Melbourne based Yeo is a guy with talent bursting out of his ears, holding stellar skills as a singer, songwriter, producer and multi-instrumentalist (never rule out the keytar). We got the first taste of Yeo’s characteristic groovy and vibrant sound in 2006 through Trouble Being Yourself, and he has brought us a diverse collection of tracks and a whole lot of quirkiness since. The latest in the order of releases is Desire Path (Give it a Listen!), a showcase of Yeo’s multi-talents that includes collaborations with Asta, Fractures, Kira Puru, Take Your Time and Oliver White.
At the moment, Yeo’s embarked on a national tour to celebrate the release of Desire Path and will be hitting 11 locations across the country throughout September and October. We were lucky enough to catch him and a good handful of tips in the midst of all of it, this is Yeo’s Savvy Seven!
1) Who was your first musical inspiration? Why?
I couldn’t say for sure since it was so long ago, but I have vague memories of getting down to Harry Connick Jr’s album ‘She’ when I was very young. Whisper Your Name was played on Bay FM all the time and I’d hear it with mum while driving back and forth between Geelong and Leopold. It had so many amazing flavours and elements. There’s sweetness in the harmony, warmth in the horns, and stacks of attitude in the syncopation and that oily guitar solo.
2) What advice do you have for someone who is about to set off on their first tour?
Focus on communication. So many things fall through the cracks even at the most organised level. Eat healthy. Sleep. Plan everything in advance. Leaving things until the last-minute will cost you.
3) What has been one of your most defining moments in your career?
One time we were on tour driving our van through Sydney and it broke down. Our tour manager Corey fixed it overnight by buying a replacement part on eBay and convincing a mechanic to let him use their hoist. Genius. We’re always doing our best to overcome adverse conditions.
4) How has your music practice changed over time?
The biggest change would probably be how differently I treat space in music. I used to try to cram so much into my songs to show off my understanding of music. Now that I’ve matured a bit, it’s the opposite. I try to leave out as much as possible to let the original ideas breathe.
5) My top business tip for new artists is…
Do as much as possible by yourself first so you know what is involved in the different areas of music business. You’ll future-proof your career this way, meet a heap of cool people first-hand, and it’s also good for your work ethic.
6) My biggest career mistake has been…
Focusing only on the Australian market. It can get pretty homogeneous. I wish we’d pushed for Asia a long time ago. It’s not that far away!
7) In my opinion, the most important issue facing the music industry is…what do you think can change that?
In Australia, it’s a lack of diversity. We can change this by removing white males from positions of power and replacing them with any underrepresented group. Aussie’s love a good underdog story right? Get in there and shake it up then.
Get your tix from http://www.snackswithyeo.com/
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