Van Wild is a southern blues-rock-pop musical project by half-Canadian, half-American singer-songwriter Yasmine Van Wilt. Her debut EP, “Van Wild,” is a mix of catchy love, social observation, and protest songs that are inspired by southern landscapes and folklore.
Van Wild’s single, “Cherry Tree,” is currently #26 on the MediaBase Indie Label charts and can now be heard on BDS and MediaBase stations across the US. Her “Cherry Tree” music video is playing on more than 150 TV stations internationally and is on in-house closed circuit TV in American Eagle, Steve Madden, Four Seasons Hotels, Caesar’s Palace, and Macy’s.
Her follow-up single, “Hey Old Man,” is already on radios internationally and will hit mainstream American radios in late Spring, 2015. In January, Van Wild was a selected as a semifinalist for the Belk Southern Artist Showcase and performed at Nashville’s storied venue, 12th & Porter.
Table of Contents
14:13 – If you had to describe yourself as a band, song, or genre, what would it be?
16:48 – How did you get started in the music business?
17:42 – Looking back at your career, what stands out to you as your proudest moment?
19:21 – What’s been one of your biggest failures, and what lessons did you learn from that moving forward?
26:03 – A few things artists should be doing today to grow their fan-base and move their careers forward
If you had to describe yourself as a band, song, or genre, what would it be?
Definitely blues. I see the blues as a juxtaposition between light and dark. It’s a genre that takes us–even looking historically at the medium and it’s trajectory–from it’s creation to the present. The myriad of amazing artists who have explored the blues genre have found in the work they have done that has inspired us so much, this juxtaposition between light and dark.
How did you get started in the music business?
I started playing music when I was really young, I guess when I was four. Which is pretty typical for people who are in this industry. And I’ve been writing songs since I was about 15, including composing with and without lyrics. The more that I studied writing, the more that I began to focus on music. I released my first professional song that had traction in 2011, and it broke in the UK in 2012.
Looking back at your career, what stands out to you as your proudest moment?
Well, brutal honesty, as the point of this experience is to be useful to your listeners. I’m extremely self-critical and I wouldn’t say that I feel proud about anything. I think the opportunity to receive EU funding to perform my work in numerous places in Europe has been exciting. It has allowed me to meet different people and really learn about how people receive from what I do and to help me shape my performances as a result of that.
What’s been one of your biggest failures, and what lessons did you learn from that moving forward?
I think my biggest failures have resulted from my lack of confidence. In the past, when I have said to myself, “Oh, I’m probably not right” or “I probably am not good enough yet.” When I convinced myself that I couldn’t do something, I actually short-changed myself. I should have had more belief.
I think the biggest failure an artist can have is not recognizing where he or she is. If you’ve put in the work, and put in a lot of work, and you’ve really dedicated yourself to being the best that you can be, at some point you have to commit to finding out where you can go and what you can do.
Three things artists should be doing today to grow their fan-base and move their careers forward:
The first and most important thing is to be extremely clear about the structure of your business. In my case, I view my production company from which I produce my music as a startup. I think you need to have the attitude of “fail fast, or succeed.” A lot of people think, “Oh well, I shouldn’t have to invest a lot of money in my music,” or “I shouldn’t have to invest a lot of time and effort into the business side of things.” That notion is an absolute fallacy.
The second thing is that a lot of people say that you don’t need to train as an artist or a performer, but I genuinely feel that you never fail from training, from putting in the time, the research, and the effort. It’s not about being good at what you do, it’s about being the only person that does what you do.
The final thing is being really realistic. A lot of people that I have seen become really frustrated at different points in their music career, need to ask themselves if they are being realistic about their chances for success. Am I being realistic about how many years I can be a performer? Its hard to be a performer. It’s an extremely competitive, cut-throat industry. And in order to survive, you need to be realistic about what is possible.
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