- Geffen Records
As an artist and songwriter, Yungblud lives to stir up the raw energy of rebellion. On his self-titled debut EP, the 19-year-old Northern England native confronts everything from gentrification to disenfranchisement to addiction, turning each track into an infectious anthem that packs endless cathartic power.
With his frenetic take on alt-pop equally inspired by punk, hip-hop, and UK garage, Yungblud makes brilliant use of his breakneck flow and tongue-in-cheek attitude, delivering pointed lyrics without ever getting heavy-handed. “I want my music to always have a message, but I don’t want to preach to anybody,” says Yungblud, otherwise known as Dominic Harrison. “When people preach to me, I completely switch off—like, ‘Why are you trying to tell me to do?’ This music’s just an outburst of emotion and anger, and everything else going on in my head.”
Throughout Yungblud, the London-based artist shows the nuance of his songwriting, turning out instantly catchy protest songs that reveal the personal toll of political tensions. His debut U.S. single—and the EP’s most heartbreaking moment—“I Love You, Will You Marry Me” takes its title from a real-life, ill-fated marriage proposal spray-painted at a public housing project in South Yorkshire. Merging its bouncy ska rhythms with gritty storytelling, the track tells the couple’s tragic story and recounts how the graffiti was appropriated for marketing purposes as the council estate transformed into a trendy apartment complex. “The redevelopment company made loads of money off what this guy created, and he ended up with nothing,” says Harrison. “He was homeless at the time all this was going on, so he contacted the company and asked, ‘Since you sold all these flats using something I made, could you maybe give me a place to live?’ But they just ignored him.”