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Mess Around: Yanni Burton Gets The Remix Treatment

We talked to the artist as he prepared for the release of the Pool Cosby Remix of “Mess Around”…

By John Stein

Yanni Burton’s “Mess Around” is a sexy, smooth and sassy “I’m-a do-me” ballad with a dash of “f” you. It was written after the young out artist experienced his first tumultuous split with someone who used him and cheated on him. But the song doesn’t deal with the pain or regret of time wasted on his ex; it focuses on Burton’s recovery and his rebuild of his own sexual, emotional and physical identity.

“I wrote it when I was completely done with all the bullshit and wanted to let a certain someone know that I was back, stronger than ever,” Burton says.

“Playing the field and messing around after a breakup is the best anecdote for heartbreak. It helps a guy or girl to rediscover him or herself and learn what he likes and what he’s no longer willing to tolerate. It’s just important to play safe and be respectful of your body and soul, and others’ too. As long as you are, you do you, honey!”

He was confident enough to strip down (literally and figuratively) for the campaign images that accompany “Mess Around.” “It was my first nude shoot,” he exclaims. “I loved it! As soon as I stripped down, I grew into this new sense of power and confidence, which is exactly what the song is about.”

The Pool Cosby Remix of “Mess Around” released in April asINwas heading to press. We chatted with him to get the latest.

How do you feel about remixers reworking your songs?
I absolutely love it. The Torna remix came out first and the Pool Cosby remix is next. Both are completely different, to the point where you probably wouldn’t recognize they came from the same song. That’s what I love about collaborations.

You aren’t bothered by remixers adding their own interpretations to your songs?
One of my favourite things about working with other artists is the endless possibilities of creativity that come to the table. You gain different perspectives, tastes and style, which add a new quality and dimension to your work.

The original “Mess Around” was a letter to your ex, to let him know you had moved on.
It was also a letter to myself, to recognize the mistakes I had made in the relationship. I realize now that it’s very important to stand up for oneself in a relationship as, ultimately, that is what is going to make the union solid. If there’s a power imbalance, with one person constantly walking on eggshells or accommodating the other’s needs all the time, a relationship can’t work because the less dominant partner begins to lose perspective and their identity.

What did you learn from your time playing the field and being messy?
I learned what I really wanted in my next relationship; how communication and respect are essential.

What kind of crazy shit did you get into?
(Laughing) I had my share of late nights out…

When did you know it was time to stop messing around?
One late night out in New York City at a drag show, I met Jordan, the man who would become my fiancé, and that was it for me! From pretty early on, we knew we had something good, and here we are eight years later.

Based on your Instagram, you and your fiancé look to be up for fun all over the world.
(Laughing) I get so much shade for being naked and not posting enough musical content. But hey, I work hard so I can play hard, and I’m proud of the results.

Does Jordan mind if you get a little slutty and butty on Instagram every once in a while? 
At first, he wasn’t having it, but he takes most of my photos now, and he gets to keep all the juiciest content.

Would you mind if he were to get wild on his Insta? 
(Laughing) I would love that! But if you’ve seen his Insta, it’s pictures of our cats and me, so the chances are slim to none.

You’re only young once, right? 
Indeed, you are, and you better hustle while you can.

Fans can still see Yanni Burton “Mess Around” on Instagram. Follow him at ton.

JOHN STEIN worked for print publications ElectriCITY and the ​Los Angeles Times, and is now a digital media producer, freelance journalist and author who primarily covers entertainment and current events. He is a movie buff, is obsessed with his three chihuahuas, and has a mild video game addiction.

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