Yann Destal, Intense Soulful Composer: Let Me Be Mine
Quiet, intense and soulful, there’s an aura about Yann Destal that stands out and it’s something you feel when you hear his music which is always deep and powerfully emotional. Back in 1998 Yann Destal formed Modjo with RomainTranchart and his world changed their song, ‘Lady (hear me tonight)’ became an international hit – burning up dancefloors the world over. Success was suddenly here - and it came as an explosion rather. Modjo went on to record several more hits before Romain and Yann embarked on their respective solo careers. ‘The Great Blue Scar’, Yann’s first solo album, was produced in London with Paul Kendal ( Depeche Mode, Goldfrapp) and Steven Hague ( Peter Gabriel , Pet Shop Boys) and one of the tracks, "Feel Else" was featured in the advertising campaign for the perfume "V" Valentino – proving Yann to be a talented mainstay on the music scene.
He’s back with his new album, "Let me be mine" (and a second career as an actor). Creative Mapping went straight to the source to find out more. Yann Destal is a composer, a songwriter and a musician.
CM: How did you become a musician and singer?
When I was very young, around four or five, I was very into music... my father was very into music. I was taught the flute... I’d go to the stairway where there was some reverb – and I’d just stand there in the dark playing the flute hours. When I left school I went to music school and met a guy called Romain Tranchart. He was a friend I used to see from time to time and I heard him say he wanted to make some electronic music and he’d bought a sampler etc.. So (we got together) and made the song ‘Lady’ and some of his friends said to take the track to record companies, and we did and it (the song) became very famous – and that was Modjo. After (Modjo) I wanted to make my own music and then Yann Destal (solo act) was born.
CM: What was your journey to becoming a professional singer/songwriter? What does music mean to you?
When I was little, I thought real music was instrumental.... and if you put a voice on it it’s like a parasite or something because music has to be a language disconnected from reality, and if you put a voice with it, it’s too close to the normal way of communicating.
CM: What other musicians or music inspires you?
I like to listen to music from films and, I don’t know why, but synthesiser music, Vangelis, Jean Michel Jarre and so on. If you get into it and you listen to it with your headphones with your eyes closed before going to sleep, you find yourself in a another world, another galaxy. I was fully into it and was travelling very far away with this music. I don’t really know what inspiration is about, I have some artists I listen to, like a model if I want to do the same – I do my own thing but like to know how someone else does it. It (the inspiration) may be from way back, another time.
CM: What is it you do musically speaking?
I compose music, write the lyrics and play the instruments.
*Photography credits © Diane Navarro.