“I was the kid the mums didn’t like!”
– Dominic Harrison
When was the last time you met someone who’s got a lot to say, with a deepness, a pure soul and loads of messages to send out? You definitely need to keep an eyed and ear on the young artist Dominic Harrison (Dom) aka Yungblud, from Doncaster, UK. His songs are as powerful as his live shows and there’s a lot of energy in the room, when Yungblud enters the stage – this young lad is a born ‘Rockstar’, who’s anything but genre defined.
We me Dom the other day in Berlin and had a fun chat about this debut album ’21st Century Liability”, inspiring artists, time travel and fashion, of course! Dive into a pink and powerful world of loud music with story telling lyrics and political messages with us!
When you woke up this morning, what was the first thing that came into your mind?
Oh shit! (laughs)
Probably yeah, because it was pretty early. First thing that came into my mind ‘fuck it’s early’! Oh no actually it was this: it’s an interesting story (laughs).. so I was supposed to fly to Germany this morning and we got a train off at 3 in the morning to get to the airport. My dad met me, because I’ve been in the states, so I met my family in London this weekend. I put my passport in my suitcase. The suitcase went up to the north, which is like a five hour drive. So I called someone at 10 ‘o clock, ‘cause I missed the last train to the north, to bring my passport. And I paid him 200 quit to bring my passport down or I’m not gonna be able to fly. So the first thing when I woke up this morning was ‘fuck is the taxi driver outside?’.
Your grandfather performed with T-Rex in the 1970’s and you said in another interview that music literally was put into your cradle. You grew up listening to music all the time and it’s like a natural thing to play music and to write songs. Have you ever wanted to become a musician as well when you were younger or were there any other plans?
To be honest, I always just like showing off. Do you know what I mean? I don’t know why and I know it sounds a bit like geekish, but I just like people looking at me. Wherever it will be like acting or shouting at people or just playing guitar, that was it. I think there’s literally of picture of me outside the hospital, 6 hours old, in a car seat with a Beatles ukulele across my knee. Music was always gonna be in my blood, it was forced to pump me. Music was like the only thing, that was kinda massive outlet for me, because I always had so much energy and I always had a lot to say for myself, I was quite opinionated. So a lot of people misunderstood me. I was the kid the mums didn’t like! Do you know what I mean, like stay away from him, because he’s naughty. But I wasn’t naughty, I was just like saying what I thought and just being myself. And kind of music like the Arctic Monkeys and The Clash, Eminem, N.W.A, where genres that kinda had that attitude and had that anger and replicated that anxiety and anger that I was feeling. And that kind of made me feel good and feel less of a nutcase. That infected my head and kinda became a part of my life and then I started playing guitar. But I always liked people looking at me, I don’t know why, I just did. Probably I had ADHD, yeah scientifically! (laughs)
Joe Strummer (The Clash), Alex Turner (Arctic Monkeys) and Eminem have always been some huge inspirations and idols for you and it’s more their whole attitude you said, than their music itself. But music wise, if you need to choose your favourite song by The Clash, Arctic Monkeys and Eminem, which ones would you go for?
Joe Strummer, probably ‘London Calling’, I know it’s an obvious one but fuck yeah! ‘London Calling’ or ‘Lost in a Supermarket’, but I think ‘London Calling’ because it was the first song that was about politics, but I just wanna dance to it. It was about something real, but I could just get into a mosh pit to it and it made me feel good. Even when I put it on now, I put it on before I go on stage and I’m just like ‘YEAH!’.
Arctic Monkeys – ‘A Certain Romance’, just because it was just like he was a guy that got inside of my head, because all these songs are about Northern England and it was literally in my childhood, so it’s like he was one of the only people in the world who understood me. And he knew what I was thinking and have not even met me. And that freaked me out! Cause it was lines, lines like ‘They might wear classic Reeboks or knackered Converse or tracky bottoms tucked in socks’. That was literally, where I was growing up, me and my mates, in Adidas jackets, in trackies, smoking cigarettes, that someone else was going to buy for us, in a park in Northern England. It literally is cliché, built he nailed it, because this is Northern culture.
Eminiem, probably I know I’m going for the obvious ones, but fuck it I don’t care I’m going for ‘My Name Is’, because that was when I was between 14 and 16, that’s when you figure our your parents are always right and some of the shit they’re saying is actually mental. Like the shit you like, that’s just fucking bollocks! And when he just said that line ‘I just found out my mum does more dope than I do’ I was like fuck, I blew my mind! Especially that age and yeah the beat was sick on it as well and the story behind it. Like Dre literally, he went into his studio, that was Dre’s last chance as a producer. Eminem at this time was really angry and fighting people and shit. And Dre was like ‘I believe in him’ and he went to the studio and he played him the sample (Dom imitates the bass line) and then within 10 seconds Eminem was like ‘Hi my name is’ and Dre was like ‘what the fuck, this is fire!
What’s the best thing about being an artist and what’s the worst?
