"Hi, I’m Yianna. I’m a singer, songwriter, and producer from NYC. I think my friends would say I’m one of the goofiest people you’ll ever meet, but I can be serious too. I’m very passionate about making music. Other than music, I really love my friends and family, dancing alone in my room, and pizza."
How did you get into music?
My love for music started as a kid – mostly as a listener. I was obsessed with all kinds of music at a young age. Eventually, I started singing in the school choir, making cringe YouTube videos, the whole thing. It wasn’t until I was in my last year of high school that I started to pursue music more seriously. I had a brief stint in college, but I figured out pretty early on of being there that music was my calling.
I heard you know how to play a bit of guitar, piano, and drums. Which one are you most proficient at, and which do you like playing the most?
I do! I’m not great, but guitar is definitely my go to. That’s how most of my songwriting ideas come out. I play guitar the most, which is probably why that’s the one I'm best at.
What is the story behind your debut album, Class of 1995, and why did you choose that title?
Class of 1995 came about when I wrote the song “1-800-Superhorny” with my friend Joe. That song was the catalyst for the whole project. It initially started as a joke, but the more we got into it, the more I wanted to go in that direction. We’d spend a lot of time in the studio talking about my personal experiences, my feelings of being inadequate or rejected or this or that. For some reason a lot of the insecurities I had as a teenager started to come out in me, and I just wanted to dive deep into that. Making music was just a means for me to release those thoughts and emotions. I wanted to make a project that my 16-year-old self would resonate with. I made the project with a bunch of friends in Brooklyn, and it was a lot of fun.
Talk to me about the meaning or inspiration behind your newest single “Wait For You!”
So, “Wait For You” is actually a song I wrote a long time ago. It was originally titled “Heartbeat,” and I remember playing the chords and writing the verses on my piano at home. It was really hard for me to open up to anyone at that time, and so instead of telling someone, “hey, I like you,” I’d just write songs. I brought the idea to two producers – it was our first session all together, and we wrote the hook. Funnily enough, when one of the co-writers said “no matter what I will wait for you” I didn’t like it. But eventually, the idea grew on me, and it became one of my favorite songs I've ever written. Everything I wrote about manifested into real life. Which is a whole other story of heartbreak lol.
What would you be doing right now if you weren't making music?
I genuinely have no idea, but I’d probably be very unfulfilled. I think I would have finished college and gotten a job in an uncreative field. I’m glad I went for what I'm passionate about. It’s definitely a more difficult journey, but I feel happiest when I’m making music.
Which unexpected music genre would you be interested in experimenting with, and why?
Country. I’ll be honest, I don’t listen to much country music, but I think some great songs happen to be in that genre. I think of the song “Girl Crush” by Little Big Town, which is such a beautifully written song. It really tells a story from start to finish. “Tennessee Whisky” by Chris Stapleton is another one. But those are just a few out of many. There’s something to be said about just telling a story with a guitar (not to say all country songs have guitar, but just pick an instrument).
What are your plans and goals for 2021?
I really hope to be consistently releasing new music and reaching new people through the music. I have so much I've been working on, and now it’s mostly being fine-tuned.
Which of your songs is your favorite or most special to you?
That’s a great question. I wouldn’t say I have a favorite, but I think out of the released songs, “When I’m Loving You” might be the most special to me. I shot a full music video to that song, and that was a really special experience for me. Plus, I just really love that song even after all of this time.
Who are your biggest musical inspirations?
I have so many, it’s hard to pinpoint. I love female singers. Nina Simone, Etta James, Aretha, Amy Winehouse – there are so many, haha!
What advice would you give yourself two years?
Slow down and take focus. There is no time limit to how/when things in your life will happen. People may come and go, and that’s okay, so remember to love yourself first. Speak up so that your needs are clear, and you feel heard. If someone treats you poorly, it is not a reflection on your self-worth, but rather a reflection on their inability to be kind. Explore your options in every area of your life. Don’t be afraid to post more videos of you singing online. Play the guitar more.
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