5 Songs I Love w/ YASSiN
At the end of last month, we were treated to one of the most joyous and uplifting releases we have heard all year in YASSiN's 'Take My Time'. Collaborating with singer Sean Terri for the offering, they looked to shake off the troubling thoughts of the last year with this bright and sensational indie-pop delight.
And with such an interesting and diverse sound mixed in as well, we felt we should find out more about where those influences come from and so asked YASSiN to pick his favourite five songs of all time. This is what he had to say...
'Fool’s Overture' - Supertramp
This song may be the biggest influence to my musicianship. I heard 'Fool’s Overture' for the first time when I was 14. (The same year I started playing piano) I instantly wanted to be somewhere between these guys and Billy Joel. Everything about this track blew my mind, the arrangement, the chord progressions, the synthesizers, the fact that it’s TEN minutes long! I listen to this song today and I’m still hearing something new in the production. It really expanded my idea of what a song could be, and is proof that there are no rules in creativity.
'2009' - Mac Miller
Those who know me, know that a quick way to my heart is a stellar combination of strings and piano. The first time I hear the minute long intro to this song, I fell in love. Mac is another one who pushed the genre of hip hop forward with this one, it’s a far cry from what rap was when I was growing up. The lyrics of this song hit me so deeply, that I frequently rewind the song back to hear my favourite words one more time. Any songwriter knows what it feels like to connect with someone’s lyrics so deeply that it feels like they wrote it themselves. This is one of those songs for me. “Yeah, they ask me what I'm smilin' for, well because I’ve never been this high before, it’s like I never felt alive before” or “Now when things get hard, I don’t panic, don’t sound the alarm” Those lines get me every time. I love Mac and this song with all my heart.
'Sign, Sealed, Delivered' - Stevie Wonder
I feel like this song should be in everyone’s top 5! I mean, it’s just the most classic of songs. I include this on my list because it’s played a big part of my life in the last 4 years. Some of my happiest memories have been soundtracked by Stevie’s shouts and vocal riffs. I listen to this song now, stuck inside due to COVID, and hearing Stevie sing “Hey!” at the start of the song takes me back to all those memories. My best friends wedding, dancing in the streets of Toronto, and the thing I’ve been missing the most; being near my friends and seeing how happy we all were when this song comes on anywhere.
'Love Yourz' - J. Cole
Just like '2009', the piano and string combo at the start of this song had me at hello. Fun fact, I have this song tattoo’d on my arm. Cole’s first words on the track exclaim “love yours” then he continues to say “No such thing as a life that’s better than yours”. This is something I’ve told myself since the first time I heard the song in 2014 to now, it’s why I have it permanently written on my arm, I believe it’s a reminder we all need a lot of the time in todays society. The percussive nature of Coles voice as he delivers these lyrics, mixed with the drums always felt like a hammer and nails to message he’s trying to speak on. It’s all too easy to compare your life to others, it has become a toxic regularity of life, especially to creatives, and dreamers that I categorize with. This beautiful ballad has been embedded in my life and the way I choose to maneuver through it. To all those reading this, learn to love your journey. There is no time limit, if good things take time, then great things can take a life time. Don’t let someone’s perceived joy on the internet become a ceiling to block yours. Love yours.
'Joyful' - X Ambassadors
This song captures a vital essence of the person I’m trying to be. The melancholic piano mixed with hopeful lyrics and a thunderous horn solo, is a winning recipe in my books. This is one of the most honest songs I’ve heard ever. It speaks of a hope I relate to heavily, and that is when all is said in done, I hope can say I lived my life joyfully and I brought joy to those around me. Final fun fact, this song title is also tattoo’d on me.
Watch the new video for his latest single 'Take My Time' and see his favourite musical choices below.