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[INTERVIEW] YUNGEN

  • He first went Silver earlier on this year, transcended to Gold and then sold out his UK tour. You really don’t have to look too hard to see the movement and energy of Yungen and his current sound waves. We sit down together before his show at the O2 Shepherds Bush Empire. Which saw the performances and support of Sneakbo, Haile, Storzmy and Yxng Bane. Yungen’s excited, he’s ready. So, we start.

    You just released your track ‘All Night’ with Mr Eazi, he’s an artist thats so aware about this sound of UK Fusion right now. What was it like collaborating with someone like that?

    It was sick, he’s a massive massive talent, I feel like people don’t see how talented he actually is. He’s a G and he’s got this business brain as well.

    You see me, whenever I go into the studio and record, whatever vibe i’m in at that moment thats what I wanna do, but I feel like this [UK Fusion] could get so much bigger.

    Mr Eazi said to me when we did the song, “Yes! They’re going to love you now in Ghana. Trust me, I’m going to bring you to Ghana.”

    He has such a strong fanbase doesn’t he?

    Yeah, he did a festival here that I went to, I came out for him. His own festival in Camden. It was very sick.

    In terms of this UK fusion sound, is there anyone you can see yourself collaborating with in the future?

    I love that style of music, there are people like Wizkid, who I’m a massive fan of Kojo Funds. I have to be making a song. All my collabs have come from me already having the sound and knowing what I wanna do.

    So how do you get to that point, do you have a process?

    Do you know what, I don’t really do sessions if that makes sense. Like booked sessions. I’ll just go the studio at 1am in the morning – play FIFA, bust jokes, watch videos on youtube- and then we create a vibe from that.

    Whats been the most poignant moment in regards to that process that has added to your work right now?
    Bestie, I think. I remember- and I actually said it to him – Not3s had the song ‘Addison Lee’. He did a remix to it, and I was upset that he didn’t ask me to jump on the remix [laughs]. And I had made it clear that I had liked the song. So I was like cool, I’m gonna do a song on this vibe, so I spoke to my producer about creating something along that vibe. Obviously ‘Bestie’ doesn’t sound like ‘Addison Lee’ but its what we went in with and how I started my verse “ I really had Madison, in the Addison Lee”.

    You really do span multiple genres, do you feel like you’re going to end up creating your own genre rather than being confined to a singular form?

    I like doing everything, I feel like thats going to be the continual thing in my music over anything else. I feel like maybe thats why I’m here – six years later- able to have a song like ‘Bestie’ in this time. It’s just got to be the vibe for me at that moment, its gotta be emotive. I don’t ever proper think things out like “Okay this sounds in, I’m gonna have to go and work with that”.

    What kind of space do you feel like your setting up in your concerts- like Mosh pits are a massive thing right now even for multiple genres- what vibe do you think your on?

    Do you know what, people are going to say I’m crazy and that this always happens at my shows- but I don’t really like Mosh pits. I’m looking and I’m like, I would never be in there it looks a bit scary- but when they do it, its amazing, it looks amazing. Luckily for me no ones ever been hurt at my shows.

    Thats crazy, even coming into the venue just now, you already have a queue of all women. It looks like a majorly female audience

    Yeah! They were mosh pitting yesterday [laughs].

    So an all female mosh pit?

    Yeah, I’m pretty sure there were lads in it as well.

    Sometimes they’re just really up for it. When they’re up for it, they’re up for it. Some people are there to have a good time no matter what. Some cities I’ve been too, they’ve not known who I am, but they’re there to have a good time.

    A lot of your music is a completely UK indigenous sound, what kind of narrative do you think your telling to a global audience through this sound?

    Everyones different, there are acts making songs I would never make and me making tracks like ‘Bestie’ or ‘Take My number’ that no one else would make. Its showing that the UK can do all this.

    So maybe the narrative is simply, ‘Yo, we ready.’

    Exactly! We ready….

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