Yasmin Evans talks the talk. Driven by her passion for music, she began her presenting career 5 years ago and now has her own show on BBC Radio 1xtra, working with some incredible artists and building a strong following thanks to her fun, upbeat personality.
We caught up with Evans to gain insight into her upbringing, her career, and more. Get to know Yasmin in the interview below, and catch Evans everyday on BBC Radio 1xtra from 1-4pm (GMT).
Tell us a little bit about growing up in Manchester.
I enjoyed growing up in Manchester. I went to school, college and university there, which wasn't my plan as I'd hoped to have moved away from home for the whole "uni experience." Manchester is where my family is, and my family is my heart, so home is where the heart is for me. Growing up in Manchester was pleasant, my mom raised me by herself and it was just the two of us for a very long time. I have some of the greatest memories from my childhood, and it's always a great feeling when I go back home!
We know you love to experiment in the kitchen. Do you have any favorite, go-to recipes?
I LOVE being in the kitchen. As a kid, I would always be in the doorway of the kitchen watching my mom cook, asking her what she was putting into the pan. Other times, I'd be sticking my finger in my Granny's Dutch pot in her kitchen! I recently did an open kitchen to raise money for charity. On the menu, there was red snapper, brown stew chicken, ackee and salt fish, fried festivals, plantain, jerk chicken and homemade coleslaw. I live by myself and whenever I cook, I make myself a three-course meal - the full works! Pasta and seafood dishes are my thing, and I also bake a wicked Banana Bread.
What’s your comfort food or guilty pleasure?
My comfort food is crisps - any flavor with some sort of dip on the side. I'm also a sucker for cereal at night. I call it Nereal.
You’ve been presenting since you were 15. What made you choose this career path so early on?
First and foremost, music is my passion, so I guess it stemmed from that. This might sound so corny but I think music chose me before I even got the chance to choose it. I really wanted to get into film production but when I applied for university I was advised to choose a TV and radio course because I had volunteered at a community radio station for a few years. I just wanted to do well in my course and through that, I gained this confidence that helped me progress a little further in my radio career. It wasn't until I was contacted by a producer at the BBC, which then lead to me doing some pilots, that I realized, "I'm actually good at this." Next thing I know, I was being offered my own radio show broadcasting on an incredibly prestigious network, alongside some of the best presenters and DJs we've ever seen!
“Strength comes from knowing what you're afraid of and pushing through to learn from it."
Tell us about some of the highlights of your career so far…
Considering it was only five or six years ago when I was working in a sunbed shop, I'd say that there has been quite a few highlights. One of the biggest was going to Uganda with Comic Relief to help refurbish a health center for a small village called Iyolwa. Other highlights include interviewing Oprah (QUEEN!) and hosting the 1Xtra Breakfast show for four years.
What advice can you give to girls who wish to go into media/entertainment?
I'd say it's quite important to know what you're passionate about. There are always opportunities for you to try many different things, but it's great when you can talk passionately about the specifics and know that you're doing something for the right reasons. Also, beyond anything, be kind, be nice, be polite. In any career and situation, manners go a long way.
When you’re not working, what are you up to?
Mostly googling "the best restaurants in London" and excessively cleaning my house. I also paint quite a lot - I have endless canvases at home that will probably never make it to the wall, but it's something I really enjoy doing.
Talk us through a day in a life of working alongside some amazing artists at BBC 1Xtra…
Not one day is the same there! One day, I arrived and bumped into Harry Styles in the green room. The next day, I was playing the piano with Kurupt FM. I literally feel like I work inside Pandoras Box! Mostly I just arrive an hour before my show, and then whilst doing my show, I'm entertained by whoever walks past my studio (It's normally Greg James who will perform some weird dance for me).
What’s next for Yasmin Evans?
Onwards and upwards behind radio microphone, but also more on your TV screen. I have a few things I've got my fingers crossed for, and I'd also like to see what else I can do... possibly act?
What are your top 3 hidden gems in London?
1. Southbank Food Market is one of my ultimate places. I love being by the Thames if it's sunny, sipping prosecco, and eating my way around the food stalls.
2. B.Y.O.C 'Bring Your Own Cocktails' - Bring a bottle and let the amazing mixologists make you the best cocktails EVER!
3. Boom Burger - A place in Notting Hill that serves up burgers with a Jamaican twist. It's such a wicked hangout, and the rum punch and plantain fries are flippin' amazing!
What does MISSBISH mean to you?
I think a woman of strength, but who also isn't scared of being vulnerable. Strength comes from knowing what you're afraid of and pushing through to learn from it.
Who is your MISSBISH?
My mom! If it's not my mom, I am forever inspired by the BISHES I have around me. I have a few female friends that are truly BOSSIN' it in their own way. Shout out to Rach, Tinea, Whitney & Little Miss Winney!
Photographer: Nas Abraham