We had the good fortune of connecting with Yasmin von Banke and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Yasmin, what’s the most important lesson your business/career has taught you?
In college, I took part in a Jazz Masterclass. One of the guest speakers gave the group the best advice I’ve ever received “Life is about opportunities, it’s your job to be prepared for when they happen”. The longer I’ve been in this business, the more these words seem to resinate. To be in any business you have to be adaptable. For better or worse, things Rarely happen the way (and when) you expect; but if you’re prepared and able to handle change without crawling into the fetal position crying with a neon sign above your head reading ‘Busy’, you end up finding the best opportunities are the ones you didn’t plan for. Be ready for when they present themselves. Learn your craft, budget more than you expect to spend, gather a panel of mentors that know more than you’d ever hope to know, network more than you think you need to, and don’t be so stubborn and set on your plans that you don’t notice an opportunity as it passes you by. The last thing you want is to wake up one day and realize the only thing that was standing in your way was yourself. The confidence and knowledge that you are as ready as you can be for an opportunity is the best thing you can do for yourself and your business.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I was lucky enough to grow up in a household where my parents really tried instilling the idea to “think ‘further outside the box’ than just outside”. I started out at the optimistic age of 8, wanting nothing more than to be a singer. So throughout my years of high education I made sure to educate myself on all the things that go into being a musician: theory, business, recording, live mixing, working with bands, arranging, etc. I wanted to know how to ring out monitors, what to look for in contracts, what mics work best with my voice, how to record in a way that people would listen and I would highly recommend to everyone, no matter the business, to learn as much as they can about what they want to pursue. It broadens your creative chops, it builds your confidence, it creates your own voice. Musically; I take inspiration from all the music I’ve come to love; people like Danny Elfman, The Cure, Edith Piaf, Rickie Lee Jones, Animals as Leaders, Plini, The Fray. Every genre has it’s strength and charm and there’s so much out there, sticking to only ‘one way’ is the worst thing you can do in my humble opinion. In terms of challenges: in the last two years, I’ve been working on completing my debut album ‘Awake’ and it was an experience and a challenge to say the least! Awake is supposed to be a ‘coming of age’ album about finding yourself and I certainly feel like I did that during this process. With the constant changes of musicians, engineers, studios, etc, I ended up not only writing and doing the vocals for the album, but also recorded the guitars as well as did a good chunk of the mixing for it. I do think that’s why I’m extra proud of this album; because it doesn’t just prove that I have a voice, but that I’m willing to stand up for it. Being a musician and working for myself has taught me more about myself and the world than I could’ve expected. One thing seems to come through again and again though and that is: Things are always possible if you care enough to commit to it.
My album ‘Awake’ will be coming out on the 12th on December.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
My favorite place since I was a kid has been Coronado Island. You feel like you fell through a weird time machine and you’re back in the 50’s. With their big band gigs at the park, their upkeep of the Coronado Hotel, the white and red striped beach tents along the ocean. It’s so quaint, quirky and stylish without it even trying; like Zooey Deschanel. Other than that; Ballast Point Brewery in Miramar would be my go-to bar. If you’re like me and aren’t a fan of IPAs (don’t revoke my San Diegan-ship!), try the Victory at Sea and yes, you can thank me later) and a California Burrito at Roberto’s just outside Encinitas are the places I’ll brag about to my friends whether they live in LA or Ireland.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
My parents are the most hardworking people I know. They spend every day working and striving towards their crafts (composing and directing/writing for films). They taught me about perseverance and dedication. They are the biggest support system anyone could ask for. Another shoutout would be to fellow composer David Hamilton. He worked tirelessly with me on creating my debut album ‘Awake’ as guitarist, orchestrator, artwork artist and ‘Pick yourself up off the ground and keep working’ cheerleader. And lastly: MiraCosta College in Oceanside. MiraCosta is where I received the bulk of my education and I’ll forever be eternally grateful for whoever graced that school with the Music Department it has. Even the universities I attended didn’t live up to the support and just general possibilities that MiraCosta gave me.
David Hamilton Sylvia Kurth Stefany Trianoski