Yanchan is a Canadian-Tamil producer, mixing engineer, singer and South Indian hand drummer (Mrithangam) from Scarborough, Canada. As a producer and artist his unique sounds that express his Scarborough upbringing with Tamil foundations has been evident in his consistent release of solo and collaborative projects that have garnered over 1.3 million streams on Spotify. Yanchan most recently has helped build Emtee Education, which is an artist development and music education firm for artists and labels (both independent and major).
Tell us about your upbringing and how that sparked your love of music.
I grew up in a very Tamil-cultured household so my parents put me in Carnatic vocal lessons at the age of six and also put me in Bal Vikas (religious classes around the teachings of Sai Baba). It was there that I witnessed someone performing on the mrithangam for the first time and I was really fascinated by the sounds. That really sparked an interest in me to learn and that was the first moment I really started appreciating how music could make me feel.
What is “The Scarborough Beat Tape” and why are you so excited about it?
Last year Pre COVID-19, I went on the “Oh Gawd India Tour” accompanying Shan Vincent de Paul and released an instrumental tape shortly afterwards entitled “The India Beat Tape” embodying all my inspirations/love from that tour. The success of that project really encouraged me to focus more on my production. I knew I wanted to keep putting out instrumental tapes and shed light onto places that were meaningful to me. I was born and raised in Scarborough and it’s helped shape me into the man I am today. I wanted to create a project that showcased all my memories from this beautiful city.
You describe yourself as a Carnatic Hip Hop Producer. For people that may not know what a producer is, can you provide a description? And why did you specifically select Carnatic & Hip Hop as the 2 genres of focus?
A beat maker is someone who makes beats and ends it there. A producer is someone who is a part of the whole process and vision of a full song. When I work with artists, I make sure I help them carry out their vision and it’s a real collaborative process. I chose Carnatic and Hip Hop because those were the two genres of music I had the deepest love for when I first started producing. My foundation in music stems from mrithangam and Carnatic Music. When I later formed a new passion for Hip Hop, it became my mission to bridge the gap between these two worlds.
You’ve had a very busy couple of years including doing a tour in India with Shan Vincent de Paul and putting out a huge summer hit in “Best Friend.” How was the experience touring? Anything unexpected?
I’ve always dreamt of touring and once I was out there, it was crazy. It was amazing to see how much fan love we had over there. My first ever festival show experience was our first stop of the tour and watching Shan perform and doing mrithangam raps live with him was something to remember. I’m grateful for that experience because it showed me how much work I had to do on my own to become a great performer. Doing an independent tour definitely comes with its challenges but we overcame all of them because we had such a great team.