BIO

My name is Yasmi Pajyi Yang or aka “Yasmi” under my stage name. I’m a singer, song-writer, actress, model, entrepreneur and most importantly a survivor. I was born in a refugee camp in Thailand on Dec 16, 1991. I’m the oldest child of seven and I have five brothers and one sister. My family and I came to the United States in 2006 after many years of applying and waiting for our immigration visas to be approved along with thousands of other Hmong refugees. It was a dream come true for our family and the opportunity of a lifetime to build a new life. My siblings and I had the opportunity to attend school in the US with the hope that someday we will receive an education and be able to do something meaningful. As a young girl, my dream was to become a medical surgeon or a fashion designer because I wanted to save lives while making people look beautiful. School was extremely difficult for me because I started high school as a freshmen without knowing much English, however, I did my best with my limited skills and an abundant amount of love and support from all of my great teachers. I had my son, Yikeng, in 2008 during my sophomore year and afterward my life had definitely changed dramatically. Although, I did graduated high school and attended the California State University, Fresno, it was extremely difficult being a single mom and studying at the same time. Fortunately, I was blessed to have the love and support of my family. I struggled immensely in college because I was not ready for such a rigorous curriculum because of my limited English skills. After five grueling semesters of struggling with classes, I decided to take a break from school to regroup my heart and mind. I had always intended to go back and finish my studies, however, I never went back. I became lost for a period of time and had no sense of directions. I went through periods of depression and experienced some difficult self esteem issues. It was an extremely difficult part of my life that tested my perseverance and sanity. At one point, I applied for 8 different jobs but no one hired me. Although I went back to live with my parents in their tiny two bedroom apartment and was sleeping on the floor of the living room, I was unable to help with the rent and my family. Loneliness and hopelessness from the depression took me to writing down all my thoughts and feelings onto paper. After a couple years of writing down my thoughts, my writing skills improved and I started writing short stories and various ad hoc lyrics to all the Chinese songs that I had been listening. I started singing these made up lyrics and eventually had an urge to create an album. I had hoped that by creating an album perhaps I could earn some money to help my son. I worked very hard for 3 long years and had finally completed my first album. My first album received some success after releasing a track on Youtube. Thus, this was the beginning of my singing career and these few initial songs forever changed my life. There were countless trying times during this entire process, however, I have always tried to be positive and surround myself with great and supportive people. My vision for my singing career has blossomed and has given me a new and uplifting purpose of reintroducing the beautiful and poetic Hmong language to the younger Hmong generations of today. I sincerely hope that the younger generations do not abandon our beautiful language, as a result, I would like to do my part in keeping my lyrics deep and meaningful that it may attract other young aspiring singers to pick up the torch and go beyond my abilities.

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