By Mick Sandoval
Photos: Dusty St. Amand, Courtney Charles
Yanni Burton is dangerously in love in his new single and music video, “Worth It,” a song he wrote with Nate Campany (Dua Lipa, Carly Rae Jepsen, Adam Lambert, Christina Aguilera, and Tove Lo) about the intoxicating and sometimes overwhelming sensation of an exciting new passion. “It was inspired by the time I was performing a classical music festival inside a European castle in the middle of nowhere,” Yanni reflects. “I met a boy, went boy crazy, and wildness ensued.” Produced by Lars Soderberg (Lauv, Adam Rickfors, Black Eyed Peas’ Printz Board), “Worth It” is Yanni Burton’s fourth independent single release this year.
Directed by Tiger Darrow, the video takes the story of a playful fling between boys and explores what happens when it transforms into a toxic situation, where pushing the boundaries of fun and games turns into a life-altering moment. It has a late seventies European summer vibe, depicting Yanni as fledgling gay being seduced by a charming, edgy bad boy (played by Kevin William Reed) and led into breaking into a mansion where the boys frolic around the gardens in their underwear, make-out in the massive swimming pool and have sex all over the house.
“The idea is that relationships can be one-sided and dangerously blind,” says Yanni. “The price can be high, and you have to wonder, is it worth it?”
“Where I certainly wouldn’t want to go to jail for a fling, I can see how allowing a guy to take control and lead me down a risky path I would never normally take, can be exciting. The experience of that energy, lust, and passion from being dangerously in love will last a lifetime and so yeah, maybe for me; it is worth it.”
Yanni Burton grew up in Adelaide, Australia, a small town that also happens to be the birthplace of pop singer Sia. He lived in the city with his mother but holidays were spent in the country on his dad’s farm. “The farm was in the middle of nowhere, and I’d arrive in solid gold sneakers, booty shorts, and a tank top like I’d just come off the set of Priscilla Queen of the Desert,” he remembers.
For college, Yanni attended the prestigious Juilliard School in Manhattan where he studied the double bass. In fact, he holds a bachelor’s and master’s degree in orchestral performance and is Producer and General Manager of the Salome Chamber Orchestra, where he has performed alongside a long list of celebrated artists including John Legend, Michelle Williams, Natasha Bedingfield, and Rufus Wainwright. John Legend and Rufus Wainwright were instrumental in helping Yanni to obtain an artist green card. Both wrote letters of support for his US residency.
Yanni describes life today as a “gay thirty-something in New York City” where he religiously attends Barry’s Bootcamp, pays too much rent and complains about it every second he can. He has also found love. He and his fiancé were engaged last fall and plan to walk down the aisle this spring.
Yanni Burton’s “Worth It” is available now on Apple Music, Spotify, and all digital platforms. Visit yanniburton.com and follow him on Instagram at @yburton.