Yoan, ‘We wanted to be bad-ass country’

festivalcountrywotton.ca
festivalcountrywotton.ca

After winning season two of La Voix in 2014, Yoan Garneau knew he was in for a wild ride on a fast track to stardom. When his self-titled debut album, Yoan was released on March 23rd, 2015 his reaction to becoming Number One was that of pure shock and astonishment. “I knew there would be people who would love the music, but I didn’t expect I would end up being ‘number one.’” Yoan tells FDRMX. Yoan topped off the charts spending three weeks at the top spot and earning itself a platinum certification in the first three weeks!

The album is a modern-day throw-back to “Outlaw Country,” and even includes a cover of the famed country music classic, “Good Hearted Woman” written by Willie Nelson and Waylon Jennings. “Good Hearted Woman” features another great Canadian country artist, Brett Kissel. “After meeting Brett, I asked him if he liked Waylon Jennings and he said “Yes!” I asked him what his favorite song was and he told me “Mammas Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up to Be Cowboys” and “Good Hearted Woman.” Then Brett asked me what are my favorite songs and I said “Good Hearted Woman” and “Mammas Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up to Be Cowboys.” We looked at each other and said we should record “Good Hearted Woman” then.” explains Yoan on how the duet came to be. “When we recorded it, we wanted to be bad-ass country with the Waylon Jennings style picking and a good fast tempo.”

“Baby What You Want Me To Do” was written by Jimmy Reed back in 1959 and has been covered by multiple artists since then. One of the most famed performers is of course, Elvis Presley. As a contestant on La Voix, Yoan performed his own version of the hit song, and deemed it only “fitting” to include it on the album as a reminder of some of his many great musical influences. Yoan comments, “I was raised on that kind of music, The Outlaws, Leon Russell, David Allan Coe, country, and blues. It just naturally comes out in my music.”

As a songwriter, Yoan added some great musical pieces to the album created by himself. “That Kinda Guy,” “My Way Home,” “Gonna Fall In Love With You,” and “Goodbye Mother” all stand out as exceptional songs on the album. Yoan commented on his song writing abilities, “Sometimes I get really inspired and then I can write a good song in about five minutes. It’s a huge rush. I have to find a pencil and write it down immediately. Take for example, “Goodbye Mother.” The song seemed to just fall into place as I wrote it.”

“Goodbye Mother” is a powerful tale about a young man leaving home to join the army. From the opening line, “Goodbye Mother / I am joining the army / I’ll send you letters / I don’t want you to forget me” you know you’re in for a gripping and emotional ballad. When asked about the inspiration for the song, Yoan replied “My best friend had to leave home when he was only seventeen. His father said “alright boy, you’re old enough, you have to go now.” He didn’t know what to do. He was only a boy. So he decided he was going to join the army. After he joined he told me he was so far away from home and he really missed his mother and felt so alone. He would sit there alone on his bed and wonder why he joined, but he in the end he was happy to be serving his country.”

At only eighteen years old, the young artist appears to be a natural on stage. I asked Yoan how he feels when it comes to performing. “I love taking the stage. I get a lot of adrenaline. In a way, I want to say performing heals me. I can’t get enough. With each performance my only goal is to deliver a great show, and grow and develop as an artist.” Yoan will continue to support his debut album with live performances and concerts to be announced and scheduled on his website.

Yoan is a great listen for country music fans. With influences of some great country music artists and well created originals, it comes as no surprise the success the album has had. Featuring 12 songs total, the album also includes four French-language country songs. “J’entends Siffler Le Train” is a French adaption of the Hedy West hit, “500 Miles.” “J’entends Siffler Le Train” was recorded as a duet with Yoan’s La Voix coach Isabelle Boulay. “Dis-Moi,” “Tu M’as Manqué,” and “T’aimer Trop” are still enjoyable toe-tappers filled with Yoan’s rich vocals, even for the most English linguistic fans. You can listen to samples off of the album online, or pick up your own copy of Yoan here. Available for digital download or physical copy, the album is a delightful addition to any country music collection.

FDRMX Eyes: Amir Morovat is an Iranian recording artist who is known for his beautiful, Persian music. Check out his video “Emotions of Tomorrow.”

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