Malaysian-Australian artist Yeo talks musical influences, individuality and his optimistic take on getting back to enjoying life with loved ones ‘TIRED’

Photo credit: Vivan Vo

Melbourne-based Malaysian-Australian Yeo is known for genre-bending and continually exploring the dimensions of contemporary R&B, pop and electronic music. Yeo has been praised as a multi-instrumentalist, in the studio and on stage, alternating between keys, bass and keytar.

What inspired you to begin a career in music?

A vague collection of milestones spanning my childhood and young adult life pushed me in the general direction, but then at nineteen years of age, one of my original songs got played on national radio and since then I’ve never looked back. It gave me an unexpected burst of validation.

What differs you and your sound from other upcoming artists in the music industry?

Attention to voice leading in my chord progressions. Old-school musicianship. Deliberate production faux pas. Shameless cheese in moderation. For me, it’s about the song, not the drop.

We are loving your latest release ‘TIRED’. Please describe the creative process and inspiration behind the single?

I wrote it half on electric guitar and half on organ. I went into my writing session wanting to capture a positive message, yet the instrumentation sounded so sad. I decided to keep it that way as the juxtaposition felt powerful and allegorically accurate. TIRED was written in the midst of a heavy Melbourne COVID-19 lockdown and during injury rehabilitation. Instead of dread, it contains optimistic self-promises of getting back to enjoying life with loved ones.

Everyone experiences good days and bad days, as an artist. When you have a bad day, what motivates you to keep moving and look ahead to the future?

I think after doing it for so long, I’ve realised that bad days are unavoidable, so I tend to draw on my deep well of stubbornness and continue putting one foot in front of the other. Sometimes I promise myself silly rewards like junk food or sleep.

In your own opinion, what is the most meaningful song you wrote? What makes you say that one?

I never pick favourites, but if I had to choose, I’d say TIRED is the most meaningful song I’ve written. I often think my latest release is the most meaningful as I am always hungry for the improvement of my craft. The lyrics in TIRED are visually evocative and unexpectedly uplifting.

Photo credit: Vivan Vo

What personal advice would you give to someone wanting to pursue this career?

Learn to do as much as you can by yourself.

What does the foreseeable future hold for you as an artist?

I would like to travel and work more in Asia. I’ll keep releasing records. I’m also working on a new live show!

Anything else you would like to add?

‘TIRED’ is available now to stream or Purchase via all major platforms.

Connect with Yeo

Instagram | Facebook | Twitter

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