The Musician Spotlight Series shines a light on up-and-coming bands and solo acts creating heartfelt and original work across genres, giving them an opportunity to talk about their music, their collaborators, and why they do what they do.
Click Here to follow the series as it progresses.
To submit an artist or band for consideration, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
“Originally from Israel, Platinum-certified producer Yaakov Gruzman aka YASH has been making music in some capacity since 1998. From a young age, he had lyrics and melodies dancing in his mind. Drawing inspiration from artists as diverse as Beck and Freddie Mercury, YASH creates unique, melodic live experiences by incorporating organic instrumentation and profoundly inspiring lyrical content into his sets. Not satisfied solely pursuing his own projects, YASH is a hurricane of creativity behind the scenes. As a writer/mixer/producer he was nominated for Dance Recording of the Year at the 2017 Juno Awards for Shaun Frank’s “Let You Get Away” ft. Ashe. He is platinum-certified with over 500K EP sales as the producer and writer on the song “Monster”’ for Kpop giants Red Velvet, which charted at #1 for US World Albums (Billboard) and #1 on iTunes Top Albums Charts worldwide. He has three certified gold records and has produced and written songs for world-famous acts like Tiesto and Steve Aoki.”
When did you know you wanted to be a professional musician? What made you decide to debut your own artist project in addition to your work as a producer?
I have been playing and producing music since a very young age, around nine or ten years old. I somehow always fell into the producer role, however I really enjoyed it. The process of seeing a song come to life is magical to me. Eventually though, I developed an itch for putting my own music out there for the world and possibly performing on stage and that’s how the spark ignited for me to start an independent project as an artist.
Are you trained? How did you develop your skills?
I have studied Jazz and Classical piano since the age of twelve. I also attended Berklee Music school programs in my twenties for composition. So that’s where my skills for playing and composing are from. As for the beat-making and production, I was self-taught and always had the latest DAWs and played around with sounds and plugins.
Who are some of your biggest musical influences for this project?
I would say my biggest musical influence is Beck. Although we operate in different genres, I find the quirkiness and musicality of his work really appealing. I really like Sofi Tukker as well, it’s a cool blend of dance music and a really organic vibe.
What’s your favourite tune in your repertoire and why?
My favourite song in this repertoire is definitely “UNICORN”. First and foremost I love the co-writers and collaborators. Dragonette is an amazing vocalist and so fun to write with. We wrote this song together with Jenson Vaughn in a session, and we both fell in love with it. We were supposed to pitch it to some Netflix show, and I was kind of hoping it wouldn’t happen. Luckily in the end we got to release it! It has such an infectious bass line and vibe, both chill and urgent. I love that!
Tell us a bit about YASH. How did you conceptualise this alter-ego character?
The idea has really been in my mind for years. Ever since I first saw a Gorillaz video, I knew that someday I would love to do something like this. I was always interested in animation and technology. It was the perfect moment with my decision to go solo and the uprising of NFT’s and virtual world, it seemed like the right moment to actualize this long held dream of mine. YASH is basically an exaggerated version of myself. He is an overworked music producer who enjoys playing around with his gear in the studio, making beats and well… smoking weed :)
Where can we find your music?
My single “UNICORN” is out now.. You can stream it on all major platforms and you can follow along with YASH’s life and journey on IG @yashplanet.