UP CLOSE & PERSONAL: YOMA

YOMA, also known as Scarlet in Hip hop circles became active as an artist in 2008.
YOMA has always been creative and adventurous; she started writing her own lyrics and stories at age 9 because she felt compelled to create her own melody to life and sing it too! Since her childhood YOMA was known as a keen freestyler but it was upon completing High School that she started taking Hip hop seriously. This is when she started to really find her rhythm with song writing and composition, riding melodies and actual music production and recording.

YOMA is focussed on spreading a positive message via music, she feels that she is here to inspire and to uplift others. Her music is a pure expression of diversity, clever lyricism and wit that is packaged in state of the art South African Hip hop. YOMA spreads consciousness and love but her music also packs the necessary punch and grit that the Hip hop culture is known for!

YOMA is lady who packs punch, loads of talent and staying power in an industry that is male dominated. She thus fills a vacant gap in the South African Afrikaans Hip hop market.
Although this short profile is written in English (for universal appeal) YOMA wants everyone to know the following: YOMA IS AFRIKAANS! This phrase holds true as she is the only female artist that is currently pushing boundaries and making big strides in the Afrikaans Hip hop industry. Because of this fact she is considered by many as the “first lady of Afrikaans Hip hop”.

1.       When did you first start singing?

 To be honest. Since I can remember. I loved music from a young age. Started singing my own music after wondering well why do I have to sing other peoples songs when I can write my own. So I did.

 2.       Was becoming a musician something you always wanted to do?

 Definitely, I dont think I’ll be able to survive without music. It’s always buzzing in my heart and mind. It’s who I am.

 3.       Where do you get your inspiration from?

 People, listening to music, chilling with musicians, listening to beats, the need to edutain and uplift aswell as sharing what rests within my heart.

 4.       What was the biggest gig you have ever done?

 The biggest gig Nationally was definitely the Ghoemas. Internationally it was opening for Jack Parow at Melkweg in Amsterdam.

 5.       Have you travelled outside Cape Town or even the country for your music yet?

 I’m from George originally, moved to Cape Town about two years ago to pursue music. Currently in Johannesburg for the same reason. Last year I was in Netherlands with the A.K.A festival doing theatre productions with Hemelbesem, Die Afrikaansvatter. Poetry set with Hemelbesem and Sjaan, live colaborations with The Cape Malay Choir and Tribal Echo at the Compagnie Teater, hardcore hip-hop set at Melkweg and took part in the hip-hop cypher in Den Haag at the Haags Hip-Hop centre.

 6.       Apart from music, any other talents you have?

 If connecting with people is seen as a talent then that defnitely counts as one. People are usually inclined to open up to me and share deep stories of their life. Which in return, I either give advice, or simply become part of the journey.

 7.       What is something that people would find surprising about you?

 Different scenarios brings out different aspects of ones personality. So where some people observed me to be quiet they might get a shock if I’m hyped up and talkative, etc. Basically, seeing different sides to me after concluding that they have summed me up. Truth is. It takes time to get to know people. I experienced this regularly with the wide contrast to being an internationally qualified Somatologist and Hip-hop artist.

 8.       What advice would you give someone that is just starting out in music?

 Identify why it is you’re doing music. There is purpose in everything. Though if it is not identified you will never know what it is you are working towards and end up wasting precious time. So whether it is to pass time, become an icon or simply inspire. Stay original and bring to the table that which sets you apart from what’s out there.

 Some fun filled questions:

 1.       If music were an alcohol beverage, which would you be?

Whiskey. An acquired taste.

2.       Vinyl or CDs?

CD’s are cool but nothing beats the sound of a vinyl record.

3.       If you could do, a collaboration with any other musician dead or alive, local or international, who would it be?

The Parlotones

4.       The Bahamas or Czech Republic?

Bahamas no doubt!! I love nature. I go on mini imaginary vacations sometimes and always seem to envision myself on an island eating tropical fruit.

    Whats next for YOMA?

YOMA is Afrikaans. So looking at inspiring even more upcoming artist especially females to do their thing in their mother tongue. Also to help promote Afrikaans. As I’ve found that people shy away from pursuing music in Afrikaans based on the fact that their dialect differs from what they think is expected. That I do along with ATKV Crescendo, to help inspire as a mentor. Looking at releasing my E.P this year followed by my album, hopefully television work, my own theatre production whether it be this year or the next. There’s a whole lot of performances lined up, as well as theatre productions