The pop singer goes full bubble-gum sweet on his latest love song, taking inspiration directly from his long-distance relationship.
The Toronto-based pop singer-songwriter Yan Simon tries on a sunnier disposition on "Hey Boy", his latest single released today. Instead of the darker, sad themes we're used to from Yan, the musician instead leaned into a "feel-good" pop sound, embracing the flowery, bright style to express his devotion to his boyfriend.
"It is a celebration of my relationship with my boyfriend, and of how we make long-distance work," said Yan. "My style has always been very inspired by musical theatre. I was and still am that Gaga-obsessed theatre kid who loves makeup, choreography, and hardcore pop music. I've also been classically trained in piano, which is how I write all of my songs, so there's definitely a lot of intention and thought that goes behind every chord, every melody, and every lyric you hear in my music."
Lady Gaga was the first artist that turned Simon's life upside down. After discovering her at age 14, she's held Simon's attention ever since.
"Nothing has been the same since I became a little monster," said Yan. "In many aspects she is certainly my number one. But there are so many other artists I look up to for the way they've been making and performing their music- Elton John, Freddie Mercury, Miley Cyrus, ABBA, Sia, Britney Spears, Ran Danker, Muse- to name just a few. I really like keeping my eyes and ears wide open, I go out of my way to listen to a new album every single week." The pop singer started writing "Hey Boy" on September 4, 2021.
"I was at home, it was late at night, and I was jamming on my piano as I often do," said Yan. "Out of nowhere this melody came to me, and I recorded it on my phone right away. I picked up the chords that would make harmonic sense with that melody on my piano. The melody itself didn't make it into the song, but those chords became the intro."
According to the artist, this single took an abnormally long time to finish.
"I didn't have a solid song skeleton until September 22," said Yan. "I didn't sit on it every day though, I just sort of forgot about it after that night of September 4." Yan writes from the heart on "Hey Boy", taking inspiration directly from his current partnership.
"At that point my boyfriend and I had been dating for almost a year," said Yan. "He had asked me more than once when I would write a song about him. My answer was always that I don't write a song about someone unless they've hurt me, so we would always laugh about how he'd need to do something really awful first. And honestly yeah, I tend not to write happy feel-good love songs. For some reason I decided that it was time. 'Hey Boy' is about our long-distance relationship. We don't always get to see each other when we want to, and that can be very difficult."
Even though times get tough, Yan and his boyfriend know their relationship is worth the work.
"As Eva Longoria's character on Desperate Housewives puts it, "If it were anyone else, it wouldn't be worth it,"" said Yan. "When we watched that episode together we instantly smiled at each other, and I made sure to include that line in the song." The single was created with Toronto-based producer and music engineer Dima Graziani.
"The process was a collaborative effort as it always is," said Yan. "It stays true to my love of electro and synth pop, but this time we also added some brass. We deliberately chose a fun, light-hearted approach to the production. Though the lyrics are heartfelt, I wanted the music to be light and airy so as not to weigh the record down too much. As a result, "Hey Boy" is the kind of song you can play at a home party, or on a date!"
Yan only asks that his listeners have a good time listening to "Hey Boy".
"It's so easy, and it doesn't take itself too seriously," said Yan. "When it comes to the lyrics, maybe it will inspire those of you who are also in a long-distance relationship to celebrate the love you have, and really focus on the positives." You can help support Yan Simon by following his socials linked below, donating to his Bandcamp, and by streaming his music on all platforms.