If you haven’t watched the “Breathe” music video yet, it’s time to do it! Singer-Songwriter YOVANNI opts for haunting black and white visuals that match with his expressive lyricism. Below, in an exclusive interview, you can discover more about the Miami-based artist and his new single.
1 — Hello YOVANNI, how many years have you been active in the music industry?
Hello Modern Citizens. Thanks for taking the time to learn about my musical world. I have been in the music business for over 20 years! I have been both an artist and a Production Manager for other labels. It has been such a journey to experience the changes that the music industry has gone through. I was around where people still shopped around cassette tapes and now is nothing but a link on your computer. I love it! So much more simple and mainstream for everyone. Now we all have a chance to shine. There is an audience for everyone.
2 — Can you describe your music for people who might not be as familiar with you?
Whenever I meet anyone and they ask me what kind of music I make, I tell them that it is a stew of pop, rock, funk, and electronica. I am a mix of George Michael, Madonna, Celine Dion, and Freddy Mercury. I was raised in musical theater but rebelled and decided to pursue pop rock music so that I could sing my own songs.
3 — Did someone in your life encourages you to become an artist?
I grew up in the 80’s where music and entertainment were breaking into the mainstream market. MTV made it possible for me to learn about music through icons such as Madonna, Michael Jackson, and George Michael. These three artists were my main dish all day long. I listened to music on my walkman wherever I was. Even in class I would sit in the back of the room and just listened to my music while the teacher was not even paying attention. I loved the sounds and the imagery that came out of the 80’s generation.
4 — Are Madonna, George Michael, and Adam Lambert still your main influences? If so, why?
Madonna and George Michael have always been my number one teachers and as I grew up there became few recording artists that even captured my interest until Adam Lambert sang “Ring Of Fire” on American Idol. It is very hard to impress me. I do look forward to seeing who else is gonna be able to make get into the groove. One thing I love about music is that it is always evolving and now there are so many choices on the menu to taste.
My new single “Breathe” is about taking a moment out of the chaos of your life and realizing that if you try to calm the chatter in your mind, everything will be ok and yesterday was nothing but a cloud. We all have daily struggles in our personal lives. We all cry and laugh. After every storm, cities rebuild and lessons are learned. “Breathe” for me represents moments in my personal life and the life of people I have met on my journey here on earth.
The “Breathe” music video is a production where the only location to consider was my bedroom. I am healing from a leg injury that left me unable to walk or go outside for months. I had to get creative, so I built a set in my bedroom that represented a church. I used my mom’s old saints and statues and filmed myself. The other scenes of other people were created using licensed stock footage. For example, there are a couple of scenes dealing with suicide. That was something that I had to go through with an ex who tried to kill himself in front of me. Other scenes represented moments in my life, like the time when I was homeless for a brief moment. I had to make sure that the scenes in the video represented issues that we all have to deal with.
7 — After watching this clip, I can assume you are fan of film-noir style movies? Is that correct?
While I was in the studio recording the music for “Breathe” I already had a vision of the style of video I wanted to produce. I loved the BW Film Noir style because there is such a range of emotions when you combine classic lighting and shadows. Film Noir represents a mood of melancholy that the song expresses. If you watch a classic film from the early days, you see such a beautiful emotion being portrayed in shadow and light. I really wanted to haunting sounds of the song “Breathe” to look like a classic BW movie.
8 – Have you considered remixes for your latest single “Breathe”?
I am and will always have dance music in my blood! I really enjoy working with DJ’s who are also producers that can re-create a song into a hot groove to dance to on the dance floor. I come from the EDM world. There are new amazing remixes that are now available worldwide of “Breathe”. My manager Nelson “Trigga” Martinez is great friends with legendary DJ Producers such as Bimbo Jones, Dark Intensity and the Klubjumpers. The clubs are now able to have an anthem that they can groove to on the dance floors thanks to all the Dj’s who are spinning the remixes!
The next upcoming months for me are really gonna be very important to my personal and artistic growth! I have been finalizing final production on my next single and I really wanna start giving birth to my next child. There is a huge catalog of music that I recorded last year and I am really aiming to move forward in my life and release my stories for all the modern citizens who are willing to listen and welcome me as an artist in this crazy game of life.
10 — Finally, do you have a favorite place to write lyrics?
I can write lyrics anywhere but if I had to choose a favorite place, it would be in the studio. I really like being in a studio environment. I enjoy jamming with other musicians or just listening to a musical score that I can have a conversation with and write a story to sounds. But I have to feel inspired and I always gotta try to find a personal connection either if I am writing for myself or other singers.