Talking with Yeo, I felt like I was chatting to a friend, he is humble and honest. We spoke about the themes intertwined in 'Desire Path' and how each collaboration came about.
Your last album was really playful both in the music and the lyrics. Listening to your new album ‘Desire Path’, I felt like a it’s journey through different relationships.
Yeah, I think even if the lyrics get really literal, music to me is based on emotion and emotions are kind of nothing without a relationship to give it context I feel.
Well when you think about, it relationships rule our lives, whether it be a friendship, family or a work colleague they are always an influence; but I feel quite a few of these tracks are about love relationships?
There’s a few on this album, and I haven’t done this for a while. The last album had a couple, but I feel like I got more honest on this one.
I agree, you have a great way with words and that draws me in to your music. I take an expression of human emotions and feeling from your music, not only the lyrics. With this album in particular I felt like there was a bit of angst, a bit of some crushin’ on someone in there, I even felt your underlaying beats were like a heartbeat on some tracks and it was well meshed together.
Wow this album hasn’t been out long and for you to take this away from it already is really nice, because that is the intention behind me making records and music in general. I want to tell a story, I want people to feel what I’m feeling, doesn’t have to be exactly what I’m feeling but I hope they feel something and if I can make it all neatly fit in the vehicle of a song, I am so happy.
Adding to this theme you’ve got going, there are five collaborations on this album as well, which is so cool. Would you like to tell me a little bit about how each of those came together?
Yes! Let’s start with Asta…
Oh I love her voice.
Everyone should, it’s amazing and Asta is an incredible human. I got to know her through producing her E.P. We have different positions in the industry but we have both support each other though friendship, and so I had this song where…I’m obviously a big Rhianna fan, I love her sooo much, and I was doing my thing writing, exercising some demons and I asked her to join in. She said she had some words she was working on about a boy, but felt like it would fit really well, so she wrote half of the song with me.
The next one is with Kira Piru, we’ve known each other around the traps in Melbourne for quite a while now. Only recently did we kinda start talking more. I’ve always been aware of her amazing talent, she’s got this huge voice with so much personality in it. She's also lovely and a cynic like me. We laugh about our terrible habits a lot together. So, I wrote this song about a lot of my terrible habits, and I was like, do you wanna sing this; I’ve already written the line. She was like…hell yeah! So we did ‘Three Dots’ and that’s that song. She’s got some of her own stuff coming out really soon so that’s super exciting.
Then there’s ‘Plug Me In’ with Oliver White. Ang is one of my best friends. She moved to Melbourne from Adelaide, and I don’t know how, but we have grown really close since then. I think because we’re both a little bit older and we both like the same kind of music so I think that’s probably where it all started. This one was super natural, we actually just got into one of my friends studios and jammed for an hour impromptu. I took all the bits and pieces and cut it together in a track then sent that to her and said do you wanna write over this; she said yes, so that’s how that one came about.
It sounds like they were all really different processes which is really cool.
Yeah, so different. Then there’s ‘Wannabe’ with ’Take your Time’ which is Lee and Ang. I live with Lee, so he’s one of my best friends. They had their double A side release on Japanese Wallpaper’s label real earlier on. It’s like real loungey, dub, house, just kinda relaxing music but you can also dance to it if you feel like it. Like good pop music, so I thought that would be a fun, love project for all of us.
Then there’s Fractures…
His voice is so gorgeous.
Yeah, he’s pretty attractive… ummmm… he’s also really funny. He’s one of the funniest people I know, he makes me laugh so much. He and I have found ourselves in a very similar place in the Australian music industry where, we are productive and we’ve worked really hard to get where we are, and everything is just kinda slowing down and we’re not really sure where to go next. So that’s kinda what I like talking to him about, cause it helps to give more clarity in my own mind about stuff. With our song, I tried to write something over this beat that I’d made and I couldn’t get it; so I flicked it over to him and he was immediately like “yes!” So that’s how that song came about.
Another really different process again.
I love hearing about different collaboration styles. It gives me hope because everybody works so differently and I feel that sometimes in the past it has been hard to do fun things like this, because you have to have some sort of formal connection or no-one would really take you seriously if you were just starting out; but now with the popularity of social media and the ease of access it has granted, if you’re bold you can just ask graciously for an opportunity and you never know what can happen. I feel like there is so much more freedom in that process, don’t you think?
I agree. One thing that I think is pretty special about this collection of collabs, is that I’m friends with everybody first. I actually would already hang out with them anyway and it just adds so much more to the process. You know, we’re talking about relationships and it’s an easy conversation. Take for example, not that it changes the finished product, or it might effect it to some degree, but you still get a great result. To compare that with ummm, I wrote a top line for a Hermitude track last year, which was my biggest collaboration to date actually, and I didn’t meet the guys ’til I stepped onstage with them.
They are so lovely and everytime I hang out with them I just think they are so humble and so talented that I think to myself “I can’t believe I am standing here in front of you”. So that’s a different example of how we were introduced by their publishing guys…an E introduction.
I think as long as people are good communicators it all works out, despite it being a disconnected relationship with them in Sydney and I’m here. Where as the collabs on this record, I flew Asta down, everybody else lives in Melbourne so we all just came to my house and did the tracks together.
Well the finished product is something that you’re very proud of; is there anything else you want too share about what’s happening after the tour. Do you have anything else in the works or are you going to take a break for a while? Are you heading overseas or anything?
We are looking…well we’re figuring it out, we’re going to Singapore. This is after the tour, it’s our first foray into Asia so we are super excited. I’ve been working on a few songs with my friend Charlie Lim, and I’m really excited about the ‘Charlie’ releases. I got in the shed recently and started writing stuff.. writing music is my happy place. When I’m making my music, I’m not working, I’m having the time of my life, so now that it’s getting warmer there’s gonna be way more of that!
Over the Summer, I’ll write another record, I don’t know if it will be a full L.P but I’ll definitely will come up with something.
Now I’m excited, we all have something to look forward to!
Yeo has a handful of dates left of the ‘Desire Path’ tour so make sure you get along and #supportAustralianmusic!