«I have wasted so much time looking for someone to complete me when Mr. Right was in front of me all along», Yanni Burton reflects.
«We tell ourselves we need that special someone to complete us when most of the time all we need is already with us». Produced by Lars Soderberg (Lauv, Adam Rickfors, Black Eyed Peas’ Printz Board), «End Up Missing» is Yanni Burton’s third independent single release this year. It is available now on Apple Music, Spotify and all digital platforms.
«I wrote ‘End Up Missing’ at a time in my life when I was staying out late, meeting new people, being stupid with friends and getting lost in dance music», Yanni explains. «It’s all about me being young and trying to figure out my love life and emotions: what’s new, real and worth committing to».
«I’ve always been a hopeless romantic», he adds.
When it came time to start thinking about the music video, Yanni knew he wanted to reach outside his comfort zone with a conceptual video that depicted the idea of growth and new beginnings. He thought it might be fun to create an artistic dance film in the desert of California’s Joshua Tree National Park.
He brought in Cassidy Noblet to choreograph the music video. He has performed with Katy Perry, Lady Gaga, Beyoncé, The Spice Girls, Britney Spears and recently co-choreographed the Hailee Steinfled and Gloria Trevi tours. «I had in mind that the dancers would both emulate the growth of trees and also represent the growth of human emotion and sexual experience, and how that looks in a purely physical form», Yanni explains.
The video features several incredible dancers including Cj Jenssen (currently on tour with JoJo Siwa), Jared Nathan (currently on tour with Hailey Steinfield) and Vincent Noiseux (who has danced with Alicia Keys, Beyoncé, Christina Aguilera, J. Lo, Katy Perry, and Ricky Martin, among others).
Yanni is not a trained dancer but he also appears nearly nude —in a leotard — in the video. To prepare his body both physically and mentally, he trained for three rigorous months in the gym and Barry’s Bootcamp. However, there was nothing he could do to prepare for the freak snow storm that arrived on the day before the shoot. Yanni’s call was at 5am, and the first scene required that he lie on the desert ground that had been transformed into a layer of snow overnight. «I still have ice burns on my knees!», he exclaims.
Yanni Burton grew up in Adelaide, Australia, a small town that also happens to be 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.
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 wrote letters of support for his U.S. residency.
Yanni describes life today as a «gay thirty-something in New York City» where he religiously attends Barry’s Bootcamp, pays too much rent and complains about it every second he can. He’s also found love and plans to walk down the aisle this spring.
His hope today is to be a voice for other LGBTQ independent artists trying to make it in the music industry. He feels it is important they share their voices and ideas to the world.
«By sharing our true selves, we give perspective and knowledge, and hopefully the world can all learn from it and move forward», he explains. He stays true to his experiences, even when they involve intimacy with another man, because he finds they are the most relatable songs he produces, for both gay and straight audiences.
Yanni Burton’s «End Up Missing» was added to the LGBTQ Music Chart last Sunday – you can vote on it here to make it get it into the chart.