Yaya - 1/2 Obsolète Collective
Can you tell us a little bit about yourself? Who are you?
I find it hard to give myself a title, so when people ask me for an « official title », I’m stuck. My real name is Yasmine Seck, I was born and raised in our beautiful city of Montreal. My dad is African, originally from Senegal and my mom is Canadian. I’ve always been involved with arts, but I tapped in a lot of fields from photography, art directing, djing, throwing events… all of that while studying. I never really liked sticking to only one thing.
How did Obsolète come about? What was the goal with this collective?
At first, Obsolète was an idea that we had with a group of friend. We had this very deep conversation about aesthetic and came up with the idea of an Obsolète aesthetic; which is a little bit like a DIY futuristic aesthetic lol. But seriously, we wanted to promote a more inclusive platform for female dj’s. Growing up here, I always felt like the underground music scene in Montreal was mostly masculine, white and stuck into specific genres like techno and house but didn’t allow any other identities or culture to emerge. Thankfully, things have changed in the past few years, but there is still work to do.
Our mandate with our collective was to push for sexual diversity, music diversity and the inclusion of females, the LGBTQ and POC's in the musical scene. As dj’s and performers, we want to give back the same opportunities we were once given to new performers and to create a better and safer space for them.
“Our mandate with our collective was to push for sexual diversity, music diversity and the inclusion of females, the LGBTQ and POC's in the musical scene"
What are your favorite spots in Montreal?
My favorite thing to do in MTL is probably to park hang; go out in the summertime, grab a bottle of wine and sit in the park with friends. I also like the fact that we have a very active community of artists that have the same goal as us, which is to throw dope events, like Moonshine, Slut Island and so many more.
My least favourite thing about Montreal is that it feels like everyone knows each other. Since I was born here, it feels very small, like I’ve seen everything.
Do you still have anything from your childhood?
Not much unfortunately, I moved a lot when I was younger so I didn’t keep a lot of stuff except for this little black angel figurine. I still have it over my bed, it’s my lucky charm.
How do you see women taking over in this industry?
I see women taking over the industry not only as dj and performers, but also as bookers, event planners, managers… My wish is to see more women directing cultural events and benefiting for them as well. There is more work to do that just booking a girl in your line up to look good and inclusive.
Your online presence is an interesting mix of inspirations as well as a window into your everyday. It’s seems to be carefully crafted, but not at the same time. Are you the same online and offline?
Yes, I really like to mix a lot of random things and try to make it look good. I wouldn’t say that it’s carefully crafted because I do it instinctively, but thanks if it looks that way! I don’t talk a lot about my personal life online because I prefer to express myself through imagery. That’s why I love Instagram more than any other social media; people only see a part of me there, a part that I chose to show. In real life, I think I’m much more simple,relaxed and laidback than what I appear to look like online.
Everything goes in cycles right; music, fashion, art. Why do you think there’s this sort of societal nostalgia?
To me, it’s always been that way because humans are naturally nostalgic. For example, millennials grew up on R&B and early 2000’s rap culture. I think that’s the reason why we kinda see this coming back in fashion nowadays.
I think everything is linked to a society and culture and the experience of each and everyone of us. The past always comes back, but in a different way for a new audience.
Where do you draw your inspirations from...do you have any specific things, places, people that will instantly trigger something?
Most of my inspirations are drawn from popular culture, things I grew up with, music, stuff I see online and also my friends. I also started following other people that I find super inspiring like @uglyworldwild, @sitabellan and many more. I’ve always had a thing for the misfit or the unconventional.
Do you belong in this era?In a way yes, because I love technology and social media and as a black woman I think I’m more free to be whatever I wanna be today than in any other era. But, I am a lover and sometime I feel like interpersonal relationships suffer a lot from the social media era. Nowadays, calling someone is the equivalent of showing up to someone’s front door in the 80’s. It’s harder to get close and get to know people on a deeper level because everything is about the image and the surface.
How did you find out you could DJ? Did you always know you wanted to learn? Were you self-taught?
I always listened to a lot of music and I always had an emotional connection with it. Each period of my life are related to some artists and songs that I still remember and listen to from time to time! I started DJing for our first N10.as show in early 2016. I bought myself a controller and taught myself how to do it.
Do you remember the first thing you bought with your own money?
It was Ja Rule's Pain is Love album, I couldn’t understand most of the lyrics, but maybe it was better that way.
“I think everything is linked to a society and culture and the experience of each and everyone of us”
Are women going to change the world?
I don’t know if they will let us, but I guess we will die trying lol!!
Do you believe that fashion can influence music, and vice-versa?
Yes of course! Artists usually are influencers and since fashion and music represent what we wanna look like as individuals and what we wanna dance and listen to there is no doubt that these two are related.
I never really liked sticking to only one thing
You and @rebogene are the ultimate girl boss duo, how did you guys meet?
We met through our other best friend Juliette and since we are both Libras we instantly bonded. We both wanted to do music and we shared that same purpose of pushing it a little further. There is still a lot more to come from the both of us!