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Yassassin

Musicians — London

Name, where are you from?
A - Anna Haara Kristoferson from Stockholm, Sweden.
RP - Raissa Pardini, Italy. London based.
J - Joanna Curwood, London.
M - Moa Fahlander, Sweden.
RN - Ruth Nitkiewicz from Brisbane, Australia.

What do you do?
A - I sing lead vocals, play tambourine and melodica.
RP - Bass/Vocals.
J - Guitar/Vocals.
M - I play guitar and sing.
RN - I play the drums.

What is the band doing at the moment?
A - We are releasing our debut EP Vitamin Y in September and have just put out the first single from it called ‘Cherry Pie’. The music video presents our Ruth in a rather sinister light.
J - We're playing a few festivals in the UK and France and writing new songs too.  

What influences your sound?
A - We have quite a broad taste between the five of us and listen to everything from folk music to hip hop to punk which you’ll probably hear when you listen to our music. I love mixing it up and personally can’t think of anything worse than being stuck in one genre, what a nightmare.
RP - I guess what you could say about living in London is that there are so many inputs coming your way every day. There’s a bit of everything all around you. You are inspired by many different cultures and traditions, people and places. It’s all really confusing sometimes but when you have the chance to sit down and start writing then all of that takes shape into new music, new projects and new collaborations. You’ve got access to anything you can possibly find in London so it’s all about experimenting with what you have.
J - Lots of things…it depends on what mood I'm in. One day I could be walking around and be influenced by people passing by or something I see or hear. Another day I could hear a great song I've never heard before and be inspired...or conversely be influenced by a record I know inside out.
M - Everything and everyone around me. 

Describe your style in three words:
A - No f***s given.
RP - Play. It. Loud.
J - What is that?!
M - Energetic, catchy, bubbly.
RN - Sissy That Walk.

How should your music be listened to?
A - Either live at one of our gigs or on a speaker system cranked up so loud that the neighbours might start complaining…depending on whether they have good taste or not.
RP - Come down and see us play to experience the most of what Yassassin is.
M - Open minded, happy and full of love.
RN - Blasting on a car stereo doing 100 down a highway.

What music defines the teenage you? 
A - That’s when I discovered British rock music and started listening to a lot to bands like The Beatles, The Libertines and Oasis.
RP - I was a weird kid to be honest. Italian subcultures never really existed, music wise. I felt a bit lost with identity for years and it took me a while to understand completely what I loved doing. I still don’t have the answer though! It’s partly because I started off with Northern Soul and I ended up going in a completely different direction. Northern Soul gave me that sense of community and that exciting feeling of looking forward to something every month. The up beat of the rhythm section and the energy of amazing soul singers. I think that defined the way I play bass and the way I see music nowadays. That started a journey that has taken me from Post Punk to Acid House to even African Funk Music and Eastern European electronic experiences. 
J - Nirvana, Hole and Christina Aguilera.
M - PJ Harvey, Le Tigre, Nirvana, the Cure, Radiohead, The Smiths, El Perro Del Mar, Håkan Hellström.
RN - Veruca Salt and Hole. My first band played covers of their songs, so they will forever remind me of high school. 

A British icon that has inspired you? 
A - David Bowie.
RP - Poly Styrene. She isn’t recognised as a British icon as much as she should be really, but what a hell of a woman. You don’t need to be an icon to inspire people, being yourself is more than enough sometimes. And she definitely taught us that lesson.
J - Johnny Marr.
M - PJ Harvey.

What was the last piece of music you bought?
A - I normally stream music online, but the last physical album I bought was 'Allas Sak' by Dungen. I love everything by Dungen.
RP - I’ve been buying loads of records from Sounds of Universe and Phonica in Soho recently. So lots of Acid Jazz and new weird synth artists. 
J - The Wharves album 'Electa'.
M - Flamingods new EP 'Kewali'.
RN - 'New Ways Out' by Belbury Poly. I like a bit of spooky synth wave. 

