Describing his music as “alternative folk rock,” Eli Yaroch is a teen-age musician with a laser focus on molding his future career.
Yaroch, 17, of Hempfield, is a Pittsburgh CAPA musical theater major by day and a musician in his free time. His debut EP, Yaro and the Static’s, “A Letter To A Youthful Mind,” is now available on download and streaming services.
He also will have copies of the CD of original music for sale at his June 1 all-ages concert and release party at Mr. Smalls Theatre in Millvale.
Yaroch plays piano, guitar, bass, sings and is accompanied only by fellow musician Colin Frink on the EP’s six songs.
Other CAPA students will join him for Saturday’s concert in order to provide, he says, “a fuller sound.”
The EP deals with the themes of transitioning into adulthood and the doubts and mistakes that come with it, according to Yaroch.
“I guess what inspires me is asking deep questions that everyone has but is too scared to ask out loud,” he says.
As a rising senior, Yaroch is pondering going out on his own in the near future. He’s interested in finding out who he is as a person.
“There is always a part of you that doesn’t know who you are … It takes a while to figure out who you are going to evolve into,” he adds.
Like many people his age — and many adults — Yaroch says, he asks himself “What is my purpose? What am I here to do?”
Yaroch names Billy Joel as an early inspiration.
After taking a break from performing to work on his EP, Yaroch is looking forward to again playing for an audience. The band will play a 90-minute set of largely original music for Saturday’s show.
“It’s the best feeling in the world,” he says.
Ready for the stage
Joseph Carringer, owner of Pittsburgh’s JHP Studios record label, met Yaroch at Mr. Smalls last summer when he worked with its Real Life Music Camp for students.
Carringer says he was “just floored” by Yaroch’s “natural song-writing ability.”
“We just kind of clicked. He’s an old soul in so many ways,” he says.
Over the last year, Carringer has helped mentor Yaroch as he put the EP together and learned more about music production.
“There are seasoned, 50-year-old musicians that would just die to have the talent he has in terms of songwriting and musicianship,” he says. “I’ve seen him perform. … He has great stage presence and showmanship.”
Carringer considers himself a corporate consultant, helping Yaroch build a production and performance portfolio he can use to shop around for an agent and manager.
“Finding gigs, making new material, it’s a creative hamster wheel of sorts,” Carringer says.
He believes Yaroch’s musical talent can take him in several different professional musical directions.
”For someone of his skill set and ability to (write songs), there are so many avenues he can pursue beyond pop star,” he says.
Looking to the future
In between classes and working on his music, Yaroch also interns at Mr. Smalls recording studio, working with the audio engineer.
“That’s one of the career paths I’m considering,” he says. “I love recording and mixing. … I love songwriting.”
Working as an audio engineer combines the creativity of helping to shape songwriting while involving some elements of computer science, mathematics and engineering, Yaroch adds.
“I would really like to go to college for audio engineering, I think. After that, I think it would be fun to explore my options as a musician and see where that takes me,” he says. “Music is definitely in my future, for sure.”