If there’s one thing Master Yeti learned from growing up in Chicago, it’s how to hustle. Coming from a musical family, with his father an esteemed pianist and Minister of Music, and his late uncle a left-handed bass player, the rising star is a music lover if there ever was one — dedicating his entire life to perfecting his craft. Now, he’s ready to take things to the next level.
In describing himself, he states, “Master Yeti is a producer who specializes in creating music, with super chill vibes. I like to paint pictures with my music so the listener can relate on a whole other level.”
Like with any independent artist, Yeti had to find his own means to invest in his music career. Attending Columbia College Chicago on an art scholarship, Yeti began learning how to become a graphic and web designer, something he prides himself into this day. Additionally, he launched a clothing brand called Veyron Calanariwith his brothers back in 2015.
With the ability to both produce and record, Yeti unleashed his debut single titled “On My Own” at the end of 2019. Fast forward to today, he returns with his newest single titled “Heartbeat,” inspired directly by the film Resident Evil. The meaning behind it? Imagine Chicago being infected with a virus that turns you into a zombie, and the only person who can save the zombies is Master Yeti. On his journey, he goes through hell to find his true love.
AllHipHop: How would you describe your sound?
Master Yeti: My sound is trap and R&B mixed together in a laid back type of vibe. It’s not your everyday sound that you’re used to hearing. I try to do my 808s differently from what everyone else does because I know it’s a lot of 808 patterns out there. My patterns are a little bit different the way I make them, I call it making them trip. I make them stutter.
AllHipHop: What was it like growing up in the South Side of Chicago?
Master Yeti: I grew up on the South Side of Chicago, I came from the hood. I grew up around a lot of poverty, gangbanging, fighting, all that type of stuff. It’s everything you hear on the news and worse. But I ended up sticking to my path, sticking to my truth of what I knew I wanted to become. Growing up as a teenager just being who I am, sticking to school, sticking to the books. I didn’t have to be a part of the streets to have the streets with me, I still gained them for life.
AllHipHop: Biggest influences growing up?
Master Yeti: Tupac, Biggie, Lil Wayne, and Bone Thugs was top notch. When you listen to any of my music, you can hear their influences. I do a lot of melodic stuff because that’s what I grew up listening to. My family’s in the church, my uncle was a famous bass player. He played for Yolanda Adams, Kirk Franklin, R. Kelly, all these other types of people. He did a lot of work with them so I wanted to be like him growing up. I wanted to get out in the limelight. At 15, he was touring. Sadly, he passed away at 39 from cancer. He was touring all the way up until 39 so I wanted to be like that. He was the biggest success in our family growing up.
Coming from the hood and to see him jump up and jump out of there off an instrument, that was amazing, I wanted to have a piece of that. I ended up steering into the art realm: I’m a graphic designer, web designer, and a cinematographer. Plus, I have a clothing brand as well. I got everything. [laughs] The biggest goal is the music, but I want the clothing and film to work simultaneously too.
AllHipHop: Does that mean you do all your own artwork?
Master Yeti: Yes! I started out as a graphic designer, web designer. I had a lot of clients, but I had to take on less projects when I wanted to get into music. I still have some open projects now. On the daily, it’s how I make my money. I do big websites with big companies and still create graphics for clients too. But music is what I love to do to be honest. That’s why I built my home studio. I put a lot of money into the studio and the film equipment as well because I knew I’d want to shoot my own music videos. I make everything work together. I record myself, I mix and engineer my own music. I design the cover artwork. I’m doing all my own videos, all my visual effects. I do everything, I’m a one man team. It’s a lot of work, but it’s my passion. I love what I do and I keep going.
AllHipHop: What was the inspiration behind your name?
Master Yeti: Well a yeti is a legend, it doesn’t really exist, it’s a myth. When I first started making music, friends and family were surprised that I played all my own instruments, figured out the software and could sing. So I thought of myself as a yeti – this kind of unbelievable creature. I try to master everything that I do, so Master Yeti just made sense.
AllHipHop: New single “Heartbeat,” I know this is inspired by Resident Evil correct?
Master Yeti: Yes, “Heartbeat” was inspired by Resident Evil. I fell into a vision when I was watching the latest Resident Evil movie and kind of merged it with Marvel. What if I was like Tony Stark – rich, super-hero with a lot of gadgets? I have this superpower that lets me hear on a different frequency when I’m wearing my headphones – kind of how a dog can only hear a dog whistle. We are in a zombie, apocalyptic time and the only way to find out if a person is fully turned is for me to listen for their heartbeat with my headphones. It’s risky because it means I have to get very close to them. If I hear a heartbeat they can be saved. The song ends up being more of a love song about a girl I’m trying to save from being a zombie.
AllHipHop: Is there going to be a music video?
Master Yeti: Definitely going to shoot a music video and make it look like a movie! I have a vision, just trying to work out all the details. But you can expect it to resemble Resident Evil, that kind of dark, twisted fantasy-like feel.
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AllHipHop: What does the cover art represent?
Master Yeti: The cover art is a picture of me wearing my headphones – my super power. I like to think that I have the ability to hear what most people can’t. It all flows with the meaning of the song and the vision for the video.
AllHipHop: You did a club remix to “Lulu Lemon,” do you have a love for EDM as well?
Master Yeti: Yes, I like EDM because it’s different. The energy at the club when EDM is playing is lit. See I’m from the hood and everybody from the hood does rap. And that’s cool, but I like to mix some of that up. I try to mix it all up actually. Trap mixed with some EDM. Trap mixed with some Adele. I like to mix stuff up to get a unique sound.
AllHipHop: 3 things you need in the studio?
Master Yeti: I need peace of mind because if I don’t have peace of mind, then I can’t create. I definitely have to smoke to come to the room, but I don’t want to say that. [laughs] I honestly don’t need much to come into here, just peace of mind, a fast running computer, and snacks.
AllHipHop: Talk about your clothing line Veyron Calanari launched in 2015.
Master Yeti: I had been creating logos and designs for clients for so long, I finally thought it was time to do it for myself. My identical twin brother and older brother joined forces and we opened our store in the West Town neighborhood. There were a lot of other small businesses in the area which was cool. It had a good vibe. One of my signature designs is the screaming face, it is a symbol of fortitude. It’s all colors coming together screaming at once, letting people know that no matter what color you are, we all have the same struggles. We all bleed the same. It’s so crazy and that’s why a lot of people came to the brand because that was one of our power factors over other brands in the city, to have that fortitude.
We produce a limited number of pieces in each collection. The idea is that when you buy something from VC, you won’t end up at the club wearing the same thing as the guy next to you. It makes it that much more special. We have a great manufacturer in Italy that is producing our knitwear and working on our denim and footwear collection. I’m excited to wear these new pieces in my upcoming music videos.
AllHipHop: What are you excited for next? Any upcoming projects?
Master Yeti: I’m always excited for the next song, my next beat. But I do have a big project I’ve been working on over the past year or so. I’m looking for space now to house Yeti Studios. It will have three music studios, a full green screen room for all environmental creations and visual FX, and a photography lab. I’m excited to be able to offer a state of the art music, film and photography production studio here in Chicago.