CMU Approved

Approved: Jonah Yano

By | Published on Thursday 9 April 2020

Jonah Yano

Originally from Japan, Jonah Yano moved to Canada as a child following the separation of his parents. Playing piano and guitar, he began posting songs online in 2016, formally releasing his debut single – ‘Rolex, The Ocean’ – in 2018.

Following a handful more singles, last year he released his excellent ‘Nervous’ EP, which includes a collaboration with BadBadNotGood on the title track.

Later last year, Yano returned to Japan to see his father, Tatsuya Muraoka, for the first time in fifteen years. As part of this reunion they worked on a song together titled ‘Shoes’, which has now been released as the first single from his debut album ‘Souvenir’.

The basis for the track is a recording of Muraoka and his band performing live at a bar in Hiroshima at some point in the late 90s. Yano then added his own vocals in the gaps left between his father’s singing.

“The song in my dad’s Japanese lyrics is about a pair of shoes he bought me when I was a kid”, Yano explains. “My verses question his absence from my childhood and my general confusion about my circumstance, which was a fatherless upbringing in an entirely different country as a result of my parents’ separation”.

The catharsis in uniting this old song about a moment in Yano’s childhood with feelings that have swum around his head for almost as long is apparent, despite its relaxed sound. And as Yano synchronises with Muraoaka’s vocals later in the track, there is a palpable emotion in the new event that this captures. What is also striking is how well this seemingly incongruous piece of music fits with the rest of Yano’s catalogue.

‘Souvenir’ is set for release on 19 Jun. Watch the video for ‘Shoes’ here:

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