Yanchan's New Album, ‘Arul’, Is Contemporizing Carnatic Music For New Audiences


The start of this millennium saw a retrospective approach in music where where we began a shift towards contemporary soundscapes without losing sight of the past. This marked the inception of a movement characterized by remixes and eventually fusion music that modernized old Bollywood songs and Hindustani classical music in an attempt to not only preserve it but also to create a new paradigm resonant with younger generations that wanted to honour their dual identities with their visions of the future while firmly rooted in cultural heritage.

Rising from the same paradigm, Yanchan Rajmohan, professionally known as Yanchan, is a versatile artist celebrated for his groundbreaking fusion of hip-hop, R&B, and electronic music with traditional Carnatic elements. Hailing from Scarborough, Ontario, Yanchan has masterfully intertwined his Tamil heritage with his Canadian upbringing, creating a musical tapestry that reflects the rich cultural diversity of his background.

As a producer, singer, and accomplished Mridangist (South Indian hand drummer), Yanchan has carved a niche for himself by seamlessly blending genres in his solo and collaborative projects. He co-founded Emtee Music Group an independent label and artist development firm under which he released his debut EP, Yours Truly in 2016, marking the beginning of a musical journey that has amassed over 1.3 million streams on Spotify. Notably, Yanchan's music transcends boundaries, drawing inspiration from Tamil and Hindi cinema, Alternative R&B, Hip-Hop, Pop, Soul, Trap, and various sub-genres of Electronic music.

In 2019, Yanchan, alongside Shan Vincent De Paul, initiated the Mrithangam Raps series, showcasing his Mridangam skills while De Paul delivered captivating rap verses. The series gained immense popularity, propelling Yanchan to the forefront of the Indian music movement.

Yanchan's most recent project, the album Arul, a collaboration with Sandeep Narayan, pushes the boundaries of Carnatic music and makes it more accessible by infusing it with pop, hip-hop, house, and other genres. The album's cover art, a creation by Shan Vincent De Paul and Arrun Siva, reflects the artists' profound love for both the Tamil language and English.

No matter how much we're shamed for it by older generations, we don't listen to the old music they used to. But we still have love for it that was instilled in us through our families whether it's Carnatic music, regional/folk music or some good ol' Mohammed Rafi. The recent rise of Instagram remixed of old classics from the previous century and even 2000s is proof that we love nostalgia but with a twist. Serving as cultural representation in contemporary music, Yanchan's latest musical odyssey not only pays homage to his roots but also bridges both cultural and generational gaps; creating a harmonious blend that will resonate with audiences worldwide.

Follow Yanchan here.