Talks flights, designer items and the current state of the scene.
“We have everything here where we don’t have to look abroad right now.”
Project after project Yungen supports homegrown talent, showing us that London is where it’s at, talent wise. From 2009 to now, Yungen has remained consistent with his distinctive sound and with it being almost 10 years since he has been in the Music Industry, we at PAUSE wanted to take time out to reflect on his path to this recent project of his, entitled: “Project Purple”.
Let’s rewind back to your single “Mind On It” featuring Jess Glynne, which is evidently a summer jam, how did that collaboration come about?
You know what, I was like I’ve done a lot of collaborations with male artists so I thought the next feature I do should be with a female and I want it to be someone I’m a massive fan of, I thought of Jess Glynne so I reached out and luckily she said yes.
Mind On It, Feelings, Pricey & Intimate all features homegrown talent. Was that a conscious decision?
Yes, I love UK music at the minute and think we have everything here where we don’t have to look abroad right now. It’s perfect because times have changed. Homegrown is relative & the people want to hear whats relative to them.
Obviously, you’ve had tracks with Yxng Bane and one with Mr. Eazi, was it just that it was the right time to have a feminine touch on a beat?
Yeah man I just wanted to try something new on a beat, I had my verses and I knew what the beat was like and I knew it was a summer vibe, she’s the one for the summer hits.
Jacket: Moncler @ Browns, T-Shirt: Fear Of God @ Mr Porter, Jeans: Amiri @ Mr Porter, Trainers: Vans
Tell me about your album’s journey, some of them have been very conscious with grime and now it seems like you’re trying to produce something that leans a bit more towards R&B, could you tell me about that journey?
You know what, when I first started doing the SBTVs I didn’t really know how to make a song, I was just spitting at home watching my favourite MCs on DVDs and writing bars. I was just writing bars I wasn’t trying to write songs, I never came across that at the start. Although, when I first started making songs I loved R&B as I have three older sisters and that’s all I knew. So literally I’m just an R&B head, I’ve kind of been forced to be!
So tell me like who would you listen to who are your influences three from the US three from the UK you can be any genre?
The three from the UK would probably be Ed Sheeran, Craig David, and Wretch 32. As for the US, this guy isn’t really from there but kind of is, Drake. Who else do I listen to in the US? I think it’s kind of a UK thing at the moment, although the future and I’m going old skool, Donell Jones.
Around 5 years ago you brought us “Project Black & Red”, and you’ve just released “Project Purple”, explain your music writing process and growth from then to now.
Before I literally used to work with 2-3 producers, but now working with different producers and artists has helped me improve so much in the last few years. You need to do the rounds in the early stages to find your lane and identify what you need to perfect your craft.
What’s the best gig you have ever done?
Probably the one at Shepherd’s Bush Empire, when I did Shepherds Bush back in November it was the first show that my mum came to watch and it was a proper moment, that was definitely my favourite.
I guess it must feel good when you know that everyone is there for you.
You know what, I did Coco earlier on in the year and I would have said that it was my best show but when I did Shepherd’s Bush it was just better, that energy, when I was coming out the place was shaken, what a day.
Tell me about the event you threw at the Electric Ballroom.
That was sick man but it was actually a year since I did Coco, I didn’t do that on purpose and we’re in Camden as well, that was sick man I just wanted to do something to give back to the fans especially with what’s going on right now with kids stabbing each other, it’s scary. I’ve got nephews and younger siblings and they’re in that now, I remember being in the mix and it was bad bro but you had to be involved in it to get caught up in it, whereas now it can be anyone. I just wanted to do something for one day to get kids off the street, sometimes people can’t afford to come to a show. That was one of the best shows ever man, you know when it’s free drinks and everyone goes ham, it was like that, it was just good vibes.
Who are your besties in the music scene?
Me and Stormzy are good friends, Avelino is a proper good guy, Bane is my guy, Not3s and Hardy are like my little Bros they are proper like my little Bros. I remember when I first met Not3s and he was like “I remember being in school listening to you” and I was like “how old are you?!” he’s like 20 so that made me feel old.
Can we expect any more collaborations coming with them?
Hopefully man, when I collab with people I like it to just be genuine, I want it to be chilled, most of the time I’m just chilling in the studio and someone rolls up, I love doing that man because I think when you do a collab with someone and it’s not like that it seems forced. I would rather be chill and we don’t make a song then I send you a song and you have to make it.