what to do with my life. Music was something that had always helped me in any situation and been the most consistent thing in my life.”
Krishna says, “I am what they consider a third-culture kid. Although I was born in India and consider myself an Indian citizen, I have never lived in the country. Soon after being born I moved to Kuwait, followed up by Malaysia, Brunei and then the UK for university. Considering this, I always struggled with the notion of what home really means because I had never completely assimilated into or identified with any of these cultures. Music, therefore, for me was a form of identification. Regardless of who I am or what my beliefs are I could always relate to my peers and my surroundings with music.”
The band truly believe that this was a meeting of fate, and use that notion to further fuel their passion to spread messages of positivity and joy into the world. 2023 shows no signs of slowing down for YAZ - watch this space.