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Singing through the pain

Eve-Yasmine headlined 02 Academy in Islington in March. Pictures: Dawn Marie Jones.

Harrow singer-songwriter Eve-Yasmine told David Hennessy about growing up with painful disorder fibromalgia, her recent headline show at O2 Academy in Islington and how her grandfather from her Irish side inspired her love of music.

R&B, soul and pop singer Eve-Yasmine has recorded and performed internationally and worked with some internationally renowned producers.

The 25-year-old singer with family in Ireland has been building a following over the last year with several well received singles.

Building up to the release of her debut EP Femme Fatale, Eve-Yasmine has just released her latest single, the uplifting Glow Up which she describes as a celebration of self-love.

Eve-Yasmine told The Irish World: “One day my mum was saying to me, ‘When are you goin g to write a happier song?’ Because a lot of my songs derive from something sad or more of a serious subject. I wanted to write something more uplifting.

“I love this phrase ‘glow up’. I just love what it represents. That’s the idea of the song. You’re working on yourself. You’re proud of your hustle, you’re proud of your growth.

“How you’re proud of someone that you’ve drifted from. You’re not wishing them anything bad but you’re just focusing on yourself now and that love you gave them, you’re putting into yourself.”

The song’s uplifting message could come from her struggles. Struggling with fibromalgia, a disorder that causes widespread muscle pain accompanied by fatigue, Eve-Yasmine has always suffered with incredible pain. At school it would stop her doing things like other children and she was bullied for it.

“I feel like anyone who has grown up with some sort of challenge in their life, it does shape you as a person. Being bullied as a kid and teenager, having difficulties: I feel like those things ignited my passion and the fire inside me to really go for my career.”

The experience was made worse by the fact that no one understood about the condition: “Luckily it’s more widely known about now. As a teenager it was difficult because no one knew what it was, even not many doctors I met knew what it was very much. It was still something people were discovering and looking into. There’s some awareness there now.

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“Distraction is my best friend. This is another reason why I love what I do so much. It takes my mind off my pain. It(the pain)’s still there. There will be times where I’m in the gym or somewhere and I won’t be able to do whatever it is anymore because the pain is particularly bad at that point.

“Sometimes you can give into your pain. You do have really bad days.

“But when you focus on being positive and doing everything you can to take your mind away from your pain, it does help.”

The singer’s 13 March show at the O2 Academy in Islington was her debut headline show and the culmination of all her hard work to date.

“That concert has been my favourite one to date by far. It was the first time both my parents and all my siblings have come to see me perform live so that was a big deal to me. The band was incredible and just the atmosphere of the crowd and the energy, it was so exciting. I had such an adrenaline rush on stage. It was a lot of fun.”

It was roughly 18 months earlier that Eve-Yasmine had returned from Dubai. Since her return her career has taken off with singles and videos like Habibi and Losing You.

“I think going to Dubai, I grew up in a lot of ways and I came back with a whole new appreciation for the UK and what we’ve got here, things like family. Also, I was in a much better headspace with the music direction I wanted to go in.”

After going to the Middle East to join Emirates as cabin crew, she soon realised this was going to stop her making her music and had to quit.

“When I went to Dubai, I thought ‘This is going to be a great way to save money and have more time for my music and travel the world and get inspired’. But as it turned out, the job was very full-on and just wasn’t working out with the plans I had and I was getting exhausted all the time. I quickly realised this wasn’t the right set-up and decided to come back.

“I shot a video straightaway and it’s been all systems go since then. I’ve made this vow to myself that every week no matter what I have to create one music thing whether that’s a music video, simply an a capella in my bedroom, writing a new song. Whatever it is, I have to make sure that I’m moving forward and I’m creating every single week. Having that constant mindset and goal-setting has helped me massively. I would recommend it to anyone who is trying to be more productive.”

With Spanish/ Moroccan roots on the other side of her family, the musician credits her grandfather Kevin, from the Irish side of her family, with inspiring her love of music.

“Sadly my grandfather has passed now. He was absolutely an amazing man. His sister, my Auntie Sheila, would give me little key rings when I was a kid with the Irish flag or something to do with Ireland to always remind me, ‘You have Irish roots’. And I love that. I would love to discover more about that side. I would love to perform in Ireland. That would be an absolute dream come true. I hope it’s something that happens sooner rather than later.”

Eve-Yasmine’s family came from Dublin and Derry and it was Kevin that her song Losing You was written about.
“I haven’t performed that one live. It is a beautiful song. The day after he died, I recorded it and it was kind of therapeutic for me.

“I’ve got so many fond memories of my grandpa. He really ignited a love of music in me. He loved classical music. Since I was a little kid, he would get out his baton and pretend to be conducting the orchestra. I would get one and copy him. He was an incredibly knowledgeable man. He loved books and reading. He was so wise and such an amazing person with a pure heart. Not only did he inspire me musically but he just always reminded me you should be a good person in life and always appreciate the smaller things which is being grateful for a roof over your head and family. He was a family man, really valued that.”

Glow Up by Eve-Yasmine is out now. The EP Femme Fatale is forthcoming.

For more information go to her website.

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