Yale Yun is a general engineering junior at Cal Poly who has recently been making waves in the local music scene as a member of a handful of bands. If you go to a local show, you might just see him playing bass for the entire lineup!
Yun grew up in Nipomo, CA, and lived there up until started Cal Poly in 2019. When asked how growing up in Nipomo impacted his relationship with music he hesitated, but ultimately found his answer.
“I will say this, growing up I wasn’t really the type of kid to go out after school and hang out with friends…I mostly just stayed at home,” describes Yun.
His childhood schedule that once gave him internalized worries of being socially uninvolved has now bloomed into a tender gratitude that ultimately introduced him to his true passion — playing the bass.
His passion for playing bass came along with an all-consuming sense of needing to evolve and create.
Yun took initiative in high school to create a community around him that reflected his passions. He became heavily involved in the creation of a music club at Central Coast New Tech High School where he could mingle with other musically-inclined students.
This ultimately led him to be in quite a few Central Coast bands spanning from his hometown in Nipomo to several started with fellow students at Cal Poly. As of now, he plays bass for five different bands, including Chessboxin’, Soft Cider, Tres Pescadores, Cameron Porter and The Boys, and Cal Poly’s contemporary jazz ensemble.
Yun has joined an array of bands that are notably diverse in genres from experimental rock and punk to jazz. The COVID-19 pandemic left him with a lot of free time, and constant experimentation prevented him from getting stylistically bored of his work.
“If I am being completely honest, if you told me to pick a major and guarantee that I could make a living, I would have picked music,” the general engineering major said.
Yun explained there is this lingering internal struggle for him between picking a more conventional path with general engineering and his passion for playing bass. One he has been able to explore on Cal Poly’s campus and give him the opportunity to make all the connections with like-minded musicians he has now.
“Meeting these new people, jamming with them, listening to their music recommendations, and listening to the music [that] they themselves have made, it all adds up to how I end up approaching my own music and playing,” Yun said.
Yun gives the warmest appreciation to every person that made his involvement in the local band scene so fruitful and possible. He also feels that little moments with people can create opportunities to develop and grow passions into something to be proud of and can enhance the college experience.
Tres Pescadores currently has music up on streaming platforms, and Chessboxin’ has an EP that they will be releasing soon.
For updates on these local bands you can follow them on instagram @cp_theboys, @tres_pescadores, @chessboxinband, @savewaterdrinksoftcider, and @calpolyjazz.
This article was originally published on KCPR.org.