Yellow Trash Can (YTC) is redefining what it takes to be successful in the music industry, especially during a pandemic, by branching out and hustling beyond their musical instruments and mixing boards to create nostalgia-inducing environments pairing music with animation, merchandise and multimedia.
The Portland-based duo consists of multi-instrumentalist Jason Navarrete and animator/designer and songwriter Jitta (On The Track). Perhaps most surprisingly, they do it all themselves for the most part, when they’re not inviting the likes of skateboarding legend, Tony Hawk, to play tambourine on their recent single “Populated”.
“YTC is all about the DIY (Do it yourself) ethic,” said Navarrete. “By creating, performing and producing everything in-house, we’re able to write quickly and evolve with the times. In addition, it keeps the costs down. A lot of artists are having a difficult time making a living right now due to streaming format payouts and since they can’t tour. So, everything helps.”
Traditionally, musical artists specialize in one medium or on one or two musical instruments. YTC writes, performs and produces the music; and creates the animations, multimedia, videos and merchandise before utilizing social media platforms to share their creations with their audience.
Originally ‘Yellow Trash Can’ was a production company that hired Navarrete and Jitta to produce music and print clothing. Instead, the company ran away with their music and left them with $5,000 worth of clothing and two unfinished albums.
YTC decided to turn a negative into a positive; they took the name of the studio and went out on their own. They then partnered with 808 Mafia’s Purps on a North Hollywood recording studio to go along with their Portland studio, and maximize their songwriting and production opportunities.
The duo’s music is a mix of turn-of-the-century alternative/independent electric guitar parts, a mixture of real and programmed drums and modern lyrics designed to inspire positive feelings spun in the past. Their merchandise ranges from $25 – $400 and includes unique one-offs to keep things fresh and in demand.
“We like to pair nostalgic melodies with modern lyrics,” Jitta added. “We want our listeners to immediately and subconsciously feel at home with the music by mixing alt/indie, guitar riffs with modern beats and vocals to keep the energy bouncing.”
In addition to their own music, they have produced BlocBoy JB, Myke Bogan, Keith Canva$, Craigy F, iLoveMakonnen and Chad Tepper; Navarrete owns Burn Money Music records and Jitta is a songwriter for Sony. YTC’s music can be heard on most online streaming sites.