EXCLUSIVE: We talk to Choir of Young Believers for his album ‘Grasque’

Choir of Young Believers recently released his newest album Grasque for Ghostly Records. Jannis Noya Makrigiannis’ has come back full-force and with renewed energy with his newest LP, and we’ve been excited to see this one come out to the public.

We were lucky enough to ask a few questions just in time for the album. Listen to the stream below, and check out what he has to say about his travels, and his music making process below.


You’ve been gearing up for your upcoming album Grasque. If you could relay one central message to your listeners, what would you want them to get from this LP?

Central message to my listeners?!?! He he, it sounds like a question you would ask a politician. I have absolutely no idea of how to answer this question!

In an interview, you mentioned that you tend to sit on your songs for upwards of a year before going in and recording them. Was this the process with Grasque as well? What was your song-making/writing process in general for this album?

Well, three of the songs from the new album (“Face Melting”, “Gamma Moth” and “Græske”), I wrote with Aske Zidore (producer on “Grasque” and now member of Choir of Young Believers), and not being the only songwriter in COYB is definitely new to me.

All three songs came about in the same, and for me, new way of working, which was that Aske and I had these long improvisation sessions, and then we would cut out smaller parts we liked, loop them and pitch them and just generally mess around with them on the computer. Later we would involve the band to dub on it and make the whole thing melt a bit more together.

But this collage way of building a song has definitely been an important and new way of working, and really been shaping this record, because “Græske” and “Face Melting” were the two first songs we recorded for the album, and since we produced them at the same time as we wrote them the sonic landscape took up much more space than with my previous work, where it always was about servicing the song writing. So these two tunes kind of set the estethics for the rest of the album.

What are some of the key pieces of gear you use to write your tracks in the studio? Were there any particular instruments that were heavily featured in this album?

The sampler in Garageband for iPhone was a great new toy for me, and we used it so much on all the tracks, it’s just so easy to use and you have it with you all the time. Another thing that really shaped this record is the lack of guitar. I was so fed up of playing guitar around this time and not playing and being able to hide behind it, I feel that also changed my way of singing.

Choir of Young Believers has a worldly influence of various locations and geographies, especially with the story of an extended stay in Greece being firmly a part of COYB’s back-story, but what about these days? Are there any locations you’ve been to lately that have influenced you?

I spent a couple of months in Buenos Aires just hanging out, dancing and eventually started writing for Grasque on that trip.

What about musically? Who have you been listening to lately/who has influenced you lately?

Hans Abrahamsen, Dean Blunt, Sami Yusuf, CTM, Travis Scott, Alice Coltrane.

Finally, do you have any plans that you can share with us for the rest of 2016?

It is so simple, but I just want to go on tour now, I have been missing it so much, and now I can’t wait no more. But I also feel like recording some new material as soon as possible. I feel that making Grasque has really given me a lot of energy and new found joy and interest in making music again.

Thanks so much for chatting with us! Purchase Grasque via the Ghostly Store.

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