• Interview

"I realised that there are so many more ways to manipulate fabrics, you can cut them, tear them, paint them... the options are endless."

An interview with Yhu Kira — Designer, painter, singer

13 June 2022

Yhu Kira or Yuran Obam, is a Brussels fashion designer, painter and singer. He recently created his first styling collection 'By the Power of Ra'. It is a unisex collection of vintage pieces entirely recycled with used canvas and paint. From June 24, you can discover Yhu Kira's creations in an installation in our showcase. 

MAD had a talk with Yhu Kira.

Can you introduce yourself?

"My name is Yuran Obam, my stage name is Yhu Kira. I am a singer, painter, stylist and designer. I was born in Gabon, and moved to France when I was 18 years old. I then started business school. Although I have always loved painting, I studied business because my parents expected me to. When I was little, I didn't have the chance to paint much; my father wanted me to be an engineer. Although I did not feel I could be my true self during my studies, I had my mind set on it and I finished the studies. Looking back now, I am glad I did. The studies taught me many things that were very useful when I started my own business. I now really know what I am doing in business and I know where to go without depending on other people."

 

You recently released your first EP. What is it about?

"I moved to Belgium for an internship for school, but I was fired after two months. This made me realise that this is not what I wanted to do for the rest of my life. I realised that I could be more and do more. I loved writing, making art and fashion, I needed creativity."

"Initially, I wanted to focus on my painting, but thanks to a friend who is a musician herself, I started writing lyrics and creating melodies. In the end, I wrote so many songs in a short time that I decided to make an EP. I released this EP called PetitPrince two months ago. The songs are about how I felt during college, feeling like I was living in someone else's skin, unable to be myself fully. This is in contrast to who I am now. I have found who I want to be and what I want to do with my life, I can finally be myself completely."

 

Earlier this year, you launched your first styling collection. How did you start it?

"The birth of my styling collection lies in my paintings. One day I decided to cut up my paintings. These torn pieces of painted fabric made me see my paintings very differently, the painted canvases suddenly seemed ideal for making clothes. After this I looked at clothes and fabrics in a very different way. I realised that there are so many more ways to manipulate fabrics, you can cut them, tear them, sew them, dye them, embroider them, paint them... the options are endless."

"For my collection, called By the Power of Râ, I only used clothes that I already owned and had collected during my many travels. Together with the torn canvases from my paintings, I turned my clothes into new creations. In total, I created 14 looks, 5 of which I will exhibit in MAD Brussels. The collection is a tribute to my grandmother, who passed away the day I created the first piece of the collection, Mister White."

 

The collection is called "By the Power of Ra", why this title?

"I have always had a strong connection with Egypt. I am very interested in Egyptian mythology, and I think this is reflected in the style of my collection. Râ is the name of the god of the sun, he is the biggest and most important god in Egyptian history."

"I learned a lot about myself while making this collection. In a way, it was a spiritual journey that I went through. I feel that there is a power of God with me somewhere, hence the title "By the Power of Râ"."

 

Where do you see the future going? 

"I am currently working on a second collection. I will also continue to make music. I hope I will expand my business further. My dream is that my looks will be used for music videos, films, magazines, concerts, shoots... The collections will never be for sale, I consider them more as works of art than mere clothes."