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JUST SAY YAS; EXCLUSIVE: Celeb fans tip Scots DJ Yasmin as the next big chart star.

Byline: MICKEY McMONAGLE

SHE IS the first big breakthrough star of 2011 and counts Pharrell Williams, Taio Cruz, Will.I.Am and Eve as friends.

But gorgeous DJ-turned-singer Yasmin reckons she owes it all to learning her trade in Scots clubs for next to no cash rather than living it up on London's glitzy party circuit.

The stunning 22-year-old, from Kilmacolm, Renfrewshire, made her name playing hip hop and R&B in Glasgow clubs such as Kushion and The Tunnel.

Now she is being launched as a pop star with spectacular debut single On My Own, a thrillingly effective tune combining the best of 90s pop and dance with her sensational voice.

Yasmin told Email: "I started DJ-ing in Glasgow when I was 17.

"There is not much opportunity up in Scotland but I would never be the person I am if I had not started there.

"Because of being there I was not fazed by the flashy London business - champagne, footballers and models.

"I just wasn't interested and just wanted to DJ. I honed my passion for music up there, it wasn't glam and there was hardly any money - I'd play six hours for pounds 50. You did it because you loved it but here a lot of people get into it because they want that lifestyle."

When she moved south, Yasmin quickly established herself and won celebrity fans such as Pharrell.

She has now played private parties and tour support shows for Pharrell, Taio, Will and Eve, among many others.

But she's set to notch up a huge hit in her own right when On My Own is released on January 31.

And she admits it was encouragement from the NERD and Neptunes man that gave her the confidence to launch a solo career.

She said: "I always wrote songs but there wasn't much of a scene for the music I was into - the hip hop and urban stuff. "Then I moved to London and ended up making a little bit of a name for myself and meeting people like Pharrell.

"I mentioned to a few of these guys that I write music, played some to them and they told me I had something.

"Of course seeing these people spurred me on.

"Being in London makes everything so much closer. I could see in front of me where I wanted to be. It really gives you drive and ambition as you can see the goal."

Yasmin has already starred on one big hit - she sang the chorus of Devlin's Runaway.

She said: "I know the producers Devlin was working with so dropped in to say hi and he was there. They played me a few verses he had recorded and I had an idea so I jumped in the booth and luckily they all liked it."

While Yasmin comes from an urban background, her own music can't be slotted neatly into that genre - or any other.

The first single sounds like 90s dance stars Way Out West, Hybrid and Massive Attack... and she's delighted with those comparisons.

She said: "I'm influenced by the 90s, from Massive Attack to Madonna to All Saints.

"It was a really cool time, with a lot of mood and vibe in the music. Recently a lot of music is very samey. It's nice to be able to go back to a mood and a groove."

CAPTION(S):

Fan club: Pharrell, Will.i.am and Eve Decks appeal: Yasmin made her name as a teenage DJ
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Sunday Mail (Glasgow, Scotland)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Jan 16, 2011
Words:582
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