Sri Lankaís finest hip hop artiste
Yashan is Sri Lankaís youngest professional hip hop artiste. At the age of 20, he has already made a name for himself in Sri Lankaís hyper-competitive music industry as a brilliant musician, producer and entertainer. To date, Yashan has featured on five number-one hit singles with well-known Sri Lankan artistes such as, Moonlight Queen (K. Sujeewa), Get It Crunked (Ashanthi), Divyangana (Waruna from Sirasa Superstar), Kumara Thalen (Uresha Ravihari) and Nethu Aga (Subani Harshani). He has performed in over 300 high-profile concerts within the last three years such as Neththara (Bathiya & Santhush), Sirasa Sundown Carnival, and the YFM Anniversary Concert, among others. Now, under the guidance of two of the most respected players in the game, Bathiya and Santhush, the release of his debut album has already become one of the most anticipated rap/hip hop events in Sri Lanka. For those who think that thereís no hip hop in Kandy and no real hip hop in Sri Lanka, think again! The game has just begun.
Q: Why did you change your name from Redrum?
A: I felt that the name Yashan was a more ethnic Sri Lankan name and reflected my cultural roots. The name Redrum had a strong Western influence. I find that many local hip hop acts have absorbed Western hip hop styles and names.
I want to change that trend. I want to create something that the outside world will recognise as being uniquely Sri Lankan hip hop. Yashan is a Sri Lankan name. Sri Lankan is what I am.
Q: What are your plans now?
A: My plan is to launch my first single along with my new identity. I hope to cater to a wider audience by expanding into other music genres aside from pure rap, such as R&B, pop, ethnic, southern hip hop, dirty south, crunk, and hip hop soul.
I must tell you that Iím not going to be a brain-teaser or a gangster rapper either. I just want to give people something they can relate to and something to chill with.
My music is from my heart and Iím giving it to the hearts of the people. Thatís what I call real music. Thatís what I call real hip hop. I donít let the money make me - I make the money. I donít let the music make me - I make the music!
Q: So, are you happy about the position you are in right now?
A: Yes. Iím so happy to be in the position that I am in today. I feel so blessed and special. Iím feeling a lot better about everything now.
Q: What is the difference between a Ďrapperí and Ďrap/hip hop artiste?í
A: A rapper is someone who does it just for fun and fame. A rap artiste is someone who does it for real. What I mean is that he is serious about his job and he lives with it. This is because that is his profession. So thatís what you could call me now: a Ďrap/hip hop artiste, because this is my profession.
Q: What else do you see in a professional rap/hip hop artiste?
A: Good skills, knowledge about the rap game and industry, pure accent, lyrics and flow. Anyway, rapping is not just writing lyrics and saying it out loud or wearing baggy pants and T-shirts. You have to live with it. You have to study about it before you actually do it. You also have to have your own style and build an image for you.
Q: What are the details about your album?
A: It is under the record label - Saregama Productions. There are new 12 tracks featuring many different artistes and styles. It was Bathiya & Santhush, Ken And Sachith who produced my album. The melodies are composed by Nawarathne Gamage, Bathiya, Randhir, Ken, Sri Shyamalangan, Ryan from Sha FM, Sachith and, of cause, myself. Some of the lyrics were written by Kelum Srimal, Nilar N. Cassim and Wasantha Dukgannarala.
Q: Who else features in your album?
A: I have my big boys Bathiya & Santhush, and Ashanthi, Randhir, Chinthy, Shihan Mihiranga featuring in my album. I feel so happy to be able to have all these big legends in my debut album. And I also would like to mention my friend Irangi for her backing vocals. I think I got all the people I needed to make the album become what it is.
Q: How is it like working with BnS?
A: I learned a lot from them. Working with them is really a gift from God. I donít think thereís any artiste in hip hop or any genre of music, who wouldnít want to work with them.
Q: Do you make your own music?
A: Yes. There is a big club banger in my album called Get Low (Remix) featuring Irangi. There the beat, melody, lyrics and everything else was done by me. I produce beats for others too.
Q: What is the flavour of your album?
A: It is 40 percent pure rap/southern hip hop/dirty south & crunk, 20 percent R&B/slow, 20 percent hip hop soul and 20 percent Sri Lankan pop/ethnic. Crunk is a new style. We used this style for the first time in Sri Lanka in the track Get it Crunked by Ashanthi and me in her Sandawathuren album.
So, my album is a blend of different styles. I would like to say, if you care anything about the future of hip hop and rap in Sri Lanka, then you must go and buy my album because Iím about to change the face of hip hop in Sri Lanka. Iím about to take it to the peak with a pure and brand new sound. Everything we hear on radio today sounds the same. Therefore, Iím about to change the game. Iím already getting Ďmad loveí from my fans. They feel me. And I feel that love now. A lot of singers get love because they are stars. Iím definitely not a star. I get that only because of my music style. Iím about to bring in a whole new taste to the Sri Lankan music market. My album is filled with different types of tracks. It is totally different. Everyone can listen to it.
Q: How do you make sure that you come up different in Sri Lanka?
A: Well, I always try to be different from others, in my accent, flow, lyrics and everything. I always try to stay ahead of everybody else. Even my beats and the way I dress for my stage performances are different. Iím unique and my sound is unique too. I always try to do something different and special for my fans. Iím just 20. And Iím the youngest rap artiste to have come this far in Sri Lanka.
Q: When is your album coming out?
A: Itíll be coming out soon; probably in this September. Iím sure of that! Thatís why I released the first single now. Iím working according to a plan.
Q: What is your album launch going to be like?
A: Iím planning to do a big concert for the album release featuring all the artistes featured in my album. This is going to be the biggest hip hop party this year for sure.
Q: What do you aim to achieve with this album?
A: To show diversity, show range and most of all to show that Iím beyond comparison.
Q: What is Sandawathuren Part II ?
A: Sandawathuren Part II is the first single of my upcoming album. Itís a club banging upbeat hip hop song featuring Ashanthi. The song was engineered and produced by Sri Lankaís pop-icons Bathiya & Santhush and is destined to be a chart topping single due to its catchy chorus and melody. The lyrics were written by Nilar N. Cassim and myself. I would like to extend a note of special thanks to Bathiya for the unique idea of doing a sequel to the song Sandawathuren - originally recorded by Ashanthi in 2006. Extra thanks to my little brother Ken for producing a mind-blowing groove for the song. I must also thank Ashanthi for her cracking shout-outs and Randhir for adding his classical hip hop essence to the track. I must also mention Sachith for supporting me throughout the recording and mastering process.
Yashan launched his website www.yashanonline.com
(Special Edition) along with his new single Sandawathuren Part II. His new single can be downloaded off this website along with the lyrics. The website is currently running a competition where visitors could win free tickets for his album launch party. Click onto www.yashanonline.com
to find out more about his upcoming concerts and singles! Yashan has received a record 5000 visits during the first five days of his web launch.
Contact Yashan @:
309/1, Nawala Road, Rajagiriya