What’s the best gig you’ve been to?
A - Stevie Wonder when I was about 10 years old. He just blew me away completely. His voice is obviously incredible but he also exudes this sheer joy and passion when he performs on stage, it is impossible not to get goosebumps.
RP - I think Eagulls in Rotterdam last year. I was on tour with SULK in Germany and we decided to drive to Rotterdam to see them on our day off. It was such an unexpected gig. They are definitely one of the best things that came out of UK in the past few years.
J - The Libertines at the Rhythm Factory in December 2002.
M - Impossible to answer, I have been to so many gigs that blew my mind and heart away in different ways.
RN - There have been many, but a memorable one for me was Livid, a festival in Brisbane in 2003. On one stage, it was Yeah Yeah Yeahs, followed by Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, then the White Stripes. My young mind was blown. 

What was the first song you played on repeat?
A - Probably ‘Do You Really Want Me’ by Robyn.
RP - Definitely ‘Territorial Pissing’ by Nirvana. I was obsessed with that song.
J - Probably the ‘Postman Pat’ theme tune.
RN - 'Polly' by Nirvana. I was haunted by the lyrics, but I was young and couldn't understand what they were about. I listened to it over and over, but it wasn't until I was older that I learnt the true meaning of the words.  

A song from your favourite album?
A - I don’t have a favourite album to be honest, but a song I will never get tired of is ‘House of Cards' from Radiohead’s 'In Rainbows'. It always stirs up a lot of emotion in me and it's so beautifully composed.
RP - ‘The Ballad Of El Goodo’ by Big Star’s '#1 Record'.
J - ‘The Letter’ off 'Uh Huh Her' by PJ Harvey.
M - I don't have a favourite album, but my favourite song today is ‘Soledad Bravo’ by Tondos de order, a Venezuelan folk song. 
RN - 'Life on Mars' from 'Hunky Dory' by David Bowie.

A song you wish you had written?
A - 'Human Behaviour' by Björk.
RP - ‘Marquee Moon’ by Television. Boring answer but hey.
J - So many! ‘Beechwood Park’ by The Zombies is pretty perfect. Everything Syd Barrett ever wrote.
M - All the songs on PJ Harvey’s album Uh Huh Her. 

Most meaningful lyrics to inspire change?
A - "If you wanna make the world a better place, take a look at yourself and then make a change" from 'Man in the Mirror' by Michael Jackson.
RP - Being a voice of a generation is giving a straight simple perspective that comes out from young bands that lived their lives in troubles. And they want to talk about them. Imagine being in a punk band in Belfast in 1977. They had a riot on the streets, the only thing they had was music.
J - “I see no need to swallow or catch a plane to travel, my mind's not made of gravel.” - Arthur Lee.
M - Everything in ‘Imagine’ by John Lennon.

Best song to bring people together?
A - ‘Macarena’ by Los Del Rio.
RP - ‘Groove Is In The Heart’ by Deee-lite.
J - ‘Come Together’ by The Beatles.
M - ‘Heroes’ by David Bowie.
RN - 'Love Shack' by B-52's.

Best love song of all time?
A - That's difficult to answer but 'Fever' by Peggy Lee is definitely up there.
RP - ‘I Saw The Light’ by Todd Rundgren from the absolute babe 'Something/Anything?'.
J - ‘The Sun Ain't Gonna Shine Anymore’ by The Walker Brothers.
M - ‘Love Makes The World Go 'Round’ by Barbara Lewis. 
RN - 'Not Fade Away' by Buddy Holly.

Is there a song you like that people wouldn’t expect?
A - If they don't know me then yes, they might be surprised that I love listening to jazz when the mood hits.
RP - You’d expect anything from me really. But my guilty pleasure is Jamiroquai.
J - Probably not, my taste can be pretty dubious.
M - 'Chaghaybou' by Tinariwen.
RN - I like classical music, it's a secret indulgence of mine. One particular song I love - 'The Lark Ascending' by Ralph Vaughan Williams. Otherwise, I don't mind a bit of Kylie Minogue.  

Which new British bands are you listening to at the moment?
A - I really like Wolf Alice's two new singles from their forthcoming album. Other London favourites are Ulrika Spacek and DRIFT.
RP - Girl in Synthesis, Flamingods, Aldous RH, Younghusband, Wes Gonzalez. 
J - Slice, Average Sex, Tear.
M - Eskimo chain, Drift, I Slice,  Flamingods, Dream Wife. 
RN - Girls in Synthesis, Average Sex, Tear.

