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A Musical Life

A Musical Life: Yasmin Nur

Matthew Clagg

Yasmin Nur is a Wichita-based singer-songwriter who is currently working on new material for release in early 2019. Here, she discusses the origins of her particular brand of rock ‘n’ roll.

“I think a lot of that comes from not feeling like I could be anywhere. Feeling like I wanted this release of all this anger that I had. I started listening to Bikini Kill and I listened to riot grrrl bands and that made me realize I could do exactly what they were doing and have fun too. I read this quote by Kathleen Hanna, ‘Just start a band. Who cares if you can’t play any instruments? Who cares if you suck? Just start it and it’ll eventually grow.’ I think that quote has been the best piece of advice I’ve ever read in my life.

I started writing songs when I started playing acoustic guitar. I was 13 or 14. I was just teaching myself how to play. As I got older I really wanted to write rock music because I think women playing rock music is just so cool. I look up to so many women in rock music so I felt that starting to write my own songs acoustically would eventually lead to rock music.

But I didn’t believe in myself: ‘I don’t think I can. I can’t sing. I’m not that good at playing guitar.’ I just started it. I just dove in. I didn’t really think about it. I knew what I wanted to do and I was going to do it.”