Probably the best thing for me is being in a connection, The connection with the kids and the fans has been mad, because I get like so many DMs a day. Because my music is about like young people being depressed and shit and about being yourself and saying what you think and stuff. It’s amazing to see the amount of people saying like ‘your music is providing with answers’ and ‘I feel like I can speak about stuff like that now’. For me that’s the best. I listened to Eminem and Alex Turner when I was confused and for people to be able to doing that for me is just fucking mind blowing. And obviously getting on stage every night is just insane, it’s the only place in the world where people don’t look at me like I am a nutcase.
And what’s the worst thing? Probably the jocks to position of noise, that’s weird ‘cause all day’s like you got a camera in your face or you go on stage as loud as fuck and you’re just busy. And you get back to your hotel and it’s like silent as fuck and you can’t switch off. That’s why I don’t really sleep. Sitting in bed and staring at the ceiling.
Your released your debut album ‘21st Century Liability’ this year. Can you name 3 things, which really influenced and inspired you for that record?
I was listing a lot to Kanye West. I never wanted to be genre defined as an artist. I obviously got a guitar in my hand and people say it’s Rock’n’Roll, but for me Rock’n’Roll isn’t like 4 idiots on stage bashing the shit out of their instruments, it’s about what you represent, it’s that undeniable confidence to be like ‘this is what I think and I don’t care what anybody else says’. Or that undeniable confidence to be yourself. But for me ‘Rosa Parks’ was fucking Rock’n’Roll. I was listening a lot to Kanye West and I don’t wanna be genre defined. I wanna mix loads of stuff together and just kinda break the rules. When people look back and be like ‘fuck he did that’. That was the first kind of thing.
Two – a lot of what is going on in the world. It’s kind of an album that’s almost like a story. And I don’t wanna tell my story trough it, because it want people to find their own story. It just talks about kind of the world and touches on insanity, but it will remain insane. It sounds weird, but it’s about a high end insanity within my own sanity. A lot of the songs are about crazy stuff like ‘you’re gonna look at me like I’m insane’.
Three – modern hip hop and trap. I love trap right now. Trio music and hip hop music inspire me so much more right now, because it’s given me same feeling as The Clash did. So yeah, there’s a lit of trap influences, mixed with Rock’n’Roll influences, mixed with like Kanye West and drum and bass and reggae.
What’s your favourite song on your new record?
Gosh that like if you’d ask me which one of my kids I prefer! (laughs) Probably, it changes every week, but I love ‘Dr. Dr.’ right now. I just love the feeling of it and I love what it says!
You recently gave up your flat in London, because you’re touring until the end of this year. Do you sometimes miss London and just like having a relaxed day back home, strolling around the streets and stuff?
That’s so funny actually, I missed London a lot! But I just can’t relax. My head is going so crazy right now. I’m so thankful, that’s mad! I did miss London, I’ve been in America for a bit and I just missed the vibe, I love London!
In another interview with Puls Musik you said “This world is such a confusing place, such a mental world we’re living in” – If you were able to do a time travel, would you go back in time or are you more interested in seeing what the future holds for you?
I always loved history, so I think by study in the past you can learn about the future. I think that’s such a good philosophy. But yeah i’m kind of excited to see what the future holds!
How far would you go then?
Not too far, I don’t wanna see flying cars and shit. Probably like fucking a year, to see where I am in a year!
You obviously do have a thing for pink and especially for pink socks. Do you own any other pieces of clothing that are pink as well?
Yeah I’ve got a pink suit! I’ll bring that out on the right day (laughs).
That’s so Harry Stylish!
Oh Harry Stylish, I love it! (smiles) I got a pair of pink shades, a pink beanie – I love pink!
What means fashion to you and how would you describe your style?
I love expressing myself through clothes. It’s kind of the second purest form of expression from music for me. It’s just like you can put on a skin and you can feel differently in it! I just love it, I love fashion and I think it’s amazing. I love Gaga and I love Manson and I love David Bowie. I want to be like that, I wanna be seen as an artist like that. But most of it comes from a Northern Soul movement. It’s a movement just happened after the war. American G.I.s were stationed all over Europe and were all kinda cleaning up the mess we all made. And these American G.I.s did bring the American soul records to Northern England. And they were playing these soul records in those working mens clubs and it infected the North. And kids would go to these working mens clubs and dance all night and it was kind of the start of rave culture. It was the first time that boys dance on their own, because usually it’d be like ‘hello madame can I have this dance?’, a slow dance. Bruce Lee was becoming really big, so boys wear cropped trousers and started doing kong fu kicks and were showing their socks and their ankles off. And I just thought that’s really cool, let me do like a modern take on that!
What’s your indispensable piece of clothing, besides from pink socks?
Music is ..
Cheers for being honest and taking the time to have a lovely conversation with us. We hope you did enjoy reading as much as we did talking to Dom and we’re pretty sure to heard a lot from him in the near future! For tour dates and more check out Yungblud’s website!
xx smoke and echoes