Interview: Up and Coming Artist Jonah Yano

Jonah Yano is a Japanese-Canadian artist that has gained a lot of attention from well respected artists. Coming to Canada from Japan when he was very young, he has had a lot of different musical cultures around him growing up. His very soulful, raw music has such an authentic sound that makes for music that anyone of all ages and backgrounds can enjoy. Read more below about how he creates his music, what inspires him, and more about his upcoming release this week.

{C} Who are the most influential people in your life, musicians or not?

Jonah: My mom is pretty inspirational to me, as well as many people in my family like my grandfather, grandmother, and little brother. The artistic community in Toronto is very open and kind and they inspire me as well as their artwork. Stevie Ray Vaughan, Earl Sweatshirt, and the poet Susan Musgrave are all artistically inspirational to me too.

{C} Who is the artist you are the most proud to have worked with so far?

Jonah: I haven’t worked with too many artists so far, but I am proud to have worked with each and every one of them. Scott Zhang a.k.a. Monsune is another Asian-Canadian musician that I am probably the most proud to work with because we share similar cultural experiences coming from the same background and growing up in the same place.

{C} How important is it for you to make your music sound differently from traditional, mainstream sounds?

Jonah: I think that experimentation and making mistakes are what really allow me to progress as an artist. I want to be able to explore as many avenues of sound as I can during my musical career. I don’t want to ever try to fit into a sound that people are very familiar with, but I do like making chill and easy-to-listen to songs sometimes. I also enjoy making loud and uncomfortable music all under my name as well because it is all a part of who I am. Being versatile and experimenting in various genres is something I strive to do and am proud of. 

{C} Is there any theme or concept you were aiming for with the upcoming release?

Jonah: This album is supposed to be about my family and stories from different perspectives from our dynamic. The first song is about my mother and thanking her for all she does for me. The last song I made with my father when I went to Japan to see him after not seeing him for 15 years. All the songs in the middle are from my perspective or my family’s perspective. 

{C} Who can we expect to see on the release?

Jonah: The album includes Alex and Leland from BADBADNOTGOOD, Jack Green, Monsune, Kyle Chalmers, and Noah Williams. 

{C} Did you ever think you would be a part of a Migos song?

Jonah: Uh no, I did not. It is interesting to see how many people are in the music industry and how so many other people could have been on that song. They just so happened to use a sample I worked on with a producer who is close with Murda Beatz. It really makes me feel like anything is possible in this industry. It is pretty cool to have this come together in the end though.

{C} Who is your dream collaboration, dead or alive?

Jonah: This is really hard to decide but Okay Kaya would probably be my number one. She is a Norwegian-American artist who is one of the most talented, unique song-writers I have ever heard. It would be really cool to work with her one day.

{C} Can you try to put your style and sound into 3 words?

Jonah: It is hard to narrow it down but I would say experimental, accessible, and contemplative. I still feel like I have more potential to reach as I develop my musicianship more.

{C} Any plans yet for what is to come for you and your music after this album?

Jonah: I want to work on developing my style, experimenting with more sounds, and just get better as an artist. It is hard to look far forward with the state that the world is in right now. Personally, I want to focus more energy on causes that benefit people in my community who are less fortunate. 

Post Author: Adam Sumner

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