Name, where are you from?
A - Anna Haara Kristoferson from Stockholm, Sweden.
RP - Raissa Pardini, Italy. London based.
J - Joanna Curwood, London.
M - Moa Fahlander, Sweden.
RN - Ruth Nitkiewicz from Brisbane, Australia.

What do you do?
A - I sing lead vocals, play tambourine and melodica.
RP - Bass/Vocals.
J - Guitar/Vocals.
M - I play guitar and sing.
RN - I play the drums.

What is the band doing at the moment?
A - We are releasing our debut EP Vitamin Y in September and have just put out the first single from it called ‘Cherry Pie’. The music video presents our Ruth in a rather sinister light.
J - We're playing a few festivals in the UK and France and writing new songs too.  

What influences your sound?
A - We have quite a broad taste between the five of us and listen to everything from folk music to hip hop to punk which you’ll probably hear when you listen to our music. I love mixing it up and personally can’t think of anything worse than being stuck in one genre, what a nightmare.
RP - I guess what you could say about living in London is that there are so many inputs coming your way every day. There’s a bit of everything all around you. You are inspired by many different cultures and traditions, people and places. It’s all really confusing sometimes but when you have the chance to sit down and start writing then all of that takes shape into new music, new projects and new collaborations. You’ve got access to anything you can possibly find in London so it’s all about experimenting with what you have.
J - Lots of things…it depends on what mood I'm in. One day I could be walking around and be influenced by people passing by or something I see or hear. Another day I could hear a great song I've never heard before and be inspired...or conversely be influenced by a record I know inside out.
M - Everything and everyone around me. 

Describe your style in three words:
A - No f***s given.
RP - Play. It. Loud.
J - What is that?!
M - Energetic, catchy, bubbly.
RN - Sissy That Walk.

How should your music be listened to?
A - Either live at one of our gigs or on a speaker system cranked up so loud that the neighbours might start complaining…depending on whether they have good taste or not.
RP - Come down and see us play to experience the most of what Yassassin is.
M - Open minded, happy and full of love.
RN - Blasting on a car stereo doing 100 down a highway.

What music defines the teenage you? 
A - That’s when I discovered British rock music and started listening to a lot to bands like The Beatles, The Libertines and Oasis.
RP - I was a weird kid to be honest. Italian subcultures never really existed, music wise. I felt a bit lost with identity for years and it took me a while to understand completely what I loved doing. I still don’t have the answer though! It’s partly because I started off with Northern Soul and I ended up going in a completely different direction. Northern Soul gave me that sense of community and that exciting feeling of looking forward to something every month. The up beat of the rhythm section and the energy of amazing soul singers. I think that defined the way I play bass and the way I see music nowadays. That started a journey that has taken me from Post Punk to Acid House to even African Funk Music and Eastern European electronic experiences. 
J - Nirvana, Hole and Christina Aguilera.
M - PJ Harvey, Le Tigre, Nirvana, the Cure, Radiohead, The Smiths, El Perro Del Mar, Håkan Hellström.
RN - Veruca Salt and Hole. My first band played covers of their songs, so they will forever remind me of high school. 

A British icon that has inspired you? 
A - David Bowie.
RP - Poly Styrene. She isn’t recognised as a British icon as much as she should be really, but what a hell of a woman. You don’t need to be an icon to inspire people, being yourself is more than enough sometimes. And she definitely taught us that lesson.
J - Johnny Marr.
M - PJ Harvey.

What was the last piece of music you bought?
A - I normally stream music online, but the last physical album I bought was 'Allas Sak' by Dungen. I love everything by Dungen.
RP - I’ve been buying loads of records from Sounds of Universe and Phonica in Soho recently. So lots of Acid Jazz and new weird synth artists. 
J - The Wharves album 'Electa'.
M - Flamingods new EP 'Kewali'.
RN - 'New Ways Out' by Belbury Poly. I like a bit of spooky synth wave. 

