YAZ have well and truly taken the UK music scene by storm. With their previous single ‘Spark’ landing over 130K Spotify streams in 4 months, in the last 9 months alone they’ve headlined Camden Rocks All Dayer, co-headlined The Notting Hill Arts Club, performed at the iconic Ronnie Scotts, played a show at The Great Escape Festival, performed at SESAC X MMF Industry showcase, played multiple Sofar Sounds, sold-out shows at The Troubadour and Mercato – the list goes on! 

Made up of Yassine Belkhou on vocals and guitar, Krishna Kasim on electric guitar, Oscar Joe Gross on bass and Tony Lesage on drums, YAZ create ‘feel good’ music to promote change from within, and to see them perform live is to truly experience their magic. The band’s distinctive blend of indie-pop, paired with deep introspective lyrics, all wrapped up in Yassine’s captivatingly soulful vocals is – evidently – something that deeply resonates with their audience. 

Their upcoming single ‘Love Is Art’ once again captures Yassine’s gift for not only drawing from his own experiences, but also other people’s experiences to tell captivating and relatable stories through his lyrics. The song was written in 2021 when Yassine was living with his Aunty in Maida Vale. Inspired by her relationship with her partner, the song tracks the dynamic of their relationship, capturing the nature of love and what it means to love. 

Yassine says, “This idea that a deep interpersonal relationship with someone else has the capacity to evoke so many emotions, both good and bad, is very beautiful. This is because in one moment you can be quarrelling about something but in the next you can be in each others’ embrace. This notion that love is a journey of highs and lows underscored by a deep sense of trust and affection is, in a way, a form of art. Given this and having witnessed this sort of magic with my Aunty and her partner, I wrote this track to try and encapsulate this sentiment. The lyrics read like a story, following a relationship in turmoil but eventually settling their differences based on the foundation of love. 

The very essence of the song explores the notion that love is not perfect. Being in love entails experiencing strong and intense emotions, both euphoric and painful ones. What “Love Is Art” tries to get across is that being in love can entail many experiences. The story that it tells shows that love requires constant work, and sometimes that work can be tough and emotionally draining. However, at the end of the day being in that position to experience the euphoria that it can present is a privilege.”

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. Watch this space for more new music and captivating live shows on the way!

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