There are several notions of transportation that Youngr would like to make you feel through his music.
The feeling of waking up and cuddling a sausage dog, the feeling of going over a small hill too quickly in the car and having your stomach feel tingly in response, the feeling of realising that you don’t have to get out of bed until you like, “the feeling of being constipated for four days and then finally…”
Essentially, the feeling of quite simply, feeling content and at peace.
His latest record, This Is Not An Album, is aptly named. There are no filling songs, and no surprises. None of those random 10 minute songs (though one of those filled with swirling synth is one of his dreams,) and thirty second interludes. Every song is a single and familiar.
The name it an attempt to step aside from cliché. “I thought I’d inject some humour into it all,” Youngr says, “However, I have always wanted to release an album, since starting my first band when I was 14 …dreaming of getting a cassette on the shelves of HMV.” Confessing his love for albums, he explains, “I love the feeling of getting to Track 16 and finding out there is a hidden track after five minutes of silence and you can’t wait to go into school the next day to find out if anybody else had discovered this, and if they hadn’t, you we’re basically the only human being on the planet that had heard the hidden track… magical!”
As a little poke at the way that music consumption is heading, Youngr laughs; “I think, sadly, those times are dying now. Who the hell has the patience to sit through 5:34 seconds of silence on your way to work? You’d think Spotify had frozen!”
Youngr describes himself as “a pretty easy-going guy,” explaining, “I hate being kaffufled and really don’t like conflict.” His music encapsulates his personality. It’s fun and easy-going, whilst there are delightful surprises in the sugared pop that tastes like a lemon drop melting on the tongue, and gives off the same rush. The songs on the record were written within a two year time period; “when I was just trying to go about my life in the most chilled, positive way!” he says. Alongside the originals, Youngr has included “bootleg” versions of songs.
Showing off his producer side, they add to the story-telling. His ways are personably unique. The songs are observant and quick witted, referencing popular culture and coy sentiments of the heart. I mean, ‘93’ belongs in a time capsule, and if your life were a sitcom, ‘What’s Next’ could be the theme tune.
“I can only really talk about the views from my groups of friends I guess, but it feels like social media is becoming less important. Don’t get me wrong, it still dominates mostly everything, but, the hype of it all seems to be dipping.” this is Youngr’s most recent observation. “It went from people wanting everything about themselves online, to only having one picture, or Snapchatting for 10 seconds or only doing Instagram stories.
“Things have to be instant, then deleted forever. Living in the moment. I think that’s what I can relate to. There’s no longer this huge stress on get a job, get a house, get a partner, get a baby, get a pension, die! It seems to be more about exploring this amazing universe we’re all in together and finding other ways of achieving happiness and fulfilment.”
Over Christmas, he read a book called ‘The Celestine Prophecy’ which gave an interesting perspective on life, humans, and why we’re all here. The book has been playing on Youngr’s mind and his most recent single combines his observations with the questions themselves. ‘Ooh Lordy’ is an ecstasy hit of euphoria that shakes with groove. Starting out as a bootleg, the energy of performing it live made Youngr embrace it all the more. When playing it in Mexico for the Holy Colours festival last year, a photograph was taken of him half way through performing the song. “I have my hands in the air, and so do the thousand kids in front of me with multicoloured painted faces. It was that picture that inspired me to write my own song over this bootleg. I remember I had the picture up on my laptop in the session as me and the co-writer, Tim Woodcock, worked on the lyrics and the story.
“I think we perfectly captured the emotion of that memory.”
It makes you want to hit the dancefloor. To be free, to taste life and to love yourself and those around you. “I don’t think there’s anything wrong in love songs, I think, yeah, try to spin them in new and interesting ways if you can, but, there is nothing wrong with love. The world needs as much love as it can get right now.” Youngr explains, after some diverting from a tangent about how he would write a love song about his girlfriend’s spaghetti.
Carbs aside, the nightclub is a big part of his life, too. The thought of nightclubs and venues closing is something simply heartbreaking. “It’s so important for young adults to get into these clubs and do all sorts of stupid shit and go and dance their tits off to music for 13 hours!” he exclaims. Believing that the closing of venues will lead to illegal warehouse parties (“Which are dope!”), Youngr remembers the kid at every one with decks, a Maplins lighting rig and a shitty PA system, “with a bunch of mates that love dance music and want to go and rave till the sun comes up.” Specifically he recalls going to Berlin for a weekend with his brother ten years ago. Neither of them were into house or tech music, or were drug takers. “When we walked in there we were like… ‘Woah! What the fuck is going on in here!?’ Fast-forward 5 hours and we’re both having our minds blown by the music we were hearing. Completely sober; we were broke students at the time, shitty Coca Cola from the spray gun was all we could afford! We two stepped until our heels hurt.
“We came back to the UK changed musicians after that. It would be a shame if fellow musicians and producers couldn’t experience moments like that in the future.”
Youngr might not follow the rules, but his heart is all about tradition. Embrace it and discover new layers to this technicolour world.
Words by Tanyel Gumushan