Wayzata teen displays musical talent

Katie McClurg

Wayzata High School senior Nina Yasmineh, a new local talent with a promising future, released her first CD in October and performed her first solo concert in January.

Ready for stardom, Yasmineh has the complete package: the name, the look, and the voice. Similar to Colbie Callait or Missy Higgins, Yasmineh’s voice is smooth and soulful, but it has a unique vibe to it. Her first CD, “Real Good Thing,” was released on iTunes last October. It contains six songs that vary in rhythm and style; she picked a variety of her songs that showcased her talent. “I had to wait until I had enough material to be able to choose the songs I really liked, and so my goal is to make a full length CD in the future,” said Yasmineh.

Although she has been singing for most of her life, Yasmineh has only been writing songs for about the past five years. Her songs are mainly inspired by her life experiences and opinions. “I am not a Taylor Swift type artist who is going to directly say someone’s name in my songs,” said Yasmineh.
Music has always been a part of Yasmineh’s life; growing up with a mom in the music industry has opened a lot of possibilities for her. Her mom has been working at a recording studio and is friends with the producer so she had insider help with her album.

Yasmineh is going to open for her mom at some of her performances in the near future. “I don’t like that it’s like a mother-daughter thing [when I open for her,] but it is such a great opportunity to perform,” said Yasmineh.

After getting second place in the highly-selective Wayzata High School talent competition, Wayzata Idol, Yasmineh decided to do her own performance at Caribou Coffee in downtown Wayzata. “It was my first solo concert, and I was really nervous because I didn’t know if I could fill the two hours,” said Yasmineh.

After seeing her in the talent show or hearing about her through friends, numerous BSM students went to her concert at Caribou. “After seeing her in Wayzata Idol I thought she was absolutely amazing, so I went on iTunes and bought her CD. Then my other friend saw the information about the performance at Caribou so we had to go since we love all her songs,” said senior Greta Wiessner.

Even though she has proved the authenticity of her voice at her performances, Yasmineh stays strong about not entering American Idol. “I am often asked why I don’t try out for American Idol, but I am just not that type of singer,” says Yasmineh, “That show is more for performers and it is just too flashy for me.”

Junior Annabelle Javellana, Yasmineh’s self-proclaimed biggest fan, is a friend of the family, but remains amazed by Yasmineh’s talent. “It’s weird; I listen to the CD and forget that she is not a professional. People hear her songs in my car and they never believe that I know her and that she is just a senior,” said Javellana.

One of the artists who played back-up on her CD is in a popular jazz band in Mexico, and his brother owns a large radio station, and the CD has gotten great responses from listeners there. “It’s really cool that people in other countries like my music; I got asked to play in a music festival this coming fall in Mexico, and on the update from iTunes that I got, it said my CD has even been purchased in Japan,” said Yasmineh.

Yasmineh’s fame continues to grow steadily; not only does she have small gigs lined up at the Plymouth restaurant Potbelly and an opening act for the University of Madison’s a cappella group at Wayzata on March 7, she is also ecstatic that she will soon be featured on the TeenVogue music blog. “I sent my CD [to TeenVogue] a while ago, never expecting to hear back from them, but then a few weeks ago I got an e-mail saying that they loved the CD and wanted to put me in the blog,” said Yasmineh.

“After this I am actually just going and living my rock-star lifestyle, which right now consists of going home and doing homework,” Yasmineh joked. At the moment this up-and-coming musician is just trying to finish high school like the rest of her peers. She possibly may attend DePaul University or New York University this fall, but she really wants to focus on her music. “Right now I’m not signed with any record company, which will hopefully change once I graduate and can really pursue my music,” said Yasmineh.