Raw to the core: Emerging UK rap artist, Yung R talks musical highlights, future plans and his latest release ‘Epiphany’

Photo credit: Tobiaz (Instagram: @finalmystery)

What inspired you to begin a career in music?

I have always yearned for a platform to express my opinions and music provides me with the perfect forum to do so. I learned how to rap when I was a teenager, studied Music at GCSE level and there are also many DJs within my family network, which meant that taking music seriously was simply natural progression.

Who are your biggest musical influences?

Kano, Wiley, D Double E, Ghetts, Chip, Bashy, Wretch 32, Scorcher, NoLay, Lioness, Skepta, Frisco, P Money, Griminal, Footsie, Lowkey, Akala, Dizzee Rascal, Devlin, Double S, Maxsta, Lethal Bizzle, Tinchy Stryder, Dot Rotten, Stormzy, Riko Dan, Jammer, Scrufizzer,

What differs you and your sound from other upcoming artists in the music industry?

I am raw to the core. I perform with genuine emotion and my sound is a unique fusion between the old school Grime MCs of before and the new school rappers of today. I have a style which is far more intellectual than many of my contemporaries and you can tell that I went to the University of Grime.

We are really feeling your latest release ‘Epiphany’, especially the message. What inspired the track and can you describe the creative process?

The definition of ‘Epiphany’ is ‘a moment of sudden and great revelation or realisation’ and I believe that this ‘realisation’ is something that all of us men experience, especially if our relationships with our fathers aren’t the best. ‘Epiphany’ is a song which exposes the long-term effects of father absence on males in the black and ethnic minority community. It explores the life of a young male who endured a real disconnect between himself and his biological father during his childhood and teen years. The song speaks to anyone who has either been directly or indirectly affected by father absence or semi-presence and discusses some of the emotional and psychological effects it can have on a child, particularly a young male in need of a positive role model.

The visuals are just as powerful as the meaningful, heartfelt lyrics and can be found on my YouTube Channel. The creative process was very simple as the topic is something that is close to my heart and a theme that has been instrumental in forming my personality and characteristics as an adult. From start to finish, it took me around 45 minutes to write both verses and the chorus, which is relatively quick. It was a cathartic experience and I felt a huge pressure lift from my shoulders once I had transferred my feelings from thoughts to words on paper. I had some input from my closest male friends who spoke at length about their experiences of father absence and this helped me massively.

In your own opinion, what is the most meaningful song you wrote? What makes you say that one?

I think it is safe to say that ‘Epiphany’ stands out by a country mile in terms of being powerful, meaningful and timeless. It is also a song which tackles a taboo subject and shows a vulnerable side to me as an artist, opening up about deep, personal and psychological issues that I have endured. It is also very meaningful to anyone who has witnessed the effects of father absence or have felt it in some capacity.

Throughout your musical career, have you experienced any ‘wow’ moments? Those moments that you stop to reflect and can’t believe you are where you are?

When I was performing at ‘The Ends’ Festival, during my EP Launch at The Front Room in Croydon, when I received really positive feedback from Ghetts during an audition and when D Double E recognised my voice and came up to me to give me his blessings at J Kaz’s headline show. Those moments were surreal.

Everyone experiences good days and bad days, as a musician, when you have a bad day, what motivates you to keep moving and look ahead to the future?

I just remind myself that I am special and I have always known I was destined to be great. I think about the young people who I have inspired over the years and how much of a role model I am to them. I don’t believe that my life is about me and I truly believe that my purpose is to help and to serve others. Whether that be through music, education, financial literacy, personal development or even a little bit of all of the above mentioned, I just know this to be true.

Photo credit: Tobiaz (Instagram: @finalmystery)

What personal advice would you give to someone wanting to pursue this career?

Go all in. Always over-promote yourself. The weight of regret is the heaviest matter on this planet. Have a long-term vision. Always plan your next moves. Find your sound and where you fit in or stand out amongst the others artists in you genre. Skills pay the bills. Perfect your craft and understand the 10,000 hour rule.

What does the foreseeable future hold for you as an artist?

I am very excited about the future and I envisage many more electric performances, polished, professional projects, noteworthy features and collaborations, amazing visuals, mainstream exposure, chart hits, a record label, the list goes on and on… (Look out for my cover of Stormzy’s ‘Sounds of the Skeng’ – it will be released very soon!)

The Movement Is Yung EP is available to stream / purchase via iTunes, Spotify, Amazon and all major platforms.

Anything else you would like to add?

Follow me on all my socials to witness this journey:

Instagram | Snapchat: @yungrmovement | Twitter | YouTube

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