How I Made It: Yasmine Summan on emo, podcasts, and their profession

Yasmine Summan, 23, is an award-winning podcaster, journalist, and content material creator within the various music trade (Picture: Corinne Cumming/Metro UK)

Welcome again to How I Made It,’s weekly profession journey sequence.

This week, we’re trying on the various music trade from the angle of 23-year-old Yasmine Summan, a West Bromwich-based journalist, social media supervisor, podcaster, and TikTookay creator. 

They’ve been concerned within the alternate music scene for quite a few years, beginning their journey as a YouTuber devoted to all issues emo music, earlier than pivoting to TikTookay, social media administration, and journalism.

After graduating from their journalism diploma at Coventry University, Yasmine labored as a contract journalist — sharing their various music experience and writing on their experiences as a non-binary individual of color in a white male-dominated music trade — for a spread of shops together with NME, Dazed, Loudwire, Metal Hammer, and Distorted Sound Magazine. They additionally labored as a presenter for Caliber TV, interviewing various music expertise for his or her YouTube viewers of over 100,000.

But most not too long ago, Yasmine has historical past, together with radio presenter Sophie Okay, for his or her groundbreaking podcast: On Wednesdays We Wear Black.  Aiming to create an area for underrepresented voices within the various music trade, the present not too long ago received the Heavy Music Award for ‘Best Podcast’.

While engaged on location at Download Festival, Yasmine to spoke to us about how they made it. 

Since their podcast with Sophie Okay exploded in reputation, Yasmine has DJed and filmed stay podcast episodes in LA and at various music festivals like Download Festival (Picture: Pearl Cook)

Hi Yasmine — congratulations in your podcast’s current award! Tell us extra about how the podcast began, and what you aimed to do with it.

Sophie is the genius thoughts behind all of it, I can’t even start to take credit score. She got here to me with this venture as a result of she’s all the time trying to champion extra BIPOC/LGBTQ+ minority genders in various music areas — it’s the factor I really like most about her.

The preliminary idea was born from our personal feeling of not being heard. The beauty of our podcast is our voices and experiences contact all kinds of individuals.

Sophie speaks as a Black girls who’s needed to combat to safe respect in her line of labor, and I communicate from the expertise of a South Asian non-binary individual and navigating that.

We are the youngsters nobody would sit with, we ate lunch within the toilet alone. We listened to the “scary” heavy music that folks thought was bizarre.

Can you sum up your day-to-day job in a single sentence?

Without being clichè, on daily basis is all the time one thing new. Being an impartial podcast with no additional assist or funding, we each do as a lot as humanly attainable. Social media administration, episode recording and manufacturing, networking and organising occasions, creating merch after which packaging and sending out that merch. We are a unit.

What would you say has been the largest private achievement for you to this point?

People may discover it foolish nevertheless it was such a milestone for me. After writing an exposé for Refinery29 about how emo and different various subcultures have very regressive concepts towards race and basic magnificence requirements, that turned a prime rating search outcome for the phrase ’emo’. When I used to be youthful I bear in mind looking out emo and all I’d see have been white faces.

All of those individuals who I desperately wished to be like and I’d — no, may – by no means obtain the ‘staple’ emo look as a result of from the pin straight Caucasian hair, small button nostril, and pale pores and skin look to emo, none of that was achievable for a 14-year-old pimples ridden Aouth Asian.

Emo is diversifying its beliefs of what ‘isn’t’ and ‘is’ the look of emo, and I’m so proud to have the ability to say that I helped, indirectly, shift these concepts.

What has been probably the most difficult a part of your function and why?

The most difficult half about my very own private job [a social media manager for a leading alternative music magazine] might be coping with backlash. Internet circles all the time appear to circle in on minorities for his or her errors in distinction to white cisgendered males.

I really feel like I may spell somebody’s identify mistaken and be cancelled ceaselessly, however males get away with homicide. I digress… it’s one thing I’ve learnt to shrug off.

If the tirade of chronically on-line trolls need to criticise each single factor I say or do, then allow them to. I do know my intentions are good and that I’m attempting to really make a distinction as an alternative of screaming on Twitter and doing nothing.

As you’ve talked about on Twitter, sexism is a giant downside within the music trade. How do you cope with it?

It’s difficult for me as a result of, although I’m femme presenting, I do establish as non-binary, so I’d by no means need to overstep and communicate on the behalf of girls in rock music.

