Not one to ever shy away from digging into dark topics, Australian-based musician and producer Yeo is earnest, remarkably introspective, and wilfully self-deprecating, offering a uniquely subversive take on the personal battles we all face. His first single of 2022, ‘NEVER MISS’ is no exception; the track explores Yeo’s growth as a person and a musician.
Following the release of this single, we had the opportunity to hear directly from Yeo about his creative process and his upcoming EP TIRED, NO MORE.
Tell us more about yourself! For people who may not have listened to your music before, how would you describe yourself and your sound?
I’m a producer and songwriter from Naarm in so-called Australia and I make warm, crunchy beats with bouncy basslines. I experiment with colourful chords and melodies and lean into an indie-R&B and pop sound. My lyricism tends to be dry, so don’t take me too seriously.
I’m also quite emotional, thus my records are sprinkled with unapologetic ballads and cheeky falsetto.
Of course, congratulations on your brand-new single! You have just released ‘NEVER MISS’ – tell us a bit more about this song. What was the inspiration behind it? What is one message that you would like for listeners to take away from this track?
Thanks! ‘NEVER MISS’ is the realisation of a pattern in my life where I try to please everyone end up unhappy. I’m always trying to do the right thing, doubly so after making errors. We’re surrounded by people who arbitrarily think they know what we deserve, and this song is about me coming face-to-face with that; finding the strength to take it all in my stride. From a production perspective, I wanted to deep-fry all the sounds I was playing with, hence why
everything is so aurally golden-brown.
Some people will never believe you’re trying to be a good person, so forget about them, pay your dues and move on.
‘NEVER MISS’ also marks the final in your cooking series, where each of your most recent releases were accompanied by a visual feature of some of your favourite Malaysian-inspired comfort dishes. For this song, you show the process of buying, preparing, and cooking a whole steamed fish! How important was it to you that this was explored through your music?
I learnt to cook out of necessity when I started living alone in my mid 20’s. I’ve always had a DIY attitude with music and that was naturally transferred to cooking. One day I decided that I’d like to make dishes at home that I’d only seen in restaurants, and that’s when the journey began. My listeners and followers responded positively when I began mixing content from music and food so I’ve been experimenting with that over the last few years. I must give credit to my manager Small FRY for putting the plan together to match singles up with different dishes. It works well because the varying flavours of my songs are quite eclectic.
You are due to release TIRED, NO MORE, later this year. Featuring previous releases like ‘U IN?’, ‘OBSESSION’, and ‘TIRED’, I am curious to understand what the creative process was like for this project: has your creative process evolved over time?
Things feel like they’ve come full circle. I began as a DIY-or-die solo artist, taking care of all the writing, performing, producing, and mixing myself. I then moved into releasing a few records that featured many guest collaborators and handed mixing duties to another engineer (and I dearly love their work). Having learnt so much as a songwriter, producer, and mixing engineer from all my peers, I wanted to take all that knowledge and put it into a record like I did when I first started. So that’s where I’m at with TIRED, NO MORE, and to me that’s exactly how it sounds–like a grown-up version of my earlier records.
The last two years have been challenging across the globe. As a producer and an artist, how have you dealt with restrictions when it comes to creating?
Honestly the biggest issue I’ve had is finding motivation, and I’m still struggling with it. In reference to the previous question, all my processes take longer than before because they’re so refined and the workload often looks so daunting that it paralyses me. It’s easier to procrastinate by playing sport and video games instead of doing the gritty hours of cleaning up vocal takes and editing my dodgy guitar parts. Part of me is okay with this reality. When inspiration waves hit, I try and ride it out for as long as I can.
If you had the chance to perform or collaborate with another artist, who would it be?
It’s still DEAN.
What are you currently listening to now?
‘I Remember’ by Deadmau5 & Kaskade.
What is success to you? What would you like to achieve going into the future?
I used to think success was being able to make a living in the music industry. Now I’m treading water in that pool, my definition of success needs redefining. Next, I’d like to strengthen my international networks so I can travel more, find new inspirations, and reach new audiences.
Listen to the ‘NEVER MISS’ on Spotify, below: