Yang-Yi Goh is the fashion editor of Sharp, Canada’s men’s magazine. He grew up in Oakville, ON, earned a journalism degree from New York University, and has written and worked for the likes of GQ, ESPN The Mag, Complex and Men’s Journal. You’re probably pronouncing his name wrong. That’s okay, though—everybody does.
Did you always want to be in the media? If not, what other careers were on the horizon?
I’ve always wanted to write, aside from a brief period as a swoopy-haired, studded-belt-wearing 13-year-old where I was convinced I’d make it big playing bass in an emo band.
Where would you like to be five years from now?
Playing bass on tour in an emo band, feeling vindicated.
Any advice for people getting started in your industry?
It sounds simple, but make sure you actually read the publications you want to write for. Get a handle on who they are and what they do before you pitch them ideas. You’d be surprised by how many emails I get from aspiring writers who spell the name of our magazine wrong or confuse us with a women’s fitness mag.
What are your favourite media outlets, not including your own? (i.e.: what do you read/listen/watch?)
Grantland, Four Pins, Put This On, and The A.V. Club are all in my starting rotation.
Best interview you’ve ever had?
A few weeks ago, I had a great, remarkably random conversation with legendary character actor William Fichtner. It was supposed to be a 15-minute interview about his role in the new Ninja Turtles movie, but we wound up talking for over an hour about everything from the Czech pro hockey league to defunct Air Force bases on Long Island.
When I first started at Sharp, it took me about three interviews to figure out how to use the recording function on my phone. Whoops.
Best advice you’ve ever been given?
My favourite professor in university once told me, “Yang, if you’re serious about becoming a writer, you should move to Australia.” When I asked him why, he said, “Because they’re really racist down there, so you’ll face adversity and hardships and it’ll make you a better writer.” On second thought, that might not be the best advice I’ve ever received. But it’s almost certainly the strangest.
What rule(s) do you live your life by?
I try not to take myself too seriously, and like to surround myself with people who do the same.
What’s the most important tip you can give PR pros?
Be witty. I’m more likely to pay attention to an email if it makes me laugh.
Best experience you’ve had with a PR pro? We love to hear about #wins.
Once, on a press trip, a PR person and I bonded over our mutual love for the perpetually under appreciated Wayne’s World 2. That was a major win in my book.
Ordering an absurd amount of dim sum.
Fresh Off The Boat by Eddie Huang.
Best place on earth?
Jones Bar-B-Q Diner in Marianna, Arkansas, home to the greatest pulled pork sandwich known to man.
My mom—mostly because it’d mean I wouldn’t have to do the cooking.
Favourite app (or whatever you are downloading these days)?
The only thing I really download is Game of Thrones, illegally, every Sunday night.
Pool or ocean?
Voicemail or email?
Email. The little voicemail light on my office phone is actually blinking incessantly at me as we speak, and I’m doing everything in my power to ignore it completely.