Meet Chicago-based hip hop artist and music producer Master Yeti. Since Master Yeti released his first single, “On My Own” in November 2019, he has quickly amassed an organic fan base of over 155K monthly listeners. Catching a wave on streaming playlists and airwaves, Yeti’s latest single “Livin’ Life” racked up over 600K streams and extensive radio airplay. Finding his footing through a deep family musical background, Master Yeti began producing in 2017 and has honed his ability to craft powerful melodies and cohesive songs across genres. Master Yeti’s versatile catalog is in part due to inspiration from his father, an esteemed pianist and the Minister of Music at Mount Joy Baptist Church in Chicago, and late uncle, an acclaimed left-handed bass player.
After attending Columbia College Chicago on an art scholarship, Yeti got on the grind as an enterprising entrepreneur by working as a graphic and web designer before founding his Chicago-based creative design, artist development and music production house, Yeti Studios. In 2015, he also partnered with his brothers to launch a culture-first signature fashion brand, Veyron Calanari (www.veyroncalanari.com) in Chicago’s West Town neighborhood.
Master Yeti is leveraging his music presence and creative design skills to step into artist development, and is turning his focus toward a career as a songwriter, music producer and creative director to secure far-reaching placements in commercial music, film and television. He envisions his roster of future collaborations to include A-list talent such as Drake, Ye, Post Malone, Lil’ Baby, Migos, Nicki Minaj and more.
We’re here with Master Yeti, all the way from Chicago, here to Atlanta! What’s going on with you today, what brings you here?
Master Yeti: I’m here in town for some recording sessions with my family who’s a multi-platinum producer, Space Da Goat, and to get some feedback from the DJ’s here in Atlanta. That feedback is critical to my next steps as an artist and producer, my process and what I got coming out. We’re also planning to shoot a few videos with my nephew who’s an amazing cinematographer, Roddy Productions.
Moving and shaking, okay I see! So, coming from Chicago, your dad was a minister of music. And then also your late uncle was a left hand bass player. Talk to us about the inspiration you received from them.
Master Yeti: I’ve always had the inspiration since I was younger. My dad, me and my brothers, we had a piano downstairs. My Grandma played the organ and used to sit up and play for us when I was seven years old. Sometimes, it would be my Uncle Anthony, or my Dad. They both were into music, and he was a great pianist and organist. This guy can play anything after listening to it within a matter of seconds. So, I got the same gift from them — I can listen to anything and I can play it. Him and my Uncle had been playing for celebrities since I was young. My first time with Anthony was when he brought Michelle from Destiny to the house. He kept telling us to play it cool. He was playing with Kirk Franklin, Yolanda Adams. So, his inspiration and his legacy was so big to me because it showed me anything is possible. I want to keep that legacy and carry on because we have so many kids in the family.
It’s good that you have that legacy that you’re trying to maintain. In the music world, we’ve gotten away from that, what music really is and how to cultivate that. Now, you have a twin brother, are y’all actually identical twins?
Master Yeti: Yeah, we’re identical — but he’s a gym rat. That’s what he does 24/7. He keeps me in shape and lets me know what’s up. He taught me everything I know when it comes to health stuff.
So, your creative background is really your foundation. How did you transition from that creative design space to this creative music space?
Master Yeti: Well, when I started shooting videos, and I started doing weddings and all these other things that required mp3s, I needed stuff that I could use without licensing. So, my Grandma is really the one who gave me the vocals and taught me how to control everything, but knowing how to play the piano, I can listen to anything and just play off my ear. I converted over from design and just started making music. I’m already creative in 3D design and know my way around the art space. I got started after design school making a lot of websites. During the COVID pandemic, I really got serious about making music. I had contractors come into the basement and built a professional studio. I taught myself how to produce, and started looking for people to record. I started looking at my own voice and was like, okay this works. From there, I just started pushing out music and before you know it, I was making fans. I was able to go in, produce my beat, and record myself, engineer, make my own graphics, do my own photoshoots, my own videos, everything. Sometimes, other people don’t see your vision. I mix the music with the imagery, the imagery, then it creates this whole different environment for the viewer. It’s captivating.
How does it feel to have people believing in you?
Master Yeti: I like people to be blunt with me. 100%. I don’t like sugar coating or “Yes, men”, none of that. If you don’t like it, if it’s not good, let me know. Because I want to go back in and see how I can, skip that little barrier real quick. It’s truly helped me to just get better at everything and create more opportunities.
As a black man, you have cultivated your own voice with everything that you’ve done from the ground up to now. Why do you think it’s so important for us to make sure that we elevate the voice of black men?
Master Yeti: Elevating and maintaining that voice is very important, especially when you’re trying to speak to the younger generation. As you make your way in the music business, all these people are looking up to you. We are held on a certain standard. We all need to think about how what we’re doing and saying can elevate us and give us the courage to be out there. The youth are so impressionable, you know, and listening to the wrong voice can really detour you. I have a 10 year old son and he has his own personality, his own things that he likes as he’s growing, and he’s becoming his own person. He has certain creatives that he attaches to, and it kind of speaks to who he is on the inside. They need authentic stuff to hear to help mold them into something positive.
That’s powerful. So, tell us what you have coming up and where people can connect with you?
Master Yeti: Yeah, thank you, I appreciate you. Anyone can follow me and stay plugged in through my social media @Master.Yeti and my website MasterYetiMusic.com where we’ll be dropping more exclusive merch real soon. I’m just focused on doing more shows and locked in the studio in Chicago creating new music. I look forward to collaborating with other dope producers and writers. My new single, “That’s My Slime” with my brother Space Da Goat is available to check out now on all platforms. Just follow me on Spotify for all new music!
Check out “That’s My Slime” HERE.