Yungblud from Doncaster says: “I ain't gonna be on some pedastal”

Rising star Yungblud is a real one to watch.

Monday, 4th November 2019, 7:25 am
Updated Monday, 18th November 2019, 4:01 pm
The crowd goes wild for Yungblud
The crowd goes wild for Yungblud

The slightly anarchic alt-rock/punk pop singer-songwriter from Doncaster has already won himself legions of fans across the world. Today the singer-songwriter, with a pop-punk edge and plenty to say, is clad in fishnet tights, a pair of shorts and a striped hoodie. He's wearing mismatched shoes - a Doc Marten on one foot and a Creeper on the other - and he has a face full of make-up.

It's a bold look but one that suits him, and he's not afraid of standing out. He's all for a healthy dose of individualism and, given his musical idols, it's no surprise.

"I love David Bowie, I love Marilyn Manson, I love Lady Gaga," he says.

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Doncaster singer-songwriter Yungblud

"The freedom to express yourself no matter what is what turns me on."

The 22-year-old rising star from Doncaster - whose real name is the far less explosive-sounding Dominic Harrison - has made waves in the music industry over the past few years thanks to his flair for expressing himself, as well as for his hip-hop inspired rock sound and knack for injecting humour into his politically-inclined songs.

"I don't wanna be some 70-year-old geezer in a Def Leppard T-shirt singing about Margaret Thatcher down a pub - I wanna make people laugh and bring politics into music in a way that's funny and not miserable and boring," he says.

It's easy to see why the alternative rocker and multi-instrumentalist has become a bit of a poster boy for Generation Z, with his take on new era punk and his gender-bending aesthetic, his thoroughly current views on sexuality, inclusivity, mental health and community, and his unapologetic manner in addressing such contentious themes in his music.

Yungblud performs in Leeds

His rise to stardom has been bubbling under for the past few years, having dropped his debut album 21st Century Liability in July 2018.

He is perhaps best known for his single 11 Minutes with US music star Halsey and Blink-182's Travis Barker, which has amassed well over 220 million streams, as well as songs with Imagine Dragon's Dan Reynolds and Machine Gun Kelly.

"People say, 'You collaborate a lot Dom,' and I'm like, 'Yep and I'm gonna collaborate more because that's culture'," he says.

"I just want to pull people, young people, old people, from all different aspects of society, because that's what Yungblud is.

Doncaster singer-songwriter Yungblud

"Yungblud is 50 per cent me and 50 per cent the audience that listen to it; we're a community of people, all colours, all shapes, all sizes, all sexualities, all whatever we identify as, that's what we are.

"But we're there for one common reason and that's to be unified, and not be silent."

He says he feels connected to his American audience, and indeed his fans from every corner of the Earth, because the world is a smaller place than it used to be.

"It's so interesting because young people have become so much more global. Like, I speak to kids in Atlanta or Chicago or Detroit or New York, and they're just as concerned about what's happening with Boris Johnson as a British kid is.

"It's the same where I'm just worried about Trump as someone in Seattle is - I think that's it.

"But America's mad. Like, it's been incredible, just going there, and we shut down Times Square and we had like 600 kids outside every venue every night... like, the police got called on multiple occasions to rally the crowds, and we just can't believe it man.

"As I say it's still a small community but it feels mental."

He's fine with the fame and the attention, though, despite it being perhaps overwhelming at times.

"I'm just loving it, because when people ask you for pictures or when they mob you it's not out of aggression or pestering, it's out of love, it's out of community man," he explains.

"The thing about it is, I don't ever want to be on a pedestal," he adds, noting his fanbase. "I'm one of them, and I was looking for them my whole life and I've found them.

"Obviously I didn't expect it to get this big and it still feels like only the beginning but I found people who understand me for who I genuinely am.

"So every time I see them it just sends me spiralling inside, out of love."

For all of his successes past and the many more that are yet to come, his main ethos is to keep it real and to stay on a level with those who admire him and look to him for musical connectivity.

He says that performing, with his emotional displays on stage and his penchant for passionately screeching out the high notes, is a "release."

"I think that's why this whole thing has moved so quickly, because that's all it's about," he says.

"I ain't trying to be on a pedestal: I'm one of them, they are one of me, I'm just some 22-year-old from the North.”