Yanni Bur­ton Yearns To Break Free from a Sleepy Stag­nant Re­la­tion­ship in New Sin­gle, “Awake”

Q Magazine - - Q Music -

“Awake,” the new song by out singer-song­writer Yanni Bur­ton, was in­spired by Yanni's own ex­pe­ri­ence, com­ing to terms with the re­al­iza­tion that it was time to break free from a stag­nant re­la­tion­ship and find pas­sion in life again. “I was stuck in a long dis­tance re­la­tion­ship,” Yanni ex­plains. “The days and weeks apart left me feel­ing lonely and empty. I re­mem­ber be­ing in a con­stant fog of self doubt and in­de­ci­sion.” Sit­ting down to write “Awake” helped Yanni to re­fo­cus his goals and pull him­self out from his sleepy funk. The end re­sult is a broody song that bril­liantly com­bines his pas­sion for pop and clas­si­cal mu­sic. Pro­duced by Yanni and mixed and edited by multi-plat­inum record pro­ducer Kieran Kelly, “Awake” is avail­able on iTunes, Spo­tify and all ma­jor dig­i­tal plat­forms. The mu­sic video is on Youtube.

Yanni Bur­ton grew up in Ade­laide, Aus­tralia – a small town that was first put on the map as the birth­place of pop singer Sia. He lived most days in the city with his mother but hol­i­days were spent in the coun­try on his dad's farm. “The farm was in the mid­dle of nowhere and I'd ar­rive in solid gold sneak­ers, booty shorts and a tank top, like I'd just come off the set of Priscilla Queen of the Desert,” he re­mem­bers. “I loved hang­ing with the kan­ga­roos and Klunk, my dad's pet Emu.”

He came out as gay a bit later than most in his gen­er­a­tion. Yanni had his very first re­la­tion­ship at 22. When he told his mother he was dat­ing a guy, she slapped him. Not be­cause he was gay. She had al­ready had a vi­sion about that (When Yanni was born, she no­ticed a rain­bow light up the sky and de­clared to his fa­ther that their boy would be gay). She was more up­set by the man's ad­vanced age. No son of hers was go­ing to be a sugar baby!

His dad took the news much bet­ter. Yanni told him while they were on a trip to ru­ral Penn­syl­va­nia, vis­it­ing the Amish. “I was bawl­ing my eyes out un­der the flu­o­res­cent lights of a moldy Motel Six hall­way and Dad sim­ply hugged me and said, ‘Its ok, I love you.'”

For col­lege, Yanni at­tended the pres­ti­gious Juil­liard School in Man­hat­tan where he stud­ied the dou­ble bass. In fact, he holds a bach­e­lor's and master's de­gree in or­ches­tral per­for­mance and is Pro­ducer and Gen­eral Man­ager of the Salome Cham­ber Or­ches­tra, where he has per­formed along­side a long list of cel­e­brated artists in­clud­ing John Leg­end, Michelle Wil­liams, Natasha Bed­ding­field and Ru­fus Wain­wright. John Leg­end and Ru­fus Wain­wright were in­stru­men­tal in help­ing Yanni to ob­tain an artist green card. Both gra­ciously agreed to write a let­ter of sup­port for his US res­i­dency.


He de­scribes life to­day as a “gay thirty-some­thing in New York City”. Yanni at­tends Barry's Boot­camp re­li­giously, pays too much rent and com­plains about it every sec­ond he can. He's also found love again! His fi­ancé is smart, at­trac­tive and most im­por­tantly, twen­tysome­thing, which means he is mom-ap­proved.

He is not the man fea­tured in the mu­sic video for “Awake”. That is Reed Laplau, a fel­low Aussie who danced for the Syd­ney Dance Com­pany be­fore mov­ing to NYC where his ca­reer has taken off on Broad­way in pro­duc­tions of The Great Comet of 1812, Fid­dler on the Roof, and the up­com­ing Moulin Rouge.

The video was shot in an in­cred­i­ble 20,000 square foot ware­house in Brook­lyn. “It was aban­doned and the lovely lady who owns it of­fered us the op­por­tu­nity to do what­ever we wanted with it…so nat­u­rally we filled it with light­ing rigs, skele­tons, and flour,” Yanni laughs.

Yanni as­pires for his au­di­ence to con­nect, see, and feel them­selves in his mu­sic and lyrics so that ul­ti­mately, they hear their own story be­ing told. “I hope my mu­sic con­veys to lis­ten­ers that it is okay to be your­self. Never cen­sor who you are or hold back in ex­press­ing your­self. Step up for what you be­lieve in and most im­por­tantly, have fun.”

Visit www.Yan­niBur­ton.com for more in­for­ma­tion.

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