Yamir means so much to us at Fresh Independence. His story inspires as he brings a genuine perspective of humanity and good energy to his approach to life. His light shines bright in an industry that can be tough at the best of times, especially for an indie artist. Let yourself go, feel the latino passion, and soon you too will not be able to get enough of that Party Love.
Home is where your story begins, please tell us about yours.
I began in the streets of one of the poorest and most dangerous barrios of Managua, rapping and singing reggaeton. I was raised by my mother, grandmother, and aunts but my mother had to leave the country for many years to study medicine and help better our lives. There wasn’t a very bright future for other kids from my barrio, many of my childhood friends got mixed up with drugs and alcohol. And while I was not a saint back then, I was still able to distance myself from all of that and fight for something bigger in life.
Tell us a little about your musical history in Nicaragua.
Over 10 years ago I started rapping, mostly with friends. But little by little, I started writing my own songs and finding people who could record my demos. After a few years, I had the opportunity to form the urban pop group “Myla Vox” with other musicians in Managua – I added the urban-rap element to our sound. With patience and hard work, we became quite successful with our music, having 5 consecutive songs become radio hits and being able to play shows for thousands of fans. We even had the amazing opportunity to open for artists such as Pitbull and Wisin & Yandel. Myla Vox reached somewhat of a “celebrity status” in our own country and helped develop the idea of having “loyal fans”, something that was not seen before in Nicaragua.
(Above) “Kukra hill” is an indigenous community on the Atlantic Coast of Nicaragua where Spanish is not the first language, they speak Miskito– but when I went to Atlantic Coast with Myla Vox, these little girls knew me and my music! It was very special moment.
What is the song writing process like for you?
Songwriting for me is very liberating, it gives me a great sense of relief and allows me to find myself but at the same time let my imagination run and invent a totally new story. Generally, I start out recording a basic melody, usually with my cell phone (hahaha) and then once I can sit down and think things out, I work on the song structure and lyrics.
Shout out to your favourite bands or artists at the moment from both of your home countries.
Saludos a Carlos Mejia Godoy! He is a folkloric songwriter who, along with his family, has created a huge appreciation for Nicaragua’s folk music amongst our people. I also really dig Malos Habitos and Milly Majuc, they both have a great sound.
In your eyes, what are the major differences between the music scenes in Latin America vs. United States.
If there are 50 genres of music in Latinoamerica, there are 50,000 in the United States. The variety of music that exists here continues to astound me– I feel like it comes somewhat from the mixing of diverse cultures that all come together to make up the United States and that is one of the things that I love most about living here– the cultural diversity.
Your favourite lyrics to date and please tell us why.
Well this isn’t a personal lyric, but a song that is really speaking to me right now– “Glory” by John Legend and Common:
Hands to the Heavens, no man, no weapon
Formed against, yes glory is destined
Every day women and men become legends
Sins that go against our skin become blessings
The movement is a rhythm to us
Freedom is like religion to us
Justice is juxtaposition in us
Justice for all just ain’t specific enough
This song was written for the movie “Selma” which is very powerful, I would recommend everyone see it. The movie, along with these lyrics, not only tell the undeniable truth of what happened in this country during the Civil Rights Movement but its words also ring true to many of the issues we still need to work on today as a worldwide society.
Tell us about the transition from being a well known artist back home to beginning a new journey here.
There’s no denying that it has been hard at times, especially not knowing anyone at first here in the United States. My English is still not so great and that can cause barriers for me. However, it has been an amazing opportunity to start from zero and really enjoy myself and what I’m doing, and to create a sound that is truly mine.
My dream marquee would read…
There are so many artists I admire and I’d never thought about that question! I’d love to see something like..
haha but to be honest I’m still writing my story and haven’t gotten that far yet, I am working to make the most out of every day right now and just feel blessed to have come this far.
When you are not making music what do you like to do?
This is complicated because I’m almost always working on music in some way, even if I’m just talking about music (which means my poor wife has to hear the same stories over and over hahaha), but I do love futbol (soccer)– whether it be playing or watching it– I love being with my wife, my family; reading about world history; and keeping up to date on world news.
Tell us something about Yamir that your fans would be surprised to learn about.
I love mowing the lawn! Hahaha, I don’t know why, but it’s so fun for me.
The greatest book ever written is…
A People’s History of the World
My all time favourite movie is…
The 3 people that have had the greatest impact on my life are…
Mi abuelita (my grandmother), Mi mama (my mother), and my wife Chelsea
Yamir is hosting a dinner party for the release of his new EP!
What is on the menu?
Gallo Pinto (rice and beans), the #1 dish of Nicaragua, of course! With fried plantains and tamales.
Where is the party located?
I am not one to go out and party, so it’d be in my home– but that doesn’t mean we won’t have a good time!
Which 3 albums are on replay?
Barrio Fino by Daddy Yankee, Electronic Earth by Labrinth, and any album by Elvis Crespo!
What is your ensemble?
Probably how I dress every day, haha– joggers with a leather jacket and a beanie.
Name 4 people on the guest list living or dead that would make for memorable conversation.
Juanes, President Obama, Pitbull, and mi tio (my uncle) Frank who is ALWAYS one for great conversation!
What would you do to bring the energy back up if things got dull.
Bring out the rum and start a freestyle rap battle!
In 10 years I see myself…
as a family man, with my little latinito gringuitos, haha, and being economically stable to give my family a good life, not only my wife and children, but also my family back in Nicaragua.
When traveling what is the one thing you can not live without.
My headphones to listen to music.
The prettiest thing I have ever seen is…
my wife’s blue eyes.
True Love is…
understanding, trust, valuing one another, and passion.
A message to your fans back home and to all those waiting to meet you here.
Thank you so much for allowing me into your lives, for supporting me from day one, and for your enthusiasm and kindness that helps me to continue to believe in myself and my music.
What can we look forward to with Yamir in 2015?
Continuing to spread the ‘Party Love’ my first single; a media tour and concert tour around the United States and Canada and remembering to always enjoy life and be grateful every step of the way!Back to Blog