A chat with YIORGOS about influences, his new video, and the creative process
YIORGOS (yôr-gō) is an up and coming recording artist from Greece but he’s also a Boston native. He just recently released his debut single ‘What We Do’ via Village Records and also shared a video to go alongside it. The single is an addictive pop that merges soulful r&b song, you will have on repeat for a while. You should definitely keep a look out for his upcoming EP that will be in the coming months. We got to chat with him about his influences, the recording process, the future, and the music video.
Which artists/bands have influenced you, or what inspires your music the most?
My style and influence has stemmed from so many different places, so it’s hard to pinpoint very specific people. Initially, when I started writing and performing, a lot of my songs resembled the singer-songwriter vibes of many YouTube artists I followed in middle school and early high school. But, my sound was always more R&B soul, taking aspects from artists like Stevie Wonder. Throughout high school, I became more influenced by Frank Ocean, Usher, Miguel, D’Angelo, and even John Legend. In the end, though, I was inspired more so by singers and friends around me who all had something different and unique to offer to music. Many of the singers I’ve performed with in college have influenced and inspired my voice. The music was more from artists but my singing style comes largely from the past 3 years and all the people I’ve sang within school. Whether it be slight tonal switches for the bridge of a song or certain runs in my higher register, I’ve taken to heart many small pointers and things that my peers have displayed and incorporated them into my singing to create what I feel is a really cool unique sound. Jamming with people of all different voice types, styles and genres have inspired me to find my own unique sound.
What was the recording process like for ‘What We Do’, how long did it take, and how did the idea come about?
What We Do took a while because we really had to play with what vibe we wanted to create. The chorus had been written almost a year before but to different chords. When Elie (my co-writer and producer) and I were listening to a beat he made, we realized that our very old idea for a song actually fit really well into the beat. From there we wrote verses to narrate the story that we felt the song and its energy really called for. This process created a throwback hip-hop R&B inspired track that played with the late 90s and early 2000s music vibe that I had grown up being a huge fan of. After a few days of narrowing down lyrics and stylistic choices, we came up with our perfect version of the song. We even revisited the song many months later and added some things to make it even better. I’m a firm believer in not fixing something if it isn’t broken, however, it is always productive to revisit work and see if it still evokes the same emotional response as it did the day you wrote it, months later.
How would you describe your sound?
My sound for What We Do is more pop, which differs from most of my other work that will be dropping soon, which favors a more r&b kind of vibe. My sound right now is a blend of these two styles, pop and r&b/soul. I try and play with catchy easy-to-digest lines but always have something more complex going on behind them. The majority of my work is more vibey, less pop and in your face, however, What We Do accomplishes both styles with its big beat but more chill chorus vocals. I want my music to make people feel something specific, whether it be a deeper connection to the lyrics and music or in this case with What We Do, just make people dance or bump to it with friends. You can quickly tell the vibes of each one of my songs when you hear them.
How has your sound evolved since you first started writing your own music/when did you start?
My sound evolved simply because of the tools I have at my disposal now. I used to write songs on guitar, ukulele or piano and they would end there. Now with production, there’s a whole myriad of options to select in order to make my sound as unique as possible. It evolved from singer-songwriter acoustic to more experimental r&b. We look at how we can take instruments and distort them and play with them to create unique sounds as often as possible. We also value the voice as an instrument, so beatboxing, vocal sampling, and layered effects are something we always sneak into my music to create a really unique looking session of tracks. Some of my songs have way too many tracks since ideas pop into my head randomly, however, we’ve been getting much more efficient and direct with our creative process. Something too foreign and strange can be dangerous so we always try and balance “cool and new” with “familiar and relatable”. I wrote my first song in 4th grade on a piano but really started recording memos on my phone in high school. It wasn’t until college where I began to put ideas into production.
Are you planning on releasing more music this year?
I have an EP releasing in a few months!
What are your goals and where would you like to see this project go?
My goals as a musician are to see my music reach as many people as possible. I want the people who listen to relate and share with friends and family because they want to. This type of process has to start small and it did, however, the song is gaining traction and I do believe when enough people hear it the possibilities can be very exciting. I really would love to see my song on playlists and social media platforms so everyone has a chance to listen to the song. In terms of final destination, I can’t quite say what will happen but I would love to see the song reach thousands of people or more!
The music video for ‘What We Do’ just came out last week – can you tell us a little about the process and the idea behind the video?
The process was super fun but also tiring. I had never done anything quite like it before so it was definitely an interesting experience. I loved every minute of shooting with Luke (the director) and his crew and really vibed with his vision. The idea behind the story of the video was this duality between light and dark and what happens in the dark, sort of this hidden romance between the two parties. I’ll leave the rest up to interpretation because there are multiple character-storylines the video can take but I value letting the viewers find what makes sense to them. The aesthetic was meant to be a very 90s throwback. The clothing, grain effects, snappy camera switching, dancing, etc, all tried to play into the vibe of the area that the song was paying homage to.
Who are your favorite new artists/bands?
Lately, I’ve been listening to a lot of Daniel Caesar, SZA, Brockhampton, Mac Ayres, and Sabrina Claudio. All of these artists are super creative and have really been pushing me to release more music.