My ears have tasted a lot of good music over the years, but just like any memorable feast, a great artist must appeal to all your senses. A great artist can’t just throw one good meaty tune on the plate and call it a day. A great artist must select fine organic ingredients, set the table, light some candles and prepare the whole meal with love.
Whoa, I know I’m getting carried away, but the music by this week’s featured artist is so good I can taste it.
When a musician goes beyond what is expected of him, pushing boundaries to create an experience, not just a song – that’s when he or she becomes a true artist. When the songs aren’t flash-fried, but rather marinated and slow roasted to perfection.
You Are My Symphonic (YAMS) is someone I have followed since his beginnings in Toronto, then on to his greatest source of inspiration – Montreal – all the while watching his music grow from a hobby into a life.
Vishal Kassie was born in Trinidad and Tobago but grew up in St. Catharines, Ontario. He had a lifelong interest in airplanes and attended Ryerson University for their aerospace engineering program. Not what you typically expect from a musician.
YAMS’ first EP Afternoon Birds of Arima began as a wedding gift to friends and was so well received that he decided to continue on his musical path.
His second release, I Found Your Faces of Montreal, had roots in his Toronto/Montreal connection.
It was on a trip back to Toronto that his laptop including all of his recordings was stolen. This meant remembering and re-inventing an entire album. But taking inspiration from the seasons, he was able to see the beauty in a new beginning that follows an ending.
He has said that the title I Found Your Faces of Montreal meant that even though he had moved to a new city, he still saw faces or glances or mannerisms that were reminiscent of his dear friends. I love that. Doesn’t that happen to all of us? When you’re on vacation, on the other side of the world and you meet someone who looks or sounds familiar but you can’t put your finger on it. Then you realize that you are seeing a twinge of someone you already know, and its oddly comforting.
His music is mostly instrumental with great layers, slow builds and a climax that gives you goosebumps. I listen to it while I’m painting, cooking, reading, walking, driving, daydreaming – you name it. But just as his first EP was used, I think it would make an unbelievable wedding soundtrack.
YAMS recently held a CD release party for his latest album in a small, old church in Montreal. It was the perfect setting to listen to these songs. A place of relfection where you could allow the music to do the thinking for you. Where one ring of a bell could lead your thoughts down a path of revelation. The acoustics of the church, the live piano, and the abstract video made this performance an experience. Combining all the right ingredients – with the addition of a few surprise spices – making Vish a musical Master Chef.
I struggled a little bit with how to approach this post because, for me, Vishal Kassie, (aka You Are My Symphonic) is more than an undeniable talent, he’s also a dear friend. I debated about sharing our friendship with you, for fear that you would disregard my praise as loyalty instead of genuine love for what he creates. But I soon realized that the experience Vish has created through YAMS would undoubtedly diffuse any skepticism listeners might have, and that his songs would brightly shine through any clouded judgment. I wanted my dear friend to know how much his music means to me and, hopefully, to MvM readers as well. This is an album that I love all the way through and you can grab both of his releases HERE I’d love to know what you think. Do those vocals on “Rainfall in Arima” sound familiar? thats my sister! GoForkYourself Anna!
He did an interview with ShinyGlow Productions where he speaks so honestly and eloquently about his work that I thought it best he tell you himself.
* If you are a member or manager of the above band and you would like your track removed, please contact us and we will swiftly oblige. Fans, new or old, please support these bands by using your coffee money to buy their records.