Ymani Shaka - Awesome Totally Awesome

Spotlight on @Ymani Barbee

Ymani Barbee has been a huge part of ATA since day one.  Aside from being one of our featured bad ass and beautiful models throughout the site, pretty much all of the article headline images in ATA were brilliantly created by Ymani, in spite of ATA’s sometimes indecipherable vision.

Aside from modelling and graphic arts, Ymani is also a self-produced, singer/song writer with a soulful, haunting voice backed by kick back but bugged out tracks.  Check out her tracks on Soundcloud, here.  soundcloud.com/yman1

We caught up with Ymani to talk to her about her music and modelling career.

ATA: How long have you been doing your music for?

Ymani: I actually just started in 2017.

ATA: How many tracks have you produced?

Ymani: Three so far: Daydream, Dazed, and Space and Time, all self-produced.

ATA: What is Daydream about?

Ymani:  It’s about not getting lost in your own thoughts and in your own head, but rather having awareness of what is surrounding you and enjoying it.

ATA How long did it take to write?

Ymani: A little over an hour for lyrics; however, the track took a few days.

ATA: What did you use?

Ymani: Garage Band

ATA: Do you have any future plans for your music?

Ymani: Not really.  At this point, it is just therapeutic, but I would like to do more.

Check out our Supreme photoshoot with Ymani here.

ATA: How long have you been modelling for?

Ymani: Since January 2015.

ATA:  What has been your favorite shoot so far.

Ymani:  I love working with this photographer Akeem @studyofakeems.  When we collaborate, those pictures that we create are some of my favorites.  The shots that we do are really dope.  I also did some modelling with @Heyparkerday for Bust Magazine.  The last one I did I was dressed up as Samuel Jackson in Pulp Fiction, holding a burger.

ATA: Do you mean a Big Kahuna Burger?

Ymani: (No response).

ATA: What are your musical influences?

Ymani: My Chemical Romance, Maxo Kream, Radiohead, Bjork, Kelela, and TLC.

ATA: Why do you love these artists?

Ymani:  I love these artists all for different reasons: My Chemical Romance I’ve loved since I was in middle school going through my emo phase. They’re just really good at what they do. From catchy melodies and lyrics; Maxo Kream is dope ‘cause he’s so honest and open about everything he’s rapping about. His flow is dope as fuck too.

Radiohead is probably one of the greatest bands ever in my opinion. Everything they do is amazing and refreshing. Bjork is one of a kind-a lovely soul who has inspired me in many ways, mainly to be myself and not give a fuck. Kelela is also very honest and open through her lyrics, her latest album is a breath of fresh air for sure.

TLC forever, I loved them since I was young. They inspire me to be a bad bitch and to be myself. RIP Lefteye <3.

ATA:  How about new artists?  Who inspires you?

Ymani: I can’t think of any new artists that I’ve listened to at the moment. New albums.  It’s not super new, but Luv Is Rage 2 by Lil Uzi Vert is dope and something I listened to a lot when it dropped. It got me up n ready to start the day.

ATA: What’s your favorite album of all time?

Ymani: That’s a very hard question but if I had to pick it would be, In Rainbows by Radiohead. That album is so beautiful. Every single song. I Can listen to it any time front to back.

ATA:  How about modeling Influences?  Who is your favorite?

Ymani: Naomi Campbell foreverrrr. She brings every photo she’s in to life. She definitely inspired me to want to give the whole modeling thing a shot.

ATA: What is your goal for 2018?

Ymani: Stop overthinking and just do it.

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Like it or not, Supreme will always be the litmus for streetwear.  For old streetwear heads like me, there continues to be a love / hate relationship with Supreme.  About a year ago, I was driving home from work and one of the neighbor kids (usually dressed head to toe in Pac Sun or even worse, Dallas Cowboys gear), cruised by me, riding a Razor scooter, with a mohawk helmet, wearing a Supreme box logo hoodie.  I lost concentration and almost drove my car into the kids playing basketball in the driveway a few houses up.

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