Nuclear Fusion
GQ India|October 2020
Nuclear Fusion
Acquaint yourself with the world-melding sounds of Yanchan, the Canadian hip-hop artist of Sri Lankan descent, who is drawing new energy from an ancient instrument
Nishi Gupta

The year 1920 was a turning point in the life of artist Pablo Picasso. He’d just relocated to Paris, no longer a starving painter from Barcelona. In the wake of WWI, Picasso relaxed into and developed the styles that would become the hallmarks of his oeuvre: Experimenting with both neoclassicism and cubism, playing with space and structure, reinterpreting the old to produce new meaning more freely.

A century later, up in Canada, Yanchan Rajmohan finds himself in a similar space, one where he’s finding his voice in a boisterous global musical landscape. At the top of 2020, the mridangam player turned hip-hop producer joined serial collaborator Shan Vincent de Paul on their debut India tour, blazing through music festivals and the country’s premier venues, winning themselves a rapturous new audience who in turn went home and racked up the views on the pair’s Mrithangam Raps YouTube series.

Returning to Toronto just as the pandemic began to roll out around the world, Yanchan decided to put together a body of work that would “represent where I was in my life at that moment.” He also wanted to put together tracks with the intention of performing them in front of a live audience, he wrote on Instagram. And to accomplish all this, he sought inspiration in Picasso.

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October 2020