If you’ve been scrolling through TikTok these past couple of months then you’re bound to have heard the garage infused preppy love song ‘Mr Valentine’. The song took the app by storm when 19 year old London based influencer turned musician Yaz Caramanli decided on a wim to upload the track to her spam account oblivious to the love it would receive. Now 3 remixes later and with the promise of much more to come, Yaz is forging her own lane in music. In a cosy, eclectic home in Peckham, we sat down with her to dig deep into where she wants to take her career, her start on YouTube and more.
Your career basically started on YouTube when you were only 13 years old and now you’re 19 pivoting into a whole new industry and carving a new lane for yourself – is the feeling similar to when you first started your Youtube channel?
It’s similar in the way that I know I have so long to go and I’m still finding my feet in the industry, but music is a completely different world to social media. There are endless possibilities and it feels way more creatively fulfilling. I’ve been writing music for around 6 years now, so this first single has been a long time coming.
You’ve also always hinted at making music throughout the years on social media – what was it that made you decide that now is the time to go headfirst into it?
Ironically it was my followers who pushed me to put out this first single. I would have released music either way but after people started making videos on TikTok to the demo, that’s when I took the opportunity to go headfirst with Mr Valentine.
And how has the journey been for you so far? What are you most excited about for the road ahead?
My journey is still only just starting but so far it’s been the best time of my life. Being able to explore my sound and focus on making music is so fun. I’m most excited to start performing and collaborating with musicians for sure.
What was your thought process when you dropped the snippet for your first single ‘Mr Valentine’ on TikTok?
Honestly I had been writing music for so long and just wanted to share it. I spontaneously posted a bunch of demos on my second account on TikTok, that I didn’t think would make the cut. It was so crazy to me that people liked Mr Valentine, because I had no intention of releasing that one in particular, but I’m glad I did!
Do you have a favourite lyric from the song – if so, what is it and why?
“Mummy said the sky’s the limit” is my favourite lyric from Mr Valentine. My mum is my biggest supporter, she’s my best friend and the fact that she’s mentioned in the first song means a lot to
The music video is so cute as well – what was the highlight of creating that video for you?
Looking back I loved every moment of planning and shooting the music video. Everybody involved was so collaborative and enthusiastic about the song, which made it all really exciting. If I had to pick the best part it would have to be Paris. I’ll never forget it.
How would you describe your approach to writing music – do you often tend to pull from life experiences when writing?
I feel like it comes more naturally to write from real experiences. I’ll start with a melody first, which sparks a narrative for the lyrics and then I go from there.
Your first single has a cute, garage/pop feel to it – does your upcoming music have similar vibes or will we hear you experimenting with other genres?
I’ve been experimenting with different genres like Garage, Dance and House, but R&B always feels like my home genre (if that makes any sense). I’m super excited for what’s coming up next, I won’t give away too much but just know whatever it is there will always be a lil R&B in there.
The future is looking so bright for your music career and rightfully so – do you feel ready for it? Do you think your years on social media have prepared you in a way for what’s to come?
Thank you so much! I definitely feel ready for whatever’s next. I think social media has prepared me a little for people’s opinions and what it’s like to be perceived by an audience, but I still have a LOT to learn.
If you could ask future Yaz one question – what would it be?
That’s a hard question! I think I’d just ask myself what’s changed
Creative Direction & Photography: Shenell Kennedy | Styling: Kayla Garner – Jones | Styling Assistant: Rodier Bondonga | Makeup Artist: Blessing Kambanga