"My goal is for you to find your voice in my music."
Hey. My name is Yan.
I am a singer-songwriter living in Toronto, and I write alternative pop-rock music.
My music is my vehicle for self expression, and a way of sharing my personal life experiences in an intimate, artistic way. My goal is to make songs and tell stories that people can identify with.
A little bit about me
I have always been the "performance" kid growing up.
I've been playing the piano since the age of five, and writing songs since about the age of 16. Throughout elementary I went to music school where I learned piano and performance. I also sang in three different choirs. My love for music, singing, and performance intensified in high school, both in Drama class, and on stage when I was cast in my first ever lead role, as Skye in Guys and Dolls.
Theatre and music were pretty much the biggest passions in my life. Nevertheless, I decided to pursue
my (other) love in university, which is science. I double majored in biology and kinesiology, but my free time was still dedicated to the arts. In my second year I joined a youth theatre collective called JDY Theatre. Together we performed original plays and musicals throughout Toronto.
As I mentioned before, I have been writing songs since high school. But those were always for my own ears. I've rarely showed them to anyone. And that was bound to change.
In 2017 I wrote eleven songs for JDY Theatre's original musical The Old House. This was my first true taste of professional songwriting. Writing music and lyrics that would complement the script was a challenge I eagerly accepted.
Performing those same songs on stage with the rest of the cast was an experience I will never forget.
You can find the original cast soundtrack of The Old House here.
Two years later I composed the piano and violin theme for JDY's original play Train for Two, which we performed in Toronto and Philadelphia. This one was performed by live musicians each night...so no link to share, I'm afraid :)
Are There Any Rules?
These amazing songwriting experiences gave me the confidence to take some of those early songs I've written and share them with the world.
In April of 2019 I started working on my debut studio album with multidisciplinary Toronto producer and musician Dima Graziani.
The album, titled Are There Any Rules?, was officially released on August 1st, 2020.
You can listen to it on all streaming platforms here.
Are There Any Rules? is comprised of nine original songs, each one inspired by a different person or event in my life.
Each song explores a different theme, and is produced in a distinct musical style. For example the cinematic soft-rock 'Preparing for the Fall' deals with insecurity, the dark-pop 'project X' is about growing up gay in a heteronormative culture, and the intimate piano ballad 'Marathon' deals with depression.
When listened to chronologically from start to finish Are There Any Rules? is a journey from a state of naivety to one of clarity.
It is a story of emotional evolution, of hardship, and hope.
Making this album was my greatest artistic endeavor to date, and luckily I am able to share the creative process with you.I've built an Ultimate Album Experience, which is an audio-visual deep-dive into Are There Any Rules?.The Experience includes behind-the-scenes material, lyric explanations, as well as exclusive downloads that won't be available anywhere else.Discover the Ultimate Album Experience now by clicking here.
Are There Any Rules? is also available on CD and Vinyl. You can order your very own copies here. Your support is greatly appreciated!
DAYDREAM and more
My second project is an EP titled DAYDREAM.
It is comprised of Live Studio versions of two songs from Are There Any Rules? as well as a brand new, original piano piece titled La Rêverie. It was released on May 1st, 2021.
Stream DAYDREAM right here.
Since October of 2020 I've been doing weekly livestream performances on my Facebook page Yanmusic.
The show is called "Monday Live!" and it goes live every Monday at 4:30pm EST.
Tune in to hear me play my songs in their original acoustic piano arrangement, as well as a new cover each time!
Make sure to click "Follow" and "Like" to get notified whenever I go live.
In my spare time from music I work as a personal trainer. I love to exercise, read, watch movies, and spend as much time outdoors as the weather in Toronto allows.
I'm always happy to answer any questions and hear your feedback :)
I hope that you find your voice in my music.