I’ll say, working with a community of girls of color corresponding to my co-host Sophie, I’ve learnt so much concerning the complexities of sexism in rock music and the way race and sophistication, specifically, performs so much into it.

There have been nice strides for ladies in rock music; we see extra girls as editors, touring managers, pageant bookers/promoters. The subsequent step must be an equal enjoying discipline for all girls.

Women of color and ladies from decrease earnings backgrounds do wrestle to get their foot within the door. We must uplift everybody, all of us or none of us.

Do you assume your trade does sufficient to raise folks from marginalised backgrounds? If not, what ought to they do?

It’s definitely improved. I’m only a child to the trade. Sophie has spoken to nice lengths in our podcast about how she struggled to first get her begin as a result of limitations of sexism and racism. We now see extra folks from marginalised backgrounds on the phases and dealing behind them.

Conversation is the best way ahead. The extra we have now these uneasy chats, the extra we will be taught and perceive. That’s what’s so nice about our lil pod! I prefer to name us the emo, POC Queer Eye, it’s a protected and open area to ask questions and be taught.

‘Conversation is the way forward’ — On their podcast, Sophie and Yasmine candidly focus on points corresponding to racism within the various music trade and the way it has impacted their careers. (Picture: Corrine Cummings)

You’re additionally highly regarded on TikTookay — you’ve gotten almost 130,000 followers and over 7million cumulative likes. Tell us about that.

To be completely trustworthy, I simply don’t know when to close the hell up. TikTookay is nice to put up your silly little ideas in 15 seconds and watch them again and again and over.

It may be the imposter syndrome speaking however I’m clueless as to how orwhy folks comply with me. I’m only a foolish emo with a loud mouth.

What is it about your TikToks that you just assume resonates with folks?

Maybe it’s the truth that TikTookay is so accessible – you may see folks from all walks of life who get pleasure from the identical factor as you. I didn’t realise what number of emo South Asians there have been till somewhat group of us obtained collectively on TikTookay.

People resonate with me as a result of it’s good to see themselves represented in an area they’ve typically felt doesn’t communicate for them. And I simply make foolish little movies which can be enjoyable and dumb.

What do you consider the time period ‘social media influencer?’ Is that the way you’d describe your self? Why/why not?

I’m undecided the way to really feel about it if I’m completely trustworthy. We’re within the age the place an ‘influencer’ can truly be somebody that makes use of their platform for good. Activists and journalists who’ve constructed massive followings on-line and assist unfold awarness to social points are influencers. We’ve rid ourselves of the 2010 food regimen tea photoshopped influencer and I actually like that.

As for myself? God assist anybody who takes affect from my shenanigans! No, however I wouldn’t say I’m an influencer. I really feel like there’s extra work to be completed earlier than I can say I’m that.

How do you organise your time with these initiatives?

I’ve no clue! [laughs] I obtained into all of this as a result of I wrestle so much with despair and nervousness, having the ability to tackle a number of initiatives distracts me so I’m in a position to handle all this work figuring out it fills the void.

If there’s one piece of recommendation you may give your self 5 years in the past, what would it not be?

Five years in the past, I used to be 18. I want I may inform myself to get pleasure from life a bit extra. I used to be so centered on simply making it, simply getting my foot within the door and stressing about the place I’d be or who I’d be! Things labored out.

Where do you need to be 5 years from now?

I’m not fairly positive. I’d prefer to be blissful. Whatever I’m doing, so long as I’m blissful, I don’t thoughts.

What recommendation would you give to somebody who wished to comply with in your footsteps?

Whatever you do, do not forget that I am a dumbass and in case you do comply with me, achieve this with warning!

What do you like most about your job?

It’s very tacky, I do know. As our podcast has grown and we’ve began internet hosting occasions, like DJ’ing Emo Nite in LA or internet hosting a stay podcast episode and DJ’ing at Download Festival not too long ago, having the ability to see how our podcast has impacted folks has given me a brand new goal in life.

I bear in mind not seeing many different folks of color at rock or metallic exhibits rising up, having the ability to look out into our viewers and see a various vary of individuals from all age ranges, backgrounds, and so forth may be very heartwarming. I’m glad we will contact so many individuals in such a private means.

What do you dislike probably the most?

I’m normally a depressing sod and like to complain however there’s not something that involves thoughts. Of course, there’s the net trolls. But they don’t faze both of us, the overwhelming love simply utterly encapsulates the rest we do.

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