Montreal-based YA NO is turning heads with his debut album Mesearch, out now. After over a decade-long hiatus, Edmund Lam has redefined his musical artistry and sound and has come back to the Montreal music scene as genre-defying artist YA NO.
Check out Fiji here on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ETPBHj-NZRM
Formerly a member of electro pop duo Hexes & Ohs, Lam’s musical comeback consists of a melting pot of genres, with indie pop at the core, fused with alternative R&B and rap influences. YA NO pulls influence from artists like Mac Miller, Toro y Moi, and Frank Ocean. Mesearch embraces musical diversity with its tracks making leaps from electro grooves to smooth soulful R&B to syncopated rap rhythms.
Before its release, the 9-track record was a project of nearly two years in the making. The creation of Mesearch began during the pandemic as a venture to cure boredom and explore what new sound could come of making music again. The album was produced, written, and recorded entirely by the multi-instrumentalist himself. “[I’m] very happy I found a new voice with the best music I’ve ever made,” he says. Lam made his musical debut as YA NO at the end of 2021. The name originates from Canadian lingo where “yeah no” means no and “no yeah” means yes.
Listen on Spotify here: https://open.spotify.com/track/3ILjYUinzhnYfWQpycn9cW?si=c5b4e23521704452&nd=1
Alongside the album, the bedroom electro artist released a music video for his single “Too Much.” Inspired by 90s magazines and fashion ads, the video pairs the synth-pop single with complimenting visuals. Lam teamed up with video director Fedya Vinkovetsky to produce the ingenious video which features an all-Asian cast in celebration of Montreal’s vibrant Asian creative community.
The debut full-length album has come as a success, leading YA NO to sign with an independent music publisher. The artist presented his pandemic-inspired album to a few contacts in the industry and ultimately started a bidding-war between publishers. YA NO signed with Third Side Music in 2023, undoubtedly with a plentiful electro-filled future ahead.