Meet Ian Yoon, a 19 year old Indie-Alternative singer and songwriter from Malaysia. He made his debut on April 6th, 2020 with the single “Lines”. On May 7th, 2020, he released his 7 track debut album Koreatown.

On May 1st, 2024, Ian Yoon released his first single of 2024 titled “rome”. Behind The Beat had the opportunity to interview Ian Yoon to discuss the meaning and inspiration behind “rome”, his musical journey and more.


Can you introduce yourself? What do you do?

Ian Yoon: My name is Ian Yoon, and I’m a 19-year old Malaysian artist. I write my own songs, and I also play in my band Wallflower from time to time!

How did your musical journey begin?

Ian Yoon: My interest in music stems from the violin, and I picked up the violin because it was in my school’s syllabus. I originally wanted to pick up the recorder like everyone else, but the classes ran out of space. So I picked up my brother’s old violin, and my life changed from there !


Ian Yoon: rome” is a song I wrote when I was in a bit of a tough spot adjusting to my long distance relationship’s circumstances. My girlfriend and I both have a similar taste in music, and music was one of the ways where we could really connect. All those things put together inspired me to write “rome”.

What is the inspiration behind this song? / What is the meaning?

Ian Yoon: “Rome was not built in a day” was a phrase that was commonly thrown around during my younger years. It’s not something I really thought about, but I think the meaning behind it is really beautiful. The saying is telling us to have patience, for beautiful things don’t happen overnight. I like to think that applies to my relationship in some way, that things may be hard now, but they’ll be better with patience and time.

What was the writing and production process like for this song?

Ian Yoon: At the initial time of writing, I was really enamored by Greg Gonzalez of Cigarettes After Sex. His voice had this quality that I really wanted to try and replicate. To do that, I binged their entire discography to try and get something close, production and lyric-wise.

Can you describe this song using a colour and why you chose that colour?

Ian Yoon: I like to think that in many ways this song feels really warm. Maybe beige? In my mind when I was writing this song, I had the image of a beach in like a Greek seaside city; the ones with the houses on the coastline. Pretty ironic that I ended up calling it “rome”.

What do you want your fans/listeners to feel and take away from “rome”?

Ian Yoon: I want them to feel comforted with the music – I think people nowadays listen to music more as “white noise” to filter out disturbances when they’re studying, but I really want the listeners to sort of “sit in it” and listen to what I’m trying to say.

How did you find your sound? And can you describe your general genre?

Ian Yoon: My friends have described my sound as sort of an “all-you-can-eat buffet”, which I find quite funny. I’ve never been able to settle fully into producing just one genre of music. I feel that every release I have should be like a new turn that my listeners do not expect. But if I had to describe my general genre, I would say it’s very influenced by indie and alternative music.

What is your favourite song from your discography so far? And for first time listeners, what song would you recommend them to listen to out of your discography?

Ian Yoon: It’s a bit of a cliche thing to say, but I think this release may be my favorite yet. It’s the one that was written purely out of emotion and not for fun. It isn’t the usual “writing about falling in love” me, but a more raw and emotional side of my music. For first time listeners, I would recommend checking out “deja vu”. I like to  consider that song a sort of “new life” in my discography, so for new listeners I think it would be the perfect starting point.

Without giving away too many details, what can listeners expect for the rest of 2024?

Ian Yoon: Writing this song was a blast, and listeners can expect many more releases, and a more intimate side of my music. Maybe I’ll be at a festival, or maybe I’ll have my own show ? But nonetheless, 2024 is going to be a great year.

“rome” is now available on all digital streaming platforms, so make sure to listen to it here. It’s one of our favourite releases from Ian Yoon so far, so we hope you love it just as much as we do.

Special thanks to Ian Yoon for taking the time to do this interview with us!

Check out Ian Yoon on Spotify:

Check out Ian Yoon on Instagram: @dbn.wo

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