This Toronto indie-pop singer-songwriter writes about demanding what you deserve on "Hero".
Toronto-based indie-pop singer-songwriter and composer Yan Simon recently released a triumphant pop anthem titled "Hero". The musician takes influence from art-pop idols like Lady Gaga and Elton John, and is heavily inspired by ABBA's take on the pop-rock genre, who he's been listening to since the age of six.
"My style is strongly influenced by musical theatre," said Simon. "The theatricality, the drama, the strong melodies, and storytelling lyrics. I've loved musical theatre ever since I watched Chicago as a kid, and I also did plays in high school. I think you can definitely hear the theatre kid in all of my songs."
Simon drafted the first skeleton of "Hero" back in January of 2020.
"I'll admit I'm kind of shocked right now, I didn't realize it's been so long!" said Simon. "I then sort of, well.. left it. I didn't come back for it until February of 2021. At that point I had a concept, and the lyrics came flooding in, and then "Hero" was born!"
Unlike the Bowie classic, "Hero" isn't about a relationship striving for bigger and better things, but about a failing partnership.
"The lyrics are quite straightforward," said Simon. "I'm addressing an ex who I feel gave up on our relationship, but the main premise of the song is that you should never be with someone who makes you feel like dating you is an act of heroism."
Simon worked alongside Toronto producer Dima Graziani to record and produce the single.
"He has a home studio, and he produced my first album Are There Any Rules? as well," said Simon. "Working with him is really fun! I come to his studio with a finished song and play it acoustically on the piano. Then, step by step, we transform it into a full production. It took us roughly eight studio sessions to complete "Hero", I believe. The best part about producing "Hero" was that it became almost like a dance song- it completely transformed for me. It went from a moody piano piece, to something you can blast at a party and dance to. It was so thrilling, and it made me want to continue making songs in that vein. The idea of taking something sad and making it sound celebratory is now at the forefront of my musical goals."
The accompanying music video was important to the artist, who hired professional dancers and a choreographer to create his vision.
"I'm very happy with it!" said Simon. "I'm particularly proud of the music video, which I got a lot of compliments for! I really wanted to dance in the video, so I worked with a professional choreographer, a professional dancer, and an incredible videographer, and I think we absolutely killed it. The music video looks fierce, and it really captures the essence of "Hero". It's my best one yet."
Simon wants his listeners to feel empowered after hearing "Hero", and to feel inspired to stand for what you deserve.
"I hope my listeners take away that you can stand up for yourself in a relationship, and know that you deserve to be loved the way you want to," said Simon. "Don't settle for less, because soon enough there will be another!" "The best way to support me is to follow me on Spotify, and share, share, share!" said Simon. "I've actually got quite a few songs up there, and you're bound to like at least one. So share it with your friends and family!"