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MBM Model Interview: Yanni Young

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Mothball Memoirs proudly collaborates with models around the world here in our NYC studio. This month, we’re sitting down with Yanni - a native New Yorker from Harlem whose artistry stays inspired through good music, good books, and lots of vintage. As a singer and songwriter, Yanni strives to create and inspired on the daily. Her love of vintage started at an early age, with a desire to uniquely express herself and her creativity leading the way. We caught up with this elusive artist over tea - read on to learn more about our first MBM Girl:

Why do you like vintage?

Because not everyone it's going to have the same thing as you. It allows me to express myself and my creativity. I love clothes, and I love being able to dress according to my mood and who I see myself as.

How do you see yourself?

I'm multifaceted; there are parts of myself that I share with people and parts that I don't even discuss because I don't know how. I move in between darkness and light, and I'm very much comfortable in both spaces. I'm figuring out who I am through my own lense and not through the lenses of others.

What are you currently daydreaming about?

I'm always day dreaming about making the kind of music that I want to hear. Singing, playing the guitar (which I have yet to learn), and falling in love with someone.

What makes your heart explode?

People helping others with a genuine heart, and people who spread love through their work, their actions, and their treatment of others. When you meet people whose intentions are pure and they mean well, it's refreshing.

What does your spiritual practice look like?

My spiritual practice at the moment just looks like me expressing my gratitude for my life everyday. I feel the most gratitude for just being able to wake up every morning and make it through the day. I also feel it when I feel so much love from within. That means it must be shared. I don't belong to any organized religion nor do I want to. I guess you could say my religion is life and love.

How do you get to a place of peace within yourself?

When I silence my mind. Naturally I've always felt very peaceful and calm, but when I notice that I'm thinking too much I turn my mind off and reconnect with my surroundings. Its interesting because when I do that I find that I can actually hear what's going on around me, and I find that I'm more aware and it’s comforting.

What makes you feel your best?

When I've finished something I've started.

What inspires you creatively?

Listening to music definitely inspires me. Right now I'm listening to a lot of Lauryn hill. She's one of my favorite artists. One of my favorite genres of music is trip hop. Tricky, who is an amazing artist is a part of that genre, is my life. I can't get enough of his first album Maxinequaye. I can create my own world listening to someone else's work and it makes me want to put out into the world what I see in my head and feel.

What is your favorite piece of jewelry?

My copper bracelet. It's simple and goes with everything, I wear it everyday.

Who were you in your past life?

My sister did a past life reading for me a year ago and it came up that I was an orphan and was abandoned a few times and that I probably died at a very young age which explains why I'm very self protective, and when I feel like I'm the only one that really cares about myself. It makes sense to me. I'm a super optimistic, empathic, and compassionate human being but I can also get really dark with myself sometimes, so something in my last like must've transpired for me to feel this way.

What is on your nightstand?

Books, books, and more books! And a couple of my journals. I just finished The Book of Understanding: Creating Your Own Path to Freedom and up until this point that was the most influential book I've read. I'm always recommending it to people now. That book just made me question my life what I think why I feel the way I do. It just makes me want to live my life with more awareness and honesty.

How do you practice self-love and/or self-care?

Taking care of my skin and hair with all anturak and organic products. Listening to my body and feeding it what it needs to perform its best. Reading always, having some alone time.

How do you nurture your relationship with yourself?

Always listen to myself. Try not to criticize myself or compare myself to others which is a hard thing to do. I try to remind myself that I am my own person and that all human being are their own individuals and that's what make us unique.

How do you get what you want?

Praying and figuring out ways to work towards it. I'm still trying to manifest the things that I want in my life and how to go about actively obtaining them. It's hard but I know I'll figure it out.

How do you create positive energy?

Ridding negative thoughts the minute they appear in my mind. It all starts from within. Making sure I'm connected with my center and interacting with people from that space. Also making sure that if my energy is low I try to not interact with people so I don't spread that energy.

Yanni’s undeniable energy was definitely felt here on set as she modeled some of our favorite vintage. As a singer and songwriter, the emotion in her aura was inescapable as we styled and collaborated. We loved capturing her unique spirit as our very first MBM Girl. Keep in touch with Yanni on instagram at @yayayoungin and with us at @mothballmemoirsAll Photos featured in this interview were shot by Wil Alexander, you can see his work here and follow him on Instagram at xanderwil.

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