Let’s go to know closer an emerging musician and singer from Eastern Europe that you CAN’T miss at all if you love rock !
Hi Yan, I am so glad to ask you something that could make you more known to the Italian readers – and not only ! – Let’s begin talking about YOU : please introduce yourself briefly to anyone who hasn’t hear of you yet.
I’m Yan Baray. I’m a singer, guitarist, songwriter and producer, who is verypassionate about music and likes to hit on his guitar on full volume. I started out as a drummer at a very early age and later morphed into a guitarist. Since then I’ve played with a lot of musicians and bands. My passion pushed me to learn the art of recording and producing. Soon I started to record and produce local bands and artists. All that experience and learning had just one purpose in the end and that is to fulfill my burning desire to make my own album the way I wanted to. Maybe it took me a little longer than I expectedbut in the end I managed to do so and I am quite happy with the result. In 2011 I released “Visions from another world” as my debut album as a solo artist. I have to say I feel a little weird by saying so with more than 15 years in music behind me. But hey – Better late than never. I can add that the second album is in the making right now and I won’t wait that long for the release for sure.
I’d like to examine more in depth your own relation with music, and with rock music in particular: have you ever asked yourself why is it easier for you to compose this kind of music instead of anything else? And which are in particular the feelings or daily situations that push you writing music?
I grew up in a family of musicians. My father is a drummer in a local band and my uncle plays the guitar in the same band. Both of my cousins are musicians and my mother is a passionate rocker. I have very vivid memories from my childhood of my mother blasting the stereo in our living room listening to rock music and singing along to the music while she was doing chores at home. So I kind of grew up in that passionate mood. For me music and rock in particular is very liberating and it’s the only way I feel I can express myself completely. Usually I am a bit of a quiet person, but I doubt you would recognize me when I have a guitar around my neck. Making noise with my 6-stringed lady and singing is like my true manifestation on the outside. This sounds a little bit etheric I know, but this is how I really feel. When it comes to writing music anything can trigger the process. In my everyday life I like to observe what is going on around me and inside me too. When the right thing happens and it moves me inside something just clicks in my head and everything evolves from there. I am trying to capture that feeling in that very moment. It can come out all at once or it can take some time till I am completely satisfied. Usually this is the case. My smartphone is full of phrases and melodies recorded on the spot wherever that might be. . Basically, it is like writing the soundtrack to my life or to what is happening around me.
How do you consider the rock scenario in Europe in general? Do you identify any relevant differences between different European countries in their way to approach to rock music?
(Feel free to quote or refer to any experiences of your about live abroad, both as player or as part of the audience)
Rock music hasn’t been the main thing for a while now, but I think it is still going strong. Obviously not so much on the radio and other media these days, but there is still a lot of rock music all over Europe (and not only). As I see it, rock is the same all over the world; it is passionate, powerful and liberating . Here I can easily say that famous phrase: “music doesn’t know boundaries”.
Now I’m getting SO curious and happy about introducing your music in detail and asking you anything about it: firstly, listening to some songs of yours, what comes out is a strong winking to the most traditional roots of rock music, especially in terms of sound, energy and passion, and also for this particular effect of “ apparently clean sound but actually so definied from the instrumental point of view”.
The question is about the instruments you personally play and your gorgeous voice: are they particularly motivated by your inner world, by the reality around you or people you meet?
Thanks for the “gorgeous voice”. Actually, they are motivated by all that you’ve mentioned and more. I grew up listening to various kinds of music. Of course there are some favorite ones that suit me best. All these sonic impressions went into my subconsciousness. In the process of learning how to play and sing I just tried to emulate those sounds and the way my idols played them and of course miserably failed at it at first. But throughout time I eventually developed my own style of playing and singing. Of course, influences are always noticeable and I like it that way. I am proud of my musical roots. Beyond this every time I play and sing everything is motivated by my inner world, by all my experiences and by the people and especially musicians that I meet. It always blows my mind to listen to a good musician playing. It always motivates me to grab my guitar in that exact moment and play along with the guy or gal. I think a person grows by sharing. The same applies to music. The more you give, the more you get back. It’s really an endless circle.
Which are the instruments you consider more suitable for your way of expressing? What do they make you feel playing that other instruments don’t?
As a child I started out as a drummer. Maybe I was trying to be like my father. But I soon discovered that that was not the instrument that suits me best. When my mother asked me if I wanted to try to play the guitar, I quickly said “why not”. She borrowed one from our neighbors and luckily, they didn’t need that guitar back, so I had it for the next three years. (hahah) Immediately after l picked up that guitar it felt great. That direct contact of the fingers with the strings has always fascinated me and it still does. I really feel like I can completely translate to the world what I feel when playing the guitar. It is such an amazing feeling. I mean, it wasn’t so easy at the beginning. I practiced for hours every day, but I didn’t seem to notice the time passing when playing. Of course, that wasn’t true for my brother, who was sharing the same room with me….. especially after I bought my first electric guitar. The volume was really high (hahahaha). Hey brother – If you are reading this – I am sorry! I ruined many afternoons to you and our neighbors. Mum was happy though and our cat Blackie was amused too. He used to come to sleep onto my bed whenever I started to play. For me, there is no better instrument. I can express energy, I can be angry or I can be soft and emotional or anything in between. It literally has everything I need to express myself properly.
In your music is clear a quiet poetical hint, that you combine with guitar in a wonderful mix. Does poetry and literature has a place in your own life dimension? Which ones do you owe most and how do you think they can match with music?
To tell you the truth I am not that much of a bookworm. That still doesn’t mean I don’t read at all. I am very picky about literature and if the thing doesn’t grab me from the start I usually just give it up. There was a time I read a lot of spiritual literate and stuff. Maybe my poetical side comes from that period or maybe this is just how I am. I mean, I am quite an introverted person and I think a lot. Maybe even too much (haha). I tend to analyze everything into details. Sometimes it’s hard to live with myself. The thing that saves me from going nuts from overthinking is that spiritual aura that I have over everything I am doing. I think that this strange combination of things brings out that poetical side of me and of course I find it easy to merge it with my guitar. Music has a spiritual side for me as well.
If you could live in any age and country for a while which one you’d choose and why? Which place and age inspire your fantasy most from a music point of view (but not only) ?
This is a very interesting question. I think that would be England in the ’70 and ’80. That period, the music that was made then, and the bands from that era inspire me the most. Whenever I listen to that music I always get the feeling of freedom from the creative point of view. Nobody tried to please anybody they just did what they felt as creative musicians. I love that feeling when I create my own music. Maybe that is why I like it. I know that I imagine all that much more idealistic compared to the way things were for real back then. But still I think things were way different from the situation that we have right now. Life was much slower and one could take much more time for the things that really matter.
Please say your personal hello to our readers, and say hello to us with a sort of “receipe for inner glee” that you’d suggest to young and less young people nowadays
Hello and thanks to all of you who took the time to get to know me a little. I hope that you found it worth it in the end. Thanks to Laura and to the whole Relics staff for giving me the chance to share a little bit of me with your readers. I hope you will continue to share even more interesting and wonderful stories. The more we share the more comes back to us. There is a place for everyone and there are enough things for everyone. If we shared more, we would have more. So keep up the good work, and keep sharing!
Thanks A LOT Yan for your music, for your friendly and nice attitude and manners and humour, too.
A special thanks too to Jaka Ivan, Veronika Macarol and Nush Photography for the precious photography support.