‘Daep’, from the Vietnamese word meaning “beautiful”, is the latest track from hip hop/dance artist and LGBTQ advocate, Yaysh. The low tempo dance track was originally created as a freestyle piece. I’ts beenproduced by Troy R8dio Johnson, and was released on December 27 last year.
“I sing, I rap and I know exactly what I want to do…inﬁltrate and show people a new option”.
When asked to describe herself, she said,
“Well..if Kanye West and Adele had a baby…I would be that baby..and Drake would be my cousin.”
Yaysh writes all her own music and stays true to herself. She also practices meditation, and is a student of Shambhala Buddhism, and her teacher Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche. Even her name, Yaysh, is connected to her studies, derived from the Tibetan term, “Yeshe”, meaning fully developed wisdom.
“I’m weird, I have a teacher and everything and belong to a lineage called Shambhala Buddhism and I also sing and rap mainstream shit. I am about waking up and helping this world, and being authentic. Much of the teachings I study are about regarding this world we live in as sacred and seeing society as a fabric of wakefulness. So yea, I’m weird cuz I make my music from this place, or perspective, and I’m a spiritual person who maybe doesn’t immediately appear that way because we often have a dualistic way of seeing people. But people don’t know that every one of my songs has meaning and intention. I’m deep bish, get to know me. And you really can’t judge a person. Surprise. Lol”
Speaking of her time growing up, with her friends in the hood, Yaysh says,
“I was accepted into this culture that I both had incredible empathy for as well as fear of because I had seen so much pain. But I learned how to relax and learn from community. I was taught how to roll blunts and drink forties and kick it. And how to enjoy being with friends in the midst of incredible poverty, fear and bravery. I was put on the spot to freestyle sometimes and that is where it all started.”
Eventually growing apart from that specific group of people, Yaysh went on to explore the world of music and freestyle on her lonesome as the music provided a way for her to express her angst and emotional depth as well as process her previous life of rebellion. “I found it hard to find community after I had broken apart from my old friends but there were certain behaviors I couldn’t tolerate, as well as choices people made that made my soul cringe, so I left. I was on my own for a long time until I found my meditation community and began to pursue music more seriously. Meditation and music was what kept me going. I had found a way to both care for my mind and express it freely. For me these two things combined (music and meditation) equaled freedom.”
After struggling in school, Yaysh dropped out of college a year before she was due to graduate. She failed to find meaning in her life as a student, and felt a stronger calling to her music, and set out to find a producer and worry about her degree later. Her gut instinct told her to go to LA, where she met with a few producers before finding her main producer, Troy “R8dio” Johnson, who’s worked with the likes of Solange, Chris Brown, and Why Don’t We. Yaysh says of Johnson:
“R8dio and I had a vibe. That is all I gotta say. That man is talented and he is also my friend. I am so thankful that we met. We are both spiritual people who live in this worldly world and we both make amazing music. Combined we are incredible.”