Moderator Kathrine




    Yanni Message Board  Hop To Forum Categories  About Yanni  Hop To Forums  Yanni in the Media    Yanni works with singers on new CD - Asbury Park Press

Closed Topic Closed
Go
New
Find
Notify
Tools
Yanni works with singers on new CD - Asbury Park Press Login/Join 
<YMusicMuse>
posted
This excellent interview with Yanni is posted on the APP.com website.

Yanni works with singers on new CD

Yanni works with singers on new CD
Yanni works with singers on his latest CD
By ED CONDRAN • CORRESPONDENT • May 16, 2009

New Age superstar Yanni, who will perform today at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City, has accomplished a great deal during his lucrative career.
The native Greek and University of Minnesota alum, who has been residing in America for 35 of his 54 years, received a psychology degree in 1976 and was the first recording artist to play India's Taj Mahal and China's Forbidden City. He became a star after the release of "Live at the Acropolis" in 1994, and in his career has sold 20 million albums worldwide.
The laid-back keyboardist is touring behind "Voices," his first album that features vocalists. Yanni chats up the project and talks about his nadir and tolerance for pain.

Q: Why add vocals to your music after all of these years?

A: I wanted to add new layers to the music. It gives it more depth. Lyrics are excellent. The singers that joined me for the album (Chloe, Leslie Mills, Ender Thomas and Nathan Pacheco) are wonderful singers.

Q: Can Yanni sing?

A: Absolutely not! I have perfect pitch. I can hear every note an orchestra plays, but I can't sing a single tune. That's fine. I'll play piano and keyboards and write. It's good that I changed things up since people can be like, "Oh, he added vocals, that's what he's up to now."

Q: To paraphrase the apt question on the back of your book, "In Words," what are the chances that a poor kid from the seaside town of Kalamata who doesn't sing, dance, study, write or read music becomes one of the world's most popular musicians?

A: It's impossible. But I love impossibility. I love when I talk to kids nowadays and tell them if I'm able to do what I did, you can do anything. About the only thing I give credit to me is my ability to take pain and my ability to focus.

Q: How did you develop such a tolerance for pain?

A: Because of my swimming as a kid. I went through intense training five hours days. It wasn't just physical pain. I learned how to persist. It's about not being afraid of being uncomfortable.

Q: You took an extensive break after your '98 tour.

A: It was for my mental health. It was for my own good. I really burned out on the '98 tour. The stress got to such a high level. The whole thing just kicked my butt.

Q: You took a five-year hiatus. What did you do during that period?

A: The first thing I did was run away (laughs). I went back to Greece, to the place where I was born (Kalamata). I walked away from my career. I did no interviews, nothing. I didn't play piano for one year. I walked the mountains with my dad. I dealt with the pain. I just sat there and said I'm not going to leave unless I feel happy again.

Q: How did you find balance?

A: I didn't do any drugs. I just worked it out. I needed time. I needed to figure out how to enjoy life.

Q: Was there a strong possibility that your career was over?

A: Yes. It was a very strong possibility. I had very serious talks with my father in the mountains. He said, "If you don't write another song as long as you live, you'll be fine." There is a lot of Greek in me. Greeks like to enjoy life. My grandma, who is gone now, I would talk to her, and she would say, "Yanni, how are you doing?" I'm in China playing the Forbidden City, and she would say, "Yeah yeah, but how are you doing? Are you loving life?" Sometimes I would say, "No, I'm not. My career is doing great but I am not happy."

Q: The average person will read this and think, "Yanni has it all. What's he whining about?"

A: Of course. That's the irony of it. The irony is called trouble in paradise. You get to paradise and you're not happy. That's more scary than if you're not in paradise and not happy because you hope someday it will get better. What's better than paradise? How can you not be happy?

Q: How depressed were you?

A: Seriously. It was very painful. I dealt with it.

Q: What was the big impediment?

A: It was a lot of things. It was a brainwashing that took place over a period of years.

Q: Did the brainwashing have anything to do with Ramtha, which you reportedly checked out?

A: No. I don't follow anyone. I listen to a lot of things. I study a lot of religions. But I follow nothing. I believe in life. You follow your own path and teach yourself. I've done that my whole life. The brainwashing is a word my dad uses. I was burned out and I still had about 80 more concerts to do. I was brainwashing myself to make it through it. I was going nonstop for eight years. When the tour finally did end I couldn't figure out which way was up. It was like hanging onto a helicopter blade and it stopped. Now what do I do? I had an extremely successful tour. I didn't know how to enjoy it.

Q: Unlike your peers, you didn't lock yourself up in a bedroom all day practicing scales as a teenager. You were an outdoorsman. You were the Greek 50-meter swimming champ at 14. You were a jock.

A: Being an athlete is in my blood. If you study ancient Greek, you will discover that many philosophers were athletes. A healthy mind and a healthy body is something I took to heart. My father said if you want to be an artist read books, but it doesn't mean you can't have a good body. Thanks to all of my athletic competition I could endure. I could work 15-20 hours straight in the studio with no food. I'm built well. I can take the pain, which I did swimming from 8 to 18.

Q: What would you do if you weren't a musician?

