Q&A Scene: Yhan Leal

Tell us about your latest release.

A new album: Yhan Leal

What’s your favourite work at this point in time? 

Venice. It’s track three on the new album, I love that I can hear the influences, there’s a few polar opposite influences that somehow came together nicely.

How would you describe your sound in food form and why? 

Hot, mildly spicy pumpkin soup with home made garlic sourdough bread, (mmm) (lol)

Tell us a quick, on the road or studio, anecdote.

My shows don’t usually inspire dancing, but lately I seem to be inspiring some trance style/experimental displays.

What, or who, inspires you?

Spontaneity, synchronicity, laughter, and the human spirit.

Which song do you wish you wrote?

“First Day of my Life” by Bright Eyes. That song makes me feel happiness, nostalgia, love, inspired, and calm all at once, and the film clip is so good!

What’s next for you?

Better organising my writing and recording process, I want to write and record faster but better! Shows in far away places, and enjoying the ride.

What’s your scene?

My scene is quiet, so quiet you can hear your breath, from there finding something interesting to say.

It’s been two fertile years for Yhan Leal since he released his last recording. Quietly determined, Leal has come from busking nightly outside Bellingen‘s local supermarket, to developing a career as a bona fide touring and recording artist.

Leal’s new album, the eponymous Yhan Leal, was recorded in Leal’s home in Bellingen and in three Sydney studios. The new full length album contains all the ethereal dreaminess, melodic guitars and haunting harmonies that are the halmark of Yhan’s hypnotic style, but also takes a new direction with the augmentation of a full band and production on several tracks. Themes of love, loss and grief, travel, peace and freedom, are explored with a maturity and honesty, that has developed with Leal’s own journey of genuine musical evolution

“Born the son of Colombian poverty, reprised a migrant under Australia’s burnt sun. Raised by an angelic mother in wilderness scrub. The youngest of four brothers, I didn’t walk the path of a modern nuclear family. Seeking freedom from hardship my eyes and heart opened to a new way of living. Young and hungry I found my path in music.”

This is the story of Yhan Leal, a truly gifted musician with a powerful personal story. As a boy growing up in Cali Colombia life wasn’t easy. Classical guitar came naturally, working his magic on Lennon, Elvis and Richie Valens. Writing his first compositions to suit his older brother’s poetry he nurtured a pure talent for songwriting. Music marched through his teens and to the stage. The turmoil came too, and his path took route through buddhism and bouts of meditation. Having ridden the undulatory throws of life, a man emerges wise and courageous with music that moves those inescapably drawn into his circle.

There is no pigeon hole for Leal’s music, but if one was to categorise the genre it might well be Post Folk. Drawing similarities to luminaries Patrick Watson, Devendra Banhart, M.Ward, Angelo De Augustine, Sufjan Stevens and The Milk Carton Kids.

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About Mary Boukouvalas 1575 Articles
Mary is a photographer and a writer, specialising in music. She runs Rocklust.com where she endeavours to capture the passion of music in her photos whether it's live music photography, promotional band photos or portraits. She has photographed The Rolling Stones, KISS, Iggy Pop, AC/DC, Patti Smith, Joe Strummer, PULP, The Cult, The Damned, The Cure, Ian Brown, Interpol, MUDHONEY, The MELVINS, The Living End, Foo Fighters, Smashing Pumpkins, Rage Against The Machine, The Stone Roses –just to name a few - in Australia, USA, Europe and the Middle East. Her work has been published in Beat magazine, Rolling Stone magazine, Triple J magazine, The Age Newspaper, The Herald Sun, The Australian, Neos Kosmos, blistering.com, theaureview.com, noise11.com, music-news.com. She has a permanent photographic exhibition at The Corner Hotel in Richmond, Victoria Australia.