We all know that the music business is a tough one. Staying in the business for a long period of time is even tougher. Learning as much as you can early will help an artist avoid the pitfalls that come up. Our friend Yaya Diamond has been doing it for quite a while and had a great role model to learn from.
We caught up with the talented singer to see what is happening now. Enjoy the interview:
First off, what is the story of the name Yaya Diamond?
When I began singing I used my given name Kim Thomas, but back in those days Little Kim was very popular so I sought a different name. I then began using the name Nichele, but I didn’t think it would be memorable. After a while being in many bands I decided to use the direct translation of my given name, Kimberly, in Hebrew which is Yahaloma. Many of my fans could not pronounce it so they began calling me Yaya Diamond, which in english Yahaloma means Diamond as well as Kimberly. It has been a long and wonderful journey to become what my fans have named me and not by my own doing. I love the name and I thank my fans for giving me this loving title.
How would you describe your sound?
My sound has been spun from a family lineage of musical greats. I don’t think my sound is unique, or any different from the great voices that grace the airwaves of today or yesterday. I believe my voice carries their memory, tone, grace, and love for the music I decide to perform. My sound comes from hours of studying great voices like Evelyn Thomas my mother, Whitney Houston, Luther Vandross, Mariah Carey, and many more.
Which artists have had the biggest influence on your career?
My mother Evelyn Thomas is my hero! She went for her dreams at a very young age. She was a young single mother who kept going for her dreams and succeeded. Watching her perform at stadiums full of people, clubs at 2am, traveling all over the world, and yet still being the best mom was amazing. She taught me that even though you may have a successful career being humble and knowing you are no better than any other person who loves what they do is key to having a happy and successful life.
She showed me what a true mother should look like in the midst of being a star. She is the best mom, biggest influence, and most amazing superstar celebrity I could have ever asked for.
What was it like growing up in a family of music legends?
At first I had no idea my mom was a legend. I just knew she sang and people loved her. As I got older I knew my life was different from my schoolmates. I was teased a lot, told I thought I was better than everyone else, that I would never match my mom, never be anything in my life, but that was not and could never be furthest from the truth.
I grew up understanding that life can be quite different for everyone no matter what family you are born in. Some make it big and become famous, some become great business people, mothers, fathers, employees, and employers, and that is an amazing thing. To be whom you want to be in life is better than becoming whom others expect you to be.
I learned the most important thing from my family and that is to be me. I have experienced and have been witness to the journey of my family, but that was their lives and I have my life to live. I was taught not to ride the coattails of my family, but to learn how to sew my own and that is what I am doing.
Yaya Diamond covers ‘Come Together’
Tell us about your nomination to the Florida Music Hall of Fame.
Wow! This came out of nowhere really. I received a message on Facebook that I had been nominated for the Florida music hall of fame and I told them no way they must have the wrong person, hahaha, but a few moments later they sent me the link and said check it out for yourself. I could not believe it, my name was there among so many other amazing bands and solo artists like The Commodores, Tim McGraw, Ray Charles, Betty Wright and so many more. I was stunned and still am, but I feel as if I have already won really. To think someone thought of me to place me on such a prestigious list is something I never thought about really, I couldn’t be more grateful.
What other exploits do you have going on aside from your music?
Thank you for asking. I have a podcast, Yaya Diamonds Dream Chasers Radio, in which I have begun to turn into a radio and TV show. I have interviewed Tommy Chung, Anthony Hamilton, Tito Jackson, Leela James, and many other recording artists, authors, entrepreneurs, and the list goes on. I also do reviews and shout-outs which I also equally love. I love giving others a platform to show off their hard work and progress. I celebrate with them!
I have a few journals and books I have written and composed as well and am looking forward to doing more of this in the near future as well.
Share some advice for other artists trying to make a difference?
It is so hard to not listen to the ones who call you crazy, say you will never be anything, but I know now why they say these things. It is not you but themselves they see. It is a reflection of what they know is true of themselves.
I remember reading about the psychology of the opinion of others and it is known that one can only reflect on their own life experiences. If you ask someone’s opinion of how something looks on you, a shirt, for instance, they must first see themselves in the shirt, and then they will give you the answer, but the answer is not based on how you actually look but how they perceive themselves to look in the shirt, only you can decide how you look.
If you want to do something in life and know of yourself, you are good at it, then go for it and ask no one, but learn your way through. You can do it, you are enough, and learn as you go, you totally got this.
What does 2022 hold for Yaya Diamond?
2022 is already being planned. I am working on new music, collaborations, red carpet interviews, media, radio, tv, etc. I am expanding my horizons and living my life to its fullest. I don’t want to live a life of regret. I am living life as if I have everything I need to succeed.
I am going to smile more and cherish life. 2022 will be the year I live up to the quote “What if you had everything you needed to be successful, what would you do?”
I am so excited about life and I hope I am an example to others. Thank you for this amazing interview IndieBandGuru. You guys ROCK! Love you all.
Love you too Yaya Diamond.
Keep up with the excitement of what is coming up on her WEBSITE.