YAZZMIN DEVOY thought 2020 would be her year.
A new decade had dawned and the 23-year-old wanted to take her singing career to the next level.
Plans emerged to collaborate with other musicians, work with producers and really get her music out there just as the coronavirus reared its ugly head.
Set back but undeterred, the Penketh resident went DIY – spending the year writing songs and buying recording equipment to pursue her music ambitions from home.
And now she has released a music video for her track, Butterflies, that was filmed in her grandparents’ garden.
Yazzmin worked with old school friend Josh Wood on the video but because of the Covid-19 restrictions, her grandparents, Nigel and Patricia McCarthy, had to stay at a distance.
“They were very excited for their garden to be in the music video, they were also great roadies and provided lots of cups of tea,” she said.
“At the time of filming we weren’t allowed in my grandparents’ house, just in the garden, and had to stay at least two metres away but they were definitely peeking out of the window the whole time watching all the goings on behind the scenes.
“I’m so pleased with how the song turned out – I wrote and produced it myself so I worked really hard on it and it’s amazing to see the final result of something you’ve put your whole heart into.
“As for the video, Josh is a really talented film student and amazingly helped me bring my vision to life at a social distance and in the confines of my grandparents back garden.”
Yazzmin and Josh had high production values in mind but the shoot presented its fair share of challenges.
She added: “We filmed the video over two days trying to get as much bright sunlight as we could in mid-autumn which obviously isn’t always easy in England.
“I had the idea of using my grandparents’ garden as they take such good care of it and it always looks so beautiful and I thought it would complement the song perfectly.
“We also took a few shots in the park and even at the side of the road if we saw a nice patch of grass.
“Josh has a way of making the side of the road look like a gorgeous meadow which is very handy when you’re so limited with your location!
“Something that you don’t get to see in the music video is my very dirty feet and legs after hours of frolicking through the grass bare foot – not as glamorous as it sounds.”
Now Yazzmin is hoping to get some interest from record companies and work on new music in the new year.
She said: “I had so much planned for this year for my music career which obviously had to be put on hold but it’s only made me more passionate and eager to continue doing what I love and sharing my music and lyrics.
“I’m definitely planning on sending my song off to record companies but ultimately my goal was just to get some music and visuals out there for people to enjoy in an especially difficult time.
“The song is about individuality, the feeling of freedom and finding acceptance in yourself and I’ve had hundreds of messages on Facebook and Instagram about how the song has moved them in some way which is all I could have asked for.”
Connecting with people through music has also helped Yazzmin who described the pandemic year as ‘an extremely difficult, anxiety-inducing time’.
She added: “I haven’t gigged since March and that is my sole source of income and the thing I love to do most.
“However I am surrounded by a really supportive family who managed to keep me sane throughout the pandemic and lockdown which I am so grateful for.
“And, on the bright side, it’s given me so much more time to work on my own music and I have really channelled all the difficulties of this year into my songwriting.”
Yazzmin sang at every school concert from the age of five to 16 and never wanted to do anything else.
She has been singing professionally since she was 19 and is a fan of many country music stars.
Yazzmin said: “I have been writing songs since I was 13.
“I’m a huge fan of Dolly Parton and listen to a lot of classic country music for inspiration as well as more modern artists such as Kacey Musgraves and John Mayer.
“Obviously, due to the pandemic, I’ve not been able to gig so I decided to put all of my time and energy into creating and releasing my own music this year.
“I’ve really enjoyed it and have learnt a lot about producing – mainly through trial and error.”
Butterflies is available to watch on YouTube and listen to on Spotify
(Article previously featured on Warrington Guardian website)