Minding the music business

Young Hispanic man playing acoustic guitar

On the day that changed his life, Sebastian Arroyave Moir (Business Administration, Marketing ’21) was just six years old. It was his first day in a new school, in a new country — Guatemala — where he couldn’t speak Spanish and he didn’t know anyone. He couldn’t stop crying.

To distract and comfort him, his teacher handed him an orange guitar — a kind gesture that sparked his lifelong love of music.

Later, as his family moved between various countries, music was his refuge. He spent hours in his room learning different instruments and recording techniques from instructional YouTube videos. When his family settled in Canada for good, he dove headfirst into music, studying percussion in high school band class and entering singing competitions.

"If I can eventually make a living from my music,
that would be great."

Acoustic guitar being hung up on a way with neon light behind

Fast forward to today: he’s Yavé (pronounced Yah-vay), an up-and-coming pop musician flagged by CBC Radio’s Calgary Eyeopener as a local talent to watch. His lush, finely crafted R&B and jazz influenced songs are streaming on Apple Podcasts, Spotify 🔊 and YouTube. So far he’s had more than 10,000 listens on Spotify alone. His style has been described as “bedroom pop,” a genre that encapsulates a new wave of songwriter-musicians using their home computers to compose, record and stream to the world.

It’s a genre that also bypasses recording studios and record labels, so he uses the savvy he honed while earning his Business Administration diploma with a major in Marketing to attract attention to his music.

“I really benefited from a class called Marketing You, which is about developing a personal brand. It helped me choose my pseudonym,” he says. “There are a lot of ‘Sebastians’ out there so I came up with Yavé – the last four letters of my surname. It’s different and it sets me apart.”

Yavé also credits SAIT for influencing his approach to planning social media campaigns that give his music maximum exposure. “Timing is extremely important, and setting up a calendar relates directly to the music business. It’s a great way to organize how I roll out the music and promotional material on social media.” He adds, “Every time I have released a song, the number of listeners has increased.”

Yavé is practical about his education and his music: he’s begun a part-time marketing job and entered SAIT’s Bachelor of Business Administration program. Although he’d like to make a living from his music, fame is not his ultimate goal. “My education will serve me well to establish a career in the business sector and use it as a means to support my music career,” he says. “If I can eventually make a living from my music, that would be great.”

What is bedroom pop?

Listen to Yavé's 2022 single Alone Again to get a sense of what dreamy melodies and hushed vocals can achieve!