Up-and-coming Pop artist, YAQI, shares her new music video for “Imma Do Me,” which reflects her core beliefs by portraying a character who is fearless, dangerous, and unapologetically herself. Despite concerns about the use of guns in the visuals, she defends her choices and asserts that it’s about character development rather than promoting violence.
The collaboration between YAQI and her creative team was crucial in bringing her vision to life, with discussions about locations, aesthetics, and costumes. In our interview, the artist reveals that she integrates her songwriting, acting, and fashion skills to create a cohesive identity. She also plans to continue excelling in each of these areas and has upcoming projects, including new music videos that aim to be visually captivating and emotionally immersive experiences for her listeners.
“Imma Do Me” highlights the importance of self-acceptance, reflecting your core beliefs. Can you share examples of these values and how they were portrayed in the new video?
Self-acceptance means disregarding the opinions and criticisms of others and staying true to myself, regardless of what others say. It’s about not allowing judgment, or criticism to affect me. Reaching this level of self-acceptance is a lifelong journey that requires constant learning and growth. It’s about distinguishing between genuine advice from like minded individuals and discerning it from mere judgment.
From the very beginning, the director and I discussed our vision for the music video. As someone with a background in acting, I always approach it by crafting a compelling character. For the character YAQI, I envisioned her as fearless, dangerous, feisty, and sexy. We brainstormed how to incorporate different elements to make her stand out. Personally, I have an affinity for guns and sports cars, so I suggested incorporating guns into the video.
But the Russian director had concerns about the potential negative interpretations of violence or war. Still, I firmly believe that using a gun in the video was about developing the character and not promoting violence. After releasing the music video, I received a call from a friend who criticized my gun use, claiming it propagated violence in the world. In this particular situation, self-acceptance prompts me to ask myself honestly if I harbor any malicious motives. If the answer is no, then there is no need for me to justify myself to others.
Similar to the character YAQI in the music video, she displays actions of physically confronting her unfaithful boyfriend, shooting him in a strip club, and even setting his car on fire. Whether these events are based on reality or exist solely within her imagination is inconsequential. What truly matters is how we respond to the individuals we interact with in our everyday lives, address the challenges that surround us, and try hard to finish our daily work and get closer day by day to our dream.
The visuals in “Imma Do Me” elicit strong emotions and captivate viewers through a compelling narrative. Could you share insights into the process of translating the song’s message into visual storytelling?
When undertaking this project, one of my primary objectives was to gather a formidable team. I recognized the significance of collaborating with skilled individuals who could enhance my creative vision and effectively captivate the audience. I would like to express my heartfelt gratitude to my exceptional team again. The director and cinematographer brought forth their immense creativity and captured breathtaking footage, while the producers ensured the seamless coordination of our collective efforts.
Every member contributed their incredible talents, and I couldn’t have asked for more. Their dedication and brilliance surpassed my expectations. Once our core team was in place, we engaged in multiple brainstorming sessions. Drawing from my acting and filmmaking background, I aimed to incorporate cinematic elements into the creative process of shaping this music video. As a result, we developed a captivating storyline. Additionally, we developed a character that perfectly aligned with the persona and image of my singer image YAQI.
Could you elaborate on the collaborative process between you and your creative team in bringing your vision to life? Specifically, how did you contribute to establishing the aesthetic of the music video, including aspects such as locations and costumes?
Certainly! The collaborative process between myself and my creative team is a vital aspect of bringing my vision to life in the music video. We exchanged ideas and brainstormed to ensure that the final product aligned with our artistic goals. Regarding locations, the main team and I scout various settings that align with the narrative and evoke the desired atmosphere.
The director and I were determined to create an extraordinary and one-of-a-kind experience, taking advantage of the incredible dancers at our disposal, so we made the decision to have the dancers, including me, showcase our talents by dancing on top of a car. Just two days before we began shooting, the team persisted in finding a gas station that better suited our vision, urging the producer to explore more fitting options.
While discussing the entire storyboard, I had several vivid images in my mind, regarding the costumes I envisioned for YAQI’s presentation to the audience. Through further research and exploration, I contributed insights into the desired aesthetics, styles, and colors that would align with the narrative and elevate the portrayal of the characters. It is a collaborative effort where the expertise and perspectives of each team member contribute to shaping the overall aesthetic of the music video. Together, we work tirelessly to ensure that every visual element aligns with the intended concept and creates a cohesive and visually captivating experience for the audience.
How do you ensure that your songs embody your beliefs in equality, love, and respect, while appreciating the individual worth of each person? Do you consistently write songs based on these principles, or do you draw inspiration from various sources and incorporate these values as you develop your music?
Regrettably, I don’t perceive true equality in the world, that’s why we need to fight for it. I strongly believe in the importance of love and respect. In my personal interactions, I don’t treat everyone equally; I prioritize my love and affection for my family and friends, even if it means occasionally expressing myself in a more direct or harsh manner. I approach strangers with greater politeness and extend them a higher level of respect.
When it comes to creating music, I set aside my real-life persona and bring forth the character of YAQI, much like the other roles I craft for films and TV shows. During this process, my sole focus is on conveying the emotions and experiences of the character YAQI. But the decision to release the songs or not, as well as whether the envisioned musical direction aligns with the character we want to portray for YAQI, undergoes a separate evaluation.
How does it feel to see your career gaining momentum and capturing the attention of the audiences worldwide, especially with your latest release?
Experiencing my career gaining momentum and capturing the attention of audiences worldwide, particularly with my latest release, is an incredibly exhilarating and gratifying feeling. It’s a validation of the hard work, dedication, and passion I’ve invested in my craft. The collective efforts of myself, the creative team, and the entire crew have made this well-deserved attention possible.
While I’m not surprised by the response, it does feel satisfying to witness the numbers grow and to celebrate with an unforgettable release party. However, this feeling quickly transitions into a sense of readiness to embark on the next creative endeavor. Simultaneously, a subtle sense of emptiness arises, prompting me to contemplate what lies ahead.
Apart from songwriting, you also pursue acting and fashion. How do you integrate all three forms of art, and what are your plans to further excel in each of these areas?
I view these three art forms as interconnected expressions of my artistic vision. When I write songs, I often draw inspiration from my experiences as an actor and utilize fashion to enhance my artistic identity visually. To further excel in each of these areas, I have devised a multifaceted plan. I aim to continuously hone my craft in songwriting, collaborating with talented producers, songwriters and other musicians.
In the realm of acting, I am committed to expanding my range and versatility. I seek opportunities to work with esteemed directors and fellow actors, pushing the boundaries of my abilities and delving into challenging roles that allow me to showcase my talent.
Regarding fashion, I aspire to refine my personal style and delve into collaborations with esteemed designers and brands, and creating my own fashion brand is also on my list. My goal is to synergistically integrate these art forms, continually refining my skills, exploring new possibilities, and striving for excellence in each domain. I aim to leave a lasting impact in music, acting, and fashion through dedication, hard work, and a relentless pursuit of artistic growth.
Are you currently busy with any projects? Can fans anticipate the release of new singles, albums, or additional music videos in the near future?
Absolutely! I’ve been actively discussing the upcoming music video with my filmmaker friends. The crucial task at hand is selecting the perfect song from my existing repertoire that harmonizes flawlessly with the visuals we have already captured. The combined result will undoubtedly be a complete feast for the eyes, an immersive experience that delights the viewers visually, emotionally, and artistically. We are determined to create a visual masterpiece that leaves a lasting impact and immerses the audience in a truly captivating journey.
Watch the official music video for “Imma Do Me” below:
Listen to “Imma Do Me” on Spotify: