Get 2 Know Young O

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2 top ten MTV music videos, 2 songs reaching the top U.K Hip Hop Charts, and exceeding well over 3 million Youtube and Vevo views for his artistry, Young O has resurfaced to deliver his latest track, ’10/10′ parallel to the release of his forthcoming EP due to drop in early 2019.

With his grassroots situated in South London, his music bared witness to him hitting the club strips in and around the outskirts where he would perform his tracks at clubs and bars before signing a management deal in 2009. A musical veteran in the U.K scene, his work has gained the attention of American musicians, in particular 2 Chainz and highly esteemed 90’s Hip Hop trio Salt-N-Pepa whilst his association with paramount U.K artists continues to broaden in the form of collaborations in addition to his already stealthy affiliation with with Lady Leshurr, Scorcher, Mega Man and Griminal to name a select few.

 

Young O

 

Rae: You’ve been championed by the likes of 2 Chainz and American Hip Hop royalty Salt-N-Pepa alongside working with U.K industry heavyweights. How have you found navigating your way through the music industry ? And how does it differ now to when you first started ?

Young O: I’ll be honest, music is in a good place right now for U.K artists, it seems like forever, but looking back to when I first started to where we are now the games changed a lot in the sense that we kinda have our own voice, we don’t need to be co- signed by anyone now…it’s different. Back then you needed a co-sign, say by someone like 2 Chainz or whoever… or even in the U.K just being championed by Wiley, people in the culture, but now no-one needs that, if you put enough passion and belief into your craft and sound you’ll get the audience to buy into it. The difference now is that everyone believes in themselves a lot more, they’re looking around and seeing people actually make it off the back of sound and organic fanbase alone. It’s brilliant, it’s a good place and everyone is more confident in their own sound because they can see it’s possible.

Rae: From writing music since you were 15 to deciding to commit to your musical pursuit at 17, at what stage was the turning point for you when you knew that your graft was beginning to pay off ?

Young O: I think just loving it, enjoying it, and knowing that I didn’t want to do anything else, was when I knew. I saw everyone else doing things that they didn’t want to do, whether it was a 9-5 or a job they didn’t enjoy, I just looked around me and thought, I love writing music, I enjoy making music, I love performing music, all I do is listen to music (laughs), so that’s what I wanted to do with my life, that’s what kept me going. At that point I decided I wanted be an artist…. I was seeing a lot of success stories and thought if they can make it, I can make it too, for me the passion turned to graft and I had to create a work ethic around that. It’s easy to love something, but to make it work you gotta have that undying passion for it and have the ethic to keep on pushing it. There will be loads of days when you wake up and think you can’t do it anymore because there’s certain things you expect to happen and they don’t happen when you want them to, but for me when I decided this is what I wanted to do, it’s all I woke up and thought about. I just wanted it that bad, regardless of the success and regardless of anything around it, sponsorships, whatever… it was more about doing what I love and not having to be in a position where I hated my days. I wanted to love life and music is my go to, so it made sense for me to just pursue it.

Rae: Looking at the progression and growth in your artistry, how do you feel people in and outside of the industry have changed towards you ?

Young O: Nothing’s happened fast for me, it’s not been an overnight thing, like one minute I’m here and next minute I’m doing something crazy. I’ve been able to just stay grounded and just focus on the music. People around me, yea… people change, don’t get me wrong that’s natural, but with me I’ve just been able to remain true to myself…as an artist as well. I haven’t been one to just jump on any sounds, I haven’t been one to say alright cool, let me do a trap track because everyone’s doing trap, I’m not about that. I’m fairly mature in the sense that, I’m not 21.. I’m not 22 (laughs), I’m smart enough to just say nah, I’ll do my own thing and I think people around me respect that. People change anyway, that’s life, for me I’m just focused on what I’m doing and I think people respect that. The reaction I get is mostly love, people give me my space which I like. I’ve worked with a few artists and I’ve got a lot of artists that are friends and everyones been supportive. I’ve got friends that have nothing to do with the music industry but they treat me the same way and I’m still the same guy, but yea, it’s all love.

Rae: You grew up listening to 90’s Rap, Chaka Demus, Reggae and Afrobeats along with drawing inspiration from Jay Z and Wiley. Has your musical taste changed and who are you currently listening to ?

Young O: With me, I’m a mature head, I still like sounds like that, those kind of artists inspired me really, it might not be sound wise because sounds change and sounds evolve, but in the grand scheme of things I look at the ethic and consistency and say cool, you wanna create a body of work and you don’t wanna be an overnight success, so that’s the kinda music that gives me a vibe. I still listen to them depending on my mood, but I listen to a lot of new artists now as well, I listen to a lot of U.K artists, I don’t listen to as much of the American stuff I’m not even gonna lie to you. Right now I’m listening to people that I bump into, like Bane, Paigey, loads of new gen type vibe. Wiley’s fam and he’s got a couple of new tracks out, I kinda go with the mood really.

Rae: You’re in partnership with Belaire, how did that come about ?

Young O: I’ve always been a believer in working with brands that you feel kinda represent you in a way. I’ve been lucky enough to work with a few brands over the last few years and the thing with Belaire is that I like drinking it personally…. I don’t wanna sound like an alcoholic coz I’m not (laughs) but I like the taste and it’s different… One of the brand managers in the U.K hit me up on one of my social medias, just organically, and showed love for one of my tracks. I was none the wiser about his involvement with Belaire to be honest, I thought he was just messaging to say that he likes my music. We ended up following each others socials and I was able to check his page out and saw he worked with Belaire, from there he mentioned that they wanted to send me a care package and it just spiralled moving forward, I ended up doing a photoshoot with them and that’s how it kinda progressed. I like Belaire itself so it was just natural for me to be an advocate for the brand, but that’s how it came about to be honest, just natural and organic support and love.

Rae: You’ve just dropped your new single 10/10, what can we expect to hear next from you ?

Young O: 10/10 came out on 11th November, so about two weeks now, sound wise, I’ve got my EP pretty much finished already and 10/10 will be on there. The tracks kind of differ in a way, I got a track with Paigey on there, there’s a track with Ashley Walters on there, there’s a mixed bag of people on the EP, so the sounds definitely different. One thing about me is energy, the next track is a lot more energetic, and it’s more of what I want to do as well, it’s very easy to fall into the whole cycle of trying to please people because they like a certain sound. I create music I want to make, the beauty of it is that the love is mad. Things are picking up organically and I’m having conversations with people in the industry who are showing love for me just doing what I want to do and not jumping on any wave. So that’s what the sounds gonna be like, I’m conscious that I wait a lot, I put tracks out then I just do my own thing, I’m very selfish with my art because I hold it dear, which ends up in me holding on to them for longer than I need to but that’s not gonna happen anymore. I’m gonna shoot a video for 10/10 before the end go the year, so it’s all happening. musically the next sound is gonna be energetic, it’s gonna be a vibe.