A: I was going to be a clinical psychologist. Fortunately that never happened. I decided to give music a shot for a year and I was never so happy.

Q: What drove you to be the first recording artist to play the Forbidden City and the Taj Mahal, not to mention stage a show at the Acropolis?A: First off, Every Greek dreams of playing the Acropolis. It was wonderful. When I decided to do the Acropolis, I also decided to record it. I was a little frustrated with my career. I thought if I could videotape that event it would expose me to so many people and be great for my career. So many people told me it wouldn't work. I laid out every penny on that project and I was right. It worked out well.

As far (as) the Taj Mahal, it had never been lit at night and it was for my show and it was breathtaking. The Forbidden City was just so incredible as well. It's great to do something, no one else has done. I got performances from musicians at those places that you'll never get in the studio or in another venue. It was incredible.

A: It was for my mental health. It was for my own good. I really burned out on the '98 tour. The stress got to such a high level. The whole thing just kicked my butt.


Q: You took a five-year hiatus. What did you do during that period?

A: The first thing I did was run away (laughs). I went back to Greece, to the place where I was born (Kalamata). I walked away from my career. I did no interviews, nothing. I didn't play piano for one year. I walked the mountains with my dad. I dealt with the pain. I just sat there and said I'm not going to leave unless I feel happy again.

Q: How did you find balance?

A: I didn't do any drugs. I just worked it out. I needed time. I needed to figure out how to enjoy life.

Q: Was there a strong possibility that your career was over?

A: Yes. It was a very strong possibility. I had very serious talks with my father in the mountains. He said, "If you don't write another song as long as you live, you'll be fine." There is a lot of Greek in me. Greeks like to enjoy life. My grandma, who is gone now, I would talk to her, and she would say, "Yanni, how are you doing?" I'm in China playing the Forbidden City, and she would say, "Yeah yeah, but how are you doing? Are you loving life?" Sometimes I would say, "No, I'm not. My career is doing great but I am not happy."

Q: The average person will read this and think, "Yanni has it all. What's he whining about?"

A: Of course. That's the irony of it. The irony is called trouble in paradise. You get to paradise and you're not happy. That's more scary than if you're not in paradise and not happy because you hope someday it will get better. What's better than paradise? How can you not be happy?

Q: How depressed were you?

A: Seriously. It was very painful. I dealt with it.

Q: What was the big impediment?

A: It was a lot of things. It was a brainwashing that took place over a period of years.

Q: Did the brainwashing have anything to do with Ramtha, which you reportedly checked out?

A: No. I don't follow anyone. I listen to a lot of things. I study a lot of religions. But I follow nothing. I believe in life. You follow your own path and teach yourself. I've done that my whole life. The brainwashing is a word my dad uses. I was burned out and I still had about 80 more concerts to do. I was brainwashing myself to make it through it. I was going nonstop for eight years. When the tour finally did end I couldn't figure out which way was up. It was like hanging onto a helicopter blade and it stopped. Now what do I do? I had an extremely successful tour. I didn't know how to enjoy it.

Q: Unlike your peers, you didn't lock yourself up in a bedroom all day practicing scales as a teenager. You were an outdoorsman. You were the Greek 50-meter swimming champ at 14. You were a jock.


A: Being an athlete is in my blood. If you study ancient Greek, you will discover that many philosophers were athletes. A healthy mind and a healthy body is something I took to heart. My father said if you want to be an artist read books, but it doesn't mean you can't have a good body. Thanks to all of my athletic competition I could endure. I could work 15-20 hours straight in the studio with no food. I'm built well. I can take the pain, which I did swimming from 8 to 18.

Q: What would you do if you weren't a musician?

A: I was going to be a clinical psychologist. Fortunately that never happened. I decided to give music a shot for a year and I was never so happy.

Q: What drove you to be the first recording artist to play the Forbidden City and the Taj Mahal, not to mention stage a show at the Acropolis?

A: First off, Every Greek dreams of playing the Acropolis. It was wonderful. When I decided to do the Acropolis, I also decided to record it. I was a little frustrated with my career. I thought if I could videotape that event it would expose me to so many people and be great for my career. So many people told me it wouldn't work. I laid out every penny on that project and I was right. It worked out well.

As far (as) the Taj Mahal, it had never been lit at night and it was for my show and it was breathtaking. The Forbidden City was just so incredible as well. It's great to do something, no one else has done. I got performances from musicians at those places that you'll never get in the studio or in another venue. It was incredible.
 
Report This Post
Yanni Fan
posted Hide Post
That was another wonderful article, & again thank you for taking us along for this fantastic ride, Muse. You are the best!!!!


Every day is a 'new' day, full of opportunities, adventure and a chance to make your dreams come true ©

 
Registered:: April 07, 2005Report This Post
Yanni Fan
posted Hide Post
Great article!Thank you!

Myky
 
Registered:: September 16, 2006Report This Post
  Powered by Social Strata  

Closed Topic Closed

    Yanni Message Board  Hop To Forum Categories  About Yanni  Hop To Forums  Yanni in the Media    Yanni works with singers on new CD - Asbury Park Press

©2006-2008, All Rights Reserved.