Anson Yeh Interview: How a Piano Prodigy Changed Music on Youtube

Some people are anime enthusiasts, while others are hopeless K-Pop fans. Few are both. However, one man stands on top of them all. Anson Yeh, the founder of Yeh Piano Covers, is a piano prodigy who changed the indie music landscape of Youtube.

Education

‘‘I started learning piano when I was four, so back in 2006,’’ he said. ‘‘I received my Collegial II Piano Diploma from McGill University in 2015 and my Level 10 Royal Conservatory of Music Diploma in 2016. I actually don’t know anyone else who obtained both diplomas.’’

Upon entering college, the Montreal Chinese Hospital handpicked Anson to become the President of its volunteering wing. He would play the piano for many of the elder patients in the hospital during his two years in the role. Importantly, his performances during the pandemic boosted the morale of both the staff and patients. The college’s band club, Hallyu, even recruited him as their lead pianist. This September, Anson will attend Université de Montréal in the Pharmacy program.

Anson Yeh
Image credit – Anson Yeh

‘‘I think I can get somewhere with piano, but I don’t like the stress of doing it as a job. I don’t want to rely on music to live; it’s my hobby,’’ Anson told The Game Crater. ”Besides, I did not take music in college because I know music theory already. Therefore, it would just be a waste of time and redundant if I took it again.”

Yeh Piano Covers

Despite his reservations, Yeh Piano Covers‘ content is unique, with a diverse mix of K-Pop, C-Pop, and even, anime music. The channel has its own set of cult followers, who are as much of a fan of Anson, as his music. Thanks to his strong performances, he is about to break the coveted 10k subscribers mark.

‘‘It feels weird,’’ he admitted. ”When I started, I thought it would be easy, but down the line, you almost become like an emotionless husk. There is always a bigger mountain to climb.’’ As the adage goes, the higher he climbed, the more treacherous the path became.

Guilty Crown Anson Yeh
Image Credit – Guilty Crown

In 2016, Anson created his first video, covering My Dearest from Guilty Crown, which garnered over 1600 views. ‘‘There were a lot of piano cover channels back then, too, but I thought I could play better than them,’’ Yeh gloated. ‘‘But then as time went by, I found hidden gems too.’’

Inspiration and Rivalry

Indeed, piano YouTubers are dime a dozen. However, a select few successfully cultivated a niche audience to reach heights never thought possible before. In that regard, Anson himself is an avid admirer of Animenz. Currently, one of the largest content creators on his side of the equation is undoubtedly Pan Piano. Yeh and Pan actually started their Youtube career in the same year. Pan even used to comment on Yeh’s videos. Eventually, she went her own way and rocketed to the top, while he had a steady, but slower climb.

Anson Yeh Pan Piano Comment
Image credit – Anson Yeh

‘‘I don’t watch any of Pan Piano’s videos. I find her skills on the piano lacking both in terms of musicality and originality,’’ Yeh commented. ‘‘However, I respect her for bringing the anime piano industry to where it is now. I don’t really like the direction she’s taking the field, but I respect her, nonetheless, for carving out her own place.’’

Unravel

Anson reached his own peak 6 months ago with the release of a tutorial for the Tokyo Ghoul opening, Unravel. The video stands at over 220k views and is his crowning achievement.

‘‘I will inevitably be associated with Unravel for the years to come,’’ Yeh boasted. ‘‘If you mention my name in any anime community, I am the ‘Unravel guy’. I made about 20 videos on Unravel and milked 25% of all of my views from those videos, so it sort of became a meme in the fandom’’

Otakuthon

This summer, Anson Yeh was selected to perform at Otakuthon in Montreal, one of the largest anime conventions in the world. ”Anyone can fill out the form to apply, but they only pick the first 20,’’ Yeh explained. ‘‘After I submitted my sample video, the organizers contacted me a day later for my services.’’

Anson Yeh
Image Credit – Anson Yeh

In light of this achievement, Anson looks back at himself now and knows he didn’t make it all this way alone. He had help along the way. ‘‘My parents introduced me to the piano, so I partly owe them my current success,’’ Anson said.

The Dark Side of Yeh

Yet, with success comes some cringe as well and Yeh is no exception. ‘‘I played the Boku no Pico theme naked in a failed attempt to go viral,’’ Yeh winced. ‘‘I also played Unravel with my banana, make of that what you will. They remain some of my most cursed content, minors beware.’’

Awkward moments aside, Anson is a fairly attractive male figure who is still somewhat relatable for the average 19-year-old male. After all, ‘‘Playing piano every day keeps the girls away.’’ That is the motto of Anson Yeh.

Anson Yeh
Image Credit – Louis Yoon