Gab De La Vega Turns and Faces the Familiar, Strange on "YYZ" (premiere)

Photo: Bradley James Allen / Courtesy of Earshot Media

Singer-songwriter Gab De La Vega shares a new video for "YYZ" that speaks to feelings of loss and finding one's way.

Singer-songwriter Gab De La Vega releases Beyond Space and Time on 24 January via Italy's Epidemic Records and the German label Backbite Records. In anticipation of the album comes a new video for "YYZ", directed by Jaden D and edited by Bradley James Allen. The title may be familiar to some music fans as Canadian rock trio Rush recorded an instrumental by the same name for its 1981 album Moving Pictures.The three letters are the airport code for Toronto's Pearson International Airport.

This "YYZ" is a folk-inflected number that captures feelings of longing and displacement in an increasingly hurried life, not so much about a stranger in a strange land as a familiar in a world that grows increasingly strange.

The artist says, "The song is about feeling lost and disoriented in life. It's about the need to find your place in the world. The moments in which you have to make decisions that might change everything, without having a clue of what the outcome might be. It's about the daily struggle to steer your own life and, at the same time, accept that you don't have full control of everything that happens to you.

"The song lyrics refer to a summer afternoon two years ago. I was walking in downtown Toronto, chasing my thoughts in the alleys of my mind. At one point, I looked around and I realized my feet took me astray. I had to figure out where I was. I was kind of lost, literally and metaphorically."

Of the video, he adds, "I decided to pay tribute to the city in the video. I love Toronto; it feels like a second home. Jaden, who directed the video, is my cousin and he's from Toronto. We had this idea so we went around the city and I started busking, playing the song at some of the most and some of the least busy corners of the city. There are no actors in the video, only the people of Toronto. They were running late to hop on their train. They were shopping. They were groups of friends or couples chatting. They were regular people caught up in their regular lives on an ordinary summer day. We provided the soundtrack, but they were the protagonists. Some of them stopped to hear me play, even for a few seconds, others liked it and dropped a coin in the case. I tried to go along with the flow and become part of the play for that day, impersonating someone whose life is not different from anybody. I guess it's just what we do. We live our lives, we play our scripts."


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