By Jordan Yeager
VANCOUVER – Charlie Yin is an introvert. He started out listening to indie rock, playing in bands as a teenager influenced heavily by The Strokes and Interpol. But, preferring to work in solitude, Yin adopted the pseudonym Robot Science – which has since been changed to Giraffage – and “decided to explore the world of electronic music.” He was only 14. Now, he’s created a niche auditory aesthetic that retains a recognizable sound while still growing from one project to the next.
Yin is about to embark on a tour with Ryan Hemsworth, another producer who started out making beats in his basement and has since released four studio albums, seven EPs, two mixtapes, and toured the globe extensively.
“Ryan and I have come up together,” says Yin. “I remember listening to his remixes way back when we were both little SoundCloud tadpoles. We’re very similar in a lot of ways, so it’s really easy when we’re together. Creatively, we literally can make music together all day and all night, so it’s a great match in that realm as well.”
It’s safe to say both Yin and Hemsworth have outgrown the tadpole phase. But that doesn’t necessarily mean Yin is comfortable swimming in the deeper waters his evolution has led him to.
“I’m a major introvert, so being in a setting where you have very little time to yourself is stressful,” says Yin. “But I’ve begun to tour a lot more sustainably, and it’s been helping my mental health a lot – sticking to strict diets, exercising, and drinking very little if any alcohol. My favourite aspect of touring is experiencing different cultures and customs, getting fresh perspectives on life and contextualizing my own life.”
The Open World Tour kicks off with its first show in Vancouver and spans almost two dozen dates across North America. It comes on the heels of Yin’s Too Real Tour, throughout which he promoted his first release since 2014. The interim between projects was spent in a creative and emotional slump, and creating Too Real was the ladder Yin needed to climb out of it.
“[There was] a lot of trial and error, and a lot of anxiety-filled days and nights,” says Yin. “After I finished [the track] ‘Slowly,’ the rest of the album came a bit easier. It was almost like a reference track that I would refer to, giving the whole album a sense of cohesion. It’s a lot more vocal-heavy and sample-free from my last endeavours. I wanted a more organic sounding body of work, whereas my last EP No Reason was very synthetic sounding.”
Giraffage and Ryan Hemsworth play Fortune Sound Club on October 24.