HSC: Yianni on song

Yianni Adams

Musician and songwriter Yianni Adams. Photo: Kitty Beale

When a primary school aged Yianni Adams tried double bass at the Conservatorium of Music, staff said they didn’t think he was the musical type.

Fast forward to 2016 and the De La Salle College Ashfield Year 12 graduate’s talent has blossomed to include proficiency in eight instruments, songs he has written played on triple j radio, and a nomination for HSC music showcase Encore.

“I’m always happy to play, whether it’s at the Opera House or just in my bedroom, but it was amazing to be nominated,” Yianni said.

He completed the video submission for program selectors shortly after being hospitalised with a collapsed lung.

The five-minute guitar performance, also his assessment piece for the Music 1 HSC course, included covers of  Little Wing by Jimi Hendrix,  Bistro Fada by Stephane Wrembel, and Jazz standard Summertime adapted to contain a Cuban rhythm.

“I kind of changed it and made it my own,” he said. “I didn’t do anything drastic but it was different to any other version I had heard.

“Everyone said the markers were going to be strict and no smiling or anything, but we went in and they were so calm and light and easy, just really cool people.”

Yianni also plays bass guitar, piano, drums, mandolin, banjo, bouzouki, and ukulele.

He is guitarist and songwriter for the band Hibernia, whose indie rock/dream pop offerings were played on high rotation by triple j Unearthed in 2015.

This was the HSC year for all five members of the band which includes vocalist Sarah Azzi, bass guitarist Bob Killalea, guitarist Raiden Bitar, and drummer Malvin Chakanyuka.

“We’re recording a new song at the moment,” Yianni said. “Because we don’t know how things will go being outside of school we’re just playing it easy.

“During HSC tests we didn’t play any gigs or rehearse because our guitarist was the school captain of our school and our singer was the school captain of Bethlehem [College] which is next door. It’s not as stressful anymore. It’s kind of free and we can do what we want.”

Yianni begins a Bachelor of Contemporary Performance at the Australian Institute of Music (AIM) this year.

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