Q&A with Nico Yaryan
Nico Yaryan's debut album, What A Tease is full of love, longing and passion. Released on June 3rd, the album is the singer and multi-instrumentalist's story of finding love overseas and fighting hard to make it work. With a hilarious new video for "You Belong To Me" out today, we talked with Yaryan about the story behind the new album, his start in music and plans for the future. Watch the video for "You Belong To Me" below and keep an eye out for more new from Nico Yaryan via Facebook.
Interview by Dom Vigil
Can you tell us a little bit about yourself for any readers who may not be familiar?
My name is Nico Yaryan, I'm a scorpio, and my favorite color is blue. I live in Eagle Rock, CA, and I sing songs and play instruments.
What was your start in music like? What first inspired you to get involved in it?
My first instrument was the drums in high school, then I got into sampling and making beats since I couldn't play any other instruments myself and wanted to make my own songs. I started playing drums and singing backups in Hanni El Khatib's band, and playing with him inspired me to get into traditional songwriting and learning the guitar.
You started off on the drums, but you’re currently singing and playing guitar on your new album, What A Tease - what was that transition like? How do you feel you’ve grown as an artist from when you first started playing and touring to now?
I also played almost all of the instruments on my record, with a few exceptions played by Kevin Augunas who produced the album, and I play keys and guitar when I perform. I think I've gotten better at playing since I started, but I'm no virtuoso, but I'm bored by overly virtuosic music anyway, lucky for me!
What A Tease dropped on June 3rd, and there’s quite the story behind the album. Can you tell us a little bit about what set these songs in motion?
I was coming off playing in a band that became my life but was no longer working out, and I had met a girl in Amsterdam that I was really into, so I visited her for a month after playing my final tour with my band and fell in love. For various reasons I couldn't stay, one being that I ran out of money, but I went back to California and worked at some weed farms to pay my way back to Amsterdam to see my girl. We kept up a long distance thing for a few years, and she visited me more in LA than I did in Amsterdam while I wrote the songs that became "What a Tease".
I think everyone who listens to What A Tease is going to wonder if things between you and the girl from Amsterdam worked out, but I think it’s safe to say that the album is more about the story than the ending. What would you like listeners to be able to take away from it?
I hope people can connect to the feelings in the songs. I try to take what can be complicated feelings and make them into simple songs, and not all of them are literal, or about my own story, and if someone feels like I was writing a song about their life, they're not wrong.
Musically, lyrically or otherwise, was where anything you really wanted to be able to accomplish on the album?
Musically I was putting together a bunch of my favorite things, 70s soul grooves, folk ballads, psych flourishes, AM pop. I wanted it to feel longing and dreamy, like a memory of something you love. Lyrically I was trying to get at something pure and refined, without unnecessary ornamentation.
You have a video out for “Just Tell Me” and just released the video for “You Belong To Me” from the album. What about these songs make them stand-outs to you?
Once you have made a bunch of songs, certain ones just feel like singles. These ones tended to resonate with people and I knew they should be singles.
With the album out now, do you have any plans to hit the road this summer?
Absolutely! Playing a few shows in June and still working out the details for the coming months but stay tuned!
Thank you for taking the time to chat with us! Is there anything else you would like to add?
- 1 + 1 = <3