Yanchan finds comfort at the intersection of two very different music genres
After your first listen, you might not realize how quickly the Yours Truly EP finishes. Perhaps that’s due to its fluidity, or the tone of the album as a whole.
And without knowing anything upfront, you might have inclinations to box Yanchan into a sub-category of R&B/hip hop that Toronto so proudly finds itself dominating.
However, after piecing together the puzzle of this former Laurier student’s discography, you soon realize the music is garnished with numerous ethnic elements.
“My whole EP has that late night vibe you can sit back and relax to. With this beat, I just really wanted listeners to get drawn to the emotions,” Yanchan said.
His beginnings in Scarborough, Ontario led him to aspire to a future in India as a professional drummer.
Yanchan has been playing the mridagam, a South Indian barrel drum, his whole life and it’s here where he realized that his cultural background and Western hip hop could intersect to carve out a whole new genre.
“When I got into Missy Elliot and Timbaland’s work, that was the first time I heard a producer sample Indian songs. He was able to mix it so well. It got me thinking.”
As foreign it may seem, hip hop and South Asian culture have continually found themselves in harmony – from artists with ethnic backgrounds as MIA, to Jay Z and Timbaland inspired by the drums and flutes that provide an extra, complex layer to their verses.
An interlude, 12:01 am, is perhaps the most notable song off the album for me. It’s a bit of a breather between the music and provides just the perfect mix of a sample of Tamil music to remind the listener of the artist’s approach.
It may only touch a niche market of listeners, but I can only imagine how it resonates off the walls for them – I can still appreciate it melodically, but the sense of nostalgia it creates for Tamil listeners, I can only imagine, truly makes it a standout track.
“I have a home studio in Scarborough. My whole album was recorded in my home studio. Everything was mixed by me and mastered by a friend,” Yanchan said.
For such a well-rounded collection of songs, it’s amazing to know how tight the production behind the music is.
As a first generation child growing up in the GTA to immigrant parents, Yanchan is one of many emerging artists channeling their experiences through art.
Striving to be a trailblazer for other Tamil artists, Yanchan hopes his dedication to making it in the music business will encourage others to pursue their artistic inclinations.
“With this EP, I was able to get it on Apple Music and Spotify and that really helped with exposure.”
If the progression of output of his music is any indication of his future, Yanchan is, for certain, going to leave larger marks in the arts for the South Asian communities within the GTA and shine a light on the unique sounds achievable when combining two seemingly opposite cultures.
Released in November of last year, Yours Truly can be found on Soundcloud, as well as the rest of his discography.