What’s the best gig you’ve been to?
A - Stevie Wonder when I was about 10 years old. He just blew me away completely. His voice is obviously incredible but he also exudes this sheer joy and passion when he performs on stage, it is impossible not to get goosebumps.
RP - I think Eagulls in Rotterdam last year. I was on tour with SULK in Germany and we decided to drive to Rotterdam to see them on our day off. It was such an unexpected gig. They are definitely one of the best things that came out of UK in the past few years.
J - The Libertines at the Rhythm Factory in December 2002.
M - Impossible to answer, I have been to so many gigs that blew my mind and heart away in different ways.
RN - There have been many, but a memorable one for me was Livid, a festival in Brisbane in 2003. On one stage, it was Yeah Yeah Yeahs, followed by Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, then the White Stripes. My young mind was blown. 

What was the first song you played on repeat?
A - Probably ‘Do You Really Want Me’ by Robyn.
RP - Definitely ‘Territorial Pissing’ by Nirvana. I was obsessed with that song.
J - Probably the ‘Postman Pat’ theme tune.
RN - 'Polly' by Nirvana. I was haunted by the lyrics, but I was young and couldn't understand what they were about. I listened to it over and over, but it wasn't until I was older that I learnt the true meaning of the words.  

A song from your favourite album?
A - I don’t have a favourite album to be honest, but a song I will never get tired of is ‘House of Cards' from Radiohead’s 'In Rainbows'. It always stirs up a lot of emotion in me and it's so beautifully composed.
RP - ‘The Ballad Of El Goodo’ by Big Star’s '#1 Record'.
J - ‘The Letter’ off 'Uh Huh Her' by PJ Harvey.
M - I don't have a favourite album, but my favourite song today is ‘Soledad Bravo’ by Tondos de order, a Venezuelan folk song. 
RN - 'Life on Mars' from 'Hunky Dory' by David Bowie.

A song you wish you had written?
A - 'Human Behaviour' by Björk.
RP - ‘Marquee Moon’ by Television. Boring answer but hey.
J - So many! ‘Beechwood Park’ by The Zombies is pretty perfect. Everything Syd Barrett ever wrote.
M - All the songs on PJ Harvey’s album Uh Huh Her. 

Most meaningful lyrics to inspire change?
A - "If you wanna make the world a better place, take a look at yourself and then make a change" from 'Man in the Mirror' by Michael Jackson.
RP - Being a voice of a generation is giving a straight simple perspective that comes out from young bands that lived their lives in troubles. And they want to talk about them. Imagine being in a punk band in Belfast in 1977. They had a riot on the streets, the only thing they had was music.
J - “I see no need to swallow or catch a plane to travel, my mind's not made of gravel.” - Arthur Lee.
M - Everything in ‘Imagine’ by John Lennon.

Best song to bring people together?
A - ‘Macarena’ by Los Del Rio.
RP - ‘Groove Is In The Heart’ by Deee-lite.
J - ‘Come Together’ by The Beatles.
M - ‘Heroes’ by David Bowie.
RN - 'Love Shack' by B-52's.

Best love song of all time?
A - That's difficult to answer but 'Fever' by Peggy Lee is definitely up there.
RP - ‘I Saw The Light’ by Todd Rundgren from the absolute babe 'Something/Anything?'.
J - ‘The Sun Ain't Gonna Shine Anymore’ by The Walker Brothers.
M - ‘Love Makes The World Go 'Round’ by Barbara Lewis. 
RN - 'Not Fade Away' by Buddy Holly.

Is there a song you like that people wouldn’t expect?
A - If they don't know me then yes, they might be surprised that I love listening to jazz when the mood hits.
RP - You’d expect anything from me really. But my guilty pleasure is Jamiroquai.
J - Probably not, my taste can be pretty dubious.
M - 'Chaghaybou' by Tinariwen.
RN - I like classical music, it's a secret indulgence of mine. One particular song I love - 'The Lark Ascending' by Ralph Vaughan Williams. Otherwise, I don't mind a bit of Kylie Minogue.  

Which new British bands are you listening to at the moment?
A - I really like Wolf Alice's two new singles from their forthcoming album. Other London favourites are Ulrika Spacek and DRIFT.
RP - Girl in Synthesis, Flamingods, Aldous RH, Younghusband, Wes Gonzalez. 
J - Slice, Average Sex, Tear.
M - Eskimo chain, Drift, I Slice,  Flamingods, Dream Wife. 
RN - Girls in Synthesis, Average Sex, Tear.

Yassassin | Cherry Pie (2017)

Yassassin | Pretty Face (2016)

Yassassin | Social Politics (2016)