Originating from Wichita, Kansas, musician Yasmin Nur and her bandmates, Carson Danks and Joshua-Joseph Mansolf, are preparing to hit Lincoln on March 15. The Mez is set to host a night of female empowerment through rock. Nur said she and her crew craft songs that glide across genre barriers and aim to make the listener feel energized, drawing inspiration through various 90s girl bands. The result is a genre-bending sound with loose boundaries Nur calls alternative rock, though her songs often combine sounds from a wide range of inspirations.
The Daily Nebraskan spoke with Nur to discuss her musical successes, femme inspiration and her rocky teen years that harbored a love for hardcore music.
The Daily Nebraskan: How would you describe your sound?
Yasmin Nur: Sometimes I feel like I have a hard time putting a genre on my sound. I have a broad term that I kinda came up with — alternative rock, I guess. I have huge influences from the 90s alternative music like Kathleen Hanna. That’s a huge one right there. So, alternative rock I would say.
DN: What are some of the songs you are most proud of?
Nur: Definitely the newer stuff that’s going to come out within the next few months or so. I have this one song called “I Wanna Throw Up” and I think it’s one of the best songs I’ve ever written. I really like it. I like the beginning and how it flows and I know that we all three have a lot of fun together, so we have a lot of fun playing. It gets us really hyped up.
DN: What musicians inspire you?
Nur: I think the band that started it all was there’s this band called Veruca Salt; they’re a 90s band from Chicago. I remember in high school I had heard them and had wanted to play music for a long time but I didn’t think I could play rock music. Then I saw them and I heard of them and I was like, ‘I need this. This is so awesome.’ I saw these girls in this band just being such badasses and that was the turning point. I put a lot of my inspiration to Veruca Salt. It really started it all for me I think.
DN: When did you enter the music scene?
Nur: When I was 13 or 14 I got a guitar for Christmas off of the internet. I used to play really cringy YouTube covers ... Some of them are still up there — they’re pretty bad. Then I took lessons for a few years. After that I started writing my own music and I met my bandmates ... it kind of just exploded from there.
DN: How long have you known you wanted to be a musician?
Nur: Pretty much my entire life. I’ve always loved music. My mom always played really good music for me on the way to school … so she exposed me to so much good music because she was up to date with the good music and stuff. I loved it. I couldn’t imagine it any other way.
DN: What sets you apart as an artist?
Nur: I try to write music that makes me feel happy, so I try not to focus on a specific genre or anything. I try to write music with whatever I feel sounds good. I take it to band practice with my bandmates and we just work on it together. I’m really lucky. I have the best bandmates in the world. They’re my best friends — I show them anything and they’re always willing to work on it.
DN: What’s your favorite thing about playing in Lincoln?
Nur: It’s the coolest DIY community ever. Everyone’s so supportive and sweet. Everyone’s so rowdy — you guys are crazy. You guys know how to throw a really good show. Everytime I leave Lincoln, my head is huge because I just feel like a rockstar — which could be a bad thing, but I feel completely good.
DN: What’s your goal?
Nur: Of course everyone wants to be successful and make it their life career, but I try to think more about being happy that I even get to play shows at all. If it’s for 100 people or two people, I just feel really lucky that I get to play my music for people that I haven’t met before, because that’s really awesome and not a lot of people can do that. I think it’s really cool.
I just want to show other girls that being badass can be super empowering. You don’t have to always have to wear makeup to feel pretty. Feeling like you can kick someone’s a**ss is a lot better than feeling pretty, I think. In high school I had a really hard time with depression and anxiety and seeing these bands being super cool and not giving a crap what anybody thought about them was so much cooler to me than being a Kim Kardashian Instagram celebrity, I think. I thought it was so cool they were empowering themselves with rock music, which is mostly a male-dominated genre.