YaSi, aka Yasman Azimi, knows a few things about coexisting with chaos, especially when it comes to the pandemic. The singer had tour dates scheduled until 2020 but had to cut them all – and after the lockdown in mid-March, depression set in for the next few months. But in May, she got out of funk writing songs.
Without her music, Azimi says, “I was going to be in a depressive hole for the rest of my life. Music got me out of this. I just have to go on and keep doing things.”
That same month, she began traveling back and forth between Denver and Los Angeles to work with producer and mixing engineer Jon Lundin on what would become her new six-song EP, Coexist with chaos, which falls on Friday April 2 via Royal Rhythm Recordings.
Upon entering the project, Azimi knew she needed to get into the songwriting mindset, so she started looking for things that inspired her and listening to SZA-like beats on YouTube. .
“I’ve always tried to come up with at least one idea, at least one tune, because it helps me feel more confident about the day ahead,” she says.
Lundin put Azimi through what she calls a “songwriting training camp”: four 12-hour days at his home in LA, during which she worked on his songs while he taught her. writing songs.
“He just taught me to take the pressure off [my]self, ”says Azimi of Lundin. “I mainly only did music in Denver. I never really traveled outside of Denver to make music with anyone. Not just that, but working with people who have made songs that have been played by the millions, and who are with some really big labels. It was so intimidating for me, because I was like, ‘Oh shit, how is this random Persian girl from Denver going to measure up against the best of the best in LA?’ ”
Listening Coexist with chaos and it’s clear Azimi could take on some of LA’s best, especially on the strength of cuts like the lead R&B single, “Guilty,” or the dark pop of “A Troubled Mind”, in which Azimi sings about managing pain and exiting demons. On the EP, she writes about dealing with not only her personal chaos but also the chaos that surrounds her, especially on “World Is Burning” and “Inferno”, which were inspired by the protests of Black Lives Matter, the unrest in his parents’ homeland of Iran and the pandemic.
When she took the song “Golden Disco” to Lundin, it was more of a ballad, but he wanted to build up some energy. Then Azimi wanted to refine it further, because, she says, it is “the last dance before the end of the world. It’s like the final hurray. She wanted a gradual build-up until the end, which makes it look like there are meteors exploding and buildings collapsing.
“We thought, ‘How could we sonically reproduce this imagery in rhythm? »», Recalls Azimi. “And I think we did a pretty cool job. There are random guitars. There are random horns. There is EDM and rap. Whatever it is, he found his place in there, and I think that could only have been possible by having someone as open-minded as Jon to do this with.
Azimi says do Coexist with chaos moved her life forward and brought her to a much happier place.
“Honestly, I don’t think I would have been sane or happy if I hadn’t had the opportunity to work on this record,” she says. “As the title suggests, I coexisted with the chaos around me. It kind of gave me hope and got me up in the morning and got me to work on stuff, because you know, the first few months of my quarantine I was drinking and eating and watching TV. , and that’s no way to live your life.
Thinking back to the finished project, Azimi says the EP is like an onion, “and each of the songs are different layers, and I think they all kind of speak to the theme of coexistence with chaos.”