Yiannis Alexander: Embracing Music, Berlin, and Personal Growth

Yiannis Alexander, a Berlin-based musician embodies a deep-seated passion for music that has been with him since childhood.

His debut EP, “Kerosene Hearts,” explores themes of breakup, revealing a mature and introspective side. Despite the melancholic undertones, Yiannis’ music is evolving towards a more upbeat, genre-blending sound that reflects his love for Funk, Disco, R&B, and Jazz.

Berlin, a musical hub in Europe, has played a pivotal role in shaping Yiannis’ identity as an artist. It has provided him with a diverse artistic community and an environment that encourages self-discovery. Beyond music, Yiannis finds inspiration in cooking and visual art, seeing parallels between these creative endeavors and his musical process.

Yiannis Alexander EP 'Kerosene Hearts'

For aspiring musicians, Yiannis emphasizes the importance of dedication to one’s craft and authenticity. He advocates for finding a balance between honing one’s skills and not overthinking the pursuit of perfection. Ultimately, Yiannis believes that genuine artistry will always find its way to the forefront.

In his pursuit of happiness, Yiannis places love and creativity at the core. His family, including his wife and dogs, bring him unparalleled joy. The act of creating, surrounded by loved ones, forms the cornerstone of his happiness.

Yiannis Alexander EP 'Kerosene Hearts'

Happy: What are you up to today?

Yiannis: Standard day, just working and going to write some music when I’m home.

Happy: What’s the music scene like in your neck of the woods?

Yiannis:  Incredible! I live in Berlin which is probably the main city in Europe for Music. So many amazing companies, songwriters, producers and musicians. I’m just constantly inspired

Happy: Can you tell us about your musical background and what led you to pursue a career in music?

Yiannis:  I’ve been playing guitar since I was 7, singing since I could talk. I was always in the school choir, and part of rock bands growing up.

I later studied Audio Engineering, and have been working as a label executive for the last 10 years. I decided to start writing and releasing music again 4 years ago. 

I’ve just always known I wanted to pursue music professionally. It’s been my calling since I was a young boy.

Happy: Can you share any memorable moments or experiences from the recording or production process of “Kerosene Hearts”?

Yiannis: For one the whole EP was recorded, produced and written in 5 days. My producer Birk B came to town and I told him ‘We’re finishing an EP while you’re here.

 I don’t care what the outcome is, this is how much time we have, whatever we create, we put out.”

 I also had a horrible cold the whole time and had a very stuffy nose. Still managed to create something I’m very proud of!

Happy: What inspired you to explore the theme of breakup in your debut EP, “Kerosene Hearts”?

Yiannis: No specific reason to be honest. I have been happily married for years, so nothing that’s happened recently.

 I just tend to get inspired by sadness. More than anything I kind of came up with the titles of the song first and really loved the imagery they were creating. 

The lyrics organically followed and I started noticing an ongoing theme which I felt came together beautifully in the end.

Happy: Could you share the creative process behind the opening track, “My Shirt,” and how it sets the tone for the rest of the EP?

Yiannis: The initial idea behind the song was actually written for a completely different song for another artist.

 I really liked the melody and concept and decided I wanted to keep it for myself. The song gave me a very angsty feel while also using strong metaphors and very poetic lyricism. 

It reminded me a lot of my teenage days while maintaining a sense of maturity. This felt like the perfect foundation to build this EP on and start a new project on. 

I was looking for a way to grow and transition into a new phase, and this felt like a perfect opportunity.

Happy: Can you talk about the role of Berlin in shaping your musical style and identity as an artist?

Yiannis: It’s been game changing for me moving here. I feel like the city and my life here has helped me truly find myself. 

Being able to go to more shows, and see so many unique people and artists, really pushes me to strive to find my own identity, as opposed to striving to copy others.

That was something I felt like I was doing a lot more in the past.

Happy: Were there any particular artists or influences that played a significant role in shaping the sound and style of “Kerosene Hearts”?

Yiannis: Echoing what I said earlier, this felt like one of the first times in my career as an artist where I genuinely did not go into the writing sessions with any direct influencers, or striving to be like anyone. 

I just took all my inspirations and made something that felt unique and fresh to me.

Happy: How do you see your music evolving in the future? Are there any new directions or genres you’re interested in exploring?

Yiannis: The new music I’m currently writing and recording is a lot less sad and less rock-y. I personally love listening to Funk, Disco, R&B and Jazz, and my voice really shines in those genres. 

In my heart, I know it’s the type of music that defines me personally the most. Generally it’s going to be a lot more upbeat, sexy / romantic and just generally good vibes.

Happy: Beyond music, do you have any other creative interests or hobbies that influence your artistry?

Yiannis: Music does take a big chunk of my life right now but I would say my biggest passion outside of Music is Cooking.

If music didn’t work out I would have loved to pursue being a chef. I see a lot of similarities with music and cooking. 

Ultimately both require a lot of love, discipline and care to create a good product. You can’t rush it, and I’ve definitely tried to apply this thought process to my recent works. 

Outside of that I love Art. My wife is an artist, she actually does my artwork, and we often go to Museums or galleries, I always find myself being extremely inspired by that too.

Happy: What advice would you give to aspiring musicians who are just starting out in their careers?

Yiannis: Focus and invest in your craft above anything else. Don’t rush your art, but also don’t wait too long, trying to reach perfection. 

It’s a fine balance. Ultimately, love what you’re creating and be your own biggest fan. Be vulnerable, be you and don’t overthink it all. 

Only compete with yourself and no one else, and take care of yourself in the process. Good art will cut through the noise, so don’t try to be a gimmick as that will quickly die out.

Happy: Lastly, what makes you happy?

Yiannis: First and foremost, Love. My wife and my dogs make me happier than anything else in this world. 

After that it’s creativity. If I had the chance to just create and be with my family and friends all day, I would probably reach